Author: Ryann Haenel

Holualoa Companies Celebrates 35th Anniversary

TUCSON, Arizona (October 6, 2020) – One of Arizona’s top commercial real estate firms is marking a significant milestone this fall.

Tucson-based Holualoa Companies, which has a prominent portfolio of properties throughout the Phoenix and Tucson markets as part of its national and international real estate holdings, is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The company has successfully navigated numerous industry cycles and changes in the commercial real estate market over that time to achieve its current status.

Holualoa Companies was founded by I. Michael Kasser in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 35 years ago. Kasser currently serves and Chairman of the firm. The company expanded to the Southwest in 1992, moving the headquarters to Tucson, Arizona. Since then, it has established offices in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Paris, France.

Holualoa invests globally in multifamily, office, industrial, retail, hotel and mixed-use properties and has acquired more than $3 billion of assets. The company focuses on acquiring and repositioning underperforming real estate assets for successful sale upon stabilization. Holualoa also acquires select core assets in superior locations and participates in development opportunities that exhibit a compelling opportunity.

“Holualoa Companies had fairly humble beginnings, and it has been gratifying to see how the firm has grown over the years,” Kasser said. “Our culture has focused on discipline, patience and attention to detail, and we’re proud to have produced superior results for Holualoa’s investors for over 35 years – through bull and bear markets and through favorable and unfavorable business cycles.”

The company continued to grow by opening offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Santa Monica, California. Further expansion led Holualoa to partnerships in Washington, DC and Paris, France. In Arizona, it has been at the forefront of such high-profile projects in the Phoenix area as SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, Park Central, the AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Biltmore at Camelback Collective and the Civana Wellness Resort & Spa.

In Tucson, the company boasts a significant multifamily, office and industrial portfolio including the Pioneer Office Building, Herbert Residential and One East Congress in downtown, the Sonoran Reserve Apartments and the Mountain View Ranch development in Vail.

The company recently named Richard Kauffman as Chief Executive Officer, a role in which Kauffman oversees the company’s strategic growth, and promoted Lani Baker to Chief Financial Officer. Aroon Chinai is the company’s Chief Investment Officer and Stan Shafer serves as Chief Operating Officer. Additionally, Steve Betts, one of the best-known names in commercial real estate in Arizona, joined the company as Managing Director of Development.

“We are proud of the way we’ve been able to grow, evolve and expand our portfolio over the years and become involved with projects that are truly transformative,” Kauffman said. “We’re excited about the opportunities we see for the future. Currently, one of our key initiatives is our partnership with Greenlight Communities to develop attainable housing communities. These well-maintained, well-located and design-forward projects provide studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units for renters with a range of incomes under the Cabana brand.”

About Holualoa Companies

Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning and disposition of real estate assets. Holualoa also acquires core assets in superior locations and participates in select development opportunities. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, France its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multifamily, self-storage and hotel properties. For more information visit www.holualoa.com.

From the Phoenix Business Journal: Stan Shafer is intrigued by solving real estate development puzzles

From the Phoenix Business Journal

Stan Shafer has seen all angles of his industry, having worked as a real estate attorney and a broker before becoming a developer. “I spent 10 years protecting my clients from risks, then 22 years encouraging my clients to take risks and now I get to take risks,” said Shafer, the chief operating officer of Holualoa Cos. “One of the things I regretted as a broker and an attorney was that I couldn’t say, ‘I created that.’ It’s cool to be involved in the creative side.” Some of Holualoa’s biggest undertakings in the Phoenix area have been the development of SkySong and the redevelopment of Park Central Mall, both of which were done in partnership with Peoria-based Plaza Cos. Shafer grew up in Iowa but was a “wimp about the winter.” His grandparents moved to Arizona and he would visit them in the summer, and even credits them with being some of the first to start tubing along the Salt River, before there were commercial companies doing it.

I see a lot of race memorabilia on your walls, are you a competitive runner?

I’ve done 10 marathons and I was an active triathlete in the 1980s and ‘90s. I did the Ironman in Hawaii 32 years ago. I still run, but not marathons. My day starts at 4 a.m., I get up to exercise and, by 6 a.m., I’m on the computer and starting to work. We live on Tempe Town Lake near the walking bridge, so I like to walk and bike along the lake.

