May 27, 2024

Meet David Krumwiede, a longtime Phoenix resident and commercial real estate leader in the Valley (Video) – The Business Journals

During his 30-plus years working in commercial real estate, David Krumwiede said one of his most memorable projects was one he started in the past decade known as The Grand, a large office and mixed-use project located within the massive Papago Park Center in Tempe.
“It was a plant nursery forever, and then it was actually supposed to be a location for Cardinals stadium that ultimately ended out in Glendale,” Krumwiede said. “Salt River Project went out with an RFP process and solicited developers from all over the country. We were lucky enough to get selected.”
So far, the firm he leads, Lincoln Property Co. Desert West has developed two office buildings at the Grand that were leased out and sold with a third office building and more in the works. At full build-out, the Grand at Papago Park will total 3.2 million square feet across a mix of uses including housing, hospitality, retail and restaurants with up to 1.8 million square feet of office space.
“It was just a dirt lot when we started; now it’s got a major water feature, infrastructure and multifamily apartments,” he said. “It’s cool to see something go from literally just about nothing to a master-planned commercial development.”
In addition to office, Krumwiede and his team at LPC have become a prominent industrial developer in the Valley with numerous projects planned in multiple cities.
Are you more drawn to office or industrial development? What I love about industrial is the users and tenants. They’re building, assembling very cool stuff all across the board, products, on the e-commerce side it’s super sophisticated with multi-level platforms with robotics. I love the technical side of it, but also the people are rock solid, whether they’re manufacturing or logistics.
On the office side, it’s fun to push the envelope on the amenities side of the business. Companies are working really hard to get their employees back into the office. We started several years ago putting a lot of amenities in like rooftop decks. The Grand is a good example of that, it’s got indoor and outdoor patio spaces, giant lunch rooms with entertainment venues, conference and fitness facilities. You get to be really creative on that. Oftentimes markets cycle, so it’s been great for us to have our feet in a couple of different sectors, where if one is super hot, we’ll spend more time focusing on it.
What is the key to being a successful developer in Phoenix? Really building a team, you can’t do what we do on your own. Having the team, it’s not dissimilar to a football or baseball team — you need a quarterback, a halfback, a defensive line. You need collaborative partners, members that are specialists in all those business lines, that you like to work with. The other thing is just be passionate about whatever you’re doing. I’ve been at it for 30-plus years and there’s some challenging days, so if you’re not passionate about it, it makes for a very long day.
How has all of the ongoing industrial development impacted the Phoenix area? I’ve seen a lot of cycles and I think what we’re seeing right now is a culmination of decades of potential. We’ve always had an industrial market that was a local, regional market. I think the dynamic shift is, we are now an industrial hub, a logistics hub, and that’s really been within the last three years. We’re in the [same hub ranks as] Atlanta, Chicago, Inland Empire and Dallas — those kind of lists.
The other one that’s really changed is obviously the rise of e-commerce has created a lot more demand for industrial space. The last thing is, California has had its challenges well-documented. The latest one is they have a temporary moratorium on new [industrial] development in some towns over there. It’s challenging over there, so we’re six hours from the port, Inland Empire is two hours from the port. If you’re going to put your stuff on a truck, doesn’t really matter if it’s four hours distance or not.
Is there anything that you expect to impact development in the Phoenix metro? The advent of electric semi-truck trailers is going to be impactful. The good news is, Arizona has the biggest nuclear plant in the West in Palo Verde. We have a very stout electrical grid with a good supply of power. There potentially is a looming power crisis in this country with the electrification of the world and demand. I think that will be impactful in Arizona with a very strong infrastructure backbone in our electrical grid.
What is your relationship to Luke Air Force Base? I was an honorary commander. Luke Air Force Base is the largest fighter jet training facility in the world. They train all our allies, so anybody that we’re an ally with that flies F-16s, they train those pilots from all over the world. When the Air Force was coming up with the F-35, they went through a selection process to choose what bases they were going to do the F-35 training on, Luke was on that list. It was a hotly contested election process, so I was involved in helping promote landing the F-35 training base at Luke.
What is something about yourself that would surprise people? I grew up in Arcadia back when it was literally dirt roads and orchards. I lived across the street from Amanda Blake. She played on a TV series in the ’70s called “Gunsmoke.” She had, in her backyard, a male lion and six cheetahs, so every night around feeding time, this male lion would roar. If you’ve never heard a lion roar, it carries for miles. I remember my parents would have people over for dinner, and all of sudden you’d hear a roar. I was her paperboy too, so I got to know her and see the lions and cheetahs.
David Krumwiede
Title: Senior executive vice president
Organization: LPC Desert West
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Arizona State University
Favorite Band: AC/DC — I saw them warm up for Journey on the Highway to Hell tour in 1978 in the Coliseum.
How do you define success? Find what you’re passionate about in both your work and relationships and really define your own success, whatever that definition is, I think in general it kind of revolves around happiness.
What do you like most about Arizona? I love how open and friendly people are here. It seems like almost everybody is from somewhere else and just trying to assimilate into our society, culture.
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