Friends of Hance Dog Park members Lisa Krueger and Kate Kunberger wrote the following article about the newest downtown hot spot for dogs and their human companions to have fun together.
Downtown dog owners are counting down the seconds until the opening of Hance Dog Park on Saturday, October 5 at 8 a.m. Hance Dog Park is an off-leash dog park located between 3rd and 5th Avenues, just north of I-10 and south of Culver Street in the historic Roosevelt neighborhood of downtown Phoenix.
Area residents have been actively involved in planning this dog park for over three years. Beginning with the call for a downtown dog park that led to the creation of the 70 person “committee,” to the Hance Park Steering Committee sessions over the location, to multiple city council meetings with active public involvement and comment, to the negotiations with the neighboring community about the logistics and aesthetics of the park – downtown residents have been involved every step of the way.
Throughout the planning process, a consistent theme emerged: people not only want a secure place where their dogs can exercise off-leash, they want to make the dog park an integral part of their community. This strong sense of stewardship and community led to the formation of Friends of Hance Dog Park, a group of downtown dog lovers committed to making Hance Dog Park “our” park by working in partnership with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department to ensure that it is a clean, safe, and enjoyable park for local dogs and their owners.
But the process was not without complications. The location of the dog park sparked community debate, tapping into existing concerns about urban design, visitor parking, and outstanding issues with existing downtown parks. When the City Council identified Hance Park as the location, another round of meetings took place that addressed issues of activation of the public areas of Hance Park, incorporating the dog park into the redesign, and minimizing impact to the adjacent neighbors. Each proposed location had its advantages and disadvantages, supporters and detractors.
Once the location of the dog park was selected, the City engaged in several rounds of small-committee meetings to assess the specific concerns of the neighboring residents and the dog-park users. These concerns influenced numerous aspects of the design process. For example, to address the noise and aesthetic concerns of the residents closest to the dog park, a gabion wall was designed by the City and plexiglass panels were incorporated to ensure visibility. When the City proposed building a single park, dog owners voiced the need for separated small/large dog areas and worked to get the second park reinstated. Through this process, Friends of Hance Dog Park emerged as the voice of the community in working the City Parks and Recreation Department.
Indeed, Friends worked with the City to supplement the City’s budget in order to upgrade or add amenities to the park, such as upsizing the shade trees and adding additional seating. Even though the park has not yet opened, Friends of Hance Park has raised and donated over $10,000 – and put it on the ground. Friends consulted with the park’s designers regarding the location of the amenities and other user concerns. And, Friends is partnering with the Parks Department to organize and present the grand opening celebration. Friends President, Bob Diehl, notes that “Friends of Hance Dog Park is the first ‘friends’ group in support of a Phoenix dog park, so we are breaking new ground in creating the communication channels and exploring the various ways the community and the City can work together in support of a dog park.”
Friends will also promote a culture of cleanliness by encouraging good citizenship (pick up after your pets and encourage others to do the same!), as well as monthly clean-ups of the dog park and adjacent common area. The Friends website includes “etiquette” guidelines that supplement the City’s rules and encourage good clean play (for dogs and users). Friends of Hance Dog Park has “adopted” the dog park from the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. The volunteer clean-up crew will meet on the first Saturday of every month at 8 AM to pick up any pet waste and other debris in the dog parks and the common areas. Other activities are in the works as well. Friends is encouraging the community to join them to help achieve their mission of keeping Hance Dog Park a safe, clean and enjoyable dog park for dogs and their owners.
Membership in Friends of Hance Dog Park is open to the public for $10 per person; $20 for family membership; $100 for associate (corporate) memberships. Join Friends and help to keep Hance Dog Park a clean, safe, and enjoyable place for dogs and their owners.
If You Go
What: Grand Opening of Hance Dog Park
When: October 5, 2013, 8 am – 10 am
Where: On Culver Street between 3rd Ave. and 5th Ave.
David Krietor has served as President/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 first chat here.
The Fall semester is now in full swing. By the numbers, how many students do we now have in downtown?
