[btn]By Teri Carnicelli[/btn]
By the end of next year, the popular mixed-use hotspot know as The Yard will be getting some competition from a new restaurant just a block away.

The Colony will be another mixed-use development at the southwest corner of 7th Street and San Juan Avenue, featuring a restaurant and retail spaces. LGE Design Build is the general contractor, LGE Design Group is the architect, and the developer is The Colony North LLC.

The first phase of The Colony will feature a restaurant on a piece of land that used to house the long-vacant Fiesta Village retirement center, which was torn down last month.

The restaurant will be slightly more than 8,000 square feet and will include outdoor dining located on the 7th Street edge, away from the residential area to the west. Parking will be provided on site and will be enclosed with a perimeter fence, so that visitors will have to access the parking lot off of 7th Street—an attempt to eliminate traffic into the neighborhoods off of San Juan.

The city of Phoenix has required the developer to place a 12-foot landscape setback along the west property line, as well as a 13-foot landscape setback along the western 187 feet of the north property line. The developer is required to put in a mix of 2-inch and 3-inch caliper trees, placed 20 feet on center, in both these setback areas, as well as a minimum of five 5-gallon shrubs per tree.

Future phases of the redevelopment will include refreshing and updating the existing retail buildings just to the south on 7th Street, which will have additional parking that more than exceeds city code requirements so as to not impact the adjacent neighborhoods.

While many of LGE Design Build’s projects in the Valley have been office, warehouse, manufacturing and medical facilities, the company is no stranger to the restaurant/retail development.

“Most recently we have been involved in a very cool retail/restaurant development in Downtown Gilbert called Heritage Marketplace,” explains David Sellers, president of LGE Design Build and manager of The Colony North LLC. “That project is nearing shell completion and includes tenants such as Zinburger, POMO Pizza, LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles, Barrio Queen, and several to be announced tenants.”

The popularity of The Yard, which is home to Culinary Dropout, Little Cleo’s and more recently Lola Tapas and Wine Bar, is more of an incentive than a deterrent, Sellers says. He points out that 7th Street is a major travel corridor with high traffic counts, and could easily support additional family restaurants.

“It’s now the infill areas that are attracting tenants, not the outlying areas of town,” he explains. “We feel that this area is going to see a major transformation in coming years. We want to be on the front end of that transition.”

The Colony North LLC is in discussions with potential tenants, but none have been locked in as yet. The development has begun the approval process through the city of Phoenix and Sellers hopes for a late 2015 opening date.

But first the developer needs to rezone a portion of the property that was zoned residential for the retirement home. The request is to change the zoning to C-2 for the restaurant, and P-1 for the parking to the west.

The Alhambra Village Planning Committee was scheduled to review the rezoning request on July 22 and forward its recommendation to the Phoenix Planning Commission, which will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12 in the City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St. The Phoenix City Council will then vote on the rezoning request at its Sept. 17 meeting. The case number is Z-20-14-6, for the property at 5602 N. 7th St.

By Teri Carnicelli


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