Tag Archives: Southwest Architectural Builders

Luhrs, WEB

The Luhrs endures: Adaptive reuse, retail breathe life into iconic downtown building

Nestled among the steel and glass high rises in downtown Phoenix, the Luhrs Building stands as a symbol of the iconic brick-and-mortar structures that once graced the inner city.

As the City of Phoenix embraces the concept of adaptive reuse, the Luhrs Building, constructed in 1924 at a cost of $553,000, is part of this trend to repurpose existing buildings with retail or office additions.

According to the City of Phoenix website, the number of adaptive reuse projects – renovating buildings and turning them into new spaces – has increased since it started its adaptive reuse program in 2008. There were 17 projects in the first year. That number jumped to 48 in 2013.

“Historic, unique buildings are excellent prospects for adaptive reuse,” says Summer Jackson, associate director with the retail services division at Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, the brokerage firm handling the retail leasing assignment for the Luhrs Building.

“Many restaurateurs are taking advantage of these spaces to create new concepts that cater to the demand in the area. It’s an opportunity to do something innovative – something different,” Jackson adds.

Bitter & Twisted

Bitter & Twisted

One such establishment that has taken advantage of the opportunity is the Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 W. Jefferson. Owner Ross Simon says he was looking for a space with a great history and some genuine “wow factor.” A space, he says, that had a real city feel for a concept that would be at home in any major city around the world.

“Also something that could lend itself well to the cocktail-centric concept,” Simon adds.

Adaptive reuse is evident elsewhere around Phoenix. Some of the more notable examples include:
>> Culinary Dropout at the Yard, a former motorcycle dealership built in the 1950s on 7th Street;

>> Taco Guild at Old School O7, the former Bethel Methodist church on Osborn Road;

>> Southern Rail and Changing Hands bookstore at the Newtown Phx, the former Beef Eaters restaurant built in 1961 on Camelback Road;

>> Windsor and Churn, which share a restored 1940s building on Central Ave.

“Consumers are looking for an experience,” says Courtney Auther Van Loo, Associate Director with the Retail Services Division at Cushman & Wakefield. “While maintaining historical architecture styles and a building’s unique iconography, developers and tenants have created one-of-a-kind experiences and breathed new life into these landmarks. This style of reuse combines a contemporary feel with a touch of the classic.”

When he was selecting a site, Simon says he wasn’t necessarily looking for a space in an adaptive reuse project. “But after I revisited the space and thought about the layout a bit more to know it would work, I was sold on it,” he says.

Bitter & Twisted, as well as Subway sandwich shop have become retail tenants at the Luhrs Building.

“I had a real idea of what I wanted the overall place to look and feel like from an operational standpoint and from a guest experience point of view,” says Simon, who adds that Bar Napkins Production worked on the initial layout and all the architectural plans. Southwest Architectural Builders was the general contractor.

As the light rail whizzes by the Luhrs Building on Jefferson, it’s evident a sense of “newness” is also being felt downtown. An $80 million, 19-story hotel – the 320-room Luhrs City Center Marriott – breaks ground later this year at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Central Avenue.

The project is being developed by the Hansji Corporation of Anaheim, Calif. It’s the same family-owned company that purchased the “Luhrs Block” in 2007.  For the past 38 years, Hansji Corp. has developed more than 2MSF of office, retail and hotel space.

“It (the Luhrs Block, which also includes the Luhrs Tower) was really our first historical building,” says company President Rajan Hansji. “We knew it was something special. You can’t recreate this. It’s history. It gave me a new appreciation (for historical properties).”

Hansji says he is pleased with the outcome of Bitter & Twisted and its historical feel, including exposed original walls and beams.

“That corner is going to define the block,” Hansji says. “It (Bitter & Twisted) will be the catalyst for the rest of the block. It’s an amazing and unique space. The hotel’s exterior will utilize different brick colors and utilize the Luhrs’ history.”

University of Phoenix - Sperling Center

New University Of Phoenix Campus Opens, Offers Technologically Advanced Classrooms

The University of Phoenix unveiled its new, one-of-a-kind campus — the John Sperling Center for Educational Innovation.

