Guest Editorial: Harkins Theatres Moving Headquarters to Salt River & What It Means for Scottsdale

By Recker McDowell —

Harkins Theatres is moving its headquarters to a new mixed-use development on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.

Harkins will keep its Scottsdale address with the move. But it will be moving from its current home in the city of Scottsdale to the Salt River Community. Harkins expects to move 260 employees into the new space, according to reports.

The movie chain is the latest tenant who has moved to space on Salt River land or to other cities such as Tempe or Chandler. Some of those moves happened because top office tenants cannot find new or enough Class A space in Scottsdale.

Harkins new headquarters will be 65,000 square feet, a significant expansion to its existing Scottsdale space.

Scottsdale is a desirable destination for employers. But it is not alone as more Silicon Valley and other companies look at metro Phoenix for jobs and offices. Scottsdale has not had the inventory of Class A office space available for sought after tenants. Some of those tenants would love to land in Scottsdale but cannot find the space.

The Salt River Community continues to be open to potential new developments. It’s already landed a large McKesson office that relocated from the Scottsdale Galleria along with Kahala Brands (i.e. Cold Stone Creamery) offices. The Salt River has some newer developments and more in the pipeline as well as prime access with the Loop 101 freeway.

Other technology and creative tenants have landed in Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and other submarkets because there has been available and new space.

Coveted tenants, whether they are technology firms or well-known brands such as Harkins, like Scottsdale’s amenities, demographics and attractiveness for their workers.

The Scottsdale Galleria which is home to Yelp, Indeed and Zillow and the ASU SkySong development which continues to expand show Scottsdale is a prime landing spot.

It’s just Scottsdale does not have enough of that space currently or in the pipeline.

That’s helped Tempe land high-profile and desirable tenants. Gilbert, downtown Phoenix and the Biltmore have also been looking to grab more high-profile and creative tenants. Those are the types of tenants that should be landing in Scottsdale.

Harkins is one of Arizona’s most recognizable business brands. It will also still have its Scottsdale address after its headquarters move. It just will be on Salt River land.

That is a market dynamic worth noting.