What else do you like to do in your free time?

In the summer we go to Pinetop every weekend, but you’d find me working in my office and playing golf. Literally right out the door of our cabin in Pinetop are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails. In the winter we stay here in Phoenix. I’m a big sports fan, I like to go to ASU football and Cardinals games. I root for all Arizona teams including U of A. I’m an Arizona State season ticket holder. I love to travel. I’ve been to 49 states, I haven’t been to North Dakota. We started traveling internationally about four years ago. We have three sons, two live here and one lives in Chicago, they’re all Eagle Scouts. I was active as a Boy Scout leader but now I’m an empty-nester. I like to finish carpentry, like putting in the molding. It takes me four times longer than it would if I had hired someone to do it.
I like doing jigsaw puzzles. It’s similar to what I enjoy about what I do at
Holualoa. At work, I put together puzzles without a solution. The more complex the situation is, the more I enjoy it. The more complex are sometimes the more fun.

Your company is headquartered in Tucson, do you have to go there very often?

I travel to Tucson every week and I have a lot of time in the car. I like to listen to books on Audible. I really like to read historical fiction, I’m a big history buff, especially in European history of Ireland.

What is your job like at Holualoa?

I have a lot of hats that I wear. We have 40 domestic assets and the asset managers report to me and I collaborate with the asset managers. Whenever we sell properties, because of my attorney and broker experience I tend to take the lead. Rarely does a day go by without talking to attorneys. We invest in all sorts of different sizes of properties. You can be proud of a smaller project that isn’t as high visibility, you’re creating value and enhancing the neighborhood.


What development are you most proud of? Park Central. Revitalizing the area of Phoenix and doing something the community and the city are happy with, and bringing Creighton University [medical school] will help the state in general.


Corina Vanek
Reporter
Phoenix Business Journal

Mountain View Ranch Development In Vail Sees Sharp Jump in Sales Momentum

VAIL, Arizona (September 1, 2020) – Mountain View Ranch development in Vail — a joint venture between Holualoa Companies, New Mountain View, LLC, A.W. Marrs, Inc. and Marrs Mountain View Ranch LLC — has seen a sharp increase in sales in 2020 despite the challenging economic environment. 

Year-over-year sales are up almost 43 percent at the property, which includes two unique subdivisions set in an exceptional Sonoran Desert environment. The subdivisions feature one-acre lots allowing plenty of open space for homeowners. 

The three homebuilders involved in the project — Fairfield Homes, Dell Mar Homes LLC and Bednar Design & Construction, Inc.— have each seen a sales jump with numbers exceeding last year’s levels and four months remaining in the year.

Mountain View Ranch combines a beautiful Sonoran Desert setting with the comforts of modern living. Every home site in Mountain View Ranch is an acre or more, all with stunning views of the Rincon Mountains. The location provides the opportunity to enjoy the best of what the Tucson metro area offers while enjoying extensive open space.

The property features two unique neighborhoods — Windmill Ridge and Sonoita Hills — with several custom and semi-custom plans ranging from 1,800 to 4,000+ square feet. It is located in the award-winning Vail School District and is adjacent to state lands with stunning views.

“Mountain View Ranch is a really unique and exceptional development, and we are pleased to see its sales momentum building,” said Lani Baker, Chief Financial Officer for Holualoa Companies. “We are definitely seeing buyers who are attracted to the mix of amenities and the location of the project in such a desirable area.”

Mountain View Ranch has lots available both for custom homes and for builders who are interested in buying multiple lots. For additional information on the project, visit www.homesatmountainviewranch.com

About Holualoa Companies

Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning and disposition of real estate assets. Holualoa also acquires core assets in superior locations and participates in select development opportunities. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, France its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multifamily, self-storage and hotel properties. For more information visit www.holualoa.com

Prominent Local Real Estate Professional Steve Betts Takes New Development Role with Holualoa Companies

PHOENIX, Arizona (August 24, 2020) – One of the best-known names in commercial real estate in Arizona is assuming a new role with one of the state’s top real estate investment firms. 

