Architecture and Design

Phoenix Urban Research Lab (PURL) to Move Out of the Security Building in May

If you've never been up to the rooftop patio or the eighth floor balcony of the Security Building, at 234 N. Central Ave. in downtown Phoenix, these next few months might hold your last chance.

The Phoenix Urban Research Lab, an arm of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, has occupied the seventh and eighth floors of the historic building since 2005, but come the end of May, those floors will be vacant ... for now.

PURL's Aaron Kimberlin says that yes, PURL is moving out of the Security Building, but had no comment on the future of  the lab.

Kimberlin is knee-deep in plans and details for April's Phoenix Urban Design Week, during which PURL will host lectures, debates, and discussions with local architects, urban planners, designers, and developers from April 9 through 13. 

"PURL will continue and we are developing the specific plan for its activities in the coming year and the future right now," Dr. Betty Capaldi, Executive Vice President and Provost of ASU wrote in an email this afternoon.

The 84-year-old building, once inhabited by Walter Bimson, the late Valley National Bank president and philanthropist, is now owned by Maricopa County. Its estimated worth in 2011 was $19.7 million, according to the Maricopa County Assessor.

In February, Tempe's Bicycle Cellar passed the first round of approvals with Maricopa County to take over the ground floor storefront space of Security Building. But there is no official word from the County on the future of the building's upper floors or from ASU on the future of its Downtown think tank.

Stay tuned for more details ...

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton