Tag Archives: PHX Architecture

BSF_Phoenix Rendering

Molina will open Black, Starr & Frost in Phoenix

Newport  Beach-based Black, Starr & Frost – America’s First Jeweler since 1810 – has announced that it has begun the first step in its planned national expansion, commencing construction on a new Phoenix location at 3134 E. Camelback Rd. in the Biltmore Plaza Shopping Center.

World-renowned gemologist and jeweler Alfredo J. Molina acquired the iconic firm, Black, Starr & Frost, in 2006, and in 2011, opened a beautifully appointed showroom overlooking the Newport Beach harbor in Southern California. He is now keenly focused on expanding the historic brand – which in its heyday had more than 30 locations – into key U.S. markets.

According to Molina, president and chairman of both Molina Fine Jewelers and Black, Starr & Frost, the new store will be located in the prestigious Biltmore area within the existing Molina Fine Jewelers building. The southern portion of the structure will be completely transformed and renovated to make way for the new two-story, 2,000-square-foot Black, Starr & Frost salon. The architect of record is PHX Architecture, an experienced firm that is additionally overseeing interior design of the luxury salon. Scottsdale-based Angelone Builders is leading the construction with Berghoff Design Group, also headquartered in Scottsdale, spearheading the exterior landscape design. The new store is slated for completion early this fall 2015.

“We are thrilled to expand our footprint into Arizona and see the Phoenix and Scottsdale area as a perfect market for our rare jewels, luxury Black, Starr & Frost timepieces and finely crafted jewelry,” Molina said. “This is an important step as we continue to focus on revitalizing the Black, Starr & Frost brand with new collections, signature piece and new locations nationwide.”

Founded in New York City in 1810, Black, Starr & Frost is the oldest continually operated jewelry firm in the United States. According to lead architect and PHX principal Erik Peterson, the new store will evoke the original feel of its early New York City locations.

With this in mind, “our team gleaned inspiration from a composite of vintage photos taken of Black, Starr & Frost stores throughout the 1800s and at the turn of the century.” The end results, he says, will be “simple, clean interiors in the brand’s palette with gleaming black and white tile floors, fine sterling silver accents – a nod to the company’s early work as silversmiths – and walls clad in black-on-black patterned wallpaper.” Exquisite jewels and fine jewelry, all housed in classic glass and silver casework, are the focal point of the new space – with additional casework recessed into walls.

Additional highlights will include:

  • Intricate front door hardware patterned after a signature Black, Starr & Frost emerald and diamond brooch – hinting at the beautiful jewelry within.
  • A large plate glass front window displaying jewelry to the outside (Black, Starr & Frost was an innovator, being the first retailer to show merchandise to the outside of a building, essentially launching window shopping.)
  • Jewelry casework inspired by the much-talked about 1912 building.
  • A classic and enclosed outdoor front patio for special events and parties featuring a water element that combines fire and water.
  • An in-store display showcasing early photos, antiques and original pieces, all depicting the jeweler’s colorful 205-year history.
  • An upstairs salon designed to accommodate VIPs and allow private viewings of rare pieces.
  • A safety deposit box system contained within the salon’s vaults providing safe-keeping of clients’ valuables. (The firm invented the safety box system during the Civil War to keep valuables of clients from the North and the South safe during war.)

A jeweler to celebrities, presidents, privileged American families and royalty, Black, Starr & Frost’s saga is set against the extravagance of the Gilded Age, the turbulence of the Reconstruction Era, the vibrancy of the Jazz Age and more.

“We are thrilled to unveil this beautiful new salon, which will pay homage to our vibrant history and time-honored tradition of crafting the very finest jewelry,” Molina said.

Along with magnificent one-of-a-kind jewels and everyday luxury collections including timepieces, the new store will feature custom jewelry design and manufacturing; a VIP concierge; cleaning and inspection; fine jewelry repair; jewelry appraisals; private appointments; and estate jewelry.