Steve Betts is now the Managing Director of Development for Holualoa Companies, which has a prominent portfolio of properties throughout the Phoenix and Tucson markets as part of its national and international real estate holdings. Betts had been working with Holualoa as a senior advisor the past five years. 

In his new role, Betts will be responsible for new development and redevelopment projects undertaken by Holualoa, as well as working to pursue new investment opportunities for the firm. 

Betts is Founder/President of Betts Real Estate Advisors, where he has acted as a senior advisor to Hines Development Southwest Region and the PHX Rising and Fortuitous Fund. He currently acts a director for the Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE:TRC), and as development director for Helios Education Foundation. He is also the Chairman of the University Realty (ASU) Board of Directors. 

Betts is the retired President and CEO of SunCor Development Company, the former half-billion dollar plus asset base subsidiary of the Fortune 1000 Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, and developer of master planned communities throughout the Mountainwest and large-scale office, industrial, retail and mixed-use urban projects in metropolitan Phoenix.

“We have been fortunate to be able to draw from Steve’s extensive expertise over the past five years, and are pleased to have the opportunity to create this new role for him,” said Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer for Holualoa Companies. “Steve is one of the most respected people in our industry in the western United States and he will be an invaluable asset for Holualoa Companies moving forward.”

Betts has also served as Co-Chair of Governor Ducey’s Transition Committee for State Lands and Parks, Chairman and current Trustee to the Nature Conservancy, chaired the Urban Land Institute Arizona District Council and serving on its Advisory Board, and served as Chairman and board member for the Teach for America Arizona Board. He serves on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Executive Committee, was appointed by the Governor to the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, Chaired the Interstate-11 Coalition, Vice Chaired the AZ Town Hall and served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor for Senator John McCain.

“I have enjoyed working with Holualoa Companies as they have cemented their reputation as one of the premier real estate firms in the region,” Betts said. “I look forward to continuing to create exceptional development projects and identify new growth opportunities for the company in the coming years.”

Holualoa was founded by I. Michael Kasser in Hawaii 35 years ago. The company expanded to the Southwest in the Resolution Trust Corporation days, moving the headquarters office to Tucson, Arizona.  The company continued to grow by opening offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Santa Monica, California. Further expansion led Holualoa to partnerships in Washington, DC and Paris, France.

About Holualoa Companies

Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning and disposition of real estate assets. Holualoa also acquires core assets in superior locations and participates in select development opportunities. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, France its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multifamily, self-storage and hotel properties. For more information visit www.holualoa.com

Lani Baker Promoted to Chief Financial Officer of Holualoa Companies

Tags:

Holualoa Companies, a prominent Tucson-based real estate, and investment firm, has promoted Lani Baker to the position of Chief Financial Officer.  

Baker’s promotion follows other leadership enhancements, including I. Michael Kasser’s transition to Founder and Chairman of the company and Richard Kauffman’s promotion to Chief Executive Officer late last year. 

Baker has more than 15 years of experience in commercial real estate. Her skills and resources are targeted toward exceeding quality objectives and attaining revenue. Her areas of expertise and responsibility include commercial real estate transactions including acquisitions, financing and sales, treasury, and investor relations.

Baker is a native Tucsonan currently residing in Tucson with her husband and two children. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.  In addition, she became a licensed CPA in 2012.

Baker’s community service includes working as a past Vice President and board member of the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona and a member of Angel Charity for Children. She was a recipient of Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 40 under 40 and a Tu Nidito Remarkable Mom in 2018.

Most recently, Baker was recognized as a “Real Estate Champion” in the “Women of Influence” awards by Inside Tucson Business. She is also the Board President of CREW Tucson, part of the nation’s premier women’s commercial real estate network.

 “It is gratifying to be able to take on this exciting role in a company that I love with a team that I greatly respect,” Baker said. “Holualoa Companies has had an extremely positive impact on Arizona’s business and economic environment, and I am proud to be able to serve the company as its new Chief Financial Officer.”

