Landing the Plane

Landing the Plane

The Robertsons may be the Airpark’s most fascinating couple

By Sherry Jackson

He’s a successful San Francisco real estate developer. She’s an interior designer and amateur ball room dancer. And together they are making their mark on the Scottsdale Airpark.

Scott and Nancy Robertson reside in the Silverleaf golf community and enjoy the benefits of the Airpark. Scott is a pilot, flying his six-seater TBM turboprop jet between the couple’s homes in Scottsdale and San Francisco and to Nancy’s pro-am dance competitions across the country.

Scott grew up in San Francisco, developing properties exclusively in the bay area. Nancy was a snowbird from Minnesota and built a successful interior design firm, Nancy Harris Interior Design, in Scottsdale. He also developed hotels Valleywide.

They met via Match.com while Scott was in Manhattan visiting his daughter and Nancy was in San Francisco with her daughter. Each went onto the popular dating site looking for a dinner companion. A few weeks later, both were in San Francisco, Nancy at her summer home, and Scott at his house in Presidio Heights, when they had their first date. Turns out, they lived less than four blocks away from each other. That was in August 2013. They hit it off right away, bonding over politics and a shared perspective of life in general. They were married less than two years later, May 2015, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

They’re a good match. Both are easy going with a great sense of humor. Nancy is very professional, organized, calm and has good taste whereas he’s just a “meat and potatoes, nuts and bolts, seat of the pants kind of guy who loves demo,” Scott says.

“I’m not that trainable so she tries to keep me in line and tells me to ‘land the plane’ when I need to slow it down,” he jokes.

Scott really got to know the Airpark while the couple was dating.

“It was 2014 and coming into the market here, I knew I had an advantage. It was still a down market, and I had San Francisco 1031 exchange money. I would drive around, looking at properties and talk to brokers,” says Scott, referring to IRS code 1031. 

“Nancy was a great help in understanding the Airpark,” he says. “She knew the area and the buildings. Like when we saw the Redfield building, she said it was a workhorse and would always be occupied. She was right.”

They now own four commercial properties in the area — the Turnstone Office Park on Perimeter Boulevard, another office building at 15011 N. 75th Street, another a retail warehouse at 7848 E. Redfield Road and an industrial property at 7432 E. Tierra Buena Lane. They’ve also recently sold Nancy’s former home in Silverleaf and purchased a new home they are renovating on the 17th fairway in Silverleaf’s Horseshoe Canyon, closer to the clubhouse.

“His timing was impeccable,” says John Quatrini, broker with Shell Commercial.

“He is changing the face of the Airpark. One of his latest projects is the building behind the Scottsdale Quarter and directly in front of the Scottsdale Airpark Aviation Center. He gutted the building and is remodeling it from the ground up. He is dramatically enhancing the aesthetics on the outside of the building to make a statement, which he knows is important to attract tenants. Scott is sparing no expense to make a statement and his mark on the Scottsdale Airpark.”

Nancy and Scott are passionate Republicans and say they intend to become more active in local Arizona politics now that Scott is an official, voting Arizona resident. Together they are planning to host a fundraiser later this year for the Airpark’s incumbent Rep. David Schweikert. They are proud supporters of the GOP House Freedom Caucus, Schweikert and Dr. Kelli Ward, who is running for Arizona GOP chairman in 2020. Scott served as a Trump delegate from California’s 13th congressional district in San Francisco during the 2016 convention. Nancy and Scott met Trump at a rally and attended an intimate dinner during his campaign.

In North Scottsdale, Scott’s on a mission to help establish regulations requiring real estate signs to be removed when listings are sold or no longer available.

“These Realtors have signs out there that are so rusty and old that they’re corroded and falling off their hinges,” he says. “Brokers have confided in me that they keep their signs out there for free advertising, but it sends the wrong message.”

Nancy and Scott are in their early 60s, with three adult children and two grandkids in California and Scottsdale. The couple divides their time between Scottsdale and San Francisco, spending about six months of the year at each location in addition to traveling frequently.

Nancy says she is happy being a homemaker, wife, mother and grandmother and jokes she’d like to retire again and slow down a little. But with renovations of their new home in Silverleaf and building a second home on Belvedere Island, that doesn’t seem to be anytime soon. Scott is still very active developing properties in the San Francisco area and Nancy does design work for those properties in addition to their Airpark commercial buildings.

“Arizona is amazing, and the Airpark is a fantastic place to be,” Scott says. “The Airpark is the hottest submarket in Arizona—the sky’s the limit. For me though, I’m just happy being a happy, successful guy that has something to say and can get things done. I’m thrilled to be happily married and to be middle aged with time to still do the things I want to do, and that Nancy and I finally have a chance to get everything we’ve ever wanted out of life.” ν