Agritopia Wins Air-Guitar Contest
There’s a new rock star inhabiting the Valley. Surprisingly, their genre isn’t “Classic Rock” or “Heavy Metal,” but instead “Grab ‘n Go.”
Air Guitar is a fresh take on the traditional convenience market recently completed for AG Ventures Holdings after eight months of construction in Gilbert, Arizona. Set to redefine the idea of a modern-day convenience store, restaurateurs and co-founders of Upward Projects, Craig and Kris DeMarco, and retail store experts Eric and Elissa Seitz of Bro Retail Group have broken ground on their newest project. The location is at the northwest corner of Ray and Higley roads in Agritopia, the community that offers modern village life amid urban farmland.
The 5,000-square-foot light-filled interior is housed under a 9,000-sf roof canopy lofted above to allow light in from all sides. “Bookended with dramatic floor-to-ceiling glass walls that are artfully protected from the Arizona sun, this desert sensitive yet highly technical building is designed for rapid arrival, efficient flow, self-service, and high-convenience,” says architect Jack DeBartolo III, FAIA.
The dramatic architectural context allows for rapid arrival, efficient flow, and self-service. Bringing together the best in coffee, wine, healthy snacks, and quality staples, the contents of the store and market will be as unique as the environment.
This cutting-edge design by debartolo architects was not without its challenges to build, according to Ryan Sniezek, project superintendent for Robert E Porter Construction Co, the project’s general contractor. “The design minimized the overall height of the building but still needed high ceilings inside, so the space between the roof and the ceiling was very tight,” he says. “Fitting all the ductwork, roof drains, and electrical, took a lot of coordination to make it all fit.”
Efficiently and durably constructed from metal skins and glass, the timeless yet timely building offers generous exterior seating in a park-like setting of more than 60 trees, making the corner of this intersection feel more like an oasis than a store.
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This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Nov/Dec 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 6.