DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
HELP FOR BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURS AT PHOENIX PUBLIC LIBRARY
“hive @ central” – a discovery space for business entrepreneurs, located on the second floor of Burton Barr Central Library at 1221 N. Central Ave., will host 5 free workshops in February.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Saturday, Feb.1
SCORE volunteers help you get the inside scoop about what’s going on in today’s marketplace. How do you compete?
Graphic Design Guidelines
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Friday, Feb.7
ASU’s Annette Fuentes will teach the basic principles of design and the proper way to apply them to various platforms.
Technology in Startups
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Friday, Feb. 14
ASU’s Neetu Rao will introduce tools to develop leads, target the right people and leverage your network.
Introduction to Finding Funders: Webinar for Nonprofits
6 – 8 p.m. – Wednesday, Feb. 19
This webinar will introduce you to an e-resource (available at Central Library) to develop targeted lists of foundations that will match your organization’s funding needs. This program has limited seating; call 602-262-4636 to reserve your space.
Lean LaunchPadTM: ASU Rapid Cycle 1 | Pitch Presentations
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Friday, Feb. 21
Learn to use the lean startup method and the Business Model Canvas to develop, refine and iterate a value proposition and business model. Presented by ASU’s Brent Sebold.
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.
First of all, thank you for your feedback and additions to our 2013 “positives” list. The most current list, which grew by several more, can be viewed here on Downtown Phoenix Journal.
And speaking of the media, The Wall Street Journal published an extensive “Guide to the Ultimate Long Weekend in Phoenix” on January 17th. You’ll be proud that numerous downtown and midtown Phoenix locales made the list. Then, look what readers of the New York Daily News saw upon opening their Saturday paper: a Phoenix GRID bike share bicycle on the streets of New York. Word’s getting around.
Now let’s get around to learning about other recent news of note here in our downtown…
What is the latest regarding DPI’s organizational capacity?
Mayor Greg Stanton has appointed District 7 Councilman Michael Nowakowski to the Downtown Phoenix, Inc. Board of Directors. In addition to representing much of downtown, Councilman Nowakowski has a strong background in events and marketing which will be an important benefit to the DPI leadership team. The Mayor also reappointed Cindy Dach from Roosevelt Row Community Development Corp., Tim Eigo from Downtown Voices Coalition, and Kimber Lanning from Local First Arizona as his designees on the DPI Board.
What are some examples of downtown’s economic and cultural vitality?
These next few months are filling up rapidly with an impressive line-up of downtown events and activities. Mark your calendar and get ready for the following:
February: The Mayor’s Super Pool Party, Feb. 2 ~ Infill & Adaptive Reuse in Phoenix: What Pencils?, Feb. 4 ~ First Friday Artwalk, Feb. 7 ~ Phoenix Chinese Week, Feb. 7-9 ~ A Day in the Park, Feb. 8 ~ Willo Home Tour, Feb. 9 ~ Devour Phoenix’s 5th Annual Bartending Competition, Feb. 9 ~ Grant Park Area Development Project Community Meeting, Feb. 12 ~ Arizona Matsuri Festival, Feb. 22-23 ~ Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel’s Birthday Bash, Feb 22
March: Mardi Gras Parade, March 1 ~ Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic, March 1 ~ Art d’Core Gala, March 1 ~ First Friday Artwalk, March 7 ~ VIVA PHX, March 7 ~ Art Detour 26, March 8-9 ~ St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire, March 15 ~ Hance Park Master Plan Final Presentation, March 27 ~ McDowell Mountain Music Festival, March 28-30 ~ KAET Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival, March 30
And here’s one event we just have to focus on because (a) it’s coming up soon and (b) the whole “warm sun versus frigid cold” thing… Bag some rays while watching this year’s Big Game (being played in New Jersey… brrr!) and celebrate the official start of the countdown to next year’s Super Bowl XLIX being played right here in the Valley.
Join Mayor Stanton at his city soiree being held at Hotel Palomar’s beautiful Lustre Rooftop Garden, where you’ll enjoy the usual football fun – high definition, adult beverages, chicken wings, high fives – plus special Phoenix touches like cabanas, ping pong, corn bag, and oh-by-the-way a heated pool. Party starts at 2 p.m. Kickoff at 4:25 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited (around 300) so come early. And remember your sunscreen.
Leadership and advocacy are critical elements of effective community development. Where do you see this occurring?
