City officials chose the P.B. Bell Companies/Davis Enterprises collaboration from among seven bidders seeking to redevelop Barrister Place and two adjacent parcels on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Jefferson Street. The collaborators’ plans call for an adaptive-reuse renovation effort that centers on creating and operating a boutique mixed-use community on the site. Special emphasis will be placed on preserving the building’s historic façade while modernizing the interior to carry it, and the accompanying development, into the future.
“The Barrister building is an iconic piece of downtown Phoenix history and we are honored to be involved in helping write its next chapter,” said Mike Trueman, vice president of development for P.B. Bell Companies.
Originally opened in 1915 as the Jefferson Hotel, the six-story, concrete-and-brick Barrister Place once was hailed as the state’s tallest building. The City of Phoenix acquired the building in 1990 and used it to house offices and the Phoenix Police Museum before moving those operations and closing the building in 2010. But, perhaps the building’s most famous role was a cameo shot in the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic horror film, “Psycho.”
Trueman said P.B. Bell and Davis Enterprises, like the Barrister building, have deep roots in the Phoenix community, making the team an ideal match for the redevelopment project. The collaboration aligns two long-time, family-owned investment and development companies. Logan Van Sittert, a notable architect, is also a partner and principal on the project with Davis Enterprises.
P.B. Bell Companies was founded by Phil Bell in 1976 with a goal of becoming a leader in the multi-family acquisitions, development and property management industry. Davis Enterprises has been investing in and developing retail and office space in Arizona since 1948. The company, which focuses primarily on high-density infill redevelopment and multi-tenant space, is now managed by the third generation.
“We are two legacy companies working together on a legacy project,” said Mark Davis, partner, Davis Enterprises. Circle West Architects of Phoenix rounds out the development and design team.
Following construction, P.B. Bell Companies will market and property manage the residential and commercial spaces, and Davis Enterprises will oversee leasing for the retail space.