Park Central Receives Prestigious Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Award

Awards program is Arizona’s signature sustainability recognition event for over 40 years.

PHOENIX (May 1, 2023) – Park Central is the proud recipient of the Buildings and Structures: Historic Preservation & Adaptive Reuse category of Arizona Forward’s prestigious Environmental Excellence Awards, which took place on Saturday, April 29 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa.

The Buildings and Structures: Historic Preservation & Adaptive Reuse category includes civic, commercial, or institutional buildings, structures, or landscapes that represent elements that preserve environmental quality, incorporate sustainability, integrate with the natural or built environment, and create aesthetic appreciation.

Park Central is a true Phoenix icon, with a rich history that dates to 1957 when it was first built as the city’s first large-scale shopping mall. At the time, it was a bustling hub of activity along Central Avenue, with major retailers and businesses calling it home.

However, by the early 1990s, most of the mall’s key tenants had moved on, and Park Central fell into disrepair, despite its prime location. The once-thriving shopping center had lost its luster, and many wondered what would become of the historic site.

But in recent years, Park Central has undergone a massive transformation, thanks to the vision and hard work of Plaza Companies and Holualoa Companies. The expansive space has been reimagined as a nearly 500,000-square-foot community hub, ideal for playing, working, congregating, and celebrating the arts.

“The revitalization effort has been one of the most transformative projects ever seen in the central Phoenix area,” said Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, the company spearheading the project alongside Holualoa Companies. The new Park Central has returned the existing buildings to their mid-century-modern roots while incorporating exceptional new design features created to make the project feel innovative, high-tech, and creative.

“We have created a one-of-a-kind space that caters to the needs of the ‘new economy workforce. Our efforts have transformed Park Central into a hub that not only pays homage to its history but also makes a significant positive impact on the community,” Harper stated. “We are thrilled to receive this exceptional recognition, and we accept this award with immense honor.”

Park Central has done this in several important ways including creating a significant new hub for healthcare education in the heart of our community. And, by creating a hub for healthcare research and technology, as well as serving as home to several key healthcare providers in the community. As a result, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego recently designated Park Central and Midtown as part newest Bioscience Hub in the community, known as the Phoenix Medical Quarter, Global Advancement of Health and Education.

Park Central is also promoting the health and wellness of those who work on the property and members of the community that visit it. It’s the home to several significant medical organizations and was designed to promote walkability, be bike-friendly, and feature indoor-outdoor workspaces and open-air environments.

“Not only has the Park Central team taken a dying shopping mall and revitalized it into a new economic engine for our community, but it has also had a significantly positive impact on our community’s overall health,” said Stan Shafer, Principal, and COO of Holualoa Companies. “The recognition from Arizona Forward serves as a testament to the impact of our collective efforts, and we are deeply grateful for this honor.”

Plaza Companies and Tucson’s Holualoa Companies have teamed up to redevelop Park Central into a vibrant destination once the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. Park Central has developed a particular focus on bioscience over the past few years with the addition of Creighton University as well as an influx of bioscience companies to the project. For more information on the project, visit

About Plaza Companies

With offices in Peoria, Scottsdale and Tucson, Plaza Companies is a full-service real estate firm specializing in the management, leasing and development of medical office and commercial office properties, technology and bioscience facilities, mixed-use properties and senior housing communities. Since 1982, Plaza Companies has established a proud track record as a competitive, connected and conscientious real estate firm with partnerships throughout the industries it serves. For more information, visit

About Holualoa Companies

Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning, redevelopment and disposition of real estate assets. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multi-family, hotel and mixed-use investment properties. Holualoa is an experienced investor for its own account and on behalf of a select group of private investors. For more information, visit

About Arizona Forward and Environmental Excellence Awards

Arizona Forward’s mission is to bring business and civic leaders together to promote cooperative efforts to improve the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of our state and local regions. Its prestigious Environmental Excellence Awards program has served as Arizona’s signature sustainability recognition event for over 40 years. Initiated in 1980, the environmental excellence awards program is a benchmark for economic and environmental accomplishment. Across Arizona, leaders and teams are taking their vision for a better Arizona and turning it into action. More than 500 esteemed members of the Arizona community attend our gala each year including elected dignitaries, public officials, business leaders, and academic institutions. For more information, visit

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