Music News

Revolver Records Building in Roosevelt Row Is for Sale — Here's What We Know

Revolver Records owner T.J. Jordan soon could be looking for a new location. The downtown Phoenix building that's home to the shop's Roosevelt Row outpost has been on the market for about six months, says James Baca. He's co-owner for the building with John A. Murphy, Jr. through a partnership called Central City Ventures.

Revolver moved from Seventh Avenue to 918 North Second Street, just south of Roosevelt Street, in July 2009. The store's most recognizable feature is a west-facing mural painted in 2010 by Roy F. Sproule III. It depicts the profile of renowned jazz musician Billie Holiday.

Revolver used to have a Tempe storefront, which shuttered. Besides the downtown location, there's also a Revolver store in Arcadia.

Jordan currently leases both 918 North Second Street, where the Roosevelt Row record store is located, as well as the adjacent undeveloped lot at 922 North Second Street, according to Murphy.

"We'd like to put something more long term on it," Murphy says. Murphy and Baca declined to elaborate on their plans.

As Central City Ventures, Murphy and Baca own several properties in Roosevelt Row, including the spaces that house The Nash jazz venue and Short Leash Hotdogs.

Despite the property going on the market, Jordan says he expects Revolver Records to be around be a long time.

"Everything down there is always for sale, but we don't have any plans to leave the space," Jordan says.
"If we were going to move, we'd have done it years ago."

The past couple of years have been rough for Revolver Records, he says. "The construction between 2014 and 2016 almost put a nail in our coffin."

Roosevelt Row has undergone significant development since late 2014, when Colorado-based Baron Properties purchased land on two corners at Roosevelt and Third streets to build multi-level apartments.

Baron Properties demolished two buildings, including one that housed the first gay bar in Phoenix before becoming home to an arts space called GreenHaus, to make way for their iLuminate development on the northwest corner.

In 2016, Chandler-based Desert Viking purchased Roosevelt Row properties including the former Flowers building, where it's now working on the first phase of an adaptive reuse project called The Blocks of Roosevelt Row. That meant several businesses, including Five 15 Arts and Lotus Contemporary Art, were forced to relocate.

After holding on for several years, Jordan says he'd hate to see the Roosevelt Row location close now.

Of course, that could change if the building is sold.

In that case, Jordan says, they'd move everything to the Revolver store in Arcadia. Currently, that space functions as a second record store and an office, so it would give Jordan a home base for Revolver Records while they looked for another site down the road.

"We moved from our first location to Roosevelt Row to be part of First Friday, so we really want to stay there," Jordan says. "It's important to us to support local artists."

Corrections: An earlier version of this story named Steve Zimmerman as an owner of Revolver. He hasn't been with the company since 2012. This story originally stated that Central City Ventures owned the building that houses Warehouse 1005 studio and gallery space. However, that building is owned by Liberal Arts Building LLC.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble