Twenty years ago a Phoenix-based investment and development company saw incredible growth potential for the city of Surprise, then a town of less than 15,000 population, and began to assemble parcels of land to create a master planned urban center – THE CITY at Surprise.
THE CITY was envisioned as a place to create a downtown core that would be the center of commerce, entertainment, recreation, culture, city government and urban living. The 760-acre project consists of a 120-acre Spring Training facility, a 100-acre government center and urban park complex, and more than 500 acres for commercial, office, residential, resort and medical uses to serve the growing city which now has over 124,000 residents.
In 2008, because of our expertise in medical real estate, Ensemble was selected as Medical Developer of approximately 40 acres for the master planned healthcare campus.
The initial medical project was designed in three phases, and leases were signed with Sun Health for Phases I and II. Sun Health owned and operated the Boswell and Del E. Webb Hospitals in nearby Sun City and Sun City West. Shortly after the project was designed, Sun Health sold both hospitals to Banner Health System who assumed the leases for Phase I and II. At about the time the hospital sales were closing, the economy started to slip into recession and the development plans for the project were put on hold. In 2010, working with Banner and the City of Surprise, we began again to work on the project to build the first medical building on THE CITY Campus.
The original site for the three Medical Plaza buildings was along Greenway Road. After a comprehensive evaluation of the costs for the site improvements, plus the fact that Greenway Road was scheduled to be widened, disrupting utilities for 24-36 months, Ensemble recommended a different location for the 15-acre medical component of THE CITY at Statler Boulevard just west of Litchfield Road. The lower offsite development costs coupled with the ready accessibility to the City of Surprise’s Civic Core resulted in the new, quicker to market, more cost effective location. The timing and cost efficiencies helped secure Banner’s commitment to the new location as well.
Plans were developed for a two-story medical office building and ground was broken for the 34,048-sq. ft., $8 Million building in November 2011, with Banner Health leasing 20,000 square feet for its Women’s Center and Primary Care Center as the anchor tenants. The Phase I project was managed by the Ensemble Real Estate Solutions team and completed on schedule and on budget in October 2012.
Upon completion, the Surprise Medical Plaza I was 80 percent pre-leased and occupied, and is an important component in fulfilling the unmet need for medical services in this growing community. Ensemble Real Estate Solutions was instrumental in the success of the project at each step of the way – from site selection, plan development, construction management and leasing of the space.
Ensemble’s development of Phase II is envisioned as 2 or 3 buildings having a combination of uses dedicated to wellness and healthy living, including medical, retail, food and fitness. Future development on THE CITY Campus is planned to have another 15-acre segment for a medical and biomedical complex with more than 250,000 square feet of space.
Future development on THE CITY Campus is planned to have another 15-acre segment for a medical and biomedical complex with more than 250,000 square feet of space.