Case Studies

James Lincoln • Lincoln Capital Management

Strong listening skills and inclusive approach embody spirit of Champion Experience, strategic funding partner 

James Lincoln, of Lincoln Capital Management, says Champion is a different kind of real estate company because they give all of their strategic partners an opportunity to participate fully in the development process.

“They foster a very inclusive environment,” Lincoln says. “They listen to everyone involved in a project, and make sure time is available for us to get the information we need. Ricky Lyons likes everyone to contribute because he knows collaboration will result in a better project.”

Lincoln, who has experience working with many developers on scores of real estate projects, says Ricky Lyons and Champion are unique in the industry.

“Most developers focus solely on the bottom line. But Ricky takes a more enlightened approach. He wants to make a profit, but he also wants to make sure that his projects are high quality, and that everyone benefits in the long term. That’s why he is so great to work with.”

Lincoln also praises Champion’s leadership, honesty, and ethics. 

“They demonstrate a lot of leadership in the development process. They work hard to keep everyone pointed in the same direction. They also encourage open communication on a consistent basis, and act in an honest and ethical manner at all times.” 

“They are excellent people, and a lot of fun to work with.”

Rick Heinz • Anaheim Automotive Properties

Real estate investor lauds Champion’s focus on relationships

Rick Heinz, the owner of Anaheim Automotive Properties, and purchaser of top-quality commercial real estate properties, knows a good deal when he sees one.

“Our company recently acquired the Arrowhead Ranch Plaza in Glendale, Arizona, a property developed by Champion,” Heinz says. “It was an excellent investment, and on many counts, our experience working with Ricky Lyons and his team was also excellent.”

“Our companies work very well together,” Heinz adds. “Champion takes a long-term view on all of their developments and puts tremendous value on relationships. They are always looking out for the interests of their strategic partners. They are not just trying to build a project and sell it. They operate from a bigger, more inclusive perspective.”

Heinz says the Arrowhead Ranch Plaza was a great investment because Champion had already attracted many high-quality tenants who were very satisfied. 

“Because of Champion, I inherited a lot of great tenants who are very happy with their situation. This makes it so much easier for us, as the property owners, to keep tenants, and attract new ones. And happy tenants means better cash flow and increases in the value of our property.”

In addition, Heinz says Champion’s other projects in the area have also increased the value of his investment.

“Champion also developed the office condominium project known as Arrowhead Commons adjacent to the retail center,” he says. “The popularity of these office condominiums largely occupied by owners generates a lot of traffic for the retailers, further enhancing their prosperity, and ours.”

Heinz adds that the professionals at Champion have made the entire process much simpler, and yet more comprehensive.

“They have exceeded all of our expectations. They have done what they said they would, and finished what they started. They are team players who have everyone’s interests at heart. I look forward to considering an investment in one of their future developments.”

Steve Fernandez • CBRE

Team-building and strong leadership key to Champion’s success, real estate broker says

As a broker at CBRE, one of the country’s leading commercial real estate companies, Steve Fernandez appreciates developers who get involved, and know what they are doing.

“Ricky Lyons and his team at Champion are true professionals,” Fernandez says. “It was a pleasure working with them to market and sell the Arrowhead Plaza development in Phoenix, Arizona. They set clear goals, and had a very deliberate strategy to achieve them. They took a leadership role, but also welcomed suggestions from everyone involved.”

Fernandez says the project was a success because Champion delivered a high level of comfort to the buyer.

“They got involved with the buyer and made sure they were happy with the development. If they made a promise, they delivered on it.  Everything they said would happen, did happen. And this commitment to client service made it much easier for us to close the deal.”

In addition, Fernandez says Champion’s team building skills and tenant-friendly philosophy are unique in the real estate industry.

“We were brought into the project while they were building it, so we were able to contribute ideas to make the development even more marketable. As well, because Champion is great at attracting and retaining high-quality tenants, we were able to fetch a higher value for their property. All of these factors made our experience with Champion one of the best ever.”

“We look forward to working with Champion on future developments.”

Brad Logan • Broker

Proactive communication and collaboration with buyers increases sales velocity for commercial real estate brokers

Brad Logan, a leading real estate broker, is a true believer in The Champion Experience TM.

“We have broken sales records by working with Champion on their office condominium projects,” Logan says. “For many reasons, the Champion approach has helped us increase our sales velocity, and sell more condos faster and easier.”

“For example, if we have an issue with a potential buyer, Ricky Lyons and his team are very proactive. They respond immediately and meet with the prospect to work out a solution. They don’t try to beat up the buyer. They are always looking for a win-win result.”


Logan adds that Champion’s astute development decisions also make his job as a broker easier.

“Champion always picks great locations and puts together thoughtful architectural designs. They also give us powerful and effective marketing tools so we are able to sell their projects even when they are in the design stage. In some cases, we have been able to sell out 80% of a project before construction has even commenced.”