Yes, school is back in session and joining us in downtown Phoenix are over 20,000 students.
- 18,500 students in a variety of disciplines at Arizona State University downtown Phoenix campus.
- 1,300 future attorneys at Phoenix College of Law.
- 289 future scientists and researchers at Phoenix Union Bioscience High School.
- 282 future physicians at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.
- 172 future allied health professionals at Northern Arizona University’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus facility.
- 90 Grand Canyon University students happen to reside at the just-opened Roosevelt Point.
Let’s welcome them with open arms and strive to ensure their “home away from home” is the best possible experience.
What is the latest regarding DPI’s organizational capacity?
The Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) Executive Committee approved its affiliate agreement with DPI similar to the agreement signed with the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP). The agreement designates PCA as DPI’s membership affiliate. PCA’s Executive Committee also reviewed a revised PCA mission statement that is focused in part on broadening and deepening their membership base consistent with the makeup of our emerging downtown community. An active group of PCA members and friends drafted the new mission statement.
With agreements in place with our two key affiliates, DPI now must produce a consolidated DPI/PCA/DPP program of work and budget for 2014 that creates synergy, fills in program gaps, and eliminates overlap and inefficiencies.
What are some examples of downtown’s economic and cultural vitality?
Downtown is connected to a diverse collection of neighborhoods whose vibrancy is vital if we are going to have a true downtown “community.” I was reminded recently how diverse we are when I attended the Grant Park Neighborhood Association meeting. The cultural heritage and sense of commitment to a strong urban core are very evident in Grant Park. While there are challenges more complicated than in other downtown neighborhoods, there is also a sense of optimism. The meeting was held in the Grant Park gym. As I was leaving the evening meeting the park was filled with young families and kids playing basketball. In some ways it represents what our aspirations are for community engagement and activity at Margaret T. Hance Park. DPI Advisory Committee Member Eva Olivas and her organization, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, are very much involved in the Grant Park community.
An easy way to get involved? Attend or support an Event!
Here are just a few as event season kicks into high gear:
Downtown, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row
Hance Park/Historic Roosevelt
A.E. England, Downtown
The Duce, Downtown
Downtown, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row
I also had an opportunity to attend the Central City Village Planning Committee and Evans Churchill Community Association meetings since my last communiqué to you. At the latter, Nichelle Zazueta-Bonow with the City of Phoenix Community & Economic Development Department provided a timetable on sidewalk and shade improvements for Fifth Street from the Phoenix Biomedical Campus to Roosevelt Row. This project, conceived with significant stakeholder input, will improve walkability in the neighborhood. In addition, Bob Diehl of the City of Phoenix Complete Streets Citizens Advisory Committee encouraged interested individuals to review and comment on the City’s Draft Complete Streets Policy. A “complete street” is a design concept that offers guidelines to ensure roads, sidewalks, and other streetscape elements are accessible, convenient, and safe for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The Hance Park Master Plan Design Team, comprised of internationally recognized design experts, held a series of community and stakeholder workshops to seek ideas for an improved Margaret T. Hance Park.
In other good news… Did you hear that the Phoenix Public Market was just rated the fourth best farmers’ market in America by The Daily Meal website? Also, word on the street (Jefferson to be exact) is that the crane over the Hotel Palomar came down and leasing for CityScape Residences atop the hotel will begin soon.
Historic preservation is a hot button issue for many in the community. How is this type of advocacy and leadership carrying over to other development issues?
While the City of Phoenix has a long-standing and nationally recognized ordinance supporting historic preservation, we continue to have instances where buildings that represent our past are demolished or threatened. One only needs to look at the Orpheum Theatre, Bentley Projects, Ellis Shackelford House, Winship House, and Hanny’s to see how historic properties can contribute to the richness of downtown.
Circle K wants to abandon their current store on the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Roosevelt and expand on the block south on an empty lot where a vintage warehouse once stood. Over significant neighborhood objection a year ago, Circle K rescinded their plan. The company is back with a revised plan and application for a liquor license. Councilman Michael Johnson and DPI have strongly encouraged Circle K representatives to communicate with the impacted neighborhood associations.
