The former Crown Imports building on 7th St., between Missouri and Bethany Home in Central Phoenix, is getting a major facelift. Dan Noma, Jr., principal of Venture REI, has joined real estate development veterans Buzz Gosnell and Niels Kreipke in investing $6 million to redevelop the mixed-use project.

The project will be renamed Crown on 7th and will include 18,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, open air patio dining areas and 144 parking spots. A central, lushly landscaped courtyard will serve as the heart of the complex, which will include private patios for the restaurant concepts. The development team purchased the project last year for $1.8 million. Construction began in November, 2014, tenant improvements will begin next month and a grand opening is tentatively slated for late summer 2015.

Crown on 7th 1

Venture REI, Noma’s brokerage firm specializing in commercial and residential investment properties, is handling leasing the nine tenant suites.

“We’re focused on leasing to unique restaurant tenants and specialty retailers that will bring value to the neighborhood and local residents,” said Noma. “We see a lot of opportunity in this area and plan to be involved in this property for a long time to come.”

Okra, the Crudo team’s new concept, is Crown on 7th’s first confirmed restaurant tenant, which will offer a mix of southern cooking and signature Italian food.

“Years ago, I used to box in Mack’s Boys Gym in this very building,” said Gosnell. “I’m a native Phoenician, and have always loved this area. I want to help it thrive.”

In addition to focusing on redeveloping and leasing the Crown on 7th project, the development trio is actively pursuing other adaptive reuse projects in the same area.

“We’re interested in properties that can have a long-lasting positive impact in the community,” said Kreipke. “Our goal is to pay homage to the original architecture and history of the area, while making significant improvements utilizing today’s building standards and materials.”

Crown on 7th 2More information about the project principals:
·         Dan Noma is principal of Venture REI, a Chandler, Arizona-based full-service real estate brokerage firm specializing in residential and commercial investment properties.
·         Buzz Gosnell is former president of Woodbine Southwest Corp., which developed the Kierland master-planned community, including the Westin Kierland Resort and Kierland Commons project in Scottsdale.
·         Niels Kreipke is owner of the Desert Viking family of companies, which is primarily focused on the real estate industry. Kreipke was responsible for much of the redevelopment of downtown Chandler from a boarded up historic square, to a thriving entertainment and restaurant destination area. He also redeveloped numerous projects in the Roosevelt District near Downtown Phoenix, including the Historic Gold Spot Center that currently houses Pita Jungle, Lola Coffee and other tenants.

Crown on 7th is located at 5813 N. 7th St. Brick & West designed the project, Alexander Building Company is the contractor, and Arizona Bank & Trust is the lender.