This November (right before the holiday season and Phoenix’s peak months for tourism), Union at the Biltmore, located on the east end of Biltmore Fashion Park between Stingray Sushi and Season 52, will open 7,200 square feet of retail space in an exciting effort to highlight the mix or “union” of national shops with 18 one-of-a-kind small retailers from the local Phoenix community.
[Photo: Artist rendering of Union at the Biltmore Fashion Park]
Francis original store on Central Avenue and Camelback Road is not moving. In fact, owner Georganne Bryant has said that she’s hoping this smaller store at Union will drive business to her larger store at the original location.
On August 18th, the Arizona Republic reported that Union had 11 signed leases out of the 18 total retail spaces available. Without a project like this, many of these stores would not be able to afford the rent.
A Phoenix New Times article said that each shop will be allotted 200-500 sq. feet of retail space with a year-long lease, giving mall shoppers a small preview of what their business has to offer. I read in another article that of the leases are for one year, but a couple of tenants have signed on for three.
Says the Arizona Republic:
Frances owner Georganne Bryant hopes to benefit from the Biltmore name but mainly wants to reach a customer who wouldn’t usually have wandered into her shop on Central Avenue and Camelback Road. Frances sells gifts and clothing for men, women and children.
“I was looking to expand, and I really love Phoenix, and they approached me with the project and it just seemed like a perfect fit,” she said. “It’s just kind of a different traffic area and a different location.”
She plans to use her Union location to draw customers to her larger shop, which will carry items not found at the Biltmore location.
“It’ll be like, ‘If you like this (the 500-square-foot shop), you’ll love this (the 2,000-square-foot shop),” she said.
The project was started by Mary Boyd-Williams (Senior Leasing Manager for Macerich) who’d been thinking for a long time about how to bring local flavor into the Biltmore.
Macerich is one of the largest owners of regional and community shopping centers in the United States, with 95 malls in 19 states; in 2002, they acquired Phoenix-based Westcor Partners and became the dominant mall operator in Phoenix. The Westcor portfolio included some of the leading retail assets in the country, including the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, Scottsdale Borgata, Chandler Fashion Center, and Phoenix Biltmore Fashion Square.
With the introduction of the Union space this November, Biltmore hopes to start hosting events that highlight the community by bringing in local artists. According to the Phoenix Business Journal,
[After completing this post, I just recieved this exciting update from Helen Tack at Local First Arizona. Get this: All 18 of Union at the Biltmore’s spaces have been leased! Union will include an exciting mix of small, distinctive boutiques ranging in size from 200-500 square feet, as well as the new casual eatery Trattoria del Piero, a restaurant concept by Perry Rea of Queen Creek Olive Mill.]
The shops at Union will mark a soft opening Nov. 8, followed by a three-day grand opening weekend Nov. 9-11.”
The Queen Creek Olive Mill is excited to bring our passion for simple, delicious and healthy cuisine to the Biltmore area with Trattoria del Piero, along with our new retail location for Oils and Olives,” said Perry Rea, owner. “We hope to create a special culinary and shopping experience where locavores can shop and dine with us while enjoying our family recipes and delicious products.”
A Complete list of Union at the Biltmore shops:
Bonafide Goods is a new concept from Greg Eveloff of The Clotherie. Offering a modern interpretation of classic American men’s clothing, hats and accessories, it also will house Phoenix’s first micro-haberdashery.
Customatic.com brings together years of experience designing and building great architecture, furniture and interior items to create custom pieces for the modern home.
Oils and Olives by Queen Creek Olive Mill will offer its popular branded products. Customers can explore the vast selection of signature extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, stuffed olives, and tapenades along with bath and body products made with extra virgin olive oil, daily fresh baked breads and a unique selection of other local treasures.
For the People is a modern gift and home accessories store with a focus on functional design. Featuring brands such as Alessi, the store will give customers access to great lifestyle design products and give talented designers an exciting venue to show and sell their work.
Frances & Charlie Newsstand will offer unique, hand-selected gifts including jewelry, candles, paper goods and books, as well as a variety of magazines, newspapers and specialty publications featuring fashion, design, art, living and global news.
Lilly is a vintage-inspired women’s boutique offering the latest fashion apparel, celebrity jewelry lines, chic and unique housewares, distinctive gifts, handbags, accessories and much more.
Little Artika, a Biltmore Fashion Park favorite, returns to the center in UNION. Offering cool stuff for small humans from lines like duc duc, muu kids, SkipHop, Nurseryworks and DwellStudio, Little Artika delivers outstanding products for children, newborn and up.
Me Myself & Eye is a sunglass boutique that pushes the boundaries of expectation, self expression and individuality by offering the highest quality of fashion-forward sunglasses, readers and accessories. Operated by the owners of Sassy Glasses Optical Boutique, Me Myself & Eye offers the same superior customer service as its parent store with a focus on unique sunglasses and readers.
R & R Surplus carries women’s active wear that can be worn on the street or in the studio. These relaxed yet fashionable clothes are from the creators of Fitigues.
Royal Coffee will open a second location at Biltmore, brewing their popular roasts alongside a selection of fresh pastries.
Smeeks will bring their assortment of sweet treats and toys to UNION, offering the best old-time favorites – from handcrafted lollipops, toffee, caramels and marshmallows to yo-yos and shrinky-dinks.
Trattoria del Piero will bring to UNION the dedication and passion for good food found at del Piero at the Mill. Featuring all new simple and delicious sandwiches and salads, the menu will include the famous Kalamata sandwich as well as signature cocktails. Using family recipes, handcrafted extra virgin olive oils and the best local and seasonal ingredients, del Piero has garnered both local and national acclaim and was featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” in 2010. The menu exemplifies a dedication to delicious, healthy and uncomplicated food. Trattoria del Piero will serve breakfast and lunch and a full service restaurant for the evenings complimented by a full bar.
White House Flowers is an appealing, one-of-a-kind florist offering home accessories, gifts and repurposed and renewed treasures with a casual urban look, as well as traditional European-style furnishings.
The Willows Home and Garden offers simple yet sophisticated home décor items along with apparel and in-home design services. They carry antique objects and a beautiful selection of exclusive lines including: Bella Notte Linens, Italian Vietri table top dishes, Michael Stars t-shirts, CP Shade apparel and a variety of unusual jewelry.