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OPEN FOR BUSINESS: New “Front Porch” at Park Central Now Complete for Restaurants and their Patrons

The revitalized Park Central took a major step forward on Friday, as one of its defining public features opened to the public for the first time.

The “Front Porch” section of the project — the outdoor dining area facing Central Avenue and shared by several of the project’s restaurants — is now 100 percent complete and is open to patrons. The unique outdoor dining space will create a significant new amenity for employees working at the project as well as nearby residents, employees and visitors.

The space provides an expansive outdoor dining area with a variety of options for patrons. It is the first portion of the redevelopment to become 100 percent complete, although the restaurants — which include Starbucks, First Watch, Jamba Juice, Fired Pie, Jimmy Johns, Pita Bistro and Thai Basil — all remained open during the construction period. Kobalt Bar and Michael’s Jazz Club are also located at Park Central.

Sharon Harper, President and CEO of Plaza Companies, said the new amenity will be an important addition for the central Phoenix community.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this outdoor space for these great restaurants and appreciate their patience as they operated during the construction phase,” she said. “The variety of restaurants offered at Park Central will be a key attraction for the project and will serve not only those working at Park Central, but in central Phoenix as a whole.”

Holulaoa Companies and Plaza Companies are teaming up to redevelop more than 450,000 square feet of the former Park Central Mall, which once held court as the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies are transitioning the project to a bustling community hub ideal for playing, working, congregating and celebrating the arts. The first phase of redeveloped office and retail space will be done in early 2019. Future mixed-use development could include more multifamily construction, a new hotel, senior living and entertainment uses.

Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer for Holualoa Companies, said the opening of the Front Porch is a significant step forward for the project, with full completion of Phase I expected in early 2019.

“The Front Porch is going to be a defining part of this project and an important new amenity for the community as a whole,” he said. “We wanted to create an area where our restaurants can provide an exceptional customer experience in an outdoor setting, and we’re pleased with the results and the way the area will integrate with the rest of the property.”