New SkySong Office Tower

New SkySong Office Tower

Excerpted from The Arizona Republic – August 17, 2016



A new $42 million office tower planned for Scottsdale’s rapidly growing SkySong complex would be its tallest building yet, rising six stories and 90 feet next to the project’s iconic tentlike canopy near Scottsdale and McDowell roads.

Development plans filed late last month show a 150,000-square-foot office building at the northwestern corner of SkySong’s shaded central plaza, the hub of the 42-acre redevelopment site in south Scottsdale.

The new tower, called SkySong 6, has enough space to hold 500 to 600 employees, according to SkySong officials. Construction could begin in the first quarter of 2017 and wrap up by the end of the year.

Building designs, subject to approval from the city’s Development Review Board, include a reinforced-concrete structure with more glass and metal panels on its facade than the surrounding buildings, according to SkySong. The building will feature a second-story community space with glass walls that open to a balcony with views of the buttes to the west, officials said.

SkySong is a public-private effort by the city, Arizona State University and developer Plaza Cos. to revitalize the former site of Los Arcos Mall, which went dark in the 1990s. SkySong’s first two office buildings opened in 2008, followed by a 325-unit apartment complex in 2014 and a third office tower last year.

The first three office buildings are nearly 99 percent leased, and about 1,500 employees currently work at SkySong, officials said. The number of employees is set to rise when a fourth office building opens in September. That building is currently 35 percent leased, according to SkySong.

The new six-story tower would be the first to take advantage of a zoning change that allows buildings up to 90 feet tall — instead of the previous 60 feet — specifically on the northern half of the property, between McDowell Road and SkySong Boulevard. The ordinance was narrowly approved by the Scottsdale City Council in April 2015.

SkySong officials say taller buildings and greater density allows them to reach the goal of 1.2 million square feet of building space while using more open space for amenities like walkways, patios, water features, fireplace areas, public art and landscaping…

South Scottsdale’s McDowell Road Corridor — once known as the ‘Motor Mile’ for its array of car dealerships — fell on hard times during the 1990s. Competition from other regional shopping malls put Los Arcos out of business. Auto dealers left for newer locations, and vacancies added up. A plan to replace Los Arcos with a Phoenix Coyotes hockey arena emerged in 1998 but fell apart amid community opposition and mixed views from the City Council. The partnership for an ‘ASU Innovation campus’ formed in 2004, and the complex has since helped usher in what many see as a new era for the corridor.

South Scottsdale’s 85257 ZIP code saw home prices climb nearly 6 percent in 2015, and more businesses are moving into the area, including new restaurants and a hotel planned at SkySong.

Wetta Ventures, the developer that brought Postino and Snooze to Arizona State University’s Tempe campus in 2014, is building a 12,000-square-foot retail building with space for three or four restaurants on the west side of SkySong. The anchor restaurant, described as a ‘farm-to-table’ concept, features a 3,000square-foot outdoor garden.

SkySong officials in early July told city leaders they’ve landed a Starwood hotel that will feature 120 rooms and a ground-floor restaurant. Starwood brands include Westin, Sheraton, Aloft and Elements, among others.

The hotel is planned for the southwestern corner of the SkySong complex, near Scottsdale Road and Enterprise Drive.


  • 2005: Scottsdale officials reach an agreement with the ASU Foundation to redevelop the southeastern corner of Scottsdale and McDowell roads, the former site of Los Arcos Mall. Plaza Cos. is later selected as the master developer.
  • 2008: The complex’s first two office buildings open, including the ASU Sky-Song business incubator space.
  • 2011: SkySong’s first two buildings reach 95 percent occupancy.
  • 2014: The SkySong Apartments complex opens with 325 units on the southeastern portion of the overall 42acre site.
  • 2015: SkySong 3 opens as the project’s newest office tower, and plans are announced for a single-story retail building to house three or four restaurants.
  • 2016: Plans for a six-story office building, called SkySong 6, are revealed weeks before the anticipated opening of SkySong 4. The developer also announces the expected addition of a Starwood- brand hotel.


Restaurant Pad Breaks Ground At SkySong

From: Phoenix Business Journal – June 15, 2016 By: Mike Sunnucks

Infill and restaurant developer Wetta Ventures has broke ground on a new $5 million restaurant project at Arizona State University’s SkySong development in south Scottsdale.

The project will include three or four different restaurants. It totals 12,000 square feet and will also have a 3,000-square-foot garden.

Completion is set for the end of the year.

SkySong is located at the former Los Arcos mall site at Scottsdale and McDowell Road. The development is home to office buildings, technology companies and an apartment complex.

