Trainual, Worldwide Express lease at renovated Tempe office complex

By Ron Davis, Phoenix Business Journal

As employers grapple with decisions to return to the office, have employees work remotely or use a hybrid model, a Phoenix-area office building developer looks to offer a more inviting environment.

George Oliver founder Curt Kremer said he likes to approach a reimagined project by providing the basic office needs with a blend of hospitality that will make employees want to come into the office every day. Kremer says his firm’s Arbor office redevelopment on Mill Avenue in Tempe embodies that blend.

“Everybody’s changing right now. Nobody knows exactly what they want to be in five years. They’re just kind of guessing with work-from-home, getting to work and trying to get employees back. Everybody’s trying to figure out what that happy-medium is,” Kremer said. “We said ‘we’ll go develop a building that has all the amenities you’ll find at one of those bigger campuses, but then we’ll plug in tenants that fit that mold.’ We’ll create synergy [for tenants] by moving [them] into a community that has other like-minded tenants and then share those spaces.”

Growing local software firm Trainual Inc. is one of three new tenants heading to Arbor. Its CEO says none of its 98 employees are required to go into the new 9,050-square-foot space at the 401 S. Mill Ave. building.

“The office has space for 40-50 to work but it’s more set up to accommodate meetings, collaboration and events,” Trainual CEO Chris Ronzio said in an email to the Phoenix Business Journal. “It’s going to be a great international headquarters to host out-of-town employees that fly in to visit Arizona.”

The Scottsdale-based company helps companies onboard, train and grow their teams by documenting what they do. Trainual announced in June 2021 that it had raised $27 million in series B funding after a year of growth and expansion. It will leave its current headquarters at the Quad in Scottsdale when renovations at Arbor are complete, Ronzio said. Trainual has operated out of that 4,000-square-foot space since 2020.

Arbor project ‘checked all the boxes’
George Oliver purchased the Tempe office complex in April 2021, when the building was about 50% leased, for $26.15 million, rebranding it from Hayden Station to Arbor. The firm budgeted $18 million for renovations on the Tempe office complex that spans five buildings. Construction started in late 2021 and renovations will be ongoing throughout the year.

Lush green hedges and plants abundant throughout the common areas, creating an “urban organic” theme inside and out, are a start. Meditation pods, a fitness center, a cocktail bar and lounge, an outdoor courtyard, cabanas and more, checked the boxes for three new employers that are moving into Arbor.

“We put together a list of must-haves, and Arbor checked all the boxes for us — a central location close to the airport, lots of space to collaborate both in-person and virtually, and a great place to bring the team together for special events,” Trainual’s Ronzio said in a statement.

New leases at Arbor
In addition to a new lease signed by Trainual, George Oliver announced that Radius AI will move into a 4,573-square-foot space in the 350 S. Mill Avenue building and Worldwide Express — a year after its merger with GlobalTranz Enterprises LLC — will occupy 18,585 square feet at 51 W. 3rd St.

About 25% of Arbor remains available for lease, according to George Oliver.

Worldwide Express Vice President of Commercial Services Mike Vitale also said Arbor’s amenities are what attracted the company to the project. Vitale also championed its proximity to Arizona State University and its talent pool for potential workforce for the logistics company.

“Following the merger of Worldwide Express and GlobalTranz, we wanted to find a local space that would support our rapidly growing business and the strategic integration of our brands into one office,” Vitale said in a statement. “Arbor’s collaborative workspaces, rich amenities and spirited lifestyle perfectly align with our corporate culture and represent the flexible, hybrid work environment of the future.”

Kremer said the three tenants all offer something different to Arbor, but feel they will gel together.

“They’ve got a great business plan for what the market is,” he said. “They’re looking to be able to say they’re in the best location, grow their businesses here and use all of our amenities.”

The project’s general contractor is Layton Construction while the design was handled by George Oliver Design — George Oliver’s architecture arm. Cushman and Wakefield is the listing brokerage firm representing Arbor. Arcadia Management Group is the property manager.

The three listings Cushman and Wakefield has on its website for Arbor has rent at $45 per square foot — the largest being just over 9,000 square feet.

Kremer added that George Oliver is eyeing another office property to develop that it looks to close on in the coming weeks, but didn’t offer further details.