As of this morning, METRO has enacted an Adopt-A-Station initiative along the light rail line. During the press conference, which took place at the Roosevelt/Central station (aka “Arts District” station), Mesa Vice Mayor and METRO Board Vice Chairman Kyle Jones boasted that Mesa’s lone stop at Main and Sycamore is the busiest of any of the rail stations, much to the chagrin of Phoenix Vice Mayor and METRO Board Chairman Tom Simplot. (Simplot argued that 19th and Montebello, the line’s “first” station, is by far the busiest.) Though fisticuffs didn’t ensue, a staged challenge between the Mesan and the Phoenician was presented: During September, if Mesa’s line proves to indeed be the busiest, Simplot will personally maintain the station’s appearance. The same goes for Jones and the Montebello station. Game on!
While these shenanigans play out, there’s business to attend to. Specifically, local business. Downtown has stations that need neighborhood sponsors. Here are my suggestions. Let me know what you want.
- Camelback/Central station: There’s a cluster of great, quirky business on the northwest corner of this intersection. Stinkweeds, Frances, Smeeks, Red Hot Robot: I’m looking at you guys.
- Campbell/Central station: It’s not like Lux or Pane Bianco need the press, but you can’t deny that these two spots bring vibrancy to this intersection. I’d be fine with Lux baristas pouring cappuccinos, then running outside to sweep up debris from last night’s storm.
- Indian School/Central station: I guess the fight club/storage facility got demolished. So, that’s out. How about Steele Indian School Park? It’s one of the city’s biggest parks, yet one of its hidden gems.
- Osborn/Central station: Tossup between Phoenix Country Club and Encanto Park. Golfing downtown, anyone?
- Thomas/Central station: The hospital will probably win out here. Either that or Phillips and Associates. They’re everywhere.
- Encanto/Central station: We need the Heard to take this, right?
- McDowell/Central station: I’d prefer Thai Hut take this. Can we somehow make this happen?
- Roosevelt/Central station: The obvious answers here would be NBC 12, Fair Trade Café or Portland’s. But, how about Portland Place lofts, with several units in escrow and a bankrupt developer, getting its name out there? Any advertising would help!
- Van Buren/Central and Van Buren/1st Avenue stations: I’m sure Michael Crow already put in his bid.
- Washington/Central and Jefferson/Central: Hello, CityScape.
- Washington/3rd Street and Jefferson/3rd Street: The Phoenix Suns are going to need as much money coming in as possible this season with the way things are looking. Take that into consideration, Robert Sarver.
Anyone have any other thoughts?
Downtown Phoenix’s newest addition, CityScape, celebrated the “Topping Out” of their 27-story Phase I office tower yesterday.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer joined management leaders from RED Development and Hunt Construction Group at the ceremony to announce nine new tenants signing on for CityScape’s Phase I office tower. The tower is slated to open in Spring 2010.
The nine new tenants include six restaurants: The Breakfast Club, Blu Burger Grille, Press Coffee, Mojo Yogurt and two new Aaron May restaurants including an Asian Noodle House and a Mexican-style restaurant. Two clothing retailers, including a Scottsdale-based denim retailer, Designer District, and Republic of Couture, join the rapidly growing list. Gust Rosenfeld, one of the Valley’s oldest and most prestigious law firms, has also signed on.
These nine join 11 other tenants in the CityScape Phase I project. AJ’s Fine Foods, Urban Outfitters, Gold’s Gym, CVS Pharmacy, the Kimpton Palomar Hotel and others have already committed to the project.
Despite Bashas’ Supermarket Inc., owners of AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City, filing for Chapter 11 protection earlier this week, CityScape remains hopeful that they will still choose to be a part of the project.
“We know that all of their reasons for wanting to put an AJ’s in Phoenix are still the same. We continue to hope that it still makes sense for them,” said Jeff Moloznik, Development Manager for RED Development.
