NORTH PHOENIX - The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the sprawling 164,000 square foot space at 17500 N. Black Canyon Highway took about three years and a lot of vision to get to. Because before it was Consumer Cellular's newest call center in Phoenix, it was a Sam's Club.
"When we started looking around and saw this building, it was a big empty square. That's what it looked like," said John Marick, CEO of Consumer Cellular.
That's pretty much what it was. It was a big empty square for about 11 years since the Sam's Club that occupied that location shuttered. It now has an open-air staircase, an industrial feel and funky decor, all in a collaborative work environment.
"It was our architect's taste, but also Consumer Cellular's taste," said Joe Blackbourn, President of Everest Holdings.
"They really wanted to leave the concrete walls bare. They wanted to use all of the scored concrete on the floors. Not just for the look, it's got a great durability and utility over a long period of time. It is today's aesthetic and lives really well."
This is Consumer Cellular's third Valley location; the other two are in Tempe. Re-purposing this vacant building means it will no longer be a potential target for vandals or a breeding ground for blight. As the developer, Blackbourn says seeing the unveiling of a project of this magnitude gives him a lot of satisfaction.
"It's very cool. It's the most gratifying part of doing my job. It will benefit this community a great deal," he said.
There are 160 workers at the new location with 500 total expected by year's end plus room for 1,600 total. For more on how to apply, click here.