DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD OF ARIZONA NEGOTIATES TUFT & NEEDLE RELOCATION TO WAREHOUSE DISTRICT IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX
Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. negotiated a 5-year lease as Tuft & Needle relocates from Tempe to a 5,100-square foot facility at 605 E. Grant St.
Tuft & Needle designs and manufactures a line of mattress that is exclusively available online and ships right to the door of the customer. According to Entrepreneur magazine, Tuft & Needle’s mattresses are the top-rated product in Amazon’s furniture category. The company was co-founded by John-Thomas Marino and Daehee Park, who formerly worked together at a Silicon Valley software
“We really enjoyed working with Daehee and JT on this assignment,” Ryan Bartos said. “It is always fun to watch a startup begin to scale, and we’re happy to be a part of that growth. They’re doing great things and we can’t wait to see what’s next for Tuft & Needle.”
Bartos and Matt Coxhead of Cushman & Wakefield represented Tuft & Needle in the lease transaction. The landlord, Michael Levine, was self-represented.
“As a Phoenix-based startup, we’re excited to partner with people like Ryan Bartos, Matt Coxhead and Michael Levine who share a genuine passion and vision for local entrepreneurship.” Daehee said. “The Levine Machine is an amazing building with a lot of history and character where we’ll continue building the best mattress company in the world.”
Images courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield.
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.
Admit it. You sometimes spell Phoenix wrong. Pheonix. Phoneix. Even the City of Phoenix does too. But it’s going to be pretty hard – and heavy – to make edits on several misspelled cast iron manhole covers spotted by eagle-eyed downtowners. From here on out, as you read this update on downtown Phoenix goings-on, be assured that spell-check is on.
While there continues to be concern about the regional and state economy, downtown projects continue to move forward. Here’s the latest news on several notable downtown and midtown projects in the works: Central Station (Central & Van Buren), Lennar Multifamily Communities (Central & McDowell), and several Phoenix Convention Center-managed spaces, including the former Matador restaurant (1st St. & Adams).
A noted local attorney has contributed $10 million to help build Arizona State University’s new Arizona Center for Law and Society, including the future home of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, in downtown Phoenix. The contribution from Leo and Annette Beus is the largest single donation ever to the law school.
Last spring, Professor Lauren Allsopp and 16 graduate students from ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning set out to create a reactivation plan for downtown’s historic, yet endangered, Warehouse District. The students’ work is summarized here.
Grand Canyon University is housing nearly 200 upperclass students at Roosevelt Point Apartments (3rd St. & Roosevelt) due to a shortage of onsite housing at the university’s 35th Ave. & Camelback campus. Last year, Roosevelt Point housed some GCU students, but on a much smaller scale.
On September 27 (before the rains came), a group of young downtown advocates organized and staged “Better Block PHX” on the block between Pierce and Garfield to demonstrate how existing “dead zones” (e.g., empty lots, vacant storefronts, asphalt parking lots) can be transformed into lively streetscapes, marketplaces, and community hubs.
On September 18, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration changed the west outbound flight path for planes departing from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The change directs planes to turn at a lower altitude between early afternoon and 2 a.m. over Lower Grand Avenue, rather than a more westerly and higher turn. The public in general and residents of the affected residential neighborhoods specifically were not made aware of the change, resulting in more than 240 noise questions or complaints in two weeks. In comparison, airport officials received 221 such complaints in all of 2013. The FAA and city officials will hold a community meeting on October 16 to discuss the noise complaints and rationale for the change.
City and economic development leaders are touting Phoenix to host one of three NCAA Basketball Final Fours in 2017, 2019, or 2020. Downtown Phoenix is key to the Final Four bid package because of the number of hotel rooms and the Phoenix Convention Center, which would be the site of the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention and the “Bracket Town” fanfest event. This is another great example of the working partnership that has emerged between the Phoenix CVB, Phoenix Convention Center and DPI.