Holualoa was founded by Kasser in Hawaii 35 years ago. The company expanded to the Southwest in the Resolution Trust Corporation days, moving the headquarters office to Tucson, Arizona.  The company continued to grow by opening offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Santa Monica, California. Further expansion led Holualoa to partnerships in Washington, DC and Paris, France.

“We are pleased to promote Lani to Chief Financial Officer and are grateful for the contributions she has made to the company’s success,” Kauffman said. “We look forward to her continued leadership.”

About Holualoa Companies

Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning and disposition of real estate assets. Holualoa also acquires core assets in superior locations and participates in select development opportunities. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, France its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multifamily, self storage and hotel properties. For more information visit www.holualoa.com

###

Leasing activity at Park Central Mixed-use development project outdoor image

Park Central Ramps Up Leasing Activity Despite Slowdown

Tags: , , , , ,

Three New Leases Signed in Past Few Months at Revitalized Mixed-Use Development

PHOENIX (April 29, 2020) – The revitalized Park Central project has enjoyed increased leasing activity despite the economic downturn, with three new leases signed in the past few months. 

New Leasing Activity in Phoenix

Interface Technologies has signed a lease to occupy the entirety of the 15,500-square-foot Graham Building.  Interface is currently building out a state-of-the-art office complete with multiple studios to broadcast their industry leading IT training classes to companies around the globe.  Dustin McFarland with Savills represented the tenant in the transaction.

Additionally, District Medical Group renewed their 56,000-square-foot lease in the Burgbacher building for 10 years.  DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services is the largest multi-specialty interdisciplinary clinic in the state of Arizona with over 25 medical specialties and is designed to meet the unique healthcare requirements of special-needs children.  DMG provides direct care to the community with over 66,000 visits annually.  Bo Sederstrom represented DMG in the transaction.

And, Firestone Tire Center has renewed its lease on its building at the northwest corner of the property for another 10 years. A tenant for over 50 years at Park Central, Firestone has been serving the midtown neighborhood at its current location on the property since 1965.  

Bill Cook and Margaret Lloyd of Plaza Companies represented the ownership group in all three transactions.

Park Central Improvements and Activity

The Park Central development team also continues its work on making the project more robust, including a new conference center that is being built for use by all Park Central tenants. The new conference center will be located in the Goldwater Building and can accommodate up to 85 people for tenants to utilize.  The conference center will also have a galley and state of the art A/V equipment. 

Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer for Holualoa Companies, said the project’s leasing momentum is a great sign despite the economic downturn created by the pandemic. 

“We are pleased to see the continued interest in Park Central especially considering the current economic conditions,” he said. “It is a sign that the project remains truly desirable thanks to its innovative and welcoming design, exceptional location and strong surrounding support industries.”

Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, said the leasing momentum is an indicator of Park Central’s role in keeping Phoenix’s economy strong. 

“We want Park Central to continue to be a hub for our local economy as we enter a recovery phase in the coming weeks and months,” she said. “We are looking forward to Interface Technologies new state of the art facility at Park Central and are very pleased to continue our long-term partnerships with District Medical Group and Firestone.”

The Dream Development Team

Plaza Companies and Holualoa Companies are teaming up to redevelop Park Central, which once held court as the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies are transitioning the project to a bustling community hub ideal for playing, working, congregating and celebrating the arts. The first 337,000 square feet of redeveloped office and retail is almost complete. Leasing activity for office and retail space is ongoing at the property and interest has been strong in the newly revitalized property. 

The new Park Central includes 450,000 square feet of Class A creative office space available for lease with the ability to accommodate tenants ranging from 3,500 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet in size. It features exclusive tenant patios, on-site restaurants and amenities, a stunning mid-century modern design, 15-25 foot ceilings, extensive bike paths and light rail access and ample parking. 

For office leasing, tenants and brokers can reach out to Andrew Cheney with Lee & Associates (502.954.3769) or Bill Cook with Plaza Companies (623.344.4526).  For Retail leasing contacts are Brent Mallonee with Cushman and Wakefield  (602.224.4437)  or Margaret Lloyd with Plaza Companies (623.344.4558).

For more information on the project, visit www.parkcentralphoenix.com.

Tucson • Los Angeles • Kailua-Kona • Phoenix • Paris