Westgate Entertainment District Construction

Recent new restaurants brought the Westgate Entertainment District to full capacity for the first time. But more is coming, as Westgate’s owner has started new construction nearby. 

Westgate is officially tapped out, having reached its capacity.

But wait — there’s more.

Even though Westgate Entertainment District reached 100% occupancy for the first time since its 2006 opening, it doesn’t mean owner YAM Properties is finished growing the area.

Dan Dahl, director of real estate for Scottsdale-based YAM Properties, said there is plenty more room to grow on 70 acres.

“YAM Properties is continuing to expand the complex and working on developing shops along Glendale Avenue,” Dahl said.

“We also have plans to build additional entertainment and residential options to support the growing community.”

Construction is underway that will expand Westgate. Dahl noted while most people think “food and entertainment” when they hear the word Westgate, the site also has “luxury apartments” (the Lofts at Westgate) and office space.

The additions of  Crumbl Cookies, Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade and Caramba Mexican Food took Westgate to full occupancy, with 50 restaurants, retail and entertainment places.

This is pretty much what his company had in mind when it purchased the property in 2018. “YAM Properties acquired Westgate because it is an iconic property with a prime location – at the doorstep of Gila River Arena and State Farm Stadium. The complex has become a thriving entertainment destination for the West Valley community and only continues to grow,” he added.

Indeed, the area is booming.

The $400 million Desert Diamond Casino West Valley — which boasts of being “located in the vibrant Westgate Entertainment District” — is opening this month.

Dahl said the Tohono O’odham Nation’s casino is  a welcome addition to Westgate. “YAM Properties partners with Desert Diamond Casino on a variety of promotions and we can’t wait to welcome them to the neighborhood,” he said.

Glendale City Council recently approved a 55 and older apartment facility, the first phase of a planned residential-retail-restaurant project at 91st Avenue and Zanjero Boulevard, just north of Westgate on the other side of Glendale.

“It is something we’ve been expecting. The news is a major positive for YAM Properties,” Dahl said.

Westgate is just east of U.S. 101. 

Kevin Phelps, Glendale’s city manager, said he pictures an extended sports and entertainment district, spanning both sides of the 101. He hinted about major projects on the west side of the freeway. 

Dahl said Westgate is good with the expansion plans.

“We consider the city of Glendale one of our greatest partners. We share a similar long-term vision for Westgate and the surrounding area and the city has been amazing to work with,” Dahl said.

Indeed, nearby residential projects could funnel more customers to newer Westgate tenants like State 48 Funk House Brewery, Escape Westgate, Low Key Piano Bar and Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing Bar.

The newcomers joined the likes of Dave & Buster’s, Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Yard House, McFadden’s, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Johnny Rockets, Stir Crazy Comedy Club, Just Sports and AMC Theatres. 

YAM has shopping centers in Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. Do any of them compare to Westgate?

“Westgate is unique,” Dahl said. “There are very few properties anywhere around the country similar to Westgate.”