My colleague Dan Klocke with the Downtown Phoenix Community Development Corp. noted in a Downtown Devil article that this summer’s retail outlook in downtown was on par with, if not better than, previous years. “We’ve seen a few more restaurants open up and a couple more coming, and we see hotel occupancy levels climbing in the first six months of the year compared to last year, so that’s good.”
Some of the businesses that recently announced their intent to open downtown include GrabbaGreen (CityScape) and Sutra Yoga (2nd St. & Portland). Unfortunately we did lose one, The Local restaurant (3rd St. & Roosevelt) after a six month run.
Last month, the City of Phoenix won a $1.6 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery federal grant to extend light rail from downtown Phoenix to Baseline Road. Thousands of residents of south Phoenix will reap the benefits of a stronger public transportation system that increases their mobility to other parts of the Valley. This is a big deal and one more important contribution by retiring Representative Ed Pastor.
Seed Spot, the non-profit social entrepreneurial incubator, hosted Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Upon touring the Seed Spot office at Central and Thomas, Contreras-Sweet commended founder Courtney Klein on the group’s achievements, noting “I love the feel. It feels so organic.”
Co+Hoots, a coworking space in downtown Phoenix, has been ranked #8 on a list of the top 75 coworking spaces in the U.S. Symmetry50, a national bookkeeping service for small businesses, compiles the list. Founder Jenny Poon and Co+Hoots Foundation leader Kristin Romaine serve on the DPI Community Advisory Panel.
On the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Barry Broome and Ioanna Morfessis, respectively the current and past CEOs of GPEC, wrote this Arizona Republic op-ed and noted that downtown is all about what metro Phoenix could be: diversity, creativity, education, and entrepreneurship.
News for a Health, Fitness & Safety Checkup
DPI, Downtown Phoenix Journal, PCA and the Phoenix Suns invite you to attend our third Radiate PHX business and community networking event on Tuesday, October 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Verve Lounge at US Airways Center. Topics include updates on sports and fitness initiatives such as “FitPHX” and “Meet Me Downtown,” plus a preview of the Suns basketball season. Guest speakers include Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, chair of the Downtown, Aviation, and Redevelopment Committee; Suns President Jason Rowley; and Ralph Marchetta, vice president of ticket operations and general manager of sports and entertainment services for US Airways Center.
The urban bicycle advocacy group, Phoenix Spokes People, has organized a series of events and activities in “Biketober” to promote the cause of cycling in metro Phoenix.
Thanks to the Arizona Cardinals, Super Bowl Host Committee, and NFL Foundation, the high school football field at the Arizona State University Preparatory Academy received much needed new sod, paint, and scoreboard. ASU Prep, a K-12 school at 7th St. & Fillmore, sits on the site of Montgomery Stadium. The then, 22,000-seat stadium was the largest in Arizona and one of the largest high school arenas in the country.
Students from Phoenix Union Bioscience High School gathered with members of the downtown Phoenix community on September 27 to build a community learning garden as part of the third annual Green Apple Service Day.
On October 4, an estimated 1,500 Garfield neighborhood residents – young, old, and in-between – participated in one of the city’s largest “Getting Arizonans Involved In Neighborhoods” (GAIN) events. Garfield’s unique social mixer and health fair, GAIN-FIESTA, was sponsored by numerous corporate, nonprofit, and educational groups, and organized by dozens of volunteers.
Fall-ing for the Arts
Goodbye summer heat, hello fall not-as-hot weather. What fall also brings is a jam-packed schedule of arts and culture events and activities throughout downtown Phoenix. October’s First Friday was as popular as ever, as evidenced by the 1,000-plus riders on the Artlink Trolley. Large crowds enjoyed Chaos Theory 15 and new this month was the AZ365 pop-up gallery on Roosevelt Row, sponsored by the Arizona Republic and Artlink.
Congratulations to the ASU International Artist Residency Program, located at Combine Studios in downtown Phoenix, for being awarded a $144,000 grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services to commission three new artists from across the globe to develop art projects that engage the public, such as exhibits, lectures, performances, and publications. Greg Esser, director of the program, is a superstar.
Congratulations also to the Ground Cover Public Art Project, sponsored by the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and situated on a vacant lot in downtown Phoenix, for receiving a first place award in Arizona Forward’s 34th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards.
Phoenix was one of more than 300 cities chosen to participate in a 10-day global film festival late last month and early this month. The Manhattan Short Film Festival is an annual showing of international, independently produced short films. Ten finalists were selected by an international panel of experts.
Let’s note the life and passing of Patrick Anthony Lawlor, age 94, the last of the core group to build a place for Arizona’s Irish families to gather, the Irish Cultural Center at Margaret T. Hance Park. According to Mary Moriarty, the Center’s operations manager, Patrick was the patriarch of the local Irish community, having been involved in its formation for 60 years. “Plus he was the gentlest and nicest little man you would ever want to meet.”
As revered figures amongst the ancient Egyptians, the ultimate accessory for super-villains, and certified megastars of the Internet, cats have long held a place of prestige throughout history.
Today, Kate Benjamin – downtown Phoenix-based cat style expert, blogger and cat lover – is doing her part to keep felines in the catbird seat. She is the creator of Hauspanther, a wellspring of cat-centric products, design inspiration, art, and giveaways for style-conscious cat owners. Benjamin also sells her own line of handcrafted toys and products on the site, along with other stylish and modern cat goods.
She began blogging about cat style in 2007, while still working in marketing and product development for a local start-up that produced modern baby products. “I had seen the trend that parents were looking for cooler, more modern children’s products,” says Benjamin. “I saw lots of blogs about modern parenting stuff, but not about modern cat parenting stuff, so I said, “I can do this.”
Originally called Moderncat.net, she ultimately shifted the name to Hauspanther to make it more distinctive. Hauspanther’s mission is “to spread the word about how good design can enhance the way we live with cats, improving our lives and the lives of our beloved feline companions.”
Eventually, the site grew into a full-time job and Benjamin took the leap into making Hauspanther her main focus.
She attributes her success to timing and being able to fill a hole in the market, as well as to the support of the downtown Phoenix community. “I feel like I know so many of these great business owners and people in the arts in downtown Phoenix. It’s a wonderful support network. I like being a part of Grand and everything downtown.”
When she’s not writing, Benjamin works from her studio in the Bragg’s Pie Factory building on Grand Avenue. There, she and her team design, construct, and test her line of cat products made from locally sourced and often recyclable materials. All the work is done under the watchful eyes of two rescue cats, Claude and Mama, who serve as in-house product testers. Her eleven cats at home also assist with quality control.
As the Hauspanther empire has grown, it has garnered media attention from outlets like the New York Times, “CBS Sunday Morning” and USA Today. It has also attracted legions of fans from around the world, including one especially notable name in the universe of cat worship: Jackson Galaxy. Also known as The Cat Daddy, Galaxy is a famous cat behaviorist and star of his own Animal Planet show called “My Cat From Hell.”
Galaxy contacted Benjamin and the two instantly hit it off. Says Benjamin, “We have the exact same goal. We’re trying to save cats by doing what we do and inspiring other people to take better care of their cats and to make them happy and make you happy.”
It is this shared mission that led to their collaboration on the forth-coming book titled, Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!).
The book is part cat behavior guide, part illustrated how-to manual for creating “catified” environments in the living spaces shared by cats and their humans. It incorporates Galaxy’s specialization in cat behavior and training, along with Benjamin’s expertise in designing cat-friendly, but stylish interiors within the home.
It also offers resources for decoding cats’ behaviors, like whether your cat is a “tree dweller” (likes to be up high), a “bush dweller” (likes to be low to the ground), or a “beach dweller” (prefers the middle of the floor) and how to design the best space for each type.
