Blog Archives

Oakville Grocery to open downtown Phoenix CityScape store

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — A posh specialty-food store inspired by California’s wine country plans to open a second Arizona location.  Oakville Grocery Co. will open a shop in downtown Phoenix’s CityScape project, company officials announced Monday.

It will replace another proposed CityScape store, AJ’s Fine Foods.  AJ’s parent company, Chandler-based Bashas’ Supermarkets Inc., sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

Oakville is slated to open this September in a 9,300-square-foot space near Jefferson Street and Central Avenue.  In December, the company opened a shop at 15015 N. Scottsdale Road in the Scottsdale Quarter, an outdoor shopping center.  Oakville is selective about where it opens stores, said the firm’s regional general manager, Barbara Henderson, and it wanted to be in downtown Phoenix.

CityScape is a $900 million cluster of shops, offices and restaurants bordered by First Avenue, Second Street, Washington Street and Jefferson Street. [Note: Read the full article at Oakville Grocery to open downtown Phoenix CityScape store.]

Bashas’ asks to void lease at downtown Phoenix CityScape project

[Source: Max Jarman, Arizona Republic] — Bashas’ Inc. has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to void its leases on planned AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City stores in Phoenix and El Mirage.  Bashas’ earlier signed leases for stores in the CityScape development in downtown Phoenix and in a retail center at Thunderbird and Dysart roads in El Mirage.  Work has not started on the stores, and Bashas’, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since July, contends it would be a financial hardship to move forward with the new stores.

In bankruptcy, the court has the power to terminate leases with no repercussions to the tenant. Bashas’ earlier notified the prospective landlords of their intent not to occupy the stores.   At $28.50 per square foot, the CityScape lease for 9,500 square feet would have cost $271,000 per year, and the El Mirage lease at $12.15 per square foot for 55,000 square feet would have cost $668,000 per year, according to court documents.

Since filing for Bankruptcy Court protection, Bashas’ has closed or decided not to go forward with more than 30 stores.  More stores could be closed under terms of the Chapter 11 reorganization plan the company is expected to file with the court later this month.  The plan is said to include the Basha family’s continued ownership of the chain and the closure of an unspecified number of additional stores.   [Note: Read the full article at Bashas’ asks to void lease at downtown Phoenix CityScape project.]

Six new restaurants join downtown Phoenix CityScape project

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Six restaurants, two boutiques, and a law firm will join a $900 million project that is under construction in downtown Phoenix.  CityScape is a cluster of businesses that will include an office tower, shops, eateries, a hotel, and 165 condos.  The first parts of the project are expected to open in Spring 2010.  The project is bordered by First Avenue, Second Street, Washington Street, and Jefferson Street.

Today, developer RED Development LLC, announced that a 27-story CityScape office building had reached a key construction milestone.  The tower has topped out, which means that it has reached its final height of 368 feet.  The developer also revealed the names of several restaurants that will lease space in the project.  They are:

  • An Asian noodle shop, and a Mexican style restaurant by chef Aaron May.  May has had a hand in several Valley establishments, including Sol y Sombra and Autostrada.
  • A breakfast restaurant.  Kyle Shivers, plans to open a second branch of his popular Scottsdale breakfast and lunch spot, The Breakfast Club.
  • Blu Burger Grille, a restaurant that boasts a “unique, high quality burger experience.”  The business has four metro Phoenix locations.
  • Press Coffee, a local coffee, food, and wine shop.
  • Mojo, a yogurt shop.

Two clothing stores – Scottsdale-based Designer District and fashion boutique Republic of Couture – will open locations in CityScape, RED officials said.  Law firm Gus Rosenfeld has also joined the project, they added.  Other businesses have already announced plans to open CityScape shops. That includes restaurateur Sam Fox, who plans to create a Beverly Hills-style chop house, grocery store AJ’s Fine Foods, CVS/Pharmacy, Urban Outfitters, and Gold’s Gym.  [Note: Read the full article at Six new restaurants join downtown Phoenix CityScape project]

Downtown Phoenix CityScape project: then and now

Graphic from the December 17, 2008 Arizona Republic.  Click on the graphic for a better view.

Site plan of the CityScape block formerly occupied by Patriots Square Park, looking north.  Corresponds to #1, #2, and #3 in the Arizona Republic graphic above.  Click on the site plan for a better view.