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Historic Luhrs Building To Become Upscale Hotel

by Fara Illich
Business Development Spotlight Fara Illich March 6, 2020

Photo: Fara Illich / Downtown Phoenix Inc.

Fans of the historic Luhrs Building will soon get a chance to sleep amongst its hallowed halls.

PEG Companies purchased the building in December 2019 for $14 million, and recently announced plans to convert the building into a hotel.

The L-shaped, neoclassical-style Luhrs building represents a beautiful example of historic Phoenix architecture, and was the city’s first 10-story building when it opened in 1924. On the ground floor, you can find Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour — named one of America’s best bars by the Food Network in 2016 — with prominent local law and government offices in the floors above.

According to a news release, PEG plans to renovate 92,000 square feet of the building, converting floors one through nine into hotel rooms, leaving the top floor as office space, which will remain occupied by Hagens Berman Law Firm. Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, located on the ground floor, will also remain part of the building’s tenant mix, and will be open during renovation.

“Our goal is to preserve the historical integrity of the Luhrs Building as much as possible,” said Trevor Ellis, PEG Companies development manager in a written statement. “The classic exterior facade will remain virtually untouched. The antique mail system that runs from the first to the tenth floor will remain intact. Even the building’s windows will maintain the architectural renaissance characteristic of the early 20th century.”

Photo: Fara Illich / Downtown Phoenix Inc.

Over the past decade and a half, the building has transformed significantly, and the goal is to keep that momentum going.

Hansji Corporation began a major revitalization project of the entire block in 2007, which included preserving and rehabbing the long-vacant Luhrs Building. Lincoln Property Company acquired the Luhrs complex in December 2015, completing additional improvements to the ground-floor and streetscape, earning the “2017 Redevelopment Project of the Year” award from NAIOP Arizona

“We will infuse new energy and new life into the building, cultivating a fresh and exciting space where people of all ages and walks of life will want to be,” Ellis said.

Lincoln Property Company will maintain ownership of the of the 14-story Luhrs Tower, an adjacent parking garage, and the single-story retail space that connects the two buildings known as the Arcade, which is home to la Madeleine, Serafina Coffee Bar and Monroe’s Hot Chicken.

The Luhrs Buildings sits within a Qualified Opportunity Zone, a Trump-era federal tax break for developers who invest in new businesses or commercial projects in “distressed communities.” The Luhrs Building is one of the first Opportunity Zone projects in the Phoenix area to start construction.

Maricopa County, which is a major office tenant, will move out of the Luhrs Building over the next few months, relocating to the new 225 Madison building, an adaptive reuse of the Madison Street Jail.

The Luhrs hotel conversion is set to begin this summer.