Macerich withdraws plans for 10-story office tower at Phoenix mall

REIT wants to redraw blueprint for 330K sf building in Biltmore Fashion Park

Macerich Withdraws Plan for Office Tower at Phoenix Mall

A photo illustration of Macerich CEO Tom O’Hern along with a rendering of the withdrawn plan for the Biltmore Fashion Park at 2502 East Camelback Road in Phoenix here (Getty, Macerich, Torrance Memorial)

Macerich has withdrawn plans to add a 10-story office building to its luxury outdoor mall in Phoenix.

The Santa Monica-based real estate investment trust pulled its application before a meeting by the City of Phoenix’s Planning Hearing Officer this month to consider the 330,000-square-foot building in Biltmore Fashion Park at 2502 East Camelback Road, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

Ben Graff, a partner of Quarles & Brady and the land-use attorney for the project, said Macerich pulled its plans intending to hand it back with modifications. The attorney didn’t disclose what revisions were on the table.

Should the hearing officer have given a nod for the office tower, it could have been approved by the City Council as early as next month. A timeline for a project resubmission was not disclosed.

Macerich, owner of some of the top shopping centers across Greater Phoenix, filed the plans late last month to add the offices at the southeast corner of the 32-acre Biltmore mall, home to such tenants as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie and Life Time.

The 140-foot tall office building would have included an unspecified number of ground-floor shops and restaurants. Its floor plates would span 40,000 square feet each.

Plans also called for a 13-story housing highrise at the shopping center at 24th Street and Camelback Road, not included in the office filing.

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Macerich said in an earnings call two years ago that it was considering building a combined 750,000 square feet of Class A offices at Biltmore Fashion Park and its Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. Plans for an office building have yet to be filed in Scottsdale.

Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor is seeing a surge in commercial development, according to the Business Journal. At the end of last year, Camelback tied with the Northeast Valley/Scottsdale submarket for lowest office vacancy in the Valley, at 20.7 percent, according to CBRE.

The Esplanade campus across the street from the Biltmore Fashion Park is undergoing a $45 million renovation.

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George Oliver Companies plan to pour $52 million into renovations at its 250,000-square-foot Biltmore Commerce Center, to be renamed Bond. It bought the office building at 3200 East Camelback Road in 2022 for $61 million

The Grove by Red Development at 44th Street and Camelback Road is a top office destination in the Valley, according to industry experts.

The Camelback/Piestewa Peak submarket ranked second in Greater Phoenix for office lease rates, which were $37 per square foot in the fourth quarter, according to CBRE. Tempe, at $39.65 per square foot, ranked first.

— Dana Bartholomew