123rf.com:  Elnur Amikishiyev

SAAR’s headquarters named ‘Best Rehab Office Project’

The Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors® (SAAR), a trade organization headquartered in Scottsdale for the past 50 years, recently repurposed an existing vacant building in Scottsdale’s Perimeter Center to use as its new headquarters.

Growth of the 8,000-member organization prompted the move from SAAR’s longtime home in Downtown Scottsdale. It purchased the vacant building at 8600 E Anderson Dr last year, and moved into the finished facility in January 2015.

The project is being honored at the 52nd Annual Gold Nugget Awards as “Best Rehab Office Project”, acknowledging Wespac Construction, PHX Architecture, and Iconic Design Group for their involvement in the project.

“We are honored that our headquarters was chosen for this prestigious award,” said Sue Barnes, 2015 Chairman of the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors®. “Our volunteers, staff and partners spent many hours planning, designing and building our new headquarters. We are pleased to have the hard work be recognized at a national event.”

The finished building is called ‘Venue8600’. The second floor office suites are fully leased. The first floor of the building is reserved for corporate events and meetings. It also features a café run by Ciao Baby Catering, which is open to tenants and the public.

“The SAAR headquarters is a tremendous asset for North Scottsdale and more particular for the Perimeter Center Business Park,” said Tom Knoell, Jr., Director of Commercial Leasing at Desert Troon Companies.  “Rebecca Grossman, SAAR CEO, and her team have infused new excitement and activity into the immediate area by transforming a once idle vacant building into a beautiful and useful destination with ample parking, event lawns, large outdoor patios, large/small meeting & event spaces, café, and all the technological advances which will allow this building to be relevant for many years to come.”


Fractured Prune

PHX Architecture designs ASU doughnut shop

PHX Architecture has completed designs for a new doughnut shop near Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus- Fractured Prune Doughnuts. The shop is located in Tempe on Veterans Way and College Avenue inside of the new University House residential high rise. The shop is expected to open in late January, just in time for the Super Bowl.

Fractured Prune, a unique doughnut shop based out of Ocean City, Maryland has become extremely popular in many states, and has prompted the expansion of locations into Arizona. The doughnut shop is known for their wonderful flavor combinations and unique name, which came from the story of the founder named Prunella Shriek, who is known by “Fractured Prunella” after breaking bones while competing athletically. The creative name and backstory along with the customized doughnuts provide for a truly unique experience soon to quickly take off in the Arizona area.

The Fractured Prune is a unique doughnut concept, where customers pick their own flavoring combinations for their doughnuts. With 19 different glazes and 13 different toppings, the flavors can range anywhere from marshmallow- bacon to blueberry-graham cracker and many more. According to their website, there are 155,648 flavor combinations possible, which includes their bestselling doughnut the OC Sand, which is a combination of honey glaze, cinnamon and sugar. This exclusive doughnut shop can turn even the most skeptical into doughnut lovers!

The design team was headed by PHX Architecture’s own Maurita Walker, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, and constructed by Salcito Construction. Other locations expected to be completed in January around the Valley include a Cityscape location in downtown Phoenix, and a Westgate location next to the AMC Theatres, both of which are expected to be completed in time for the Superbowl.

Rendering courtesy of PHX Architecture

Two Brothers Brewing Co. to open in Old Town Scottsdale

PHX Architecture is currently designing a new restaurant, bar and brewery located in Old Town Scottsdale for Illinois-based Two Brothers Brewing Company.

Formerly the SaddleRanch Chop House Restaurant, this renovation will bring a new brewery concept to the Old Town atmosphere, and have indoor and outdoor dining options, as well as an entire brewery system inside. Located on Scottsdale Road and Drinkwater Boulevard, this restaurant, brewery and bar is expected to be completed just in time for the Super Bowl.

Leading the project is PHX Architecture’s Erik Peterson, AIA, along with Jeff Prevost, AIA and Ivonek Badilla, AIT. The team at PHX Architecture is working alongside Platinum Commercial, Inc., Caruso Turley Scott Structural Engineers, NP Mechanical, NP Engineering, Redmond Food Service Planning, and Hinkley’s Lighting to collaborate on the project.

