November 1st, 2018
Corina Vanek, Reporter
Phoenix Business Journal
Nationwide Realty Investors, the real estate arm of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Cos., unveiled the name and preliminary plans for its new 134-acre mixed-use development in Scottsdale, which will also serve as the company’s regional headquarters.
The development, called Cavasson, will break ground on its first phase next year. It will include several commercial office buildings as well as the new 460,000-square-foot regional headquarters building for Nationwide, multifamily apartments, a six-story parking structure, retail and restaurants, two hotel sites, and significant infrastructure improvements near Loop 101 and Hayden Road.
In total, with land costs and infrastructure improvements, the project will cost approximately $950 million to develop.
“Nationwide’s growth in Scottsdale was really the catalyst for this project,” said Nationwide Realty Investors President and COO Brian Ellis. “Beyond the growth, we want to bring everyone together as part of a great mixed-use project. The charge was, let’s build a great building that sets us up for the next 20 or 30 years.”
Nationwide was the developer of Gainey Ranch Corporate Center in Scottsdale, where many of the company’s employees work. As the company’s presence grew in Scottsdale, it also leased space to put additional employees.
With the development of Cavasson, all employees will be in one location. The mixed-use nature of the development also is attractive for workers, Ellis said. After work or during lunch, employees will be able to walk to nearby restaurants within the development, and the hotels on the property can serve business travelers visiting the campus or guests visiting people who live in the multifamily component. The company has not decided the branding on the hotels.
“We want to bring our associates together,” Ellis said. “It’s important culturally. We want to hire great people, and we do hire great people, and we want to keep them. They want state-of-the-art facilities, and that goes beyond the walls of our building.”
Ellis said the company has done similar projects in other markets, including the Grandview Yard in Ohio, which serves as a Nationwide headquarters, but also houses other office space, multifamily living and other uses.
Nationwide employs about 1,700 people in Scottsdale now, and expects to grow to 2,200 about the time the company moves into Cavasson. The new office space will have room for Nationwide to grow more.
In total, Cavasson will have about 1.8 million square feet of office space, which will accommodate between 8,000 and 9,000 employees at the campus, Ellis said.
“It’s a very visible location, and a great growth corridor,” Ellis said of the area, which Nationwide purchased at a state land auction. “There are lots of amenities being built around it.”
Ellis said he hopes Cavasson will be an attraction on its own, which is part of why the company chose to use a name that wasn’t a real word, but was inspired by western themes.
“We want to be able to establish and communicate what Cavasson is, and more importantly, what it will become,” Ellis said.
Ellis said leaders from the city and state have been excited about the development and what it will bring to the area.
“Scottsdale was very excited about the high-quality jobs,” Ellis said. “They want to be able to attract and retain residents, and this will be an opportunity to live and work in Scottsdale.”
The development, which will have plenty of office space for other companies that want to locate there, might also be a good tool to attract high-quality companies to Scottsdale, Ellis said.
Nationwide was given a series of benchmarks to qualify for city reimbursement for a portion of the infrastructure improvements the company will make on the property, and Ellis said those goals are achievable. Nationwide is eligible for $21.9 million in reimbursement to be paid in three installments of $7.3 million as milestones regarding payroll and development size are met.
Even though the company had not unveiled the name or details about the project, Ellis said companies have inquired about a spot in the office development.
Nationwide Realty Investors also is developing a 250-acre mixed use development in Gilbert called Rivulon. That project has secured a number of businesses and office tenants, including Deloitte, which made public earlier this summer plans for a tech center with 2,500 jobs at the Gilbert project.
Cavasson is owned and developed by Nationwide Realty Investors, in partnership with Grayhawk Development. The Nationwide building along with other significant components of the first 30 acres of the development are expected to be complete in 2020.