Repurposed shipping container project values local business

Local restaurants, local boutiques and local thinkers at The Churchill show what Phoenix really has to offer.

The Churchill is built of repurposed shipping containers and features ten local small businesses. It is located in Downtown Phoenix at 901 N. 1st St., near the Arizona State University Phoenix campus.

“Our goal was to create a community space where people can gather, but also to encourage small local business, which is why we took so long to find our tenants,” Kell Duncan, The Churchill co-founder, said. “It was very important for us to choose people that are local.”

In addition to the local tenants, a variety of features from furniture to the planters were created by locals, Duncan said The Churchill is a spot that was truly created by people who live in Phoenix.

“We chose Phoenix because we see it on the upswing and we really believe in it and wanted to be here early. Hopefully be something that brings more people down, and inspires other people to build down here, too.” Duncan said.

The Churchill is home to small local businesses including restaurants, bars and shops. Hartley Rodie, The Churchill co-founder, explained the project “isn’t just one person’s dream. It is really a collection of local entrepreneurs who have been working tooth and nail to see their concept through and this is their platform to do so.”

The Churchill tenants include:

Freak Brothers Pizza

Foxy Fruit

Sauvage Bottle Shop

State Forty Eight

The Brill Line





The Pobrecito

State Forty Eight LLC co-founder Michael Spangenberg said The Churchill is an ideal spot for the apparel line because, “to be around great businesses- it’s been awesome for us.”

Spangenberg explained that State Forty Eight will be able to draw in business from guests who are visiting other tenants of The Churchill.

Rodie said The Churchill’s goal is “to be a place that connects locals with their local businesses, and with local nonprofits.”

As part of the tenants’ leases, they are required to complete four hours of community service each month. Rodie said every business housed in The Churchill is participating in ongoing fundraisers and it’s a place to “support those in need.”

The founders experienced inspiration throughout the development process. Rodie said he wanted to eliminate the “barrier of entry” for small business owners, and the concept allows “people to have that first opportunity because the first opportunity is always the hardest.”

When it comes to repurposing shipping containers, Duncan said he and Rodie “like the idea of using something sustainable.” He also said the small spaces designed for the tenants allows them to execute their business because its more affordable.

The founders envision The Churchill as a spot for anyone and everyone to enjoy. “I want it to be approachable and inviting for everyone,” said Duncan.

He said it’s a family-friendly project, but it is also expected to draw a nightlife crowd. Whether it’s a family or a nearby ASU student, The Churchill provides a welcoming atmosphere for a variety of people.

“It’s a cool place to go check out local artists and local people,” Duncan said. “Whether you’re from here or you’re bringing someone from out of town to show them, hopefully it’s something they’re proud of and will want to bring people here.”

Sierra Ciaramella

Nick Serpa

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