DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
MAYOR UNVEILS NEW BIKE SHARE AT ‘DESIGNING CITIES’ CONFERENCE
New system, called GRID, extends transit in city’s core, encourages users to “ride happy!”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today unveiled the name and logo for the region’s new bike sharing program before attendees at the National Association of City Transportation Officials at the Hotel Palomar. Called GRID, the system will employ a fleet of fluorescent green bicycles that are rentable by the hour or through annual memberships. The bikes are emblazoned with an upbeat, smiling logo, and encourage users to “ride happy!”
“GRID is going to be a fun, healthy and affordable way to extend the reach of our transit system for residents, commuters and visitors,” Stanton said, noting that approximately 50 other U.S. metro areas will have similar programs in place by next year.
“If our region is going to compete globally, we need GRID to help attract those high-wage employers and bright, educated young workers who want livable cities and multiple transit options.”
Stanton said the Grid Bike Share name speaks to the many connections that link the neighborhoods and communities throughout the Valley, which was planned and built on a “grid” network of streets.
CycleHop, LLC has been contracted to establish and operate the new bike share network that will include up to 500 bicycles throughout the city of Phoenix, followed by another 500 in Mesa and Tempe. Using the most up-to-date bike sharing technology available, users will be able to make reservations, purchase day passes or longer-term memberships at kiosks, online or via smartphone apps. GRID’s “smart bikes” are equipped with solar-powered, GPS-enabled locks, and can be parked at any of the special kiosks or traditional public bike racks, providing users immense flexibility and convenience.
For more information, go to GRIDBIKES.COM.
At last! Today was the day we got official word on the mysterious goings-on at the old Beef Eaters building at 3rd Ave. and Camelback Road.
Rumors have abounded and well over 100 people, including families from the neighborhood, business people, bankers, builders and just plain folks, gathered at 10 a.m. this morning to celebrate the plans to revitalize the site. The excitement was palpable on everyone’s smiling faces.
From 1961 through 2006, Beef Eaters was a central gathering place for Phoenicians to share meals, celebrate special events, and craft the business deals that shaped our Valley. When owner Jay Newton died in 2006, the restaurant shut its doors and the building sat empty. Now adaptive reuse developers Venue Projects have stepped up with a remarkable vision to bring the site back to life.
Central Phoenix-based Venue Projects principle Lorenzo Perez told the crowd of Venue’s dedication to finding and adapting buildings with history, a story to tell, and a strong sense of place. Jon Kitchell, another principle with Venue added, “We’re salvage hounds and love finding materials worthy of putting back into place, like black leather booths and the Queen Creek adobe bricks of this place.”
Working with John Douglas Architects, they’ll be uncovering the bones of the building and incorporating the treasures they discover back into the new uses for the site.
“Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters legacy will continue with a new interpretation of his iconic gathering place,” said Kitchell. To honor the past, the new complex will be called The Newton.
The Newton is co-owned by Venue Projects and two of the three businesses that will comprise the site. Co-owners include the nationally renowned, independent, community-based bookstore, Changing Hands, which will open its second Valley location at the site; and Justin and Michelle Beckett, current owners of Beckett’s Table, who will open a new neighborhood restaurant concept at The Newton. The third occupant will be The Lively Hood, a co-working space for creative professionals. Construction has begun and the goal is to reopen on November 1.
These three businesses will continue Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters legacy. Located just across the street from the light rail station, the bookstore, restaurant and co-working space will be active community gathering spaces that energize the neighborhood and encourage people to work together.
Shannon Scutari of Sustainable Communities Collaborative summed up the thrill experienced by everyone gathered when she referenced an old African proverb. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. This place,” said Scutari, “is going to be about going it with others.”
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Salon D’Shayn Hosts Downtown Phoenix Location Grand Opening Celebration
Now Open in the Historic “My Florist” Shopping Plaza
Salon D’Shayn, a urban-chic salon specializing in aesthetic, hair, nail and waxing services, is celebrating its grand opening in the historic downtown Phoenix “My Florist” shopping plaza this Saturday.