“This project will be a fantastic addition to the indoor/outdoor dining options and a great new brewery for Old Town Scottsdale,” said Erik Peterson, Principal of PHX Architecture. “We are working extensively with the consultants and clients on this project to ensure its completion for the timing of the upcoming Superbowl.”

Designs include a steel mezzanine which will showcase the intricate brewing system of five tanks and servers, a display meant to be the focal point for diners. Dining inside includes seating surrounding a bar underneath the mezzanine, as well as patio seating. With an urban feel, the interiors will include exposed ceilings, brick materials and concrete floors, providing the ultimate brewery feel.

Scottsdale Executive Office Center, Courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona

Scottsdale Executive Office Center signs new tenants

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. negotiated 21,085 square feet of new leases at Scottsdale Executive Office Center, 15880, 15990 and 16100 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop.

Ingram Micro, Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based firm, opened a technology incoming call center and occupies 14,926 SF. PHX Architecture relocated from a central Scottsdale location into 6,159 SF.

“The Scottsdale Executive Office Center meets the needs of tenants who require dense floor plans with 5.77:1000 ratio parking to go with it,” said Chris Nord, Associate Director with Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc.  “The bay depths allow for efficient floor plans and a 1 percent load factor keeps the required size of the premises smaller than competing office properties.”

Nord and Michael White of Cushman &Wakefield represented the landlord, Perry Investment Trust No. 1. Mark Seale of Cassidy Turley represented Ingram Micro. Victor Gilgan and Scott Fey of Omni America, LLC represented PHX Architecture.

Both tenants took occupancy this month, bringing the property to 87 percent leased. Other tenants include Trivita, Stella & Dot, MWA Intelligence, and Landmark Education.

PHX Architecture Summer Camp Students

PHX Architecture hosts summer camp

Each year PHX Architecture holds the PHX Arch Summer Camp, a two week experience for junior high school and high school students to get a feel for what a career in architecture is really like.

The camp session includes all of the day-to-day activities of an architect. Students learn skills such as Space Planning, Hand Rendering, 3D Modeling, Project Management, and much more. The program also includes tours of Taliesin West, ASU design buildings, and commercial and residential construction sites.

“It’s great to have the campers here to experience a real-life architecture firm,” said Nikal Conti, Principal at PHX Architecture. “It helps them to make the decision of pursuing a career in architecture and gives them a hands-on learning experience.”

The camp is held at PHX Architecture’s office in Scottsdale, AZ. For more information, visit www.phxarch.com.


Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community goes commercial

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community may have one of the best-located pieces of commercial real estate in the Phoenix Metro. It owns a 9.5-mile long area, known as the Pima Corridor, parallel to the Loop 101, a beltway connected to nearly all area freeways. Of that commercially zoned stretch, 143 acres remain undeveloped. Many Valley residents primarily associate the Talking Stick entertainment district with the Pima Corridor, the SRPMIC is seeking significant non-entertainment development within and without Talking Stick, including two charter schools and also procuring resources to update its existing data center.

“The SRPMIC is a pretty sophisticated community and as the community grows in population and business ventures, the adoption of technology also grows,” says SmithGroupJJR’s Technology Studio Leader Rob Sty. “[Records are] all stored electronically now. The community has gotten to the point that it needs to expand its data.”

As with any building on the community’s land, the data center must incorporate the culture’s aesthetic integrity. The challenge is that data centers, out of concern for security, tend to also be designed as background buildings.

“Architects and engineers do not always get to put that design element into a data center. It’s interesting for us,” Sty says, adding that designing a project for the SRPMIC was a community effort: “It’s a lot more interesting when all the groups are engaged. Everyone has a voice, and you come out with a better project.”

