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EDISON MIDTOWN BRINGS MODERN URBAN LIVING TO PHOENIX’S CENTRAL CORRIDOR
$22M midrise building is first major downtown project slated for key neighborhood since 2008
Midtown Phoenix is getting a hip new neighbor. Scottsdale-based Deco Communities has closed on a key parcel of land that will be transformed into Edison Midtown, a new urban contemporary condominium in the heart of Phoenix’s urban core. Located at 2346 N. Central Ave. the address says it all, Edison is central to Midtown’s buzzing scene filled with food, arts, culture and history Demolition of the vacant office building on the site will occur in the summer 2014 and the $22M redevelopment is slated for a 2016 completion date. Developed exclusively by Deco Communities, Edison Midtown will be the first major residential development announced for the Central Corridor since 2008.
“The Edison Midtown project taps into the soul of the city, utilizing the unique identity of the neighborhood to create an authentically local living space that caters to the tech-savvy, community-oriented Gen Y consumer that lives and breathes the urban lifestyle,” said Rob Lyles, partner for Deco Communities. “Our outstanding team of architects and designers has worked diligently to curate a thoughtful living experience that is true to the virtues of Phoenix’s downtown dwellers,” he said. “ Downtown Phoenix is experiencing a surge in housing demand spurred by the recent $4.5 billion investment by the public and private structure in infrastructure, transportation, education and tourism. Deco is excited to have the chance to provide housing that both starts to address this demand and does so with a design that is true to the modern Phoenix aesthetic.”
Fueled by imagination and innovation, the Edison Midtown will include 80 unique residential units, many with stunning Instagram-ready views of the horizon and city lights. The city’s best indie coffee shops, bars, live music venues, funky boutiques and museums are all just steps away. The units will range from approximately 800 to 1,350- square feet. Each residence will enjoy contemporary kitchens with opening shelving and repurposed countertops, gas appliances, 10 foot ceilings, steam showers, spacious walk-in closets, wood flooring and large balconies perfect for entertaining and soaking in the extraordinary city views. Pricing will start in the high $200’s.
With a mix of modern amenities and charmingly retro design inspirations, Edison Midtown speaks to the heart of the Gen Y urbanite. Brought to life by the award-winning Los Angeles architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux, lead architect Daniel Gehman drew inspiration from the past and present of the iconic Midtown neighborhood, its Willo district roots, and its urban dwellers. As a result, the building is designed to be a confluence of community, the kind of place that fosters socializing and sharing and integrates seamlessly with the vibrant community around it. With a pulse exactly where trendy meets classic meets cool, Phoenix-based interior design firm Private Label will style the interiors.
Drawing from inspiration from illustrious hangouts such as the Ace Hotel brand found Palm Springs, Portland, London and LA, the contemporary building is styled with a hat tip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s early designs and rises 5 stories above a two-level underground parking structure offering 145 private parking spaces. With the project’s close proximity to the Light Rail and just steps from the Central/Encanto Light Rail station, Edison Midtown residents can take advantage of Phoenix’s best urban transportation system or bike the city with ease.
Designed to foster a sense communal living, Edison Midtown will be a hub of activity with an array of social amenities including a garden-inspired courtyard pool and spa, a “cross-fit” style fitness center with yoga, secure bike storage, Wi-Fi common areas, electric car charging stations and more. The ultimate urban sanctuary, the Edison Midtown will afford residents a superior work, live, play lifestyle at the center of the thriving city.
At the heart of Midtown Phoenix, Edison Midtown residents will be just steps away from downtown’s epicenter boasting a mix of premier nightlife, music, shopping, cultural destinations, sporting events and hip restaurant options. Nearby destinations include the Phoenix Art Museum, Pane Bianco, Lux Coffee, Hula’s Modern Tiki, US Airways Center, Crescent Ballroom, Vovomeena, the Phoenix Symphony and more.
Reservations for Edison Midtown will open in Summer 2014. To get on the list, visit www.LiveatEdison.com or call 480.850.2026.
Image rendering courtesy of Deco Communities.
Julie Meeker loves math, science and beer. So, naturally, she’s opening a brewery.
