The Phoenix City Council approved a $150,000 grant to rehabilitate a portion of the 63-year-old “City Center Motel” in the heart of downtown. The restoration of the historically designated main building is part of a larger project to build a new multi-story high-tech hotel.
The main building at 600 W. Van Buren Street, is a rare remaining example of “Googie-style” roadside architecture that was popular in the 1950s. The design includes concrete blocks and “space-age” features including the long, angular entryway and an extended sign with long blades. The architecture style catered to automobile traffic and the features were meant to get the attention of visitors driving by.
City Council approved the historic designation of the building in November of 2022. The main building and the annex building behind it were both built in 1959. The annex building, with a more common and functional design, was not deemed historically significant and will be demolished.
The owner of the motel, Fabius Enterprise, LLC, will preserve the main building and incorporate it into the design for a $26.9 million hotel with a focus on new technology to better serve customers now and in the future.
The City’s Historic Preservation Office will work with the developer to ensure the rehabilitation is done to historic preservation standards. The work includes repairs to the structure and foundation and reversing alterations made over time. The Council allocated $500,000 in grant funds in its 2022-2023 budget to provide grants like this to preserve and restore threatened buildings.