“This will be the only food and beverage amenity for the 42-acre Innovation Center, so there’s a lot of responsibility to make this a one-of-a-kind destination that will reflect the uniqueness of the overall development,” said David Wetta, founder of Wetta Ventures.

Wetta has done some other infill, adaptive reuse and restaurant projects in the Phoenix market.

A 45-foot cantilevered overhang will give shade to outdoor portions of the SkySong restaurants.

SkySong has been developed by the ASU Foundation, Plaza Cos. and Holualoa Cos.

“We are excited to be working with Wetta Ventures on this important addition to SkySong,” said Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, the master developer of the project.

Read the original article here:

Town and Country

Town & Country – Haver and Woodworth Create a Study in Mid-Century Modern That Remains Part of Southern Scottsdale’s Unique Identity

Developed in 1959 by Fred Woodworth in conjunction with prominent Phoenix architect Ralph Haver, the Town & Country Neighborhood* earned the designation of City of Scottsdale Historic District in the early part of this millennium when the city Historic Preservation Commission developed a set of guidelines to preserve the essence of the neighborhood. Since then, Town & Country has earned prestige as a mid-century modern neighborhood, with renovations and preservation in the forefront of property owner’s minds.

Town and Country illustrates a departure from the standard Ranch style homes offered post-war, instead highlighting contemporary (modern) styling for the era. There are several different models of Haver Homes in the area, and all share similar characteristics. Clean rectangular forms with horizontal emphasis, exposed masonry walls (known as “clinker”), single-story design, and large expanses of glass in the living rooms are among a few of the distinctive style elements employed by Haver.

Today, these homes are highly desired by investors and home-owners wanting to bring the original charm of the area back, while embracing new technology, building materials, and techniques. These renovations fall within the City’s Historic Preservation Guidelines, designed to assure that this unique and important area in Scottsdale maintains its character.

Continue Reading…

We all know how amazing Southern Scottsdale is, and everyone is taking notice. Southern Scottsdale is increasingly being noticed as the up-and-coming place to live, build a business, and more.

Arizona’s Builders Exchange said recently, “The shadow of high-rise cranes and clusters of brightly colored party balloons at now-leasing complexes marks success for the McDowell Corridor’s long-planned rebirth. Even as the dust settles on one project, we won’t have long to wait before new plans emerge for the next big development, infill project or urban adaptation. The completion of another phase at Skysong is just one more shining moment in South Scottsdale’s continued renewal.”

Click Here To Read Full Article

Similarly, the Arizona Republic recently highlighted a proposed project on the Northeast corner of McDowell and 64th Streets in this article.

Scottsdale Gateway Alliance is dedicated to hearing and considering the opinions and input of residents of Southern Scottsdale. SGA continues to work toward building a sense of place in Southern Scottsdale through the identity-building exercise, collecting residents opinions via our online survey. If you haven’t completed the survey yet, please do so by clicking the link below:

Click Here To Take The Survey

By completing the survey, you then have the opportunity to be selected for the Focus Groups, which are going on now, as well as get a $5 Starbucks card, just for your participation in the survey.

Vacant Scottsdale auto park on McDowell eyed for offices, condos

A mix of offices, condos, shops and a hotel could replace a shuttered auto park along Scottsdale’s McDowell Road corridor, according to early plans unveiled by Scottsdale developer SunChase Holdings.

Scottsdale Entrada, proposed for 23 acres at the northeastern corner of 64th Street and McDowell Road, is the latest redevelopment effort for an area once dominated by car dealerships that is seeking rebirth as a hub for office buildings and higher-density housing.

The former Scottsdale Auto Park site sits at the western gateway into Scottsdale, just north of the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo. Once a key piece of south Scottsdale’s prosperous “Motor Mile,” the auto park drifted into vacancy over the past decade as dealers sought new locations closer to major freeways.

Today, there are few signs of life at the rusting complex. A high-tech startup company occupies one building, while several others are used only for storage.

That could change if the Scottsdale City Council approves a zoning request to make way for the SunChase project, which could come up for a final vote early this fall. The property already is zoned to allow commercial development, but SunChase is asking for the ability to add residential buildings.

Continue Reading…

Hosting 25-30 vendors, the market features local growers, farmers and ranchers selling fresh herbs, certified organic greens, grass-fed beef, fish, and artisan bread.  Adding flavor to the market are vendors with specialty items from France, Tunisia, India, the Middle East and Mexico, making this farmer’s market a mouth-watering, multi-national and multicultural experience.

Unique to this farmer’s market are live musicians and monthly or twice-monthly food demonstrations where visitors can learn tips on cooking, preparing and preserving food. The market also hosts a small number of local artists and crafts.

The farmer’s market takes place every Wednesday from 3:30-6:30 pm under the sails at ASU SkySong.

