Revamped former Phoenix office space signs on 9 women-owned retail businesses

24 | 03 | 2020

Chantell Nighswonger has operated her boutique, Vida Moulin, at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road for about four years, but as rents in the area began to rise, she and her husband, Kevin Cieszkowski, decided to move the boutique into a building they could own.

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“I started reaching out to friends, and thought, ‘Why not make it something a little bigger?’” Nighswonger said.

They bought an old office complex on Missouri Avenue near 12th Street for $1.25 million and got rezoning approval from the city of Phoenix in September to turn the complex into a retail and restaurant complex, called the Frederick. The building included courtyard space for outdoor uses and ample parking, which Nighswonger said was an important feature.

The project is the couple’s first foray into real estate development under their a company, Moulin Group. The two also are working on a unique commercial project in Gilbert.

The two are still working on final site plan approvals with the city of Phoenix, and Nighswonger said she expects the Missouri Avenue building to be ready for tenant improvements by midsummer.

So far, the Frederick has leases signed for nine of its 10 spaces, with one restaurant space still open. All of the tenants signed so far are woman-owned businesses. Tenants at the Frederick include:

  • Teaspressa, a café and tea brand
  • Mahalo Made, a brick-and-mortar location of a Hawaiian shaved ice food truck owned by radio personality Lady La
  • Vida Moulin, Nighswonger’s boutique
  • Melt by Melissa, A Scottsdale beauty studio opening a second location
  • Cricket and Ruby, a Scottsdale children’s boutique opening a second location
  • Form Floral, an event florist opening a first retail shop
  • Batea Boutique, a Tucson vintage boutique opening its first location in Phoenix
  • Metalmark Fine Jewelry, a fine jewelry store with locations in Colorado and Indiana
  • Neighbor Market, a new market and bottle shop

William Allison, a partner at Withey Morris, represented Moulin Group in the property’s rezoning, said gauging the neighborhood’s feelings about the development was a large part of the process.

“They’ve done this very carefully with a lot of consideration to create an asset for the neighborhood,” Allison said. “The neighbors were excited at the idea that there was somewhere they could walk or ride their bikes to.”

Most of the changes to the building will be cosmetic, but will preserve the building, which was built in 1963 and designed by architect Frederick Weaver, the namesake of the revamped building.

Christoph Kaiser of Kaiserworks is the architect for the remodel.

Moulin Group also is working through town approval for another development, called Murphy on the Tracks, in Gilbert. That property includes 1.5 acres of vacant land at 904 W. Guadalupe Road, and plans for the development include retail and restaurant space with an open courtyard that faces the train tracks.

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