A Talking Stick is a contemporary representation of the traditional O’odham (Pima) calendar stick, on which carvers recorded significant events and milestones throughout the year. It is also the namesake of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s entertainment district, which comprises about half of the tribes’ commercial land reserves. Talking Stick is a 1.1 MSF entertainment district consisting of a casino, resort, golf course, spring training facility and retail center called The Pavilions. Opened in the ‘80s, the Pavilions represents the second carving on Talking Stick’s calendar — the first being the union of the two tribes who comprise the community. The bottom of the stick shows vacant space with room to grow — and one of the many projects underway this year and next may just be the next addition.

The 1.1MSF Talking Stick’s build-up is due to a pro-development attitude of the community leaders as well as developers keen on getting their foot in the door of a burgeoning entertainment district. Since much of the traffic speeds by Talking Stick at 65 mph, designing for the corridor requires those such as PHX Architecture’s Erik Peterson to not only create something fun to visit but also something eye-catching from afar.

Peterson’s design for The Cove Family Fun Center, a metallic mesh-wrapped building with blue accent lighting around it is certainly made to pique the attention of freeway passengers. The building has to capture your attention, he says of his recent work on The Cove Family Fun Center — a 60KSF entertainment center. The basket-like building is set to break ground on SRPMIC later this year. Nick Andrews, developer of The Cove, was drawn to the Salt-River Pima Indian Community for his first project on tribal land due to the community’s proactive reputation.

“They’re really pro-growth when it comes to developers like us who have an entertainment-related venue,” Andrews says.

Just in the last 12 months, Talking Stick has seen development of a Courtyard Marriott, OdySea projects, Top Golf and other attractions. Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez, marketing project manager of Talking Stick, says it’s a combination of tribal leadership and private developers’ vision for tourism and entertainment amenities that has led to its recent success.

“Our leadership always looks ahead seven generations,” McAnlis-Vasquez says, though the present is just as exciting.

Though the SRPMIC has a population of 6,000, Salt River Fields, built in 2009, has more than 12 annual events, some of which bring up to 15,000 guests. The proposed OdySea Aquarium, set to break ground later this year, is designed to accommodate 15,000 visitors a day and will be the largest aquarium in the Southwest. Leasing at the Pavilions is at 87 percent, up from 50 percent at the downturn of the recession.

The shopping center has also seen more than $17M in renovations. Though The Cove Family Fun Center hasn’t signed a lease yet, the 60KSF entertainment venue is working proactively with the tribe to open for business by summer 2015.

When the Pavilions at Talking Stick was built, it was the freshest take on retail super centers. As time passed, ownership and management changed hands and the center fell into disrepair. Marty De Rito and business partner Chuck Carlise scooped up the property for $85M in January 2008 with 85 percent of the property leased. In 10 months, the recession dropped vacancy to 50 percent. Six years later, De Rito is just now breaking even on its purchase.

“This property could have taken our company down,” Carlise says. “Fortunately, now we’re about 87 percent leased. The tribe has been phenomenal in assisting us with the renaissance of this property.”

Just like the road through the center of the Pavilions to SRF, it goes both ways.

It was De Rito who got wind of the Diamondbacks’ desire to move north for spring training in 2009, and Carlise attributes his partner to bringing what would be a catalyst for the entire district to Salt River Fields.

“It’s an interesting thing when you have non-retail activity going on at the center. Salt River Fields helped this property to survive,” Carlise says.

Though SRF was a catalyst for businesses built up around the area and meant a surge of restaurant interest in Pavilions space, there was still one more hurdle De Rito Partners looked to clear — alcohol.

Until 2010, the only establishments that could serve liquor on tribal land were the hotel, casino and golf course — all owned by SRPMIC. De Rito Partners couldn’t bring restaurant tenants to the Pavilions if they needed a liquor license. Now, there’s a Red Robin under construction as well as business with Buffalo Wild Wings.

“There was no barrier for entry after that,” Carlise says.

The other saving graces for the Pavilions — lending (De Rito’s lender was General Electric, a bit more flexible than a regulated bank would have been) and moving an office to the Pavilions.

“We’ve probably saved half a million dollars just being onsite,” Carlise says, adding that the added attention to the property is what has contributed to the Pavilions’ return to its potential.