The salon, a second for Phoenix resident and Owner D’Lisa Shayn Ledgewood, is a place where sophistication and playfulness intersect. Clients are encouraged to harness their own personal interpretation of current trends and timeless looks – all while experiencing the good-vibe energy Salon D’Shayn has to offer.
Since 2008, Salon D’Shayn has been considered the “place to go” for Brazilian waxing – for both men and women – since opening its first location in Scottsdale. Other notable mentions include a #1 Rating on Yelp!; “Best Place to Get Waxed” in 944 Magazine Reader’s Picks and AZ Central’s “Best of 2012.”
Grand Opening Celebration
The grand opening celebration will include light appetizers and drinks; mix-and-mingle time with the salon staff; an 8 p.m. performance by Scandalesque; and live DJ.
If you go
Event: Salon D’Shayn Grand Opening
When: Saturday, March 9, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Salon D’Shayn, 544 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix
For more information: Call (602) 300-4825 or visit www.salondshayn.com.
A whistle blows. Teammates pant. The musty gym smell mixes with an odor of sweat, exertion, and intensity.
It feels like an extreme practice for some varsity sport. But in a 1928 warehouse located in Downtown Phoenix’s Warehouse District, the South Central Gym whips an assorted group of adults into shape—old-school style.
The run-down brick building appears abandoned on a quiet Sunday morning. Passing by, one wouldn’t give it a second glance before deciding the warehouse probably shut down years ago. But inside The Duce, a gym/restaurant/bar/retail store, the surprisingly hip urban atmosphere pairs with a unique collection of workout equipment for the ultimate fitness haven.
A boxing ring pushed toward the back of the building stands about four feet off the ground, and two punching bags hang dauntingly nearby.
No fancy weight machines.
Not a single treadmill or elliptical.
Dumbbells, workout benches, and an exercise ball line the back wall, but there’s no digital screens or beeping instruments in sight. A rusted bell hangs close to the ring, retired from its duty of starting and ending boxing matches.
“Knock me out, knock me out,” a trainer yells from the ring. He holds a hand up, protected by red padding, and blocks the jab of his female opponent.
“Kill it, kill it, c’mon!”
Luis Machado, a mixed martial arts trainer, teaches people of all ages, shapes and sizes at South Central Gym. He trains amateurs and real MMA fighters, and he said his students “train till they pass out.”
“Straight up, like this,” Machado tells the woman, showing her how to swing the over-sized black gloves with impressive force. The trainer’s knowledge of boxing techniques and his motivational coaching add to the gym’s down-to-business atmosphere.
But the head coach, Steve Rosenstein, really sets the mood upon entering the South Central Gym.
He blows his whistle to start class. “Let’s go!”
The Gritty and the Pretty
As a former wrestler for the University of Arizona, Rosenstein knows his stuff when it comes to athletic training. He opened South Central Gym back in the fall of 2010, which is when he and his wife first started their multi-purpose business at The Duce.
“I’m the gritty, she’s the pretty,” Rosenstein said.
His vision involved an old-school gym where he could get people back to basics with their workout routines. So he bought a boxing ring on Craigslist, and his idea for the South Central Gym fell into place.
“This is like the antithesis of a Gold’s Gym or one of those elite health clubs,” Rosenstein said. “The setting here creates a whole different kind of atmosphere. You’re in an old warehouse, working out in a retro boxing ring…and there’s no technology here except for my iPod.”
Rosenstein decided the boxing ring was a necessity because “boxing is about as old-school as you can get.” He said the ring has become somewhat famous, and its uses have varied from concerts to weddings to a stage for the former Phoenix mayor, Phil Gordon.
Along with the ring, Rosenstein threw in some chin-up bars, dip bars, jump ropes and even old tires to keep the gym simple, yet challenging.
“This place is designed to make us fit,” he said. “But it also takes us back to a simpler time that we all kind of miss anyway.”
