Thompson Thrift will serve up restaurants new to Surprise at its development on the Bell Road gateway to the Civic Center.
On Jan. 31 the Indiana-based retail group announced the closing on the 8-acre development south of Bell Road and west of Civic Center Drive. It will be built in conjunction with other developers and in two phases.
Completion of the first phase is expected by the fourth quarter of 2017. National tenants confirmed for Phase I include Raising Canes, Pieology and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, an Thompson Thrift is close to securing a national coffee shop and a few additional restaurants.
“We have relationships with many of these businesses,” said Chelsea Hudelson, regional marketing coordinator for Thompson Thrift. “They have a little more longevity than some types of retail.”
All three restaurants are growing in the Valley and planting their first location in Surprise. Raising Cane’s is the most known and widespread in the Valley.
Chris Hake, Vice President of Development for the Southwest region for Thompson Thrift Retail Group, said Mark Bramlett with Cushman & Wakefield was the Raising Canes broker who worked directly with Thompson Thrift brokers Zach Pace and Torrey Briegel of Phoenix Commercial Advisors.
“Raising Canes has had interest in being on Bell Road for a while and decided to join this project early during our marketing efforts,” Mr. Hake said.
After some debate Dec. 20, the Surprise City Council unanimously approved the eight-acre plat. During the meeting, Thompson Thrift representatives said they will directly develop two buildings on two of the eight acres, while working in conjunction with others on the rest of the parcel — which includes the Raising Cane’s.
California-based Menchie’s has frozen yogurt shops in Avondale and the MetroCenter area of Phoenix, as well as seven East Valley stores.
Pieology is also from Southern California. The make-your-own-pizza restaurant is starting to grow in metro Phoenix, with locations in Avondale, Chandler and Mesa. Phase II, or the southern portion of this parcel, is expected to be completed in early 2018 and is proposed to be anchored by a 35,000 square foot fitness user.
Thompson Thrift Retail Group worked with the city of Surprise to create a pedestrian friendly, walkable site design that would enhance the Bell Road corridor and bring integration throughout the project and connectivity to the Surprise City Center to the south.
The development is south of Bell Road and west of Civic Center Drive — across the street from Dignity Health.
Mayor Sharon Wolcott’s major concern with the parcel was three drive-through restaurants including Raising Cane’s and an as-yet unnamed retailer on Thompson Thrift’s buildings.
Scott Phillips, the vice president of Phoenix-based Carefree Partners Investments, L.L.C, spoke during that meeting about the entire plat. Carefree Partners operates the Surprise Center Development Corporation, which sold the acerage to Thompson Thrift.
Mr. Phillips said the Bell Road entry points are more like the types of restaurants and retail already dotting Bell. But as the Surprise Center develops to the south toward the Civic Center buildings, features will become more pedestrian friendly.
Elm Street, a couple streets south of Bell, is nothing less than the linchpin to a walkable downtown district, Mr. Phillips said. And the Thompson Thrift development is the key to activating the first stretch of Elm Street.
Mr. Hake said his team has been working with communities in and around the Valley to put together Class-A projects.
“We are currently discussing additional opportunities both with the City of Surprise and our land seller, Carefree Partners. We look to build off the momentum off this development and continue to develop other retail projects in the immediate area,” he said.
Thompson Thrift is a full-service real estate development and construction company. To learn more about the company, visit http://www.thompsonthrift.com.