In mid-December, the AlphaGraphics Camelback team celebrated the groundbreaking of its new printing facility, which is expected to open in mid-2023 (submitted photo).

After a decade-long search to find the perfect Camelback Corridor building site, AlphaGraphics Camelback will move into an all-new, custom-built printing facility on the southwest corner of 24th Street and Campbell Avenue in 2023.

Founded in 1981 and still operated by Tucson native Larry Furlong, the Camelback franchise is the fifth-highest volume location out of 270 AlphaGraphics nationwide.

Furlong first fell in love with printing during freshman year in high school, when he signed up for class at the school’s print shop. After seeing a note that the AlphaGraphics near campus was seeking students for afterschool jobs, he started working part time, and then transferred to the company’s new location in downtown Phoenix the day after graduation. Working his way up to manager right around the time that the company started franchising, Furlong launched his own franchise Oct. 10, 1981.

Defying predictions that the digital revolution would lessen the need for print shops, the Phoenix company has grown to more than 35 full time employees and often runs its printing press 24 hours a day. Which led to the search for the new space.

“After three decades in central Phoenix, we had outgrown our existing location, which pre-dated the digital printing revolution and was originally designed in the 1960s as an appliance store, so it was always an awkward fit for a print shop,” Furlong said in a released statement. “But we were determined to stay in the Camelback Corridor, which meant competing with national chains for some of the most expensive real estate in the state.”

A rendering of the new AlphaGraphics Camelback location, set to open mid-2023 (submitted photo).

Housed on the site of a former gas station at 24th street and Campbell Avenue, just a half-mile from the existing location at 2120 E. Camelback Rd., the company says that it worked with LGE Design Build to craft a bespoke printing facility that will serve the neighborhood and beyond for the next three decades. Besides expanding the previous footprint by 2,000 sq. ft., the stylish, contemporary design features a soaring double-sided glass atrium entry. Stepping into the high-tech printing bay, the sleek, grey concrete block walls are broken up with peak-through window walls to showcase the bustling print floor, and new, larger digital equipment that it couldn’t fit at the old location.

“Because technology changes so quickly, we will be retiring a lot of our printers and taking advantage of our first-ever facility designed for the digital age from the ground up,” Furlong added.

In addition, as part of the company’s commitment to eco-friendly practices, including using 90 percent FSC certified paper from sustainably managed forests, the lumber used in the new building will also be FSC certified.

The new 12,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art, eco-friendly printing facility is scheduled to open in mid-2023.


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