Things, development-wise, are buzzing. The hive @ central co-working space opened at Burton Barr Central Library and the ASU School of Art Grant Street Studios opened in the vintage Levine Machine Building in downtown’s Warehouse District. Both events were extremely well attended and indicators of positive things to come.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, visited Phoenix a few weeks ago and toured places and projects demonstrating Phoenix’s commitment to a more sustainable city. McCarthy’s favorite stop was Grand Avenue, not only for the excellent piece of pie she enjoyed at Bragg’s Factory Diner, but because the recent streetscape improvements from Seventh Avenue to Roosevelt along Grand emanated from recommendations outlined in the EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals grant awarded to Phoenix in 2011.
With the economy picking up, the California-based Hansji Urban is progressing with its $80 million, 19-story Luhrs City Center Marriott to be situated at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Central Avenue. In the mid-2000s, the City of Phoenix allowed for the demolition and development of the 1912 Luhrs Central building (where the Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn are slated to go) in order to protect and renovate three other historic buildings on the same block – the 1924 Luhrs Building, 1929 Luhrs Tower, and Luhrs Post Office Station and Arcade in-between the two taller structures.
Across the street, at the southeast corner of Jefferson and Central there’s movement afoot to revitalize the 1915 Jefferson Hotel (now known as the Barrister Building and former home of the Phoenix Police Museum and several city departments). Last fall, the Phoenix City Council voted to conduct a formal bid process to sell or lease the building with a conservation easement to maintain the historic facade. Valued at approximately $1.5 million, the building will be put on the market in the next few months by the City. Potential future uses could be a hotel, restaurant, retail shops, or offices.
The Phoenix City Council approved the proposed mixed-use new construction project on two vacant city-owned parcels and the renovation and adaptive reuse of the historic Leighton G. Knipe House, all situated on North Second Street, between Roosevelt and Portland Streets. After additional community feedback, Roosevelt Housing Associates, developers of “The Row,” modified their initial proposal to develop approximately 15-20 percent of the housing units as market rate, with no age or income restrictions; require all tenants to sign an affidavit acknowledging they are moving into a vibrant arts district; develop the street-level units as live-work artist studios; actively market the project to artists; and dedicate a portion of the common area space for local artists to prominently display their works. With City Council approval, the developer and City staff will continue to work with neighborhood groups through the design process.
January has also brought out the urban planner in all of us!
The Roosevelt Row CDC recently completed its report, “Roosevelt Row: Artists’ District, Creative Placemaking in Downtown Phoenix,” and will begin a series of public forums to discuss the findings and outline next steps.
The Phoenix Center for the Arts hosted a well-attended community forum on commercial district revitalization, focusing on Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, and downtown Mesa. (Yes, downtown Mesa.
Steps being taken by developer Feliciano Vera to involve community members in visioning his proposed mixed-use development project in downtown’s warehouse district was the subject of a Marketplace radio segment aired over 500-plus public radio stations nationwide.
Lauren Allsopp, Ph.D., faculty associate at ASU’s School of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning, is conducting an urban design workshop focusing on downtown’s warehouse district. The class is researching the district’s storied history, past developments positive and negative, and recommendations for the future.
The Hance Park Master Plan Design Team presented its interim design plan to a packed house at the Phoenix Art Museum. The final design plan will be unveiled on March 27 at a Hance Park Festival featuring live music, food, beer garden, and fun activities for young, old, and in-between.
In closing…That’s enough for now. Well, I take that back. Here are a few other things we found online that you’ll find interesting: downtown’s multitude of Best Of winners, co-working and makerspaces popping up in and around downtown, a birds-eye view of the Ground Cover Public Art Project installation (pictured above) and this fun time lapse video of downtown buildings and streetscapes.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA HOSTS FREE INFORMATIONAL MEETING ON INFILL AND ADAPTIVE REUSE IN PHOENIX
Attendees will learn about the City of Phoenix process to redevelop buildings for a new purpose
WHAT: Infill and Adaptive Reuse in Phoenix—Join Local First Arizona and the City of Phoenix for a free informative meeting and discussion that will cover the City of Phoenix’s process for infill and adaptive reuse development. The meeting will include a panel of experts on adaptive reuse who will talk about their experiences and who have already gone through the process. The conversation will focus on both commercial and residential infill, and a list of 6-8 available properties for infill projects will be available.
WHO: Local First Arizona (LFA), a statewide nonprofit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting at celebrating local businesses, is hosting this seminar in partnership with the City of Phoenix. LFA Director Kimber Lanning will lead a discussion with a panel who will talk about their experiences with adaptive reuse in Phoenix. Panelists include Leslie Casañares-Lindo of Project Rising, Cavin Costello of Ranch Mine, and Greg Esser of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. This event is open to anyone who would like to learn about the commercial or residential infill and adaptive reuse process with the City of Phoenix
WHY: This meeting is the third in a series of five workshops in partnership with the City of Phoenix’s Reinvent Phoenix program. These workshops educate the public about the community benefits of infill and adaptive reuse projects and to inform them about the City of Phoenix process for embarking on an infill and adaptive reuse project. With a focus on inward development rather than outward sprawl, buildings that currently sit vacant will be repurposed in the center of Phoenix will be repurposed to house a new retail, restaurant, or service business, or a residential building, which will contribute to the overall economic sustainability and viability of the community.