“From the time I was legally allowed to drink, I’ve always been interested in local, craft beer. Which, back in the ’80s, there weren’t a lot of choices.”
In an effort to add a few more locally brewed choices to downtown Phoenix, Julie and her husband Jimmie McBride are in the process of creating Mother Bunch Brewing, a brew house and restaurant planned to inhabit the historic J.B. Bayless building on 7th Street and Garfield.
Julie hopes to feature not only her own original beers, but an array of locally made beer from around the state, in addition to wine and what she calls “interesting cocktails.”
“We’re going to have a total of 20 handles, with up to 8 Mother Bunch beers at any time,” she said.
While working toward a June opening, Julie is focusing on transforming a space originally intended for retail into a full-service restaurant and brewery while respecting the history and original exterior of the building.
The interior is designed with the bar and kitchen in the center, in a rustic—but not too-rustic—fashion. She is also hoping to incorporate an outdoor patio, but will wait a few months because the outdoor dining permit process is a little more involved.
Julie’s goal for the bar is “traditional items presented in a contemporary manner.” And in an effort to make business luncheons less painful, she is also installing a large meeting area to accommodate televised presentations, for groups who want to enjoy a drink while working.
Luckily, Julie is no stranger to the unique challenges of construction, after having spent the last 25 years in general contracting, and even working as one of the engineers on the Cardinals stadium.
This is her first small business venture though, and she hopes it will fill a need in the downtown area. As for the interesting name, she took a cue from the history of home brewing.
“Part of being a nerd is that you also like the history of stuff too. I was researching alewives—back in the 1500s and 1600s, women were actually the brewers. It was part of your household duties, like doing the laundry or baking bread,” she said, and the term ‘Mother Bunch’ came from a book on the practice.
As Julie describes, making beer has always been her hobby, and turning the thing you love into your moneymaker is the ultimate goal of every business owner.
“It’s everybody’s dream. Hopefully, it won’t turn into a nightmare!”
Julie’s liquor license is going before the Phoenix City Council on April 16 and, along with a few additional licenses, a positive vote should lead to a new brew house opening this summer in downtown Phoenix.
To find out the official launch date for this festive new brew house and additional updates on the space, check out Mother Bunch Brewing’s progress on their Facebook page!
As an independent chronicler of all things downtown, DPJ takes a comprehensive approach to covering the urban living movement in Phoenix and, with this Conversation series, spotlighting the people who make it move.
“We need to do a better job of leveraging it all.”
Jeri Jones is a relatively recent transplant to Phoenix. After 20 years in Denver, Jones moved to Phoenix as the CEO for employer and individual business (the commercial and business program) for UnitedHealth Group only two years ago. She came to town just as the company was consolidating its workforce from five locations to two, including the main location at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. Still based in Phoenix, she moved into a new regional position with UnitedHealth to run their Medicaid program across the West about six months ago.
The consolidation made UnitedHealth one of the largest employers in downtown. Jones mentioned that initially the employees were not sure about the move. “People were a little nervous about moving downtown,” she said. “It took a little bit to win the hearts and minds of our team that it was going to be a good move, and a lot of fun.” To make the transition easier, UnitedHealth worked with local businesses to engage employees through activities like scavenger hunts that helped familiarize them with downtown. “Now that it’s been a year and a half,” said Jones, “everyone loves it.”
“We need to give people more options for living downtown; options that appeal to a broad spectrum of people.”
She values the impact that changes to downtown have had, including the building of the stadiums, the growth of downtown restaurants and businesses, CityScape and the building of the light rail. During her time in Denver, she watched that city go through many of the changes Phoenix is experiencing now. “I watched the same thing happen in Denver,” she said. “Before the light rail you would go downtown and there would be very few people on the street. Then came the light rail, which made it so easy to go downtown, to go to events.”
From Jones’ perspective, downtown now needs to go to the next level. “We need to give people more options for living downtown; options that appeal to a broad spectrum of people. We need to continue to combine residential with park-type areas. If people are going to live downtown, they need more green areas, places to be where they don’t have to feel like they are in a concrete jungle,” she said. “I feel like we are still in a little bit of a concrete jungle.”