Why are neighborhood and downtown advocates opposed to Circle K’s expansion? Linked here are letters from numerous downtown and neighborhood groups, including several DPI partners (City of Phoenix, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Downtown Voices Coalition, and Phoenix Community Alliance) outlining concern about crime, noise, traffic congestion, and/or lackluster building and site design at the northeast gateway into our downtown. View the proposed site plan here.
Several City-led efforts are underway that may help the situation in the future:
- Mayor Greg Stanton is seeking the advice of historic preservation advocates, urban planners, and developers with significant experience in historic rehabilitation on finding additional incentives for preservation, refining city procedures and processes to encourage preservation, and prioritizing key preservation projects citywide. I’m happy to serve on the informal panel, and I’m learning a great deal about our city’s heritage, including our “place in the sun” with nationally acclaimed post-World War II architecture.
- This spring and summer, two citizen panels examined the strengths and weaknesses of existing urban infill policies, programs, incentives, and requirements. On October 9 at the A.E. England Building in Civic Space Park, these Infill Advisory Groups and city Planning and Development Department staff will present the groups’ discussions, work plans, and Phase I recommendations. I encourage you to attend the public meeting if your schedule permits.
What do you hear from the Downtown Voices Coalition?
For over nine years, the Downtown Voices Coalition, today chaired by DPI Board Member Tim Eigo, has met on the second Saturday of each month to discuss downtown issues from a grassroots and neighborhood perspective. A diverse group of 25-plus community members attended Saturday’s meeting and their agenda was lengthy and lively (which they readily admit is usually the case).
- Richard Stanley from ASU previewed plans to move the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law from the Tempe campus to downtown Phoenix into a new Arizona Center for Law and Society on the site of the demolished Sahara/Ramada motel.
- Ray Dovalina with the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department provided an update on the city’s move to approve a Complete Streets Policy and news of upcoming improvements on Grand Avenue and First Street between Washington and Moreland.
- Catrina Kahler of Artlink Phoenix outlined several significant organizational moves to further engrain art – and Artlink – into downtown’s revitalization. (Kahler is also publisher of DPJ)
- Sean Sweat of Thunderdome Neighborhood Association for Non-Auto Mobility outlined a street parking plan for the Evans Churchill neighborhood that is now being vetted by local stakeholders and city officials for adoption.
There are few “sounding boards” like the Downtown Voices Coalition, and the open exchange and frank debate have made for a better community.
Catch the final performances of the original Broadway musical version of Seussical this weekend as Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) concludes its two-week run at the Herberger Theater Center. Written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and co-conceived by Monty Python alum Eric Idle, this family-friendly production enters the world of Dr. Seuss as young performers offer a fantastic, magical extravaganza.
In Seussical, the Cat in the Hat tells the story of an elephant named Horton who protects the infinitesimal Whos from danger while guarding an abandoned egg. A paean to friendship, loyalty, and community support, the children’s classic includes vivid costumes, full-scale staging, and enthusiastic acting by talented youngsters, some of whom may go on to performing careers.
All images courtesy Valley Youth Theatre.
If you go:
- Valley Youth Theatre
- Remaining showtimes (all at the Herberger Theater Center):
Friday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 28 at 2PM & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 29 at 2 p.m.
Under the sky, ballet has a completely different feel from the formality and tension of an indoor performance. Anything can happen — wind, stars, insects, and audience all add layers of natural art to even the most carefully planned production.
Each September, Ballet Arizona continues a 15-year tradition of free outdoor community performances at parks across the Valley, this year making stops in Casa Grande, Sun City West, Goodyear, Fountain Hills, Phoenix, and Tempe. On a portable elevated stage complete with lighting and music, costumed dancers share choreography by the iconic George Balanchine, up-and-coming young artist Alejandro Cerrudo, and Ballet Arizona’s own artistic director, Ib Andersen.
