By Matthew Roy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
A team of developers are in the early stages of plans to build on a prime parcel at the NWC of South College Avenue and 6th Street in Tempe. The 0.4-acre parcel is currently home to a two-story building, which houses an office and Hawaiian restaurant, next door to the 16-story University House apartments and kitty-cornered from Postino WineCafe.
“We want to add to what is already an ongoing great College Avenue resurrection,” said landowner Spike Lawrence. “It’s such an interesting and unique location. We are going to do something much more dynamic than what’s there now.”
Lawrence, along with project partners Macdonald Development Corporation (MDC) out of Vancouver, British Colombia, and ARC Construction of Phoenix, have started discussions with Arizona State University and the City of Tempe as they determine an appropriate use for the property. This will likely include a multi-story building with a retail component on the ground floor, though no designs have yet been drawn.
The project partners have not yet begun the process to entitle the property, but they are in discussions to select a designer. Once the entitlement process is complete, they plan to move forward with the city’s development process right away.
Lawrence purchased the parcel in 2001 and has held it for more than a decade, waiting for the right conditions to emerge. He is co-founder of Lawrence & Geyser Development Corp., which occupies the office building currently located on the property. With the renaissance that has been taking place around the university and along College Avenue in the past few years, he was eager to find suitable partners.
MDC had previously worked with ARC on the redevelopment of One Lexington, a 17-story condominium on Central Avenue in uptown Phoenix. Bill Borders of ARC is an equity partner on the project; he will keep a close on eye on construction, though his firm may not necessarily serve as GC for the development. A GC has not yet been selected.
The team will move forward with a design concept in the next few months.