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.
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.”