On Saturday, September 28, Ballet Under the Stars comes to Steele Indian School Park at 7 p.m., and downtowners can experience a bit of the glorious uncertainty of a live outdoor performance. While the professionals warm up, it’s not uncommon to see a handful of tiny would-be dancers leaping and spinning on grass and sidewalks between lawn chairs and blankets. They’re perfectly prepared to see scenes from Andersen’s luscious Cinderella, set to music by Sergei Prokofiev and featuring fairies, cavaliers, Cinderella, and her prince.
From the classical Cinderella, en pointe in tutus, the program shifts to a contemporary work: Cerrudo’s Second to Last, commissioned by Ballet Arizona for a world premiere this past March. The Spanish-born dancer, who works with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, cites major influence from choreographers Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Mats Ek as well as Freddie Mercury.
“I have influences from choreographers that I don’t even like,” Cerrudo declares. “I think everybody does — I think everything that you see, touch, smell, read, see, will influence you for good or for bad. Sometimes you see something and you’re like, ‘Oh, I really need to go the opposite of that in my work, because I see how that makes me feel, or I just don’t like the aesthetics’…and then the opposite way, as we grow up…you create your idea of beauty.”
He continues, “Europe is ahead of us right now in dance, in the sense that they produce more and they’re more progressive. But…I feel like I have a little place here where I can help and promote that growth and…evolution of dance in the States very humbly.”
Second to Last was a lovely revelation at its spring performances, a sensual exploration of every possibility of movement between two dancers. “People should come and see it,” says Cerrudo earnestly, “because it’s not meant to be explained with words…[it’s] meant to be experienced.”
During Ballet Under the Stars, students from Clarendon Elementary School take the stage as Class Act, an after-school program guided by Ballet Arizona dancers in which the students choreograph and premiere a new work.
The evening ends with Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, with music for strings and piano commissioned from Paul Hindemith by the choreographer in 1940. Three themes danced by three successive couples broaden into variations named after the four humors of the human body specified in medieval cosmology, beginning with melancholic (analytical), continuing with sanguinic (sociable) and phlegmatic (calm), and ending with choleric (ambitious).
If you can’t make it to Ballet Under the Stars, consider visiting Ballet Arizona’s huge new dance center during its grand opening on October 12 from 10:30 a.m to 2 p.m. — it includes free performances, classes, and tours with a drawing for season tickets.
- Ballet Under the Stars
- Ballet Arizona’s Cinderella – Oct. 30 through Nov. 3 with The Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall
- Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo
- George Balanchine’s ballet The Four Temperaments
- The Balanchine Trust
- The Balanchine Foundation
- Ballet Arizona’s past program Director’s Choice
- Ballet Arizona’s past program All Balanchine
- Ballet Arizona’s grand opening on Oct. 12
2836 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 85034
David Krietor has served as President/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.
DPI was created to engage in activities to support the economic and cultural viability of the total downtown community, to provide advocacy and leadership for our downtown with expanded flexibility and clarity, and to maximize the strong points of existing downtown oriented nonprofits and assist in the creation of others as deemed necessary to further DPI’s mission.
DPI has finalized our contract with the City of Phoenix. This key document formally brings to the DPI Board of Directors the Mayor, City Manager, and four community designated seats.
The full board is comprised of:
- Donald Brandt (APS/Pinnacle West)
- David Cavazos (City of Phoenix)
- Cindy Dach (Roosevelt Row)
- Mike Ebert (RED Development)
- Tim Eigo (Downtown Voices Coalition)
- Derrick Hall (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Jeri Jones (UnitedHealthcare of Arizona)
- Kimber Lanning (Local First Arizona)
- Jason Rowley (Phoenix Suns)
- Mayor Greg Stanton (City of Phoenix)
- Mo Stein (HKS Architects)
- ErLinda Tórres (Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center)
- Ed Zito (Alliance Bank of Arizona)
How can downtown businesses and residents get involved?
