Downtown Phoenix has transformed over recent years with $4.6 billion dollars in public and private investments, including light rail, new hotel developments, restaurants, boutiques, Arizona State University and University of Arizona campus expansions, Phoenix Convention Center, and a growing number of residential developments.
In concert with the downtown Phoenix renaissance, renovations have been completed at the midcentury modern 18-story office building, known as The Monroe Building. The improvements are already attracting and retaining highly coveted tenants, some of which have yet to be announced. The new occupants of The Monroe Building are a healthy mix of new to downtown office users like high growth technology and innovation businesses, along with traditional downtown office users like real estate, government and legal.
Move-in ready creative offices on a single creative office floor, are the latest transformative and restorative improvements at The Monroe Building. The creative office build-out is, aiming to provide office space today for the businesses of tomorrow, catering to the increasing demand for highly specialized, modern, open and flexible office spaces designed for the way the knowledge base workers and businesses of the future want to work.
“The Monroe Building continues to be an exemplar in our mission as a City to attract and retain companies in high growth industries,” said Christine Mackay, Economic Development Director with the City of Phoenix. “The vision and effort behind the renovation and repositioning of The Monroe Building as a highly forward-thinking office hub for these kinds of businesses has played a crucial role in our efforts to make Downtown Phoenix a great place to work,” she said.
The Monroe Building is among the first towers in midtown and downtown to move forward with building out creative office suites at-risk without signed leases, and although other buildings may have remnant vacant space, any availability of creative office space is a byproduct after a previous tenant has moved out.
“High growth, innovative and technology oriented businesses needing to attract the next generation of talent have a different set of needs than traditional office tenants,” said Mathew Avrhami, Vice President at Rialto Capital and part of the ownership team with The Monroe Building. “These niche businesses are often on the cusp of rapid growth with exciting and disruptive technologies and they need office space that reflects their culture and meets their needs,” he said.
“We designed the Creative Offices to better reflect the trends shaping success in business today—inventive, team oriented, open, collaborative and flexible.”
According to the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, the concept of a traditional office building is long gone, making way for the kind of creative spaces that cater to highly sought-after knowledge-based companies, many of which employ primarily millennial workers between the ages of 25-40.
“The next generation of office workers want to be in a vibrant amenity-rich location with on-site retail, daylighting, indoor and outdoor breakout areas, and spaces for collaboration, all with hotel quality service. We have worked hard on our renovation of the building and development of our creative suites align with these key wants and needs,” Avrhami said.
The building initially planned to construct a completely renovated 6th floor and two Creative Office Suites. The two suites were immediately pre-leased before construction began, demonstrating the significant level of demand of this kind of workspace. To date three suites have been leased, and ownership is adding two more for a total of five suites all on the 6th floor—promoting cross-pollination and networking amongst neighbors.
Past improvements to The Monroe Building include renovations to the lobby with a wired community table, terrazzo floor restoration, resurfacing interior walls, addition of 24-7 news feed, water features and wi-fi. Surrounding the new lobby visitors will find a fully leased ground floor retail experience with coffee shop, wine shop, high end audio, artisan pizza, dental services and a fitness studio that opens Jan 1st. Accessing the property is easier, with garage valet service and the only building to offer pick-up and pay by text. Outside under the shaded overhang visitors can enjoy coffee in the newly landscaped exterior and take-in the museum quality vintage clothing window displays by Black Cat Vintage.
Modern, shared building amenities are essential for companies that aspire to create collaborative and social office culture celebrated by companies like Google, Facebook and Apple. Offering both an onsite coffee shop and wine shop, The Monroe Building has focused on creating a hip first-floor atmosphere that’s not only pedestrian friendly, but also only entirely comprised of local, boutique retailers. Other amenities include a number of conveniences and technologies like on-site property management, on-site security offering protection 24 hours per day-7 days per week, stylish conference facilities, free Wi-Fi common areas, high speed internet hookup, a parking structure beneath the building that features mobile app/text valet service and a convenient location near the Light Rail, providing numerous restaurants and hotels within walking distance. The high tech, modern aesthetic is the perfect atmosphere for entrepreneurial businesses that wish to encourage creativity and highly efficient business practices.
Incoming Creative Office tenants include entrepreneurial tenants like Allbound, Inspire Data Solutions and Cannon Design in a fully remodeled, inspired, mid-century classic setting. The building vision is resonating with tenants and prospective tenants alike. The first floor of The Monroe building is home to an eclectic mix of locally-owned retail-oriented businesses including Hidden Track Bottle Shop, Mornin’ Moonshine, Esoteric Audio and Black Cat Vintage. A boutique dental office, a new fitness studio and a rebranded restaurant are set to be announced later this year.