True North Studio is undertaking a series of projects that will significantly alter Roosevelt Row, the downtown Phoenix arts district where the real estate developer has offices inside the monOrchid building it purchased last year from photographer Wayne Rainey.
Several projects, such as the Cambria Hotel, are visibly underway. But others, including partnering with Meow Wolf to create the art and entertainment group’s first combined hotel and arts space, will be years in the making.
It’s worth noting that not every True North project has been announced at this point, and that some projects are in the purely conceptual stage. Others will depend on securing permits and plan approval from the city.
For example, True North development manager Nate Sonoskey shared a list of possible partners and tenants during his June 8 presentation to a community group. It included several significant players on the metro Phoenix culture scene, from FilmBar to the F.A.S.H.I.O.N. hub located in a former Tempe art space.
True North hasn’t indicated where possible tenants might be located, but we know that the development originally called Ro2, which was part of its winning proposal for the Knipe House RFP, included plans for multiuse buildings on Second Street north of Roosevelt Street.
The developer hasn’t shared an updated plan, but the proposal indicated it would include a mixed-use space with retail, creative, and other uses. So it’s worth keeping an eye on whether existing businesses in the area may have an interest in moving to that space once it's built. True North also purchased the purple building that’s home to The Nash, so we’ll also be watching that space.
Here’s a look 10 True North projects likely coming to Roosevelt Row in coming months or years, based primarily on a recent presentation to the Downtown Voices Coalition.
True North Studio is renovating the southwest portion of the monOrchid building located at 214 East Roosevelt Street, getting ready for Kenny Barrett and Joshua Hahn to open a second location for their Phoenix General boutique, which will also include a pop-up art space for rotating exhibitions.
True North has hosted several garden parties at the Pemberton House in recent months, as well as a collaborative mural between local artists and Japanese artists. Moving forward, the house located at 1121 North Second Street north of Roosevelt Street is slated to become a retail and event space, although other uses are possible as well.
The historic Knipe House at 1025 North Second Street was the central element of an RFP that also included other property on Second Street north of Roosevelt Street. True North is required to develop Knipe House first, and is currently undertaking improvements before transforming the house into a bakery and coffee bar, which will be one of three Roosevelt Row eateries operated by Grace Unger of Tuck Shop.
True North is planning a new multilevel office building next to the Knipe House, which will include street level activation that could include retail, creative, or outdoor spaces.
The developer also owns the building located at 1001 North Central, directly east of the light rail station at Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street. The garage now includes public parking, and it’s an official stop for the Artlink First Friday trolley. True North plans to create an affordable housing development called the Roosevelt Land Yacht Club by wrapping the garage’s exterior with Airstream-style trailers.
Punch Bowl Social
The national chain combining food with games is coming to Roosevelt Row, where it will be located on property True North owns at 903 North Second Street, just south of Roosevelt Street. The venue will include a restaurant, bar, outdoor patio, and entertainment areas.
Construction is well underway at the Cambria Hotel located at 222 East Portland Street, which is north of Roosevelt Street. The Choice Hotel is being developed in partnership with True North. Local artists have already been commissioned to make work for the hotel, which is expected to open in late 2019.
True North is also bringing a Godfrey Hotel to Roosevelt Row, which will be located at 1111 North Second Street. That’s located just north of Portland Street, past the area that was once home to Bud's Glass Joint and The Firehouse music and arts venue.
Meow Wolf Hotel
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The developer is partnering with the Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment group Meow Wolf to build the first combined Meow Wolf hotel and arts venue. The project won’t be completed for several years, and True North has not announced when it plans to break ground on the project, which is expected to be located on several lots that include 817 North Second Street.
Kenny Barrett and Joshua Hahn are leasing property from True North so they can relocate their urban garden. The Roosevelt Growhouse is being moved this week from the Knipe House lot to 821 North Sixth Street and adjoining land south of Garfield Street. The garden will include an event space, and community gardening component.
Stay tuned for further New Times reporting as more details become available.