“It’s like a cookbook with pictures, ideas, tips and tricks, “ says Benjamin. “We want people to be excited and interested and intrigued by watching their cats and seeing what they do.”
Both Kate Benjamin and Jackson Galaxy will be in Phoenix for the official launch of the book on October 14th. They will appear at a Changing Hands bookstore release event that will include a talk and book signing, beginning at 7pm.
Books can be purchased day-of, or pre-ordered by calling Changing Hands in Phoenix at 602.274.0067. For books pre-ordered before October 14th, receipts can be emailed to the publisher and $1 from every pre-sale will be donated to FixNation, an organization that provides free spay/neuter services for community cats and low-cost services for pet cats.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The city of Phoenix is seeking proposals from proposers who can help revitalize the Adams Street corridor in downtown Phoenix. Proposals that would rejuvenate the area along Adams and Second streets, adjacent to the Phoenix Convention Center and downtown hotels are highly encouraged. Proposers should address how their business will create vibrant places and active spaces that attract local residents and visitors to downtown Phoenix.
Proposals shall identify self-sustaining uses that support and enhance the experience for locals, convention attendees and visitors, downtown workers, residents, students and other downtown visitors. Successful proposer will generate increased sales and income taxes as well as rental revenues for the city.
The results of the recently commissioned Adams Street Activation Study encouraged restaurant, retail shops, and other uses that support and enhance sidewalk activity on Adams St. at the Regency Garage. There are five retail spaces available for lease, including:
1. West Convention Center Building, Suite 130 – faces Second Street at 543 sq ft;
2. West Convention Center Building, Suite 150 – faces Monroe Street at 987 sq ft;
3. Regency Garage – 50 N. 2nd St. at 1105 sq ft;
4. 131 E. Adams St. at 1345 sq ft with a 292 sq ft patio;
5. 125 E. Adams St. at 11,895 sq ft with an 820 sq ft patio
The study of the Adams Street corridor is the vision and blueprint for the future. The proposal that achieves this goal is highly encouraged. For more information on the Adams Street Activation Study, visit phoenix.gov/econdev/reinvest/major-reinvestment-focus-areas. A Pre-proposal conference and site tour will be held on Sept. 25 at 10 a.m., at the Phoenix Convention Center West Building, Room 102B. Proposals will be accepted until Oct. 16 at noon. For more information about this process, please call 602-495-5307.
About the Phoenix Convention Center & Venues:
The award-winning Phoenix Convention Center is one of the 25 largest convention venues in the United States. It offers nearly 900,000 square feet of rentable meeting and exhibition space and can accommodate 80% of the convention meetings market. Established in 1969 as a department of the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix Convention Center is a critical economic enterprise for the state and local economy. The Phoenix Convention Center & Venues include the Phoenix Convention Center, Executive Conference Center – Downtown Phoenix, Symphony Hall, Orpheum Theatre and five parking garages.
Image provided by City of Phoenix
Who doesn’t love a parade? And one was held in downtown Phoenix on August 27 for the newly-crowned – for the third consecutive year – Arena Bowl Champions, the Arizona Rattlers. Another parade may occur (fingers crossed) if the Phoenix Mercury reign supreme in the WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky. And speaking of hot streaks…
On August 26, hundreds of downtown advocates and supporters attended RadiatePHX at the University of Arizona College of Medicine’s Virginia G. Piper Auditorium. Sponsored by Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Downtown Phoenix Journal, the RadiatePHX business and community mixer will be held on the third Tuesday of every month at an interesting downtown space with a diverse mix of programming and speakers. “This is exactly what we had envisioned to bring life back into the heart of the city,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. On tap for the September 16 RadiatePHX at ASU’s Step Gallery in the Phoenix Warehouse District are Steven Tepper, new dean of the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and Councilwoman Kate Gallego.
