From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
618 N. 5th Ave. in Roosevelt
Sitting on the patio at Cibo, you may have noticed a quaint little stuccoed apartment complex directly across 5th Avenue. Though it may look younger than most 82-year-olds, this two-winged complex has been on site since 1928. Dubbed Fifth Ave Court (a rugged, Wild West-like sign still hangs over the peaked entrance today), it is one of the Roosevelt district’s original apartment complexes. Remarkably, little has changed in eight-plus decades.
W.A. Wells & Son was the contractor assigned to the job. In today’s south Roosevelt, this part of 5th Avenue was hardly affluent back in those days, as the well-to-do tended to live further east near Central Avenue or further north near present-day streets like Lynwood, Wiletta and Portland. Though still close to the city center, Fifth Ave Courts were virtually suburban back when construction began.
A one-story stuccoed brick residential structure — literally a court, with two wings forming an “n” shape around a common area with front entrances — Fifth Ave Court is a prime example of the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style that was prevalent in the late 1920s in the area. Though a re-stuccoing and a paint job or two may have been necessary over the years, little else has changed. The original plans called for nine residential units (four in each identical wing and a larger central unit in the back), and it is so today.
The 618 address is part of the south Roosevelt revitalization of the past decade, with several small apartment complexes getting fix-ups, as well as a number of historic homes and bungalows being rezoned for commercial use — just within one block there’s Cibo, Local Breeze, the Allstate office and a number of law firms.
And, at the time of this writing, there is a rental available in the building. With a location like this, it won’t last long.
Source: Phoenix Historic Building Survey by Charles Hall Page and Associates, Sep. 1979
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at email@example.com with the address and a brief description.
Have you ever caught yourself driving on Central while thinking about tying one on? Me too. What a coincidence. I have had that happen several times since I moved Downtown. Inexcusably, most of us shrug it off. I just did the most logical thing: turned into FEZ.
This restaurant seems to do a lot of things well — make ridiculously delicious burgers, house an extensive bar selection and pulse house music… wait… is that a good thing?
After spending the last hour enhancing my Adonis-like frame at the gym, I had a hankering for a good burger. So, my first thought was to hit up FEZ. I could almost smell the garlic rosemary fries as I paralleled the light rail en route to my dinner. Once I arrived, I was met in the parking lot with the familiar thump of the music that lie within.
Upon being seated, I refused the menu and rambled off my order as if I had been practicing my lines in the car (possibly the truth, but I will plead the fifth). Then, the waitress posed the question that I did not know the answer to: What would you like to drink? Ha. In my haste to engulf the FEZ burger I had forgotten to think of what would cool my parched throat and complement my meal.
Obviously, she had seen this before. I was pointed toward the notable martini selection. Now, I am not one to shrug off the suggestion of the waitstaff. I worked in the restaurant scene at one time, so I’m aware that most good staffers know what is good. At the mention of Feztini, I kindly obliged and knew that once I wrote about this evening, I would encounter some criticism.
Now, there have been some extremely girly drinks reviewed/tested/enjoyed during my tenure at Sips and Grub, so this is not a new thing. In fact, I just quelled any anxiety by reminding myself that James Bond enjoyed several martinis in his day. Whew.
This Skyy Vodka concoction — Skyy raspberry vodka, Chambord and a champagne float — was way pinker than I had pictured. Garnished with a sugared rim and a gummy worm, this is not a martini Bond would order, but it is velvety goodness. The fruit flavor is cooled in the alcohol. Every sip was righteously good.
I’m thankful for my knowledgeable waitstaff. Apparently, my waitress knew exactly what to get with that signature burger. I’m not ashamed. Next time I’ll just ask for two gummy worms.
FEZ is located at 3815 N. Central Ave., near the light rail station at Central/Indian School — 602.287.8700
One of the overlooked aspects of the recent home buyer’s tax credits approved by Congress is the credit that is available for the “move-up” or repeat home buyer. Many people are aware of the up to $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, but there has not been a real concerted effort to let people know about the up to $6,500 tax credit available to buyers who sold their previous home and are “moving up.”
The law defines a tax credit-qualified move-up home buyer (“long-time resident”) as a person who has owned and resided in the same home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase of the move-up home. Repeat home buyers do not have to purchase a home that is more expensive than their previous home to qualify for the tax credit.
The homeowners who fall in to this move-up category, would have purchased their homes in 2002 or prior, which means they bought their homes prior to the real estate madness of 2005 to 2007 and probably made some money, or at least didn’t lose money. For those who fall into this category, you have until April 30, 2010 to take advantage of this one-time tax credit. If you have lived in your current home for five of the last eight years, and are interested in moving up, time is running out to sell your home and make the move-up purchase.
