When ten golden shovels scooped up desert sand near the Colorado River on Thursday it was more than just the symbolic start to construction on a brand new Keller Williams office building. It also signified the first development in an area of town with a lot of untapped potential.
The Keller Williams Arizona Living Reality office building will be two stories with a total of 13,000 square feet of private office space, conference rooms and a high-tech training center.
“It really is something to provide a tremendously upscale environment for our agents as well as our customers and clients,” said Vicki Runyon. “This has been a dream of mine for a long time – to own my own building and to design it to the specifications of creating that kind of environment.”
Runyon said Desert Land Group has served as the developer on the project and Christina Toole of Design Tribe was instrumental in the interior design. Construction will be completed by Consolidated Construction Inc. based out of Wisconsin.
She said the building will be beautiful, surpassing even her own expectations, and she couldn’t ask for a better location.
“When you drive into Lake Havasu as you come into town (from the south) and look to the left you will see our building,” Runyon said. “So I am really excited about the location. It is going to be really close to the Riviera where a lot of things are happening right now.”
At least for now, the brand new office building will have the area all to itself.
“It is exciting to be the first project being built on Park Avenue,” said Mychal Gorden with Desert Land Group, which plans to move into the offices once completed. “They are beautiful properties that have been sitting there for a while in a great location. For someone like Vicki who has been a successful business woman in town for such a long time to be the pioneer, the first to build this beautiful facility on Park Avenue, I think is really exciting. And I think it will spearhead some additional development on the other parcels here in the near future.”
Mayor Cal Sheehy said there are no other shovel ready projects in the area before the city, but there are four other lots between Park Avenue and Highway 95 in addition to the Keller Willaims office building. City Planner Luke Morris said the lot closest to the Lake Havasu City Aquatic Center is owned by the city, while the other four lots are all zoned C-1. That would allow for a variety of potential community and commercial uses including restaurants, retail, hotels, offices and research labs.
Between Park Avenue and Rotary Park lies another vacant lot that is zoned as Island-Body Beach, Morris said, allowing developments such as a multi-family dwelling, a resort, a daycare, a parking facility and more.
“It will be great for the people who choose to develop in those areas because it is high traffic and high visibility,” Sheehy said.
He also said developing the area will benefit Lake Havasu City as a whole by bringing more businesses to town, and expanding the tax base.
For Runyon, Thursday’s groundbreaking was the fulfillment of a vision that has been taking shape since she first bought the property several years ago.
“It has been a dream. So this is definitely a dream come true,” Runyon said. “This is just the beginning of the real journey. It is exciting to see how this is all going to come together.”
The project is expected to cost around $3.5 million and take about nine months to build. Once completed, Runyon said the office building will house Keller Williams Arizona Living Reality along with its commercial division run by Desert Land Group (KW Commercial), Arizona Living Rentals and Property Management, and Arizona Living School of Real Estate. Gorden said the Desert Land Group residential division, which is also partnered with Keller Williams, will be located in the new office building as well.
Desert Land Group’s Havasu Riviera division is also partnered with Keller Williams, but Gorden said that division plans to set up an office on site at the Riviera this spring to start handling sales for those properties.