If AJ’s Fine Food’s does have to pull out the project, Moloznik assures that the space will remain grocery space.
The development group behind the 600,000-square-foot tower worked hard to achieve a balance between national retail chains and local, owner operated stores. The local stores are unique additions to the CityScape project because they will be the first or second of their kind in Phoenix.
Mayor Phil Gordon is pleased with the balance that CityScape’s retail is aiming to achieve.
“What are retail places trying to become? Faux-downtowns. Well, Phoenix has the only downtown [in Arizona] so we don’t need the faux,” Gordon said. “People will come because they enjoy it. It is vibrant and eclectic.”
Hunt Construction, the company behind the Phoenix Convention Center expansion, Cardinal’s Stadium and the Civic Space Park, became Arizona’s first and only building contractor to receive Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s Voluntary Protection Program STAR status for the CityScape construction. This means they now manage themselves in the areas of safety.
In conclusion to the topping-off ceremony, a boxed pine tree was lifted 368 feet to the top of the tower. As Scandinavian tradition goes, to appease the tree-dwelling spirits the final timber is lifted into place in celebration. Today, many construction companies place a pine branch at the top of the completed building.
Look for CityScape’s Phase I tenants taking residence between March-June 2010.
Epicurious.com, the web magazine for people who love to eat, is making the Downtown Phoenix Public Market a stop on their second annual farmers’ market tour this summer.
On Saturday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 22, stop by the Epicurious.com booth at the market anytime during its operating hours, and pick up a free eco-friendly tote bag, a recipe card with the perfect dish to cook up that day, and other great give-aways.
The tour is sponsored by Newman’s Own, Stacy’s, McCormick, and World MasterCard.
The Phoenix Public Market, 721 N. Central Ave., is an outdoor market open every Wednesday evening from 4pm to 8pm and every Saturday morning from 8am to noon, whether rain or shine.
The market, established in February 2005, features specials on Arizona grown produce, fresh baked goods, local arts and crafts, live music, and more. It is a unique outlet for small local food-related enterprises to create opportunities for small businesses that cannot afford typical retail space costs to market their products.
The Phoenix Public Market has provided the city with access to affordable and nutritious food, and is working to establish a permanent several-day-a-week grocery store in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
Urban Grocery and Wine Bar will be at 14 E. Pierce St., adjacent to the current open-air market. It is expected to open in mid-September and will operate Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 8pm. It will offer high quality, affordable groceries, perpared food to eat in or take out, flowers and plants, wine and beer, bath and body products, household and pet items, and crafts, with priority given to those made by local artisans or produced in Arizona.
In addition, Royal Coffee Bar, located at 2nd Ave. and Jackson, will be opening a second site, Royal at the Market, at the store.
For more information, visit www.phoenixpublicmarket.com
The Rowdy Boutique, 4717 N. 7th St., is hosting a wine tasting party this Wednesday, July 15 from 5:30 to 8:30pm.
At this open-house style event, enjoy not only wine, but appetizers and discounted shopping as well. Perfect Skin Tempe will be at the event giving Botox and filler injections for a special Rowdy price of $10 per unit instead of the usual $15 per unit. Rowdy will be raffling off gift certificates to the boutique and other great prizes.
For more information visit www.therowdyboutique.com or call 602-277-0510
For more information on Perfect Skin Tempe visit www.perfectskintempe.com
Downtown Voices Coalition, Modified Arts and No Festival Required present “Malls R Us,” a documentary film by Helene Klodawsky.
“Malls R Us” examines North American’s most popular and profitable suburban destination – the enclosed shopping center – and how for consumers they function as a communal, even ceremonial experience and, for retailers, sites where their idealism, passion and greed merge.
The film will be shown on Tuesday, June 30 at 8pm at Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt St. Admission is $6 but students with a valid I.D. receive $1 off.
For more information on the film, visit www.nofestivalrequired.com. For more information on the Modified Arts, visit www.modified.org.