OdySea Aquarium
odyseaDevelopment and Management Team: Amram Knishinsky, Martin Pollack and Rubin Stahl
General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
Architect: Deutsch Architecture Group
Location: Via De Ventura and the 101 in Scottsdale at
the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Size: 200KSF
Brokerage Firm: N/A
Value: $175M
Estimated completion date: 4Q 2015
The OdySea Aquarium will be the largest aquarium in the Southwest and in the unlikely setting of the Sonoran desert. The two-level facility will span more than 200KSF, and visitors will move to each level via acrylic tunnels while viewing animals of rivers and oceans in the world.

noah_websterNoah Webster School – Pima Campus
Developer: Noah Webster Schools & Salt River Devco
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Architect: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Location: Pima & Jackrabbit roads, Scottsdale
Size: 51,502 SF
Value: $5.4M
Completed date: July 2014
The two-story framed K-6 charter school facility will feature 32 classrooms, including music and art rooms, a multi-purpose gym with cafeteria and stage, office space, conference rooms, play fields and bus parking. The project has been in planning and design for a number of years and the groundbreaking represents a significant milestone for Noah Webster Basic School and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s STEM education.

Great Hearts Academy – Cicero Campus
great_heartsDeveloper: De Rito Partners Development
General Contractor: Chasse Building Team
Architect: Gensler
Location: NWC Loop 101 & Indian Bend Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Size: 85KSF
Brokerage Firm: Keyser/Mulhern Development Team
Value: $10M
Estimated completion date: July 2014
This nonprofit, tuition-free K-12 charter school will cater to 1,200 children in an area that was once occupied by a Chuck E. Cheese at the Pavilions Shopping Center. Phase I will accommodate students in grade K-7 and Phase II to 12th grade.

The Cove Family Fun Center
coveProject Name: The Cove Family Fun Center
Developer: Nick Andrews & David Prom
General Contractor: AR Mays Construction
Architect: PHX Architecture
Location: NEC of the Loop 101 Via de Ventura Interchange on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community
Size: 67KSF
Value: $13M
Estimated completion date: Summer 2015
The Cove Family Fun Center is slated to include 19 themed birthday/event rooms, laser tag, bowling, arcade games, laser tag and go-karts.

PHX Architecture

Michael Nielson, Gina Mathey Join PHX Architecture

PHX Architecture announced Wednesday it hired Michael Nielson as a senior project architect and Gina Mathey as an associate architect.
Nielson brings nearly 25 years of expe­ri­ence in a vari­ety of project types includ­ing upscale golf and resort projects, cus­tom res­i­den­tial, edu­ca­tional facil­i­ties and reli­gious archi­tec­ture. A native of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, he received his Bach­e­lor of Archi­tec­ture degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and holds licenses to prac­tice archi­tec­ture in Cal­i­for­nia and Ari­zona. Post-​graduate stud­ies include courses in golf course design, golf club­house design, and golf/​residential site plan­ning at Har­vard University’s Grad­u­ate School of Design. He is also a LEED-​Accredited Professional.

Nielson first came to Ari­zona 16 years ago to fol­low his pas­sion for golf club­house design and an appre­ci­a­tion for con­tem­po­rary desert archi­tec­ture. In that time, he’s played a major role in the design of a num­ber of acclaimed golf projects, includ­ing the Sil­ver­leaf Club­house, The Crosby at Ran­cho Santa Fe (Cal­i­for­nia), The Vil­las at Seven Canyons, Rio Verde Coun­try Club, DC Ranch and Quintero.

In recent years, Nielson has also devel­oped con­sid­er­able exper­tise in Char­ter Schools, design­ing more than a dozen new schools across the State, includ­ing the recently-​completed Villa Montes­sori School in Cen­tral Phoenix. What­ever the build­ing type or design style, Nielson brings an open mind and heart­felt enthu­si­asm to each new project. His col­lab­o­ra­tive style, tech­ni­cal exper­tise, and con­fi­dent pro­fes­sion­al­ism make him an effec­tive leader for both Com­mer­cial and Res­i­den­tial projects, espe­cially those with unique challenges.

