There’s a new creative space called The Conservatory coming to Grand Avenue. It’s the work of Michael Lanier and Coby Bruckner, co-owners for The Bosque at Pueblo plant boutique. It’ll be located at 1025 Grand Avenue, between Grand Avenue Pizza Company and the La Melgosa building.
Lanier and Bruckner got the keys to space in early October, but haven’t set an official opening date. “We’d like to be open by late fall with some smaller-scale stuff, then have everything in place by next spring,” Lanier says. First, they’ll bring in the plants and small-scale gift items.
But they’re adding another element, as well. “We want it to be more of a lounge or community space, where people can come hang out,” Lanier says.
The Conservatory will be Lanier’s third plant enterprise. He’s eager to fill it with orchids and other exotic plant life, and transform an existing Quonset hut into a greenhouse of some sort. “We’ll have two ponds, and a creek with running water,” he says.
At first, they’ll just serve coffee. But eventually, they’d like to get a liquor license so people can relax over beer or wine. “We don’t want to be a bar, but we do want to have liquor,” Lanier says.
Born and raised in metro Phoenix, Lanier started selling plants at age 22 at a farmers market in Roosevelt Row. In July 2015, Lanier opened The Bosque, which featured non-native plants and small objects rooted in his love for natural history, inside the monOrchid building.
Less than two years later, in early 2017, he opened a second location for The Bosque at Pierce and 10th streets, inside an adaptive reuse project dubbed Pueblo.
The first location was less that 500 square feet, with no space for outdoor gardening. During Lanier’s time inside monOrchid, the area experienced rampant development. “Roosevelt Row got a bit overdeveloped,” he says.
They have three times the space at The Bosque at Pueblo, which is located in the Garfield neighborhood just east of Roosevelt Row. It includes an outdoor patio with greenhouse and pond. They’re planning to keep that shop, even after The Conservatory opens. “We’ll offer different kinds of plants in each space,” Lanier says.
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The Conservatory will be the largest space by far, with 1,500 square feet inside and another 6,200 square feet outside. They’re renting the space from preservation advocate Beatrice Moore, who owns several Grand Avenue properties with her longtime partner and fellow artist, Tony Zahn. She’s painted three large windows that face Grand Avenue, but Lanier has other plans for those – such as a water feature or big terrarium. “It’ll be like a living art show,” he says.
Lanier and Bruckner are partners in life, as well as business, and they’ve already moved from the Garfield neighborhood to Grand Avenue ahead of opening the new space. “My goal was to stay in Garfield, but it got so expensive we just couldn’t live there,” Lanier says.
Soon, they’ll be making their creative mark on Grand Avenue. “We got tired of people buying things, then leaving,” Lanier says. “We’d like to create an experience space, rather than just a retail space."