“Champion also demonstrates a caring attitude towards buyers and the broker community,” Logan adds. “They really care about the buyers, and they want to help them solve problems. They use their creativity and show a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Mike Davis • Davis Architecture

Architect praises Champion’s integrity and clarity of focus

At his architecture firm, Mike Davis appreciates clients who are focused on their goals, and value the important role played by professionals in the real estate development process.

“That’s what we really love about working with Ricky Lyons and his group at Champion,” Davis says. “They have a great sense of propriety and team focus. They never waste our time, and they are very fair and thoughtful. They get us all focused on the end goal, and then let us do what we are good at.”

“In fact, they are the model of our ideal client,” Davis adds. “They have a lot of integrity and great business sense. Their whole operation runs very smoothly and efficiently.”

Davis says Champion’s clarity of focus, and high level of integrity gives Champion and its strategic partners a competitive advantage. 

“They are able to get great projects done in a timely fashion. They take in a lot of information and produce developments that meet everyone’s needs on multiple levels. We are very proud of the architecture we have produced for them—both retail and office condominiums. Together, we have created projects that have made an important, positive contribution to the community.” 

“Part of our job is to help Champion take their projects through the municipality design review process, permitting and inspections.  


In conversation with a Glendale Senior Planner, Theresa Hillner said that Champion was prepared for the process and always responded to comments and concerns in a cooperative fashion.  “They took a proactive solution approach to situations that arose”, said Hillner.

Phil Hertel • Laveen Planning Committee

By working closely with the community, Champion is developing a retail center to be proud of, community planner says.

“Some real estate developers kick and scream when community planning councils ask for changes to development plans,” says Phil Hertel, vice-chairman of the planning council in Laveen, Arizona. 

“But not Champion. They were very cooperative. They went above and beyond our expectations, and voluntarily made many improvements. As a result, we ended up with a retail development everyone in our community will be proud of.”

Hertel says he was initially opposed to Champion’s proposed retail development on a prominent corner in Laveen. 

“They wanted the zoning changed from residential to commercial, and I thought we had too much commercial space already. But Champion listened to all of our input at their first presentation and returned with some really creative ideas. They incorporated our suggestions, and addressed many of our concerns about noise, parking, and lighting.”

The final result, Hertel says, is a development that sets a new benchmark for retail development in the community.

“Champion’s project is fresh, high-quality, and simply outstanding. It stands head and shoulders above the developments on the other three corners.” 

Hertel adds that Champion’s development in Laveen will have a tremendous positive impact on the community.

“This project stands at the gateway to our community. Because of its high quality, it will attract top-notch tenants, and lots of high-quality customers. This development sets a new standard that will raise everyone’s expectations about what’s possible in Laveen.”

“Because of Champion, and their collaborative approach, we have a retail development that will stand the test of time.”

Tonya Lively • Commonwealth

Champion Partner’s hands-on and personal approach accelerates the real estate transaction process, title officer says

Tonya Lively, VP National Commercial Accounts at Commonwealth National Commercial Services, one of the nation’s leading title and escrow management companies, says Champion is able to accelerate real estate transactions because they take a personal, hands-on approach.

“They are one of the most hands-on developers I’ve ever worked with,” Tonya says.

“Ricky Lyons is closely involved in all aspects of each real estate transaction.  If little problems come up, Champion is immediately attentive and responsive. Issues get dealt with promptly. Moreover, they personally attend every closing, something virtually unheard of in the real estate industry. It really illustrates their personal approach and the care and attention they give to every detail.” 

“Working with Champion has also made it easier to streamline the title and escrow process,” Tonya adds. “Sometimes it can take many months to close a real estate transaction, so it’s important to keep the process moving along at every step, and overcome any obstacles quickly. That’s why Champion’s approach makes so much sense for everyone involved. They don’t let the process get stalled or backed up.”

Karen Gleason

Champion Partner’s hands-on and personal approach accelerates the real estate transaction process, title officer says

“Our outlet at Champion’s Arrowhead development in Phoenix has been a huge success for many reasons,” says Karen Gleason.

“Our experience working with Champion has been excellent. At our company, we look for developers with experience, who get the job done on time. They need to have a close attention to detail and know how to work with local officials. Most importantly, they have to understand our business, and share the same values and culture.”

Gleason says Champion met these criteria, and then some.

“Champion treated us like a valuable partner in their business. They have done everything they could to ensure the success of this location. They recognize that if we are successful, they are successful. And that is great, because we have the same attitude.”

Gleason says the development was just a vacant lot when she teamed up with Champion.

“When we started, I had no idea what to expect from Champion.  But I can say now that they are the most thorough developer with whom I have worked. Their follow up is wonderful, and they have great respect for our needs, especially our need to get the project up and running on time.”

“They were also extremely considerate and enthusiastic, and they took the time to understand what we wanted. They worked very well with city officials, and made sure we had enough parking and visibility to ensure easy access to the store.”

“As a result, our location has all of the necessary elements. It is safe, convenient, and visible to customers. It is well accepted by the community. Thanks to Champion, and their unique approach, this store is, and will continue to be, very strong and successful.”

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