This award-winning facility provides students with technologically advanced, yet practical learning environments, or “classrooms without boundaries.”

The campus, at 1625 Fountainhead Parkway, Fountainhead Corporate Center, in Tempe, celebrated its grand opening yesterday. Fountainhead won the 2012 RED Award for Best Office Project. Its designer, DAVIS, was named Architect of the Year.

“The innovation at this new campus embodies the foundation of what University of Phoenix prides itself in delivering to its students – an education without boundaries,” said Bill Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix.

Technologically advanced classrooms called “Classrooms Without Boundaries” were designed with practicality at top-of-mind for students. The walls are writable surfaces, as well as the desktops, which flip to vertical positions allowing for easy presentations. Through use of eBeam® technology, instructors and students can work directly from projected computer screen images on the walls where they can open files, click on tabs or images, drag and drop files, etc., with the use of a special “pen.” The use of telepresence in these classrooms can extend programs/instruction into smaller, remote campuses and communities, such as in Yuma,  where testing is already underway.

“The ‘Classrooms Without Boundaries’ are real working classrooms but also labs for experimenting, developing and adopting new teaching technologies and techniques. Ideas that prove successful here are rolled out to programs and other campuses,” said David Fitzgerald, Phoenix campus director. “Even though these are physical classrooms at a physical campus, they’re all about having an education without barriers – our students are going to class on campuses or on their iPhone®, iPad® and laptops from their kitchen, workplace and local coffee shops.”

The campus not only offers highly advanced classrooms to students, but also gives visitors innovative experiences that showcase what the university is all about. From the lobby, through hallways to a large briefing/media room, the first floor of this 10-story building, (through a mixed use of technology, graphics and artistic design) tells the story of the university through “experiences” such as touch and learn panels, life-size progressive videos, and interactive maps. “These experiences were designed to offer fun, yet informative narratives of the university telling who we are, who we serve, how we do it, where we are going and what it means to potential students,” Fitzgerald said.

The John Sperling Center for Educational Innovation now serves as the main campus for  Metro Phoenix with numerous other campus locations throughout the Valley. The campus also houses traditional classrooms, a state-of-the-art nursing lab, a counseling center that lets students serve real families and individuals, a student advisement center, The Rev Café, a student resource center with computer workstations and group study rooms, video booth labs that let students work on and improve presentations and the usability lab where University staff facilitate end-user observations and real-time product design.

The Apollo Group Real Estate and Facilities team enlisted architecture and construction firms for this project. Besides DAVIS, construction was a joint effort between Sundt Construction (shell and tenant improvement) and Southwest Architectural Builders.

For more information about University of Phoenix, visit their website at www.phoenix.edu.

red-banner

Best Redevelopment Project 2010

300 M

The 300 M redevelopment project reused an existing building and transformed it into a modern, functional focal point for the neighborhood. With an extremely limited budget, Studio Darek transformed the 1950’s-era structure into an urban mixed-use building, designed around the needs of a community of high-energy residents. A theme that dominates the transformation of the building is the attention to resourcefulness, the creation of innovation, and quality with minimal cost. The floor plan allows flexibility of space use, with multiple sustainable features incorporated throughout the facility’s entire design.

Developer: Studio Darek
Contractor:
Studio Darek
Architect:
Studio Darek
Broker:
HomeSmart: Steffy Hristova
Size:
5,643 SF
Location:
300 E. Moreland St., Phoenix
Completed:
December 2009

Honorable Mention: Phoenix Country Club ModernizationBest Redevelopment Project 2010

Developer: Phoenix Country Club

Contractor: • Exterior: Macada Construction

• Interior: S.A.B./Southwest Architectural Builders

Architect: DPA Architects

Size: 65,000 SF

Location: 2901 N. 7th St., Phoenix

Completed: March 2009


AZRE Red Awards March 2010 | Previous: Retail Project | Next: Tenant Improvement Project