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NB|AZ helps Scottsdale
entrepreneurs build confidence
through good times and bad
Tom and Jane Frenkel moved to the Valley in 1986 without any business contacts—just the dream of starting a life in the Southwest.
“Jane was able to transfer her job, and I wanted to start a career in real estate,” Tom says. After securing an investor, they built the first Total Image Beauty Mall in 1987 in downtown Scottsdale. When they launched a second location, Jane joined the company full time in operations, while Tom picked buildings and made the finances work for two more.
The Frenkels were introduced to National Bank of Arizona when their business partner passed away. “We didn't know if anyone would step up to help finance our purchases and renovations,” Tom says. “Over time, we’ve used NB|AZ to purchase real estate as-is and keep, some to purchase and add value (our primary business) and also for permanent loans. We’ve developed quite a relationship.”
Today, the Frenkels’ family-owned empire includes more than 60 high-end commercial properties throughout Scottsdale as the owners of The Clayton Companies and The Clayton Venues, and majority ownership of Fate Brewing Company.
The real estate downturn from 2007 to 2010 confirmed the value of their banking choice. “NB|AZ stepped to the forefront during that period, which we have never forgotten,” Tom says. “They gave us the time, wiggle room and funds to get through it.”
2010 presented an additional challenge when a restaurant tenant in Civic Center Park handed back the keys only five months after opening. “We decided to turn it into a venue for weddings, corporate events, galas, proms and other occasions,” says Jane. “We didn’t have any experience, but there was no reason we couldn’t learn.”
They jumped in, repurposed the building and opened The Clayton on the Park in 2011. The venue was a rousing success, hosting events that averaged 150 people. In 2017, an abandoned warehouse , The Clayton House, not far from The Clayton on the Park fit the bill for a larger location—after a top-to-bottom renovation, assisted with NB|AZ loans.
To help weather the coronavirus recession, NB|AZ helped them secure Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans*.
The third component of the Frenkels’ portfolio is Fate Brewing Company, of which they’re the majority owners in the three current locations.NB|AZ has assisted in several capacities, including construction loans, permanent loans and equipment financing.
The personal relationship works both ways, according to James “Jimmy” Gaudiano, NB|AZ Regional Commercial Manager, who started working with the Frenkels as a junior banker more than 15 years ago.
“There’s a trust level that, if one of us wants to execute on something, we’ll make it happen,” he says. “Tom has always advocated for NB|AZ, such as providing referrals, and he’s a great sounding board. He’s also a deal junkie. He wants to know what’s going on, how to do it right, who’s done it. And he’s incorporated that in every aspect of their businesses.”
Going forward, the Frenkels plan to perpetuate their success formula. “A frothy market requires being selective, but we have six or seven projects going now in Scottsdale and Phoenix,” Tom says, noting that their son Max is part of the development team. “Everything needs to be within our niche—buy something, create value and hold it forever. NB|AZ has shown confidence in us through good times and bad, and they’re always there for us when we need them.”
*See a banker for details. Loans subject to SBA approval. Restrictions apply.