Phoenix Council OKs Grand Avenue Adaptive Reuse Project

Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal on January 10, 2019
A National Guard armory in Phoenix is expected to be transformed into an artist space.

Phoenix City Council on Wednesday gave the stamp of approval for an adaptive reuse project that will transform a Cold War-era armory into offices, warehouse space and living areas for artists and skilled workers.

Jay Visconti of California-based Northwood Properties plans to adaptively reuse the main armory building, located on 17th Avenue and Roosevelt Street, which was used to store ammunition, hold training drills, repair equipment and other National Guard operations. The building has some administrative offices and a cantina. Visconti plans to convert the exiting offices into creative spaces for artists and skilled craftworkers.

Over the summer, Visconti spoke to the Phoenix Business Journal about his vision for the project, noting that he has specialized in giving old buildings new uses, and the armory’s location has become an ideal place for artists who have been priced out of the downtown core.

“I want to create an artist community, kind of an oasis within the city,” Visconti said at the time.

The city’s historic preservation commission unanimously recommended that Council approve the project during its hearing in November.

The site plans include eventually developing new buildings on the western portion of the property, which could include “maker space” and multifamily housing.