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A fourth-generation, Mesa-based family business is moving forward with its plans to renovate and expand the iconic Old Potato Barn in Gilbert, Arizona, breathing new life into the 54-year-old barn that once housed the area's potato supply.
In June, the City of Gilbert approved plans for The Higley Barns, a multimillion-dollar, adaptive, mixed-use development that will transform the 20,000-square-foot barn into a unique multi-tenant space, plus add an additional 8,000-square-foot building, a 10,000-square-foot building and a 14,000-square-foot building to the three-acre property.
The Smith family, owners of Central Arizona Supply, a plumbing supply and appliance company, have owned the property since 2015 and see this is an opportunity to parlay their more than 50 years as an Arizona family-owned and -operated business into an expanded new role as real estate developers.
"It has always been our vision to create a community-focused collection of restaurants, shops and home products in a landmark location that has such history in Gilbert," said Jeremy Smith, co-owner of Central Arizona Supply. "The Higley Barns will become a mercantile for goods, services, history, art, music, entertainment and culinary, all within a gathering place that enriches the surrounding community in a meaningful way."
The Smiths will open their 12th Central Arizona Supply location within two areas of the property. Half of the barn will house a stunning 10,000-square-foot plumbing and appliance showroom that will showcase the latest in luxury kitchen and bath plumbing, appliances and designer lighting. A first of its kind in the East Valley, the showroom will welcome designers, homeowners, builders, plumbers and contractors for an immersive experience with the world's top brands.
The 8,000-square-foot building will uphold the company's origins with a plumbing supply and parts counter and warehouse, which accounts for nearly half of Central Arizona Supply's overall business. With thousands of products on-hand, it services the plumbing trade and do-it-yourself homeowners who are looking for unrivaled inventory at any price point. The two additional buildings, and the other half of the barn, will be available for lease or purchase.
"The Higley Barns location will be our first showroom in nearly a decade, and with it we aim to raise the bar nationally with how clients and home professionals experience all of these design elements in one beautifully curated environment that honors the home," said Smith. "From working kitchens and cutting-edge products on display, to local chefs hosting cooking demos for the community, it will be a fun and inspiring place to gather and collaborate."
Phoenix-based Brick & West, known for designing some of the Valley's most notable restaurants, has been hired as the architect and Lee & Associates Arizona will manage the leasing and/or potential sales of the mixed-use space.
Located on Williams Field Road between Higley and Recker Roads, the barn was originally built in 1966 to store potatoes. It was then a furniture showroom for the Potato Barn, the popular home furnishings store, until the company moved to a larger location in 2011 and the barn has sat empty ever since.
Construction is slated to begin this fall with completed expected in summer 2021. More details will be announced in the coming months.
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