Jaf Glazer, principal of Gallium, has had an advisory business in Manhattan since 2005 recently re-centered his family office investors around Arizona. “New York City is contracting and resetting so why not expand our firm’s reach into markets that are rapidly expanding. I have been traveling to Arizona since I was a kid, now it’s time to dig in” Glazer said. His investment firm Gallium has invested in deals mostly on the east coast in the last few years. His family owns a paper factory in Chandler and have been coming out to Arizona for over two decades and made various investments over the years.
“Our firm has a variety of relationships pushing to expand west at investment opportunities outside of New York City,” He stated. In the last cycle of 2007 Arizona supply has outpaced industry in many ways. Now companies and factories are moving to Arizona with local tax incentives by the droves.
Recently Mark Anthony Brewing opened a new 916,000 square-foot White Claw brewery in Glendale here with incentives from the city. Boeing is also very active with a factory that manufactures AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in a 155,000 square-foot fabrication facility, located on +/- 21.5 acres of vacant land in Mesa. An expanding area which includes a large Opportunity Zone area called Goodyear is blossoming with residential and commercial development. Chewy setup a 802,671 square-foot distribution warehouse and Amazon has multiple distribution facilities, the latest is 855,000 square-feet. With four levels, the building spans more than 2.3 million square-feet.
“Tucson is very intriguing to our firm especially with such great credit as Comcast,” Glazer mentioned. Glazer’s Firm Gallium bid just below $20 Million and was rejected. The brokers representing the deal are asking $35 Million. This Comcast Office building located at 4690 N. Oracle Road houses the new IT, communications, and social media operations. Formerly a trail mall, this building underwent a $25 Million dollar renovation to turn it into a state of the art Customer Contact Center facility for Comcast. The renovation in 2016 retrofitted the property with 3 floors, totaling 211,152 SF, comprised of product training labs, training rooms, video conference facilities, a cafeteria, a presentation room, and a fitness center. “ We thought the asset and the credit was fantastic, we had issues with the term left. The property is unique in so many ways, it may be hard to repurpose it should Comcast vacate in the future,” Glazer said.
Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSK) is a Fortune 40 company with an investment-grade credit of A- from Standard and Poor’s. The last time it traded was at the end of Dec 2017 for just shy of $30M. The building currently houses over 1,100 employees. Glazer commented, “We have a separate account looking for Core + returns with similar credit, and are looking for additional opportunities in both the Tuscon and Phoenix Markets”.
Regardless of the outcome of Gallium’s bid Comcast’s building will most likely find a buyer who isnt afraid of the lease term risk. Its a beautiful asset with solid returns and it most likely will be hard to relocate so many employees in that location with a similar layout. In the near term there will be many more malls looking for tenants like Comcast, but how many tenants will be willing to wait for such a big renovation? This may be a trend as some companies choose to balance sheet their own buildings. Epic Games (Fortnite’s parent company) bought the Cary Towne Center in North Carolina, and is turning a North Carolina mall into its Headquarters.