WHERE: Playhouse at the Park inside the VIAD Corporate Building, 1850 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
COST: Open to the public and free to attend.
Earlier this week, the Phoenix Convention Center hosted Imaging USA 2014, the largest annual convention and expo organized by and for professional photographers. More than 8,000 photographers attended, snapping shots of downtown Phoenix as they honed their newly developed skills acquired from the over 100 speeches, presentations and hands-on demonstrations at the fair.
Of the successful event and setting, John Owens, of the Professional Photographers of America, says, “Phoenix has been a tremendous host for Imaging USA 2014. The warm sun, friendly locals and the downtown area in particular has helped enhance the experience for attendees by being so welcoming. And of course, the valley provided a beautiful backdrop for thousands of photographers to immediately practice what they learn.”
DPJ followed those attending IUSA14 and posting pictures on Twitter and Instagram, culling the most representative shots of the downtown scene, and asking our readers to vote for their favorite photos. Below are those that received the most “likes” on Instagram. See more on DPJ’s Facebook page.
Last week DPJ provided a step-by-step overview of the process behind the choice of Roosevelt Housing Associates (RHA) “The Row” proposal for developing the property along 2nd Street north of Roosevelt that also includes the historic Leighton G. Knipe House. City staff has requested that the Downtown, Aviation and Redevelopment Subcommittee recommend City Council authorization to enter into a development agreement with RHA.
There was some initial community concern raised regarding aspects of “The Row” proposal, so staff’s initial recommendation to approve was withdrawn from the Subcommittee’s November 6 meeting agenda.
As stated in an updated report submitted to the Subcommittee, this gave both city staff and RHA time to meet with representatives from the community to gain input and answer questions about the project. In the past month, they met with community groups, including the Downtown Voices Coalition, Evans Churchill Community Association, and Garfield Organization. Additional meetings were held with the leadership from Roosevelt Action Association, Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, and the Roosevelt Row Merchants Association. The City also responded to and offered to meet with individuals who contacted the City directly regarding the proposed development.
Following a dialogue with City staff and RHA at their neighborhood meeting, the Evans Churchill Community Association drafted a letter of support for the project, stating, “In a neighborhood that is both vibrant and in transition, such as Evans Churchill, careful consideration is needed to prepare a development that contributes to the community in a meaningful way, is financially sound, and can be successfully accomplished. The Roosevelt Housing Associates proposal meets those objectives. We look forward to engaging with the developer to ensure their project brings maximum benefits to our neighborhood and the surrounding downtown community.”
Based on the feedback, RHA agreed to make several changes to their proposal to enhance its appeal to the community and help integrate the project successfully into the existing neighborhood. The changes include:
1) develop approximately 15-20 percent of the units as market rate, with no age or income restrictions, creating a diverse, mixed income project;
2) require all tenants to sign an affidavit acknowledging they are moving into a vibrant arts district;
3) develop the street-level units as live-work artist studios;
4) actively market the project to artists; and
5) dedicate a portion of the common area space for local artists to prominently display their works.
Pending City Council authorization, City staff and Roosevelt Housing Associates will continue to work with neighborhood groups throughout the design process.
Event Parking Concerns
Another pressing concern for the community surrounding the proposed development was the need to develop additional public parking solutions to support the increasing number of events and other activities in the area. To ameliorate this concern, City staff have made a recommendation that the net proceeds from the sale of the property be applied to the planning and development of a district parking solution for the Evans Churchill/Roosevelt Row area, east of Central Avenue and north of Roosevelt Street. City staff will work with the community, property owners, business owners and stakeholders in the coming months to evaluate and develop options, and will return to the Subcommittee early next year with specific recommendations to address the parking issue.
The Downtown, Aviation and Redevelopment Subcommittee will meet again on Wednesday, December 4, to review the changes to the proposal and make a recommendation to the whole council to proceed with negotiations with RHA on the development of the proposal. The meeting is open to the public.
If You Go
What: Phoenix City Council Meeting of Downtown, Aviation and Development Subcommittee
Where: Phoenix City Hall, 1st Floor Atrium, Assembly Rooms A, B, & C, 200 West Washington Street
When: Wednesday, December 4, 9:30 a.m.