Why Doug Wilson Is Betting $190M on a New Market
Doug Wilson is now ready to go on his latest project: A massive mixed-use development that will include office, hotel and retail. It's just not in San Diego this go-around. It's in Arizona, where the firm has never developed a project before.
Douglas Wilson Cos, in a JV with Hensel Phelps Development, just got local approvals to start work on what the duo is naming One Hundred Mill—a project that will include 260k SF of Class-A office, a 15-story, 240-key boutique four-star hotel and 17,300 SF of retail and restaurant space, all on a 2.5-acre parcel in the affluent Tempe area. “The economic climate in Arizona is very attractive,” Doug (on right with his son Nicholas) tells us. “But the Tempe market is absolutely on fire.”
The $190M project, like many springing up across the country, is focused on attracting the Millennial workforce. Doug says the developers are looking at the tech sector to fill out the office space there, an industry that has taken off in Tempe given the proximity to Arizona State University tech grads and an overall young workforce. “We intend to be very focused on the tech market. We think that's where the future is,” he says, adding that Cushman & Wakefield (which is leasing the project for them) is in talks with “several hundred thousand square feet of tenants” already.
The developers are packaging a historic home on the site called Hayden House into an indoor/outdoor dining environment, while boutique retail space will be availabled on the ground floor of the project. As for the hotel, no flags have been selected yet, but Doug says the company is in talks with Kimpton Hotels (recently acquired by Atlanta-based InterContinental Hotels) to run it.