The development team behind a planned Mario Kart-inspired apartment building near downtown Phoenix is planning a handful of other projects near the Roosevelt Row Arts District.
Zac Cohen’s company, InveStellar Corp., first planned the complex called Rainbow Road. InveStellar Corp. is now part of Intersection Development, a Phoenix-based company that has been acquiring buildings and land in the area for new projects.
“We have been active in Roosevelt Row since 2017,” Jordan Taylor, co-founder of Intersection Development, said.
Adaptive reuse, new construction planned
One of the company’s projects, called the Hardware Store, is a repurposed brick building at First Avenue and McKinley Street, which has been converted into mixed-use office and retail space that is now home to Xico, a Latin and Indigenous arts organization, and Barcoa Agaveria, a bar and restaurant.
The company also bought the bungalows next to the Hardware Store, which had been used as private office space. They are in the early stages of adding a speakeasy-style bar and an event space with a courtyard to the bungalow buildings, Taylor said.
“These should be properties that the neighborhood and community should be able to enjoy,” he said. Intersection has applied to the city to add the bar component on the alley side, which will require some construction.
According to real estate database Vizzda, the company has spent nearly $12 million acquiring property in the area around Roosevelt Row in the past couple of years.
“We love the idea of old and new,” Taylor said. “We like an eclectic assortment.”
Construction on Mario-Kart inspired building to start next year
The Rainbow Road project, a 36-unit apartment complex inspired by the Mario Kart course, is planned to be built on a vacant piece of land near First and Portland streets. It is on track to begin construction in the first quarter of 2024, Cohen said. The design has been altered slightly to make the building’s entire first floor into public-facing space, for restaurants and retail uses.
Lev Libeskind, head of Libeskind Studio Design and son of renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is the architect for Rainbow Road and other projects Intersection Development has on tap.
With Libeskind, Intersection is planning another mixed-use construction project, called Manzana, which is Spanish for apple. The project is planned to have a combination of apartments, art showcases, restaurant space, retail and other uses. Taylor said that project is still in the early planning stages. According to the company’s website, construction is expected to start in late 2024.
The company is also working with video game company Atari for a themed development, but Taylor said officials do not have any information to share on that yet.
A focus on design
Taylor said the company views architecture as “a true art form” and with the projects’ location, surrounded by new high-rise apartments, the smaller buildings with interesting designs will create “an urban oasis.”
Intersection plans to continue focusing its efforts in the Roosevelt Row area of downtown and wants to partner with local businesses, restaurants and nonprofits to foster community relationships, Cohen said.
“Part of our ethos is to design and build functional works of art,” Cohen said. “We want buildings and experiences that really enhance a neighborhood.”