Local Architects SBBL Swing Big Downtown Move & Gibson Market Project

July 15, 2014

The stairwell at Cord Blood Registry.

The stairwell at Cord Blood Registry.

by James J. Jefferies

Big things are in motion for Downtown Tucson. It’s fun to fixate on the endless number of fantastic destinations popping up for excellent dining or a delicious pint of locally-brewed ale, but an equally important concept, in terms of the Old Pueblo’s long-term economic health, is whether or not businesses of all stripes have begun to eye our city’s center as a potential home. Is it a good environment for them to put down roots and conduct their ventures in a manner that will be beneficial to their bottom line? The answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes!’, and for proof of this, you can look no further than SBBL Architecture + Planning.

Founded by Thomas Sayler-Brown, SBBL has been laying down the blueprint for excellence in retail, office, health care, and multi-family residential buildings and developments. Their new office location will be at 15 E. Pennington Street, right in the heart of Downtown Tucson’s ferocious economic revival. For Sayler-Brown, moving SBBL to our urban center represents the fulfillment of a longtime dream, an extension of his childhood interest in drawing and buildings that turned into a career he’s been passionate about since the age of 14.

“When I was eight years old,” said Sayler-Brown, “I would spend Sundays looking through the newspaper, specifically at the comics and the real estate section.” He would draw his own houses after looking at pictures of houses, thinking about how he would do things differently. By the age of 14, he was fixated on someday becoming an architect, a goal that manifested in the form of his own firm by 1997.

The spacious, colorful lobby at the Foothills Loews Theater location.

The spacious, colorful lobby at the Foothills Loews Theater location.

Sayler-Brown and SBBL have been very successful locally, as one can see from the extensive portfolio present on SBBL’s website, featuring their work on the Foothills Mall Loews Theater, The Lodge at Canoa Ranch, the Stone Curves multi-family housing development, and the Cord Blood Registry, among other projects.

“After moving into a house Downtown a while back,” said Sayler-Brown, “I knew eventually we’d move the business down here as well, and right now is just an amazing time to be part of the entire scene in Tucson.” SBBL is currently engaged in finishing plans for a very critical piece of that Downtown scene, the forthcoming Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, the long-awaited grocery store Downtown has been pining for. “We had a wonderful first meeting with Kelly Abbott,” said Sayler-Brown, “and we’re working on what will prove to be a real exciting space there.”

As for the actual move into the new office space on Pennington, SBBL is currently occupying the new digs, with a bit of additional work to be completed as they happily unpack. For more about SBBL Architecture + Planning, check out their website here.


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