What was formerly a 16,000-square-foot bookstore for the many Arizona State University students is now The Wedge, an 11,800-square-foot adaptive reuse retail hub in Tempe.

Originally built in the 1970s, the flesh-tone brick bookstore located at 1015 S. Rural Rd., was retooled into retail space for up to six tenants. It stands as an example of a successfully completed adaptive reuse project.

Mark Davis and Jenifer Davis Lunt at Davis Enterprises are the developers behind The Wedge. Davis Enterprises has worked on other retail projects in the Valley such as a four building retail and office plaza at 4700 N. Central Ave. in Central Phoenix, which is home to Hula’s Modern Tiki.

Mark says the City of Tempe has an adaptive reuse ordinance, which helped preserve most of the original building. It helped transform the building into something unique and brings a fresh look to the area that’s known for drive-through businesses.

The ordinance also helped preserve most of the existing building, which was a win for Davis Enterprises in terms of sustainability and lowering construction costs.

Beal Derkenne Construction served as the project’s contractors and Tomecak Design as its architects.

During construction, some of the building’s depth was knocked back from 100 feet deep to 75 feet deep, which creates an ideal depth for retail tenants, Jenifer says.

A metallic façade was added around the brick of the building to give it more vibrancy and texture. The façade naturally rusts and weathers with time, giving the building a rustic and historic look to mimic the appearance it would have if it had survived all the changes to Tempe over the years.

Five of the six tenant spaces are already leased out and include: Z Pizza Tap Room, The Halal Guys, Even Stevens Sandwiches, Ahipoki Bowl and Kingdom Bicycles.

Mark says they delivered just a shell for the tenants, so each tenant can customize its space to its liking. But parts of the shell were made with retail in mind.

Knocking out part of the building’s back added more space for parking, and Davis Enterprises installed individual interceptors for drainage.

And location? The Wedge is ideally located, right across from ASU and its Barrett Residential Complex. And just down the road, Cholla Hall is being knocked down, and ASU is replacing the facility with an even bigger resident option for students.

“Retail loves density, and the density in the area has been growing substantially,” Mark says.