LFA For(u)m Discusses Engaging Sites for Reuse and Infill This Wednesday

The Vintage 45, Photo courtesy of Jonathan Warren Caroll
The Vintage 45, Photo courtesy of Jonathan Warren Caroll

The LFA For(u)m returns for May with its latest panel discussion, focusing on site selection for infill and adaptive reuse projects. The panel intends to identify the variety of criteria which produce the vibrant, inclusive reuse developments that have rapidly spread across the Valley, including the folks behind such projects as the Gold Spot, Cobra Arcade Bar, Historic Downtown Chandler, and the impending return of Gallo Blanco.

Local First Arizona's newest program debuted last month with a vital, engaging discussion on the diversity of means by which creative developments are financed. Included on the panel were veteran developers, a community banker, and the president of LISC Phoenix, a local community development financial institution, best-known for its investment in building low-income and senior housing facilites along the light rail line across the Valley. Included in the audience were investors, urbanists, developers, architects, and more, all eager to engage with the topic inside The Newton, the former Beefeaters restaurant now transformed into a multiuse hub of uptown Phoenix.

"[The For(u)m is] facilitating an important conversation by bringing local people together to empower and help one another to make Phoenix better from within," said attendee, Kevin Rille, of KLMN Properties, which has just begun its own investment in adaptive reuse through the McKinley Club, and its recently-announced Roland's Market restoration.

For this month's panel, the discussion shifts to acknowledgment that these projects do not happen in a vacuum--they must be properly situated between a community's current residential needs and its future ambitions, and occupy a building with character to be maximized.

The location of the event is purposeful, inside the recently-opened Vintage 45. Formerly known as the Neil B McGinnis Building and lovingly preserved by Michael Levine, the property was most recently acquired and gutted to be transformed into the a multi-use events space and church. Preserving the large bays and hooks of the former tractor warehouse, the project is now another example of reuse in the long-underrecognized Warehouse District.

"We at Vintage 45 chose to build a space that's respectful of history, and we hope to foster an appreciation for that in our events. To host the For(u)m is to stand arm-in-arm with a group of like-minded professionals aiming to preserve and expand the things which make Phoenix iconic," expressed Nicole Eberhardt of The Vintage 45.

As we have long seen in Phoenix, history is not often honored and preserved. And so, with an eye towards potential energy, a new generation of developers and real estate representatives has been gaining momentum in selecting and maximizing sites for adaptation. With this panel, we consider what draws the attention of those in the building industry, and what produces an iconic site for development.

Niels Kreipke of Desert Viking will sit on the panel, and is perhaps the veteran of the group. "After decades in the business, I couldn't be more excited to have aligned with a group with For(u)m's principles. Choosing unique properties with unrealized potential has always been vital to my practice, and I'm looking forward to picking everyone's brains on what magic produces a successful reuse project."

For(u)m as a whole focuses its energy on building a coalition of developers, urbanists, architects, and city officials devoted to supporting inclusive, sustainable, and thoughtful infill and adaptive reuse. With this event, the attention turns to what makes specific projects work--how location, building structure, and context produce viable creative developments.

What: LFA For(u)m: Sourcing Opportunity Where: The Vintage 45, 45 W Buchanan St, Phoenix, 85004 When: Wednesday, May 25, 6-8pm Info & tickets here.