In addition to building more residential options, and making sure there is green space, Jones believes that the key is to continue getting the word out about what is going on downtown, about what is available to see and do. “We need to do a better job of leveraging it all,” she said. “We need to be better at getting people downtown. We (UnitedHealth) do a lot of events in the evening and try to keep people down here. And with out-of-town visitors we encourage them to stay downtown, to get out and discover downtown restaurants.”
“Getting a cross segment of businesses involved in changing a city is the fastest way to do it, as opposed to just the city.”
Jones serves on the board of Downtown Phoenix Inc. and sees DPI as significant for the future of downtown because of the cross section of businesses, public sector and community leaders involved. “Getting a cross segment of businesses involved in changing a city is the fastest way to do it, as opposed to just the city. It seems like some of the previous attempts by different groups with different visions got a lot accomplished, but I am hopeful that having the umbrella of DPI over it all, bringing more diversity to the process, will make a difference.”
She singled out Dave Krietor, CEO of DPI, for his outstanding work bringing people together. “We have a lot of work to do and we have a great group of people. I love how Krietor is bringing all the different aspects of the neighborhood together. Sometimes I feel we’re not moving fast enough.”
As a resident of North Central Phoenix, Jones feels connected to downtown both through her work and her leisure activities. She enjoys the theater, eating out, concerts, and shopping downtown, and was almost tempted to strap on skates at the temporary CityScape ice rink this winter.
As to her role on the DPI board in particular, she says, “Hopefully, my role is to provide a different view because I didn’t grow up in it. Plus, coming from Denver and bringing a sense of what I witnessed there. Also, as one of the largest employers in downtown it’s important that we continue to get our employees more involved in downtown.”
It is clear that she has both a personal and a professional passion for downtown, and for what a vibrant urban core can mean to a city.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
When the New York Times Great Homes and Destinations section noted, “What You Get for… $900,000,” guess what popped up first? Why this little gem in our very own Willo Historic District. This is a reminder that downtown Phoenix is not only home to a growing number of condos and apartments filling in vacant lots, but established single family neighborhoods (and neighbors).
Meet the New City Manager
Congratulations are in order for Phoenix’s new City Manager and DPI Board member Ed Zuercher. After a six-month national search, Ed was selected to replace David Cavazos. Ed is a 20-year city employee and had been acting manager since Cavazos left in October.
At a press conference on February 18, Mayor Greg Stanton announced that Phoenix is among a select few U.S. cities that will work with Google to deliver the company’s ultra high-speed Google Fiber network to local residents, businesses, and education centers. Greater Phoenix was one of only nine metropolitan areas chosen as potential sites for the network, and the City of Phoenix – along with Scottsdale and Tempe – will work with Google teams over the next several months to take the necessary steps to roll out this cutting-edge technology to the Valley.
Take an Art Detour
The 26th Annual Art Detour, March 8-9, 2014, will be an exceptional celebration of artists and their important contribution to the vibrancy of downtown Phoenix.
More than 100 spaces, including working artist studios, unique art spaces, galleries, cultural venues, restaurants and retailers will open their doors to make this the best two-day, all-access pass to the downtown arts scene in Detour’s 26-year history.
Celebrate the Art d’Core
To kick things off, join Mayor Greg Stanton on Saturday, March 1, at the Art d’Core Gala, a celebration of the significant role the arts have played in invigorating and adding color to our downtown. The event is sponsored by Downtown Phoenix, Inc., CityScape, Phoenix Convention Center, City of Phoenix Aviation Department, Support Sky Harbor Coalition and benefits Artlink Phoenix Inc.
Stay the Night
Also getting into the art spirit is the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, which now offers an Art Package so visitors and locals alike can experience the downtown’s growing art scene. Local DJs and visual artists are featured on a rotating basis, and guests upon check-in receive a complimentary Artlink Phoenix map of galleries, studios, and art-friendly businesses.
Check out the Fourth Annual Mardi Gras and Parade, which will headquarter at CityScape. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on March 1, revel with the help of a DJ curated soundtrack, creepy masks, vendors and, of course, beads.–UPDATE: THE PARADE IS CANCELLED; OTHER FESTIVITIES CONTINUE.
