Expansion Taking Shape at 32nd Street and Baseline Road
Baring any unexpected complications, February will mark the unveiling of the first tenant at The Shops at Raven, the boutique restaurant and retail center on the northeast corner of Baseline Road and 32nd Street. Tabbed for years as a promising spot for retail expansion, the intersection is finally seeing its first signs of commercial progress.
Steve Peitler, CEO of Gallagher’s Inc., plans to open his 7,500-square-foot sports grill by the second week of this month. The restaurant will feature a large patio with a full bar, a non-smoking dining room and an extensive menu, featuring oak-smoked ribs, chicken, pork and sirloin steaks, as well as “monstrous” salads. All items are made fresh.
“The facility is top-rate and really, really attractive,” he added.
The company established its roots in Phoenix as a bar, but Peitler is quick to point out that it has evolved into a full-service, sports-oriented restaurant. The South Mountain Village Gallagher’s will be the fifth Phoenix-area location.
“We went down and looked at the area and we’re as shocked as everybody else who hasn’t been down here in awhile with all the growth and development,” Peitler said. “We did our due diligence and saw what Applebee’s was doing down the road. It just made sense for us to be here.”
Gallagher’s is currently the center’s only visible tenant, but Joe Fitzgerald, a partner at ACJ Properties, LLC, developer of The Shops at Raven, said there are other occupants pending. He’s been selective on who occupies the spaces and is expecting lease agreements with a Curves franchise and a Los Taquitos restaurant.
“I’ve gotten lots of offers for stuff that I won’t put in there,” Fitzgerald remarked.
Three more buildings are planned for the site, with the second phase scheduled to begin soon. Once complete, the development will feature about 60,000 square feet of commercial space. The center’s high-end design mimics one of ACJ Properties’ similar developments in Scottsdale’s Gainey Ranch neighborhood.
“We’re really high on this project,” he said. “We’re hoping to have it 75 percent leased within the next six months.”
The Tutor Time adjacent to The Shops at Raven is on schedule to open in July, with an open house planned for some time in June.
Across Baseline Road, the South Mountain Village Center project still hangs in limbo. Leasing specialist Tracy Sembaluk, of Retail Brokers Inc., the center’s leasing company, said final designs are still pending and permits from the city of Phoenix haven’t been granted. As a result, a construction start date is still undetermined. In addition, no tenants have been secured.
At nearly 90,000 square feet, the project is tentatively planned as an upscale retail and restaurant center, featuring old-world architecture and room for office space.
Behind the property on the southwest corner, Beazer Homes recently broke ground on its Villas at Toscana community. The single-story houses in the gated neighborhood will range in size from 2,800 to 3,868 square feet and feature 3 to 8 bedrooms, as well as 3 to 5.5 baths. Finished basements are also available. Home prices start in the mid $400s.
Beazer Homes is also planning a high-density housing project south of Baseline Road on the east side of 7th Street. According to George Young, a member of the South Mountain Village Planning Committee, the location is currently undergoing a General Plan Amendment; however, about five acres of the project will be reserved for commercial/retail development along Baseline Road.
KB Home’s Hunter Ridge community, which is under construction west of 32nd Street along Baseline Road, continues to see a tremendous amount of interest.
“That’s one of our communities that we haven’t seen any taper off in,” said Brian Eaggleston, marketing communications coordinator for KB Home’s Phoenix division, adding that the demand is higher than at any of the other home builder’s developments.
“We’re adding people to the interest list on a daily basis, but it’s one of those things where our interest list is much larger than what is going to be available … I wish we had about 300 more home sites available there.”
Model homes will be open for viewing by the end of March.