The founding partners of ViaWest Group, Gary Linhart and Steven Schwarz, established the firm in Phoenix, Arizona in 2003 with the goal of creating a full-service real estate operating and investment company with a consistent mission and set of values. ViaWest has a highly-qualified team that professionally manages investments, acquisitions and developments for our investors, partners, and clients. The skill-set of the ViaWest team ranges from real estate securities investment to land and commercial building development, property renovation, acquisitions, dispositions, deal structuring, leasing, asset management, property management, accounting, and investor reporting.
Viawest Annual Highlights
- ViaWest Properties formed by Gary Linhart and Steven Schwarz
Strategy: Generate initial income for company through client work and focus on purchasing various land sites for development of industrial properties.
- Provided consulting to Plaza Companies on their development projects including kick-starting the SkySong project.
- Entered escrow on two land sites, one in Glendale, Arizona and one in Chandler, Arizona, for spec-development, build-to-suit and lot sale opportunities.
Strategy: Initiate multi-property type initiatives in industrial, office and multifamily.
- Commenced construction on first-phase of first industrial development, the 190,000 s.f. Warner Commerce Park.
- Purchased a multi-tenant office building along Camelback Corridor and moved corporate offices there.
- Purchased 135 acres of mixed-use commercial land in Goodyear and commenced entitlement/rezoning process and exploration of utilities solutions.
- Selected as local operating partner in 2,000+ unit / $200+ million condo conversion strategy for a national condo-converter.
Strategy: Begin to slow down new initiative activity, as market heated up; focus on value for any new acquisitions; finish existing commitments.
- Purchased two office buildings, one in Sky Harbor market and another in North Scottsdale.
- Entered escrow on 10 acres of industrial land in Sky Harbor Market, exited profitably in 2007.
- Commenced phase II of Warner Commerce Park.
Strategy: Focus on exiting speculative investments; complete existing developments; find quick turnaround-and-exit opportunities.
- Purchased and immediately sold at a profit (double-escrow) an industrial building that was in escrow for 9 months for substantial profits.
- Sold 118 of the 135 acres in Goodyear for a very substantial profit.
- Commenced phase III of Warner Commerce Park.
Strategy: Focus on maintaining occupancy in all existing assets and begin looking for early cycle opportunities.
- Identified investment in public REIT securities across the capital structure as the first opportunity of the cycle; began working on an investment fund.
- Profitably exited existing flex industrial building investment.
Strategy: Identify and capitalize on early-cycle opportunities.
- Launched REIT securities investment fund.
- Purchased note on a land loan and negotiated early payoff with borrower at a substantial profit within 90 days.
Strategy: Mobilize capital to buy distressed assets.
- Launched Southwest Real Estate Opportunity fund to purchase distressed assets.
- Continued to manage the REIT opportunity fund.
- Focused on stabilizing existing and new assets from both a leasing and financing perspective.
- Emerged from downturn with no judgments and no lingering loan issues.
Strategy: Focus on purchasing office properties with substantial lease-up requirements and maximize occupancy across portfolio.
- Danny Swancey, with substantial office REIT experience, joined ViaWest as Director of Real Estate.
- Purchased a completely vacant, mixed-use complex in Tempe, Arizona with a joint venture partner.
- Closed REIT opportunity fund after achieving goals and generating a 69% net return to initial investors in 30 months.
Strategy: Focus on opportunities to purchase quality assets in distressed-seller or motivated-seller situations.
- Purchased, with a joint venture partner, a corporate R&D building from a global technology company with a one-year lease-back, and then completely renovated the building, upon vacancy, to current market standards.
- Purchased, with the same partner, a 35%-occupied new office complex from the estate of its developer in Chandler, Arizona. Then was able to relocate the corporate tenant from the R&D building mentioned above to this property.
- Purchased a 120,000 square foot flex-office building in West Phoenix from a seller exiting the market.
- Purchased half of a failed multi-family condo-conversion project in Flagstaff, Arizona, which was experiencing internal partnership issues; sold 20 months later at a substantial profit, after full lease-up and implementation of a rental increase.
Strategy: Focus on lease-up and value-add office acquisitions.
- Purchased a discounted note, for $32 million, with a joint venture partner, on a large flex-office project with intent to own. Foreclosed on note, took over management and sold the property to a 1031-exchange buyer at a significant profit within 8 months.
- Purchased, with a joint venture partner, a 50% leased, former-Intel manufacturing facility to continue the conversion into a modernized, well-parked, back-office facility.
Strategy: Aggregate regional portfolio of general industrial properties with lease-up, value-add and portfolio-exit opportunities.
- Raised $22 million equity fund to execute general industrial acquisition strategy. Completed initial purchase of general industrial property for new fund.
- Began exiting early-cycle, distressed purchases and prior cycle assets once value recovered and/or profits realized.
Strategy: Execute plan of industrial fund, acquire A-quality office assets, and begin to establish new development commercial land positions for coming development cycle.
- Purchased 18 acres of land at Val Vista Rd. near 202 from a public REIT; entered escrow on 1/3 of land in two deals within 30 days of purchase.
- Purchased 4 additional general-industrial buildings for new fund, including first Texas asset.
- Continued to successfully sell assets from 2010 fund, including an initially vacant, Tempe office building brought to 96% occupancy.