Sparkman Wharf

Finalist 2019

Sparkman Wharf takes the place of a traditional indoor entertainment and retail plaza. It features a food hall style assortment of 11 restaurants creatively housed in shipping containers, a biergarten, a recreational lawn and a stage for live music.

api(+) was hired to develop a signage criteria manual for the venue and to work with each restauranteur tenant to develop their signage, which is a major component of the overall visual environment. The landlord encouraged tenant signage to be executed in a manner not commonly seen in other retail environments and discouraged unimaginative designs.

After developing the signage criteria manual, api(+) worked with each of the restauranteurs to develop their primary and blade signs. Each restaurant is the creation of a popular local chef who has a successful restaurant in the area. Some recreated smaller versions of their existing concepts but most developed brand-new concepts for Sparkman Wharf.

To maintain budget, they worked with two fabricators throughout the entire process to ensure that what was created fit within budget. Some were over and some were under the $5,000 budget but all balanced out within the overall budget.

Each tenant is pleased with their signage and, overall, the project has been huge success. Most tenants sold out of food on the first weekend and they’ve continued to be very busy. The venue is the talk of town and has become a focal point and gathering place not only for visitors and the neighborhood, but the city and region at large.

Design Firms: 

AP+I Design


Sparkman Wharf / Strategic Property Partners, LLC.

Project Area: 

43,560 sq ft

Open Date: 

November 2018

Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Nicole Abbett (photography)

Design Team: 

John Scheffel (design Lead), Li Shyu (construction drawings)


Creative Sign Designs, Pep Rally (murals)

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