View the New Venue
The Pressroom, located at 441 W. Madison Street, opened this month. Built in the 1920′s, the 14,000 square foot, red brick building once housed the city’s most modern printing press. Now the site offers ample indoor and outdoor space for concerts, weddings, private parties, corporate meetings, performing and visual arts, and sporting events.
No Festival of Film
No Festival Required is organizing a Sunday matinee music-oriented documentary film series at the Phoenix Center for the Arts through the month of May. Local photographer and videographer Steve Weiss created No Festival Required in 2002 to help boost the art form of film in downtown Phoenix, first through short film screenings and now primarily documentaries.
The Taste of Phoenix
Six Arizonans have been named semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards, the restaurant industry’s version of the Academy Awards. Three of the six have strong ties to downtown Phoenix: Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco (pictured right), Sam Fox of The Arrogant Butcher, and Silvana Salcido Esparza of The Barrio Cafe.
Sponsor Bike Share
Final negotiations are in process with several key sponsors for Grid Bike Share. These efforts will continue, with a focus on sponsorship collaboration opportunities for local retailers. A 200-bike Grid program rollout is slated to begin the week of April 21, with plans for a major intro event in coordination with the City of Phoenix and Valley Metro. Rollout will finish in May with a total of 500 Grid bikes at 50 stations.
When it comes to operating a coffee shop in Phoenix, Christiaan and Laryn Callaway-Blok, the owners of Shine Coffee, are creating a very special midtown caffeine community.
When the recession wreaked havoc on their previous careers, the Bloks had to think fast about how they would make a living. According to Laryn, the proliferation of coffee shops along Central Avenue signaled positive growth for Phoenix, and the opportunity for the couple to invest in their home.
“It’s a sign of a lot of urban renewal, it’s a sign of people moving to downtown,” she said of the multiplicity of businesses moving downtown.
Christiaan was born in the Netherlands and lived in Europe for the first 20 years of his life, where he experienced a coffee culture different than the more automatic, mechanized one in the United States.
“I create relationships, and people love that,” said Christiaan. “People tell their stories, and people tell me if they’re joyous or sad. And that is actually very much an element of the European café culture.”
Their current Vernon Avenue brick and mortar location opened in November 2012, and was an outgrowth of their experience running a mobile business.
“We started as a food truck, and we really saw a niche for kind of an upscale, mobile coffee bar, which is what we did for a couple of years,” according to Laryn. “The food truck situation is wonderful, but it’s far more manual labor than a regular restaurant.”
Once they established the physical location for Shine, the Bloks took some initiative with their surroundings. Most recently, they completed a $23,000 privately-funded Kickstarter campaign, transforming the vacant space outside the shop into a community gathering spot to benefit both the community and the economy. The Vernon Avenue Pocket Park officially opened to the public on January 18th.
Because Shine is located in an active, midtown, urban community, the park fit right into place.
“We felt, as a local business, that we could either do something that is just for us, or we could do something that creates beauty and shape for the entire neighborhood,” said Laryn.
When it was time to layout a design for the park, the Bloks approached Kirby Hoyt, landscape designer at Edge Industries, who wanted to utilize the outdoor space to encourage community involvement.
“I hope this is a catalyst for other things like this to take place,” said Hoyt. “As a city, we don’t have to wait for the government to come in and do things; we can do things on our own.”
“As we were working on the design, they [the Bloks] took over the front part of the adjacent building for their living room, and then we tweaked the design,” said Hoyt. “We probably just rotated it 90 degrees basically to fill out this area that now is in the front of the building. So now it ties to two spaces together.”
Although there have already been drastic improvements for the business, the customers, and the city, the Bloks will continue to enhance customer experience.
For now, they want to focus on expanding the menu and park amenities at this location.
Although the couple wants to share coffee culture with as many people possible, they do not rely heavily on advertising and social media, instead preferring word of mouth.
“I think that advertising for a coffee shop can be detrimental,” said Christiaan. “If it’s good, people are going to come anyways.”
Ultimately, Shine Coffee will continue to evolve in order to create a unique customer experience that also maintains the needs of both the business and Phoenix sustainability.
“We think it’s a good time to be exploring the different kinds of coffee bars that can exist in the city of Phoenix,” Laryn said.