Unger. Southbridge. They are names that conjure best-in-class thoughts involving real estate and development. Indeed, the Unger family led by Fred, who passed away in 2018, is best known for its highly acclaimed work redeveloping The Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley and Royal Palms in Phoenix before assembling substantial commercial acreage immediately south of the Scottsdale Waterfront, along and near the Arizona Canal.
That area known as “Southbridge” saw an innovative, mixed-use development rise and open in 2007. Years later nearby land known as “Southbridge II” comprised of nearby properties totaling approximately 4.5 acres, became the subject of redevelopment efforts but also controversy as local property owners successfully repealed new zoning approvals in late 2019 with a referendum drive.
What future plans emerge in their place will now be up to a group led by Bob Agahi and David Sellers of Creation RE, which closed on the holdings for $38 million.
Creation RE has developed numerous mixed-use projects around the Valley including Heritage Marketplace and The Collab in Downtown Gilbert, Overstreet in Downtown Chandler, and Chauncey Lane in North Scottsdale. Creation has hired LGE Design Build, which is owned by Sellers, as the design builder and Perkins+Will as the project architect. Nationally, Creation RE has over $3.5 billion in active projects spanning from California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and New York.
“We fully understand the sensitivities and dynamics of these properties and this neighborhood. That’s why our capital and approach will be a patient one,” Agahi said noting his group would soon be looking to set meetings with Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega, City Council members, senior city staff and community groups to first listen and gain additional input and insight.
Creation RE is acquiring Southbridge in partnership with Crescent Communities and real estate investment firm, FCP, both nationally renowned real estate companies.
“It was very important to me and my family’s legacy to find the right custodians for these signature properties. We believe we have found those people in Bob and David and look forward to their stewardship over the next many years,” said Carter Unger who has led the family’s real estate endeavors since his father’s passing in 2018.
“Whether you are looking at real estate in the short, medium or long term there are few better properties to own in Arizona than those being purchased by Bob and David,” said long-time real estate broker Greg Vogel of Arizona Land Advisors.
“Our company has been fortunate to develop several outstanding properties and neighborhoods in Scottsdale over the many years. This is good news for Old Town Scottsdale as the group acquiring these ‘Southbridge’ properties has the talent, resource and experience to work wisely with the community and achieve positive results in both the near term and longer term,” said Mike Burke, Senior Vice President Commercial Properties for DMB.
FCP® is a privately held real estate investment company that has invested in or financed more than $9.3 billion in assets since its founding in 1999. FCP invests directly and with operating partners in commercial and residential assets. The firm makes equity and mezzanine investments in income-producing and development properties. Based in Chevy Chase, MD, FCP invests both its commingled, discretionary funds and separate accounts targeted at major real estate markets in the United States. For further information on FCP, please visit www.fcpdc.com.