On August 27, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Phoenix Parks and Recreation launched Wednesday Wind Up, a weekly lunch time event featuring food trucks, local retail business booths, and outdoor games and activities at Civic Space Park.
On August 28, TEDx Evans Churchill held its second event, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen,” at the downtown Phoenix Convention Center. Seven speakers spoke to a full-house on food related topics. Afterward, everyone sauntered over to FED after TED to “wine and dine” on food and beer pairings from local restaurants.
The Firehouse Gallery’s “Comedy on Fire” open-mic show is one of the most prominent places for local comics to ply their trade. Held monthly since March of 2013, the show has become so popular that out-of-state comics are being booked to perform.
US Airways and merger partner American Airlines will not be renewing their naming rights deal for downtown’s US Airways Center. First it was America West Arena, now US Airways Center. What’s next? We will know by next fall. Despite the name change we expect great things from the Suns this season!
Lux, one of central Phoenix’s most popular coffee and dining spots, will open a second location at First and Portland streets in the Evans Churchill neighborhood. Both an adaptive reuse of an existing structure and adjacent new construction, Jeff Fischer’s Lux Commonwealth and County will sport the same look and feel which has made the original North Central Avenue location so inviting and successful.
Redevelopment plans for two iconic downtown Phoenix buildings made significant progress. The city of Phoenix picked P.B. Bell Cos. and Davis Enterprises to redevelop the 1915 Jefferson Hotel (aka Barrister Building) and adjacent vacant parcels at Central Avenue and Jefferson Street into boutique-style residential and commercial space. In addition, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors agreed to work with developer CSM Lodging on tax incentives to repurpose the 1931 Professional Building at Central Avenue and Monroe Street into a boutique hotel.
For the last eight years Richard Adkins, our city’s forestry supervisor, has labored to keep trees from falling victim to business and neighborhood development, street widenings, and storm damage — all without a single budget line item for replacement trees. Now, with the support of the new Downtown Phoenix, Inc. Tree & Shade Task Force, comprised of a dozen community leaders and city employees (including Richard), new trees will be added and existing trees will be better maintained in and around downtown Phoenix, all in time for Super Bowl XLIX.
The Grand Avenue Members’ Association and Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts are are teaming up to bring even more live music, art, and local businesses to downtown Phoenix at the 6th Annual Grand Avenue Festival.
Only in Downtown
Phoenix Union Bioscience High School in the Evans Churchill neighborhood was named one of the top 30 “Most Amazing High School Campuses in the World” by BestEducationDegrees.com.
At historic Trinity Cathedral in the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District, the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale holds open rehearsals for anyone who enjoys listening to great music.
The Duce, a kick-back restaurant, lounge, vintage shop, and boxing gym located in a 1928 brick warehouse at Central Avenue and Lincoln Street, was recently named as one of the 12 most “Unusual American Restaurants” in the U.S.
Congratulations to the board and staff of the Arizona Science Center at Heritage & Science Park for receiving a $246,000 grant by the APS Foundation to continue ASC’s Rural Expansion Project that brings valuable teacher, leader, and community professional development along with student programming to school districts in our rural communities.
As more and more bicycles take to the road (and sidewalks) in downtown Phoenix, the State Press reports that cyclists balance legality and safety under the watchful eyes of police officers on downtown’s busy city streets.
On the first Monday of every month between 4 and 7 p.m., individuals with legal questions can stop by Songbird Coffee and Tea House on E. Roosevelt Street for “Cafe O’Law.” There Phoenix attorney Lora B. Sanders of the Sanders Law Firm provides free legal advice to anyone who drops in to purchase a cafe au lait or other snazzy drink refreshment.
Early September Activities
- 9/11 Week of Service & Remembrance, Valleywide, Sept. 6-14
- WNBA Finals, US Airways Center and UIC Pavilion, Sept. 7-17
- Fridays in the Park, Civic Space Park, Sept. 12
- Arizona Diamondbacks MLB baseball, Chase Field, various dates in Sept.