The Opus Group – 7th Street Mixed-Use Development

Sundt Opus University Square 4 5 17 10The Opus Group is known for building high-quality buildings with great design – and its latest project is no different.
By Bianca Herron

The Opus Group is a Minneapolis-based design/build firm. Operating in nine cities across the United states, the privately held firm builds in various sectors, including industrial, office, multifamily, retail and institutional.

As a design/build developer, a unique characteristic of The Opus Group is that it is an integrated business with in-house architectural and engineering services, as well as in-house construction and development. Ultimately, after 64-years in the industry, the company’s reputation for building high-quality projects sets it apart from its competitors.

“We work hand-in-glove with each of those business units,” Senior Vice President Larry Pobuda says. “The output of that effort is high-quality and well-conceived buildings that become solid acquisitions for the institutional investment community. So when Opus is looking to sell a building after it is developed, our customers know that it is a well-located, quality project, with a solid design.”

The Right Combo

The Opus Group’s latest project is the 7th Street Mixed-Use Development. Located near Arizona State University, the project consists of two residential towers with 407 residential units, as well as 31,000 square feet of retail. 

“That’s a temporary name, as of right now, and we’ll be revealing the true name of the project soon,” Pobuda explains. “The first residential tower is 20 stories and the second is 12 stories. Those apartments are largely studio and one-bedroom units with sizes that range from 450 square feet up to 1,300 square feet.” opus box

Residents will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of floor plans. “We also have 22 units that line the front of the streetscape of the project called ‘city homes and flats,’” Pobuda says. “Those are walk-up units right from the street that wrap around the north, east and west sides of the project. The city homes are larger, two-story units and are more live/work-type apartments.”

The south side of the project is on University Drive and will feature 20,000 square feet of retail space, while the remaining 11,000 square feet will be found along Seventh Street.

On Schedule

“We started construction in late November, so we’ve been working for about five months now,” Senior Project Manager Ron Ensley says. “So far our general contractor, Sundt Construction, has been doing a fantastic job in pushing the schedule through with the wetter than normal winter weather we’ve had. Additionally, Tempe has a busy holiday activity calendar with NCAA bowl games, New Year festivities and countless other events that could have gotten us off track.  Through all this, our team has worked closely with the City of Tempe to ensure everything continues to run smoothly and stay on schedule.

“The development covers nearly the entire city block, as there is a carved-out piece for a hotel component on the southwest corner of the site,” he continues. “Currently, we’re placing the remaining foundations and slab-on-grade and then we start to go vertical with the cast-in-place concrete frame. So in the next few weeks we’re going to start seeing things coming together with major changes as you drive by.”

In addition, the two residential towers will share a fifth-floor amenity deck with a resort-style swimming pool. “This project includes everything from a large fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment to an outdoor area for spin and yoga classes, as well as a dog walk for pet owners, and a barbecue and grill area,” Pobuda says. “Of course, we’ll then have the first floor retailers providing service, as well.”

The mixed-use project is conveniently located by transit and other local retail amenities. “The beauty of our location is that we’re one block off of University and Mill Avenue, which is the main intersection in downtown Tempe,” Pobuda says. “Our site scores well in transit, bike and walk metrics to Arizona State University, the entertainment district and the surrounding business community.”

The project is scheduled to be completed by July 2018 and, according to Ensley, “We have a very strong, reputable general contractor leading the way. We are very collaborative in our efforts in working through schedule/budget challenges and our daily tasks. Sundt’s onsite team does a great job providing us with options, allowing us to pick the right solutions. So it’s been a really good collaborative process with them.

“Not only with them, but our subcontractors as well,” he adds. “We have had our mechanical, electrical and fire protection subcontractors on board for a year-and-a-half now. They are playing a really important role in this project to ensure this project will continue to go as smooth as possible.”

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