Find out more about the Move-Up/Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit
Lyle Plocher is a licensed Real Estate Broker with the Urban Connection Realty team at HomeSmart. Lyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week I finally broke down and bought an iPhone. I bought it because it just works. For the last few months, I have been rotating between Android phones, then bought an iPod Touch and a Verizon MiFi so that I could have an iPhone-like experience without actually giving in to the AT&T machine. By the time I put my phone, iPod Touch, MiFi, my wallet and my keys in my pockets as I walked out of the house, they were literally overflowing. God help me if I tried to squeeze a Metro pass or some change in there.
Sure, my Android phone plus iPod Touch plus MiFi combination had the features I needed to check in on Yelp, read Facebook posts and check my Google Voice messages, but it was a real pain in the ass to find a place for everything, not to mention the trouble that went into managing three different sets of batteries.
This electronic experience caused me to reflect on my recent post about why people move away from Phoenix to places like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. I think the reason people move from Phoenix to these cities is because, like an iPhone, they just work. In Portland you just jump on the streetcar to get wherever you want to go in the central city. Need to go further? Hop on the extensive light rail system. Restaurants, bars, and shopping are all oriented around public transit and dense neighborhoods. It just works.
In Phoenix, things are a bit more like the Android phone, iPod Touch, MiFi combo. Sure you can make it to a dense neighborhood, but that is a rare experience, and almost considered an oddity by those who aren’t committed to the city’s central core. Public transport connections outside of the single light rail line are sparse and unreliable. And don’t even get me started about the light rail segment between Phoenix and Tempe, on which I am generally asked to disembark and get on the next train at least 30% of the time.
Is this a standard Phoenix bitch session? Not at all. There is a charm to the Android ecosystem. It is complicated, it asks a lot of you and you feel clever when you master it. But, it is a hell of a lot easier to just get the phone that everyone has, that everyone has apps for and just works.
The goal of a thriving Downtown in Phoenix should be to make our town an iPhone. Get businesses, people, leaders, kids, neighbors and friends talking about how we can make living, working and shopping Downtown an enjoyable experience. And, for the love of God, let’s keep the trains running on time.
Last week’s games
01/22/09 Bulls 115, SUNS 104
01/23/09 SUNS 112, Warriors 103
01/25/09 Jazz 124, SUNS 115
01/26/09 Bobcats 114, SUNS 109
This week’s games
01/28/09 SUNS vs Mavericks, 8:30 p.m., TNT
01/31/09 SUNS @ Rockets, 5 p.m., My45
02/01/09 SUNS @ Hornets, 6 p.m., My45
02/03/09 SUNS @ Nuggets, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
These lyrics from The Clash describe how I feel about the current situation with All Star Power Forward/Center Amar’e Stoudemire and the only team he has ever played for, the Phoenix Suns. If he stays, he’ll have to agree to take less than the max. If he goes, he’ll more than likely get the max from some foolish team. If he leaves, there will be trouble, as there are still plenty of Suns fans that like him and would like him to remain a member of the Suns. If he stays, it will be double, as even more people think Stoudemire isn’t worth the max and it’s time for both parties to part ways. So, I’d like someone to come on and let me know, preferably sooner rather than later.
If I had to guess now, I’d say the Suns will move Stoudemire before the February 18th trade deadline. Is this what I want? Not really. Do I understand where Phoenix is coming from? Yes.
I’d love for the Suns to keep Stoudemire, but not if he won’t take less money. He’s simply not worth that. Originally, I thought Amar’e would be willing to play in Phoenix for less, however it’s not looking that way now. He has the tools to be a max guy, but he doesn’t bring it every night and that’s the frustrating thing. Amar’e will put together games where he gives you 25 points and 13 rebounds, but then there will be those nights where he barely cracks double figures scoring and pulls down three boards. If STAT expects to make the same as guys like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, he needs to bring it every night.
Last week, I defended keeping this team together. I said we shouldn’t blow things up. I still believe that, but I wouldn’t be against shaking things up, which we could do by dealing Stoudemire. The Suns just have to do things wisely. Don’t dump Stoudemire just for cash. Hold out until some team gives us the perfect combination of young talent, draft picks and cap space. If the Suns play their cards right, they can turn this Stoudemire situation into something special for the present and the future.
Currently, we hold the ninth seed out West. Only a few games separate us from the fourth spot. If the Suns trade Stoudemire for someone like Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards, we’d still have enough talent to make some noise out West.
We don’t own our draft pick (it was part of a previous trade) for the upcoming draft, so I believe getting into the playoffs this year is essential. We can’t afford to give a young, upcoming team (Oklahoma City) out West a lottery pick. So, Steve Kerr, I beg you, do the right thing. Don’t talk to the Spurs, Bulls, Pistons or Cavaliers. They have nothing to offer that can help us now or in the future. Only listen to the Nets if they’re willing to either part with Brook Lopez or their first-round pick this year (unprotected!). Listen to Miami, Washington, Houston and Minnesota, but wait it out until one of them makes the perfect pitch.
The Suns have plenty of options available to them. Hopefully, they choose the right one.