North Central News

New businesses find niche on Osborn Road

Old School O7 is an urban infill project that transforms the northwest corner of 7th Street and Osborn Road into a retail and restaurant complex consisting of a Starbucks, Taco Guild, and future retail space (submitted photo).

Old School O7 is an urban infill project that transforms the northwest corner of 7th Street and Osborn Road into a retail and restaurant complex consisting of a Starbucks, Taco Guild, and future retail space (submitted photo).

By Teri Carnicelli

Making something old “new” again seems to be a theme for businesses along Osborn Road in Phoenix.

For example, Old School O7, an adaptive reuse and new construction project at the northwest corner of 7th Street and Osborn Road, embraces the past while reimagining its future place in the midtown area.

The urban infill project, which celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 28, transforms the corner into a retail and restaurant complex consisting of a Starbucks, Taco Guild, and future retail space. Starbucks opened on Aug. 29.

Local development team Wetta Ventures has remained focused on three elements: true, local and renewal, and this precise concentration is seen throughout the design.

District 4 City Councilman Tom Simplot views the project positively. “Old School O7 will bring new commercial activity to the midtown area and is an example of our work to revitalize 7th Street,” he said.

“This is a great example of responsible development, as it retains a piece of Phoenix history while meeting modern needs,” he added.

Old School O7’s history dates back to 1886, when the original building was the Osborn School House, from which the name originates. The existing church was constructed in 1948 and is currently under construction to become Taco Guild, a new concept by Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill.

“This is a great example of responsible development, as it retains a piece of Phoenix history while meeting modern needs.” — Tom SimplotComplementing the adaptive reuse of the church and school buildings is a newly built Starbucks, with a design reflects the mid-century heritage of the existing church building. To further embrace history and engage visitors, an art display showcasing the historical significance of Old School O7’s past will be incorporated on an outside wall for all to see.

Kitty-corner from the redevelopment project is another new business that took an older building and made it “new” again while still keeping some familiar aspects.

Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup, 3313 N. 7th St., was once a gas station. And a women’s dress shop. Now, it offers a sort of build-your-own enchilada menu and a couple of soup selections to round out your meal.

Gadzooks acquired the building in fall 2012, and after a great deal of renovations—including turning the old gas station service bay doors into floor-to-ceiling windows—the eatery opened in spring 2013. To see a photo history of the building’s remodel, visit Gadzooks on Facebook at GadzooksAZ.

There wasn’t much that could be done regarding the limited amount of parking at that corner, however, some rather nifty “G”-shaped bike racks were installed to encourage neighbors to cycle over, especially now that the weather is cooling down and patio seating is opening up.

“I’ve been in love with Mexican food since the days I was riding my big wheel around the neighborhood block,” said Aaron Pool, founder of Gadzooks. “When my parents would take my brothers and I out to a Mexican restaurant I would always order cheese enchiladas. I soon found out enchiladas could be something different and spectacular. They could be filled with slow-braised meats, sautéed vegetables, wrapped in handmade tortillas, covered in freshly grated Mexican cheeses, complimented with unique sauces, and topped with bright and flavorful garnishes.”

There are 2,638,594 different combinations of enchiladas you can order. For details, visit www.gadzooksaz.com or call 602-279-5080.

When it comes to finding the right combination of ingredients to make it all work together, Gadzooks is not alone. A new business concept of sharing space has come to the area of 15th Avenue and Osborn Road.

Business owner Eric Diaz came to Phoenix with an idea to create a co-working space that incorporates healthy lifestyles to share with like-minded entrepreneurs. Tired of renting from lackluster office buildings, Diaz decided to create the type of environment he would want to work in, that allows entrepreneurs to work productively, collaborate with others and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Temporarily called “Coworking on 15th Ave.,” Diaz held a naming contest for the space that ended on Sept. 30, with the new name to be announced 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, during the grand opening of the building, located at 3428 N. 15th Ave. The winner will receive a rent-free business space for one year.

Diaz says he decided to create a co-working space to enhance the business vibrancy of Phoenix because of the success of other co-working centers he has visited across the country, including Creative Density in Denver, Quirk in Columbus, and CO+HOOTS in Phoenix.

He currently is leasing out affordable workspaces to creative start-up companies and “solopreneur” business people who want a professional workspace, without a high price tag. They also benefit from networking, shared expertise, and shared ideas.

“Our mission is to provide workspace for entrepreneurs from all fields, who enjoy working in a collaborative environment conducive to a healthy lifestyle,” Diaz said.

“We offer private spaces for teams as well as shared open spaces for individuals, and an outdoor patio complete with a barbecue grill and fountain.”

Diaz’s office building, which is located on the 15th Avenue bike path, also will encourage a work/life balance for its tenants. “We encourage coworkers to engage in physical activities such as bike riding, hiking and dodgeball and have set up events and community partnerships with sports leagues to motivate our coworkers.”

Diaz invites those interested to come by and see the space to experience how unique this co-working location is. A free week’s pass can be obtained by sending an email to: eric@coworkingon15th.com.

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One Comment

  1. My Top 3 Stories of Ruben Hernandez: Coworker at Heart | Coworking on 15th AveNovember 2013 at 11:36 pmReply

    […] for the grand opening of Coworking on 15th Ave.  As I am super-excited, Ruben explains its the North Central News and they want a picture. Specifically, he says, “No bikini pics dude.” I smirkingly […]

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