We all ‘Need a Minute’
When class is in session, Rosenstein’s students pant, sweat, and push themselves beyond their usual limits to reach whatever fitness goals they may have. The coach added that he keeps it fun, but he also wants his class focused and motivated.
“Lisa! What are you doing over there?!” Rosenstein yells during a push-up drill.
“I just need a minute, I’ll join you,” replies Lisa Khan, 50, who sat down for a short breather.
“Yeah? We all ‘need a minute!’”
“Oh, jeez,” she sighs, jumping back into the drill.
Khan, an attorney from Arcadia, said she has been coming to the South Central Gym for about a year, and she added that this type of exercise “keeps you young.”
“The space is absolutely fantastic,” she said. “It’s great for cross-training and reaching your fitness goals, and it’s just a great place to sweat in.”
The sweat is certainly not in short supply for anyone working out at the South Central Gym. All of the members work hard and constantly cheer each other on, providing an ideal environment for getting fit and reaching aspirations.
“I don’t want to say this place changed lives,” Rosenstein said. “But it definitely changed some lifestyles.”
180 Degrees Automotive‘s new Pierson Place location has all the characteristics of a typical auto shop. But step inside the extensively renovated office and chat with owner Sarah “Bogi” Lateiner, and she’ll explain that it offers a lot more than car maintenance and repair services.
When she acquired the 7,800-square-foot space, which housed Chuck’s Speed and RV Center for several decades followed by Cornerstone Automotive for five years, it hadn’t been upgraded since the 1970s and was filled wall-to-wall with garbage, says Lateiner.
She teamed up with contractors from the coincidentally named 180 Degrees Inc design-build company who gutted the interior, scoured their warehouse for recycled materials and carried out Lateiner’s vision.
The contractors used shipping crates stamped with “180 Degrees” for table bases, granite from a household kitchen for tabletops, and wood doors from its warehouse stash for the auto shop’s art display, which currently features a series of photographs starring female mechanics.
For the countertop, however, Lateiner enlisted the help of local artist and friend Christine Cassano. The artist started with slab of concrete and embedded it with a valve body transmission, several automotive gears, metal washers, aluminum rods and dark purple glass pieces. She then used a water-based concrete stain and graphite pencil on the surface.
Lateiner hopes to show the work of other local artists by rotating the displays on the art wall, adding to her already community-minded business model.
A slew of business cards dangle from the wall near the entrance and nearly all of them are local businesses whose owners or employees are customers. Lateiner says she often refers customers to them and vice versa.
“I love central Phoenix,” she says. “People are really involved with each other’s businesses and with supporting one another. There’s this whole group of young entrepreneurs who are saying, ‘This is our city and we’re gonna make it what we want.’”
She is also passionate about educating the community, particularly the female population, about cars by helping them understand the work that is done to their vehicles and by offering car care classes.
“I got a great deal of strength and empowerment out of learning how to fix my own car long before I decided to become a mechanic, and after I did choose this as my career path, (I became) passionate about showing other women what they’re capable of,” she says.
Lateiner decided to learn how to fix her own car because she felt like she had a big target on her head when she entered auto shops. She took an auto shop class in high school and rebuilt her first car – a “piece of crap” Volkswagen Bug – from the ground up. She went off to college to study law but followed her heart back to the garage.
After finishing tech school and breaking into the industry, which wasn’t easy as a female, she eventually opened her own shop with the idea of creating a place where no car owner would feel insecure.
“We want to be a place where you feel comfortable, where you don’t walk in and feel like you’re going to be taken advantage of because you’re a woman or because you’re gay or because you’re a minority,” she says. “I think people appreciate a different perspective.”
If You Go: Grand Opening Party
What: Celebrate the grand opening of 180 Degrees Automotive’s new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony, a community toast, food and give-a-ways.
Where: 545 W. Mariposa St. Phoenix, AZ 85013 (map)
Date: Thursday, June 28
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.