Lincoln Property Company (LPC) has earned the 2017 Best of NAIOP “Redevelopment Project of the Year” for Luhrs City Center, a National Historic Landmark that incorporates 157,735 square feet of office and retail space, along with a Class A parking garage, at the southwest corner of 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
Since acquiring Luhrs in December 2015, LPC has been actively renovating, repositioning, maintaining and marketing the property, currently at approximately 80 percent leased and pushing toward full occupancy.
“The objectives at Luhrs were both physical and operational,” said Lincoln Property Company Executive Vice President David Krumwiede. “On one hand, we were uncovering the original, vintage charm of the project’s interiors, which required the deconstruction of decades of drywall and plaster. At the same time, there was an immediate need for institutional-quality ownership and management practices, which we were able to establish during our first year of ownership. These efforts happened in tandem, and continue to add value.”
In this process, LPC:
- Revealed original red brick interiors and exposed beams.
- Re-introduced a full floor of previously non-cash-flow office space.
- Positioned 15,995 square feet of fully renovated, ground floor retail space for immediate lease.
- Returned the Luhrs garage to Class A institutional-quality via resurfacing, new lighting and signage.
Other areas of renovation include streetscape improvements that capitalize on this dynamic, walkable mixed-use environment, and many items that can’t be seen but that improve everyday creature comforts, including new plumbing, electrical and elevator mechanics, a new boiler system and renovated HVAC pumps and fans that improve the even distillation of conditioned air.
“Between its mixed-use elements, original Art Deco styling and Spanish Colonial influences, Luhrs is not only an aesthetic symbol of downtown Phoenix’s early years, but is what tenants are once again looking for in a premier creative work environment,” said Doug Klocke, Lincoln Property Company Director of Development and Construction Management. “This is a kind of historic influence that you can’t achieve with new construction, particularly at such a prime downtown location.”
Originally delivered in the 1920s, Luhrs sits within a city block that offers direct Phoenix Light Rail access, is home of the nationally renowned Bitter & Twisted cocktail parlour, and includes the nearly-completed, 19-story Luhrs City Centre Marriott. The first building at the property, Luhrs Building, was delivered in 1924 as Phoenix’s first 10-story high rise. The 14-story Luhrs Tower was delivered in 1929, and for decades remained the tallest building in the Southwest. Additional construction followed, including the Luhrs Retail Arcade and Luhrs Garage. Maintaining the historic considerations of these buildings was top of mind during renovation, and included items such as exterior preservation and signage.
General contracting and architectural services at Luhrs were provided by a team of award-winning vendors, including Whiting-Turner, Willmeng, Wespac, Dick & Fritsche Design Group and Gensler & Associates. Jerry Jacobs and Steven Callahan from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank are the property’s exclusive office space leasing team. Courtney Auther Van Loo of Phoenix Commercial Advisors represents the building’s retail leasing space.