Mathey is a licensed archi­tect in Mex­ico. She was born and raised in Mex­ico City, where she received her Bachelor’s in Archi­tec­ture from Uni­ver­si­dad Iberoamericana..

Gina has more than 12 years of expe­ri­ence in a range of build­ing typolo­gies which include res­i­den­tial, retail, stu­dent hous­ing, higher edu­ca­tion, med­ical clin­ics, reli­gious and mil­i­tary, Navy & Marine facilities.

Gina is an Inter­na­tional Asso­ciate Mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Architects.

PHX Architecture-designed Sedona estate, winner of a Gold Nugget Award.

PHX Architecture Receives 3 Award Of Merits At 50th Annual Gold Nugget Event


A trio of PHX Architecture projects — two residential and one commercial remodel — walked away with three honors at the 50th Anniversary of the Gold Nugget Awards.

The Gold Nugget Award is the symbol of recognition of the best work by architects, builders, developers and contractors in the business. It is juried by some of the best, and has been celebrating exceptionally designed and constructed projects for 50 years.

This year PHX Architecture entered three projects — two residential and one commercial remodel — to be judged. The jury panel was carefully selected by the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

More than 530 project entries were received for all 50 categories, and PHX Architecture earned Awards of Merit for all three submitted projects. It is an honor that distinguishes PHX Architecture from a very competitive field of submissions.

Entries included PHX Architecture’s design renovation to The Bench Restaurant (formally Club XIX) in The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Calif., with interiors by Vallone Design Group; a 6,000 SF custom home in Sedona constructed by Detar Construction; and a 4,000 SF custom home in North Scottsdale constructed by The Boos Group.

“It’s such an honor to be awarded Awards of Merit,” said Erik Peterson AIA, principal of PHX Architecture. “These three projects were so diverse and unique, and I am extremely proud of them.”

The Gold Nugget Awards are a centerpiece of PCBC — the Building Industry’s leading conference, trade show and meeting place. Combining the prestige of the awards themselves with the excitement of its Academy Awards-style presentation, these ceremonies feature music, entertainment and the exceptional visual presentation of winners.

The 50th Annual Gold Nugget Awards recognize builders, developers, architects, and land planners with communities and projects in the U.S. and all international countries. Eligible projects include any project or development that was open for sale, lease or rental from January 1, 2011 to April 15, 2013.

The Gold Nugget Awards began in 1963 at American Builder, for many years a national magazine of the building industry. They were conceived expressly for PCBC, to recognize builder/developer excellence throughout the U.S. and internationally. The old Nuggets became known as “Best In The West,” an accurate description of their trend-setting qualities and geographic reach.



PHX Architecture Offering 2-Week Summer Architecture Camp


PHX Architecture is offering junior high and high school students thinking about a career in architecture a summer camp this June.

Students who are not sure what an architect does and what is involved in the day-to-day activities of an architect are encouraged to enroll in the fun, educational program.

In this two-week camp, students will be introduced to all of the aspects of an architectural career.

Campers will experience the day-to-day activities of a working architecture office for two weeks, while learning from the architects on staff about the different skill sets needed for this career.

From computer programs to actual construction site visits, this comprehensive, hands-on learning experience will be exactly what students need in order to make a decision if this career is for them. The program Includes:

>> Career History

>> Local Architecture Tours

>> Space Planning

>> Green Architecture

>> Hand Rendering

>> 3D Modeling

>> AutoCad Drafting

>> Photoshop/InDesign

>> Project Management

>> Business Strategies

Summer camp attendees will observe the team of diversely talented professionals at PHX Architecture as they work on local and regional projects. Campers will observe the team’s design concepts and learn how to continually adapt, conform and respond to each project’s unique characteristics.

The two-week program runs from June 10-21 and includes lunches and a tour of Taliesin West, ASU and a construction site visit.

For more information and registration fee, email Jaclyn Mead at jaclynm@phxarch.com.