Commercial Real Estate Development Experience, Passion, Leadership and Performance

Experience: Champion was founded in 1999 by Ricky Lyons who has more than 30 years experience in real estate development.  Prior to becoming a developer, Ricky was an accomplished real estate attorney in Edmonton, Alberta where he represented Canada’s premier real estate developers.  Ricky moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1983 with his family.  Since then he has been involved in notable projects such as: The Borgata in Scottsdale, Pointe Orlando, Desert Valley Medical Plaza.  Champion currently has a dozen active projects that are completely built out or awaiting construction. They include: Higley Park Commons, Marketplace Commons, Marketplace at Fulton Ranch, Sonoran Desert Commons, Office Quick at Sonoran Desert Commons, Marley Park Square, Marley Park Commons, Marley Park Office,  Plaza at Estrella Village, Commons at Estrella Village, Laveen Gateway and Laveen Gateway Commons.  Completed projects include those listed on project list attached.

Leadership: Team Champion is made up of a talented, well-educated staff who work within their unique abilities and strengths to assist each client with their property development.  From assisting with entitlement and municipality questions, to construction coordination and tenant advocacy, our staff works together as a team to get the job done right, on time and on budget. (When we refer to clients, we are referring to our tenants, buyers, joint venture partners, developers and consultants.)

Valued Relationships: Over the years, Champion has developed valuable relationships with respected contractors, architects, engineers and other consultants who believe in doing business the way we do business.  We work as a team to create a unique experience for the client.  One in which they do not have to worry about the day to day tasks, but rather, can focus on the big picture items.  We can then work together to assure those items are successfully brought to action.

Proven Process (Guidance Documents): As a way to assure our valued buyers and tenants, Champion created a Guidance Document for our construction and consulting partners to effectively and efficiently complete a Champion project.  Beginning with initial site selection and entitlements, Champion works diligently to increase quality of design and construction while reducing costs saving the client money and time.

Tenant Advocacy Experience™: Ricky Lyons developed the Tenant Advocacy Experience specifically for our Buyers and Tenants to have a sense of calm as they open their new location.  The mission is to assist our clients in opening smarter, faster and more profitably, which maintaining and growing their current business and not being bogged down with the opening of their new site.  We take great interest in their business plan and their needs so that we can act on their behalf so they can continue to focus on their current business. We assist with everything from initiating architect meetings, to construction management, to assisting with them gaining business insurance, to helping them get open for business.  We stay with them throughout the process and beyond, assisting where they need help so they can be as successful as possible.

Remarkable Delivery™: We promise to deliver each and every project in a Remarkable way.  That means something different to each client we work with.  But as long as we act remarkably, then we are doing what’s right.

The Champion Experience™: Champion’s goal is to provide each of our clients, investors, partners, consultants and staff with The Champion Experience.  We want to provide the best experience in the industry.  By promising – and delivering – a Remarkable Delivery, using the Tenant Advocacy Experience™ and focusing on leadership and relationships, we aim to be the best at what we do while being innovative and strong in the processes we create.

Operating Model: We measure our successes by three underlining statements at Champion: We are passionate about delivering the best experience in the world; We transform relationships to the benefit of everybody involved; and We find the best metric possible to deliver the best rate of return.
Champion Team Model

Metric: On any given proforma we prepare, we assume a 24 month timeframe for stabilization to potential sale.  We assume equity in each project is equal to 25% of the total cost of the project.  Champion’s metric requires that at the end of 24 months if the project is sold, there would be cash distributed to the partners after the return of equity, which is equal to the equity investment.  For example, if the total cost of a project is $16,000,000, the equity required for our standard metric is $4,000,000.  We would expect a sale of $20,000,000 within the 24 – 30 month timeframe, leaving a distributable cash amount of $4,000,000 after payment of costs (which include the return of $4,000,000 cash equity).

Partnership Agreement: Champion has flexibility with respect to the structure of a partnership agreement.  We take into account the percentage of ownership of the partnership, rates of return and fees.  When we are dealing with a partnership agreement pertaining to a Shopping Center, historically we have delivered yields at approximately 11%.  For shadow anchored centers we strive for 12% and 13% yields.  

In calculating distributable cash (*), we rely on cap rates for rental and investment properties averaging about 1% to 1.25% higher that currently being accomplished in the marketplace.

*The reason we use the term ‘distributable cash’, as opposed to ‘profit’ is because we see profit as a taxable item, it involves tax calculations, whereas with distributable cash, we are dealing solely with cash.

Champion Ready Fund: Champion has started the Champion Ready Fund to take advantage of new real estate opportunities in the greater Phoenix area. The overview and rationale are as follows:

“The financial markets, along with prevailing economic conditions, have provided a unique opportunity to acquire fundamentally sound commercial assets below historic pricing levels.  Champion RF is poised to take advantage of the current state of commercial real estate pricing in the southwest, focused within Arizona.  Champion RF is uniquely positioned in the Phoenix market to underwrite, acquire, renovate and manage these assets in a cost effective manner.  In addition, Champion RF has strong relationships with many of the local banks with real estate assets on their books that have reached out for partnership and advisory services.”

Champion Mortgage Fund: With the current volatility in the banking industry and with the opportunity to purchase our current mortgages at approximately 50 cents on the dollar, Champion has created a Champion Mortgage Fund in order to take advantage of certain opportunities in the marketplace.

Champion Completed Commercial Transactions

  • 10900 Scottsdale at Mescal, Scottsdale Arizona, a 55,000 square foot medical complex, bought as a value added opportunity.
  • Red Rock Plaza, a 88,000 shopping complex shadow anchored by The Home Depot and PetsMart in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • With Continental Properties Inc., an 86,000 square foot KOHL’s store coupled with the successful sale of the adjacent land for an M & I Bank location and additional strip shopping opportunity, located in Surprise Arizona.
  • Arrowhead Ranch Plaza, a 65,000 square foot shopping center located in Glendale Arizona, shadow anchored by Eckerd, started in January 2003 and completed and sold in March 2004.
  • Arrowhead Commons, a 68,000 square foot office condominium project on campus with Arrowhead Ranch Plaza, started in August 2003 and sold out by May 2004.
  • Promenade Commons at Fulton Ranch, a condominium project in the City of Chandler, Arizona, completed in 2007.
  • Jackrabbit Pavilions at McDowell, a to be built 350,000 square foot regional center in Buckeye Arizona.” zoned in the Town of Buckeye.
  • Veranda Commons, a 32,000 square foot office condominium project in campus with Camelback Place at Dysart, zoned by Maricopa County completed in 2006.
  • Camelback Place at Dysart, a 115,000 square foot neighborhood shopping center in Litchfield Park, Arizona, zoned by Maricopa County completed in 2006 and sold as an investment asset in May 2007.
  • Gateway Commons, Mesa, Arizona, a two building project – one building consisting of 7,100sf and a building with 16,000sf.  The 7,100sf building was sold to a dentist and the 16,000sf building had a 13,500sf lease to a surgical center.  The entire building was sold as an investment asset in January 2009.
  • Fresh & Easy, Chandler, Arizona – a 13,000sf retail ground lease sold as an investment asset in September 2008.