Uptown Plaza, originally designed by Del Webb and built in 1955, was one of the first suburban shopping centers in Phoenix, Arizona. During the 1980’s the plaza’s exposed brick, beams, and other features of its beautiful
midcentury design were covered in stucco, and the retail spaces were filled with chain restaurants that didn’t create a draw for the community. Our client, Vintage Partners, was selected to redevelop the plaza.
We were asked to create an identity for Uptown Plaza, one that pays homage to its midcentury design, while also modernizing it. We revitalized the old type from a photograph of the original street sign, keeping its midcentury quality intact. We constructed a color palate founded on the green tones of the original sign, and expanded it to be more pleasing to modern eyes.
The website needed to launch long before renovations were complete, so photography wasn’t an option. Modern 3-D architectural renderings didn’t fit the midcentury motif. To help cast the vision in an appropriate manner, we contacted local illustrator Jon Arvizu, who has a stylistic affinity for midcentury architecture, to create a depiction of the future plaza.
The website is intended to develop excitement for the plaza and generate nostalgia for historic Phoenix. It paints a picture for how this plaza will function in the neighborhood, highlighting other features of the community, and encouraging potential tenants to lease a space. It is a place where people in the community can get updated about the progress of Uptown Plaza, and learn about the new tenants as they move in.
Now, as more tenants are opening in the space (including Shake Shack and Lou Malnati’s), it is one of the most inviting corners in the Valley. We are more exited than ever to have contributed to this project. Next time you’re in Phoenix, make sure to spend an evening at Uptown Plaza.
Photography by Carl Shultz.