The Link honoured for tenant improvement and interior design
Principals Chris Nieto and Joe Herzog, and their architecture firm, merzproject, a studio of Shepley Bulfinch, have won the SouthWest Contractor Magazine Best of 2009 award for tenant improvement and interior design for their renovation and completion of the Link building in the heart of the Arts District in Downtown Phoenix.
Chris Nieto, Principal said: “We saw this as a great opportunity to better position our firm in a great location while investing in the heritage and the future of Downtown Phoenix.”
With an incredible and moderately priced existing building and real estate stock in the Downtown area, the LINK project has not only proven a repeatable model, but set an example for future of mixed-use developments using existing buildings in the downtown core. Even with a slow moving construction industry and low construction costs, new construction projects may not make financial sense in the near future. Existing buildings can be acquired for lesser funds and way below their replacement value, allowing architects, developers and property managers like Nieto and Herzog to build the LINK – a mixed use building consisting of two offices, a fine art gallery and a restaurant.
Chris Nieto, upon receiving the award, remarked: “We took on this speculative project amid a global recession, and we only had one tenant going into it. Having said that, I am very pleased it is now complete and put to work. The award for LINK building is an encouragement for our company to move forward with the rehab idea for downtown projects and we are seeing interest everyday from others interested in finding spaces like the LINK.”
Community outreach and a fostering of the local arts scene played heavily in the design and the team’s intent for the facility. Although roughly 65% of the building serves as office space for locally owned and privately held companies, the gallery and restaurant are open to the public seven days a week for the public to enjoy.