By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
AquaSafe swim school involved in $2.1M deal
AquaSafe, a family-owned and -operated swim school in Scottsdale, closed on its second sale/leaseback transaction. The owners sold their property for $2.143 million but will remain at the property with a long-term lease agreement with the new owner.
This is also the second transaction for Rommie Mojahed, director of retail leasing and sales investments, and Lindsey Dulle, associate adviser with SVN in Phoenix.
The seller, Thomas Spivey with Spivey Real Estate LLC, saw this as an opportunity to sell properties in Gilbert and Scottsdale, while keeping the swim school open for business.
Mojahed and Dulle were instrumental in negotiating the leaseback terms between the seller and the new buyer, Marshall Fried with West End Hotel LLC from Los Angeles. Bob Broyles with Colliers International represented the buyer.
The 8,760-square-foot swim school is located at 9830 E. Bahia Drive in Scottsdale.
“The buyer and sellers were great to work with,” Mojahed says.
“It is not often that tenants get to write their own lease and pick their landlord. It felt great to see it all come together for both.”
The buyer came in with a 1031 exchange, which made it easy for the seller who felt it was the right time to sell because of the current market. The buyer who is looking to invest more in Arizona commercial real estate recently purchased other property in the nearby area as well.
“We couldn’t be happier to help our client maximize the value of the property,” Mojahed says.
Pinewell Capital acquires majority stake in Dickens Quality Demolition
Dickens Quality Demolition and Scottsdale-based Pinewell Capital completed a majority stake acquisition of Dickens by Pinewell.
Dickens will continue to operate with its current management and staff, at its current location. Details of the transaction remain private.
“I made the decision to partner with Pinewell after very careful consideration and nearly a year of getting to know Pinewell and its owners,” says Richard Dickens, founder of Dickens who will continue in his previous role as president of the company.
“The additional support, resources and relevant knowledge that Pinewell brings to the table will provide DQD a force multiplier to continue and further accelerate our leading position in the markets that we serve. My entire management staff and I are truly excited about this joint prospect with Pinewell and the vision that we share for the company.”
Chris Christensen, Dickens’ vice president of sales, added, “I am genuinely excited by what this partnership means for my company, our employees and our customers. We are in discussions around exciting plans that we will roll out in the coming months and years to increase our ability to serve our customers via greater investments in our people and training, in equipment and related tools and in potentially expanding the breadth of our services.”
Ziv Bendor, partner at Pinewell Capital says, “Yuta (Matsui) and I founded Pinewell as a people-centric investment company, realizing that healthy, sustainable growth and delivering top quality services starts and ends with people.
“Thus, one of the attributes that we look for in a company is whether we believe it has an emphasis on its people resulting in a strong, positive culture. After getting to know Richard, Chris and others for almost a year, we feel that DQD is truly an exceptional company with exceptional people.”
Jason Reddington named partner at Scottsdale-based LevRose CRE
Jason Reddington, CCIM, has been named a partner at LevRose Commercial Real Estate, a full-service commercial real estate firm.
Reddington, whose specialties include office sales, office leasing and landlord representation, has been with LevRose for almost five years. His focus is office properties primarily in the Scottsdale, Midtown-Phoenix, and Central-Phoenix submarkets.
“Jason Reddington possesses the social skills, leadership, and past business success needed to be a top producer in the industry,” says LevRose Managing Director Mike Baumgardner. “We couldn’t be happier to see his incredible growth at LevRose.”
A native of Evansville, Indiana, Reddington played NCAA Division I collegiate golf at the University of Evansville. Reddington spent seven years in Cleveland, where he was named the 2013 Northern Ohio Teacher of Year.
Reddington moved West, spending 14 years as a golf professional. He was director of instruction at Mirabel and Forest Highlands.
WestWorld manager Brian Dygert earns Hall of Fame recognition
Brian Dygert, the man behind WestWorld of Scottsdale, was inducted into the League of Agricultural and Equine Centers Hall of Fame in January in Austin.
Dygert has been a recognized leader in the equine management industry for nearly three decades and will celebrate his 15th anniversary with the city later this year.
Fittingly, Dygert’s journey to becoming an industry Hall of Famer started on a farm in Western New York. As the son of an equine veterinarian and the grandson of a standardbred horse trainer, he was born into the lifestyle of caring for and learning from horses.
Under his leadership as general manager, WestWorld has grown into a world-class, full-service events facility, which annually welcomes nearly 1 million visitors, across all seasons.
WestWorld serves as the venue for roughly 40 equestrian events each year, in addition to dozens of conventions, trade shows, concerts and other large-scale gatherings, including the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, the Arizona Quarter Horse Sun Circuit and the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.
“There is no one in the city more deserving of this honor than Brian Dygert,” says City Manager Jim Thompson.
“He has done much to advance the Western spirit in Scottsdale and make the city a destination for people from around the world. His work ethic, experience and values have made an indelible mark not only on the city, but also on the equestrian community nationwide. People who love horses, know that Scottsdale shares in, and respects, that passion, and we have Brian to thank for growing that legacy to what it is today.”
Among other career highlights, Dygert rode in an exhibition in the 1996 Olympics and served as the chair of the organizing team that introduced Reining as a discipline in the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Before coming to Scottsdale, he was widely recognized for his work with the Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston, North Carolina. Dygert is the co-founder of the League of Agricultural and Equine Centers and served on its board of directors for 14 years.
“I am very humbled and extremely proud to be recognized in this way,” Dygert says.
“I have always approached everything I’ve done as leaving it better than I found it. My parents instilled this in me, and I am so grateful for them and my family. The league induction means to me that I worked hard to leave an industry better than I arrived and for this I am grateful, very proud and happy to know my work will carry on for some time for others to enjoy.”
Valley recovery center launches alumni-focused nonprofit
Scottsdale Recovery Center launched Scottsdale Recovery Continued, a nonprofit of more than 300 alumni members that focuses on connection after treatment for all graduates of the recovery program.
SRC has been a long-standing partner in the community since its inception in 2009, providing drug and alcohol treatment for those struggling with addiction.
“Our alumni group fosters a community of champions, who have struggled and overcome their addiction” says Lee Yaiva, CEO of SRC.
Membership in Scottsdale Recovery Continued is organized under a nonprofit, at no cost to the graduate and begins upon completion of treatment, regardless of the level of care. The organization has five alumni board members, including directors of alumni, administration, outreach, communication and events.
“Scottsdale Recovery Continued is a family,” says Andrea Dermott, director of alumni. “We stay connected, support each other and most importantly have fun.”
The nonprofit also incorporates full dimensional wellness through activities and volunteerism that promote sobriety, enhance the recovery lifestyle and positively impact outcomes upon completion of treatment.
“I am 100% into my recovery and the alumni program,” says John Bentley, director of outreach. “I have to be, my life depends on it. If I’m even only at 98%, there’s a chance that I won’t do everything I need to stay sober.”
The organization has weekly meetings and activities that create opportunities for alumni to engage in occupational wellness with significant benefits. Members will have access to structured activities that support full dimensional wellness addressing each of the eight dimensions — emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, occupational, financial and environmental. Members will also be encouraged to take part in volunteer opportunities that enhance community relations, inspire others, empower people, minimize stigma, promote unity, and strengthen the core of the SRC family.
Land Advisors Organization expands to Nashville
Scottsdale-based Land Advisors Organization is expanding its southeast regional footprint with the addition of a new office in Nashville, to serve middle Tennessee and the surrounding markets, which include Huntsville, Alabama and southern Kentucky.
The new office will be managed by Eric S. Deems, a real estate professional with expertise in strategic real estate planning, land brokerage and development, and site selection. The firm plans to continue growing its Nashville team with the addition of several more advisers and support staff throughout the first part of the year.
This new location marks Land Advisors Organization’s sixth office in the region, with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with Atlanta, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa.
Deems has facilitated more than $500 million in real estate transactions over his career. A resident of Nashville, Deems is recognized in the real estate industry for his ability to connect parties with shared objectives as well as his adeptness in navigating complex transactions and guiding investor relations through acquisitions, public-private partnerships, and joint venture arrangements.
“Bringing our national resources and relationships to the Nashville market has been a goal of ours for a while,” says Greg Vogel, founder and CEO of Land Advisors Organization.
“Eric’s experience as a connector fits our culture very well. He and his future team are joining Land Advisors Organization at a time when there is a significant opportunity for national builders and developers to expand in the greater Nashville market. We’re pretty excited about the partnership and thrilled to be able to connect our customers with someone of his caliber.”
Land Advisors Organization’s Nashville office will provide advisory services to landowners, home builders, developers and investors.
“I’ve always viewed myself as an entrepreneur and a problem solver,” Deems says.
“Joining the team of Land Advisors Organization fits perfectly for me because of the firm’s entrepreneurial approach and the fact that middle Tennessee and its surrounding markets are primed for investment by larger developers from major markets. It’s exciting to facilitate introductions and help build relationships that mean so much to the economy and future of this area we call home.”
Deems earned his MBA from Vanderbilt University and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Belmont University. Deems is a licensed real estate broker in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama and serves the community as a volunteer firefighter with Williamson Fire-Rescue, board chairman of Nashville Emerging Leaders.
SUSD Governing Board elects 2022 officers
Former Desert Canyon Middle School educator Julie Cieniawski and community college instructor Dr. Libby Hart-Wells were elected president and vice president, respectively, of the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board at the board’s January 11 meeting.
The board chooses new leaders for the calendar year at its first meeting of the new year.
Cieniawski says working collaboratively toward decisions that have the best impact for students and the community is not always easy, but is necessary.
“Maintaining a focus on doing right by our students and having a willingness to learn how to be better can help our students and community move through even the most challenging of times.”
Cieniawski calls SUSD students the district’s most valuable asset.
“They need us to demonstrate the value of hard work, perseverance, showing calm through adversity, pursuing creativity, sensibility and facts, and to regularly display grace.”
Hart-Wells says her active support of SUSD involves working with the district’s education and education support professionals, SUSD families, district leadership and her governing board colleagues.
“I pledge to continue focusing my energy on ensuring SUSD is and remains a place where all of our students thrive academically, emotionally and socially,” she says. “Our students deserve nothing less than our best.”
Patty Beckman, Jann-Michael Greenburg and Zach Lindsay round out the five-member board.