The great thing about DPI? We don’t have to recreate the wheel to make it possible for the community to get involved. For more than 30 years, PCA (Phoenix Community Alliance) has provided private sector leadership supporting downtown. During some of this time, as the city’s energy was devoted to more suburban style development, PCA was the lone voice encouraging elected officials to make downtown a priority.
PCA was the driving force behind big projects that shaped downtown but they also fostered the creation of Artlink Inc., Local Initiatives Service Corp., Capitol Mall Association, Discovery Triangle, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, and the Human Services Campus.
An easy way to get involved? Attend or support an Event!
Here are just a few as event season kicks into high gear:
Downtown, Evans Churchill
Downtown, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row
Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue
Now, downtown has been “adopted” by a growing number of energized and creative entrepreneurs. PCA is taking this as opportunity to reshape their mission, membership model and programming to meet the expectations of this broader community. Residents and other individuals will also have a chance to join as downtown advocates.
One of DPI’s charges is to identify ways to make it easier to conceptualize, promote, and implement downtown events. This seems simple but Phoenix is a big, complicated city with unique logistical challenges in and around downtown. The good news is that downtown is becoming so energized that, more and more, it is perceived as “the place to be.” Our event base historically has been the 7 million people who annually attend the sports, theatrical, and convention activities in the core.
Now, based mostly on volunteers and “sweat equity,” the Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill community has emerged as a major generator of “feet on the street.” USA Today recently called it one of the nation’s ten best neighborhoods that tourists haven’t found yet. Just last week, the New York Times featured the story of an Iraqi artist who now lives in Evans Churchill as an ASU Artist-in-Residence. We can thank, among others, Artlink’s longstanding commitment to Art Detour and First Friday in starting this art wave.
In the short term, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP) has started to provide additional logistical and Ambassador support for a broader array of events, including the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (returning to Margaret T. Hance Park, March 2014), the third annual Chile Pepper Festival on Roosevelt Row (Sept. 28), and the Celebración Artística de las Américas (CALA) PHX Fest! in downtown (Nov. 12). And, of course, don’t forget the Oct. 26 Zombie Walk. In the mid and longterm, we need to work collaboratively on a model that makes it easier and more cost effective to bring additional events into all parts of our downtown, year-round.
On the real estate side of things, it was great to see the crane go up for the start of construction of the Arizona Cancer Center, the doors open for the first residents of the Roosevelt Point apartment complex at Fourth Street and Roosevelt, and the unveiling of a new residential/commercial project, the Union on Roosevelt, at the key intersection of First Avenue and Roosevelt.
How can we advocate for a more welcoming downtown?
The movement to remake our downtown streets more walkable and more conducive to becoming a revitalization asset is gaining momentum thanks to greater numbers of active and involved residents and community groups, and a willingness on the part of the City’s Street Transportation Department to keep an open mind. Key community players have been Downtown Voices Coalition, Evans Churchill Community Association, Garfield Organization, Grand Avenue Merchants Association, Hance Park Conservancy, Phoenix Spokes People, Roosevelt Action Association, and Roosevelt Row CDC.
Four important new initiatives are underway: (1) new sidewalks and shade trees on Fifth Street between Fillmore and Garfield, (2) a pilot “street diet” project on Lower Grand Avenue, (3) the Adams Street Activation Study, and (4) a pilot “street diet” project on First Street between Washington and Moreland:
- The Fifth Street improvements are being done in conjunction with the construction of the new Arizona Cancer Center resulting from collaboration between the Evans Churchill Community Association, City of Phoenix, and University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.
- The Lower Grand Avenue project resulted from a “Greening America’s Capitals” grant in partnership with the Grand Avenue Merchants Association, City of Phoenix, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Valuable community involvement was instrumental in ensuring the best possible outcome.
- The Adams Street Activation Study, with significant community input, hopes to improve the pedestrian experience and enhance economic opportunities and connectivity on Adams between Central Ave. and Second St.
- The First Street initiative was conceptualized by the City’s Street Transportation Department (view PDF site plan here).
Last but not least, the process of developing a new downtown streets master plan will start in the fall to provide an opportunity for broad community input on “the downtown we want.”