The focus of today's retail development continues to be the shopper's experience. How to make that experience impactful, unique, lasting and relevant to the customer's life is at the center of quality retail design.
As one of the fastest growing markets in the nation, Phoenix is poised to continue its dynamic growth well into the foreseeable future as its population continues to exponentially expand. Retail/mixed-use infrastructure is expanding as rapidly as the population, increasing the need for shopping, restaurant and entertainment in the valley's many new and varied neighborhoods as well as revitalization of its urban core.
The growth DFDCH has experienced mirrors that of the valley. With a staff of 150, the firm works across retail/mixed-use, office, hospitality and high-rise residential markets. Led by Leo V. Mendez, Principal at DFDCH, the firm's retail studio includes top talent currently designing neighborhood centers, power centers, lifestyle and mixed-use retail.
Aspen Place at the Sawmill in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Westgate in Glendale, Ariz., are two outstanding examples of experience-based retail design. Building on the historic story line of Flagstaff, Aspen Place incorporates Victorian, Pioneer and Old West characteristics. Aspen Place will redevelop a 38-acre former sawmill site into the first lifestyle center in the city. Constructed as a three-block Main Street, Aspen Place features 300 condominiums over 155,000 square feet of ground level retail anchored by a New Frontiers natural food market. The street is carefully situated so that residential units will have spectacular views of Mount Elden to the north and a 20,000-square-foot plaza pulls together the residential and retail elements while showcasing an amphitheater and park. Phoenix-based Aspen Group will develop the retail component while bringing in a partner for the residential space.
Westgate in Glendale, Ariz., will create a major destination in metropolitan Phoenix. The first phase of the project, an arena-oriented Village, has already been opened by the Ellman Companies, the project's Phoenix-based developer. DFDCH has designed the next phases of the complex, consisting of an entertainment district and an adjoining commercial area on 49 acres.
The commercial component will consist of 1.8 million square feet of office space situated above 268,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The second component of the complex is laid out as a Main Street consisting of 127,000 square feet of retail, 40,000 square feet of office space and 325,000 square feet of residential units flanking the western edge of the entertainment district.
The new phases will be unified architecturally, taking their cue from the existing Village component, which has been rendered in a contemporary interpretation of “Desert Deco” with classic, clean lines. Covered walkways, arcades, fountains and park areas will provide comfort for visitors. It was critical that the ground floor retail and the residential or office space above were visually distinct, while still integrated. DFDCH used Masonry and stone veneer on the facades, with metal canopies as accents to overcome this challenge.
Westgate is presently in the design phase, and Aspen Place is scheduled for a 2009 completion. These are just two of many projects on which DFDCH is working. The largest locally-based design firm in Arizona; DFDCH's fully integrated services include architecture, planning, urban design and environmental graphics.
2425 E. Camelback Rd. #400
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Size of Firm: 150
Year Established: 1975
Key Contacts: Leo V. Mendez, Principal
Michael R. Davis, CEO, Director of Design