The project, which is being developed by Agritopia founders Johnston & Co., will have 320 luxury residential units and more than 49,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.
“2022 is going to be a huge year for us with both the residential and retail portions of Epicenter really going live,” William Johnston, the CEO of Johnston & Co., told the Business Journal. “We have our first move-ins into the residential portion – The Tyler – this month.”For the first of the two residential buildings, Johnston said it is more than 60% leased before anyone has moved in. He expects it to reach capacity quickly.
The Epicenter development will be part of the Agritopia, a community in Gilbert designed to encourage agrarianism and community.Epicenter was first announced in 2017, but the project featured a few setbacks, including losing the developer on the residential part of the project. Recently the Johnstons signed on Dallas-based StreetLights Residential to develop Epicenter’s apartments, which led to the completion of the team effort. While mostly working in Texas, StreetLights has developed a handful of high-end apartments in the Valley, including the Ryan in downtown Phoenix, the Cameron in Tempe and the Angela in the Biltmore area.
Johnston & Co. owns the land where Epicenter is being built, and it has been owned by the Johnston family since 1960.
On the retail side of Epicenter, Johnston said it has always been a goal to have high-quality, Arizona-based tenants. Because of his family’s connections in the food and beverage industry, Johnston said they’ve been able to get many great local companies, filling out almost all of its spots before opening.The signed restaurant tenants include LGO Hospitality’s Buck & Rider, Gadzooks, Spinato’s, Belly Kitchen & Bar, Matt’s Big Breakfast, Peixoto Coffee and UnderTow.
The Epicenter has already started turning spaces over to retail tenants and they have started making their tenant improvements, Johnston said.
“The bulk of our retailers and restaurants will open in the end of Q1 and into Q2. We’ll have some openings drag out into Q3 and Q4, but the goal is by the end of the year to have every space open,” Johnston said. “We only have one remaining space that is not in lease. That is a nice place to be – we have not even opened yet and we only have a very small space left to lease.”
Beer Barn and UnderTow are expected to be the first tenants to open to the public.