Please help us spread the word by sharing this email with your friends, family and neighbors.GA is very pleased to help promote the SkySong Farmer’s Market!

Home host visitors from Laos, Philippines, and Indonesia for 30 days!

The U.S. State Department funded Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) program is seeing host families for a small group of international participants. These host families will provide room and board (and will receive a $650 stipend for these expenses) from April 28th – May 30th, 2016.

An SGA collaboration with Global Ties Arizona, A Council for International Exchange

Host families must be within proximity of SkySong on McDowell and Scottsdale Roads with access to public transportation or other access to the work-site at the Global Chamber, located in SkySong.

This is the community’s way to get to know visitors in the US, and engage in truly transforming conversations, by helping to assist and advance the professional development of these visitors.

Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is funded by the Department of State and administered by American Councils for International Education.

The goal of the program is to give promising young leaders an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in various aspects of the U.S. system and culture. Fellows are 25-35 years old and come from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

They are competitively selected, fluent in English, and work at a fulltime professional fellowships for the duration of the program. Fellows receive a roundtrip ticket from their home country, medical insurance, a modest stipend, and an allowance for public transportation.

Host Family Responsibilities: Host family interested in this opportunity should be able to provide room and board and have accessibility to public transportation, proximity to work, or another situation for fellow’s transportation to the fellowship placement.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact SGA via email detailing your interest. Once vetted, interested residents will then have to complete a formal application process. 

From the Arizona Republic…

The development flurry that is remaking downtown Scottsdale into one of the Valley’s hottest places for new housing and office space is showing no signs of letting up.

Several real estate development projects worth more than $100 million combined are proposed in and around Old Town, with construction of apartments, townhomes, dining and an expanded medical center expected to begin early next year.

Two of the 12 projects featured are located in Southern Scottsdale, on McDowell Road.

Here’s a look at some of the latest development projects unveiled for downtown Scottsdale.

Click to read more


Little Thaiger is a quaint, modern restaurant near the corner of Thomas Road and Scottsdale Road. The brightly lit tree with purple lights in front of the restaurant guides the way in the evenings. Formerly a taco restaurant, current owner Olashawn Weaver invested $50,000 in renovations, and opened this location in Southern Scottsdale. She is here because she has lived in the area for eight years, raised her children in the area, and loves the character of Southern Scottsdale and her community.  

 Olashawn was born and raised in a small town north of Bangkok, Thailand. She comes from a family of chefs and was raised in the restaurant world. Her mother was a classic Thai chef who served royalty when they came to visit Thailand. Her establishment also attracted American GI’s during the Vietnam War, setting the stage for Olashawn to succeed in her own kitchen. Olashawn received her marketing degree from ASU and attended the Culinary Institute in CA, leading to opening the renowned “Thaiger” on Central Ave. in Phoenix 12 years ago.

Pop-up Gallery
Visions of Garden Life
Photo M7000
A Pop Up Gallery
An Exhibit of Select Cinematic Photographs
Friday, February 5th
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
7000 E. McDowell Road (Northeast Corner)


Southern Scottsdale and its Mid-Century Modern vibe will shine Friday, and you are invited to immerse yourself in the mood. 

Like vogue-ish pop-up eateries, artists are embracing the pop-up gallery. A quick solution to highlight their works without a long term investment in space, pop-up galleries are here one minute, gone the next, and attract thousands with their temporary, exclusive, and special atmosphere.

Scottsdale Gateway Alliance Chairman, Jeffery Berghoff is one such artist. Drawing inspiration from classical precendents in architecture, garden design and pop culture for over twenty years. Jeff Berghoff has designed and built stylized landscapes for his clients private use throught the Southwestern United States. Classically trained as a landscape architect, Berghoff is currently the CEO and founder of Berghoff Design Group in Scottsdale. Through a team of artisans, Berghoff designs, handcrafts and cares for these award-winning estates.

In his first photography exhibit “Visions of Garden Life,” Berghoff collaborates with Wesley Johnson, a photographer and cinematographer, and acts as art director and producer. Through this exhibit, he creates a hyperrealistic view of individuals going about their daily lives. In a unique way, Berghoff integrates his characters against the grand backdrops of the very gardens that he designed and built for his clients. The series of images utilizes the panoramic and cinematic setting of these gardens while allowing the viewer to immerse themselves in Berghoff’s altered reality.

This Friday, February 5, 2016, Berghoff opens the exhibit to the public at what must be Southern Scottsdale’s first pop-up gallery. From 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm, and for one night only, the public is invited to view the exhibit at Photo M7000, located on the Northeast corner of 7000 E. McDowell Road.


Please RSVP for this no-cost screening to


use Eventbrite to reserve your ticket.