Phoenix Community Alliance
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One Hundred Community Sponsors Contributed to Holiday Decoration Fund
Earlier this fall, community members representing the greater downtown Phoenix community, including the City of Phoenix, METRO Light Rail, Phoenix Community Alliance, neighborhood organizations and local business owners, created the Holiday Decoration Fund, and put out a call for contributions to help bring seasonal sparkle back to our city’s grandest boulevard.
Last year was the first time since light rail construction began that the holiday streetlight decorations on Central Avenue were installed. By the end of that season, however, it was clear that the decorations were too deteriorated to reuse and a solution needed to be found.
In just a few short weeks, the organizers of the Holiday Decoration Fund have gathered enough community-wide support to decorate 219 streetlights, 184 of those sponsored by 100 financial sponsors, with a few salvaged decorations from last year. Streetlights on Central Avenue, ranging from North Central to South Central, will be decorated with candy canes and poinsettias with LED lights adding some sparkle.
“This says so much about what the community can do when it comes together,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Holiday decorations are an important aspect of vibrant community. Thanks to Phoenix Community Alliance for their leadership, and to all the participants who are brightening Central Avenue.”
“South Mountain area residents and businesses really get in the spirit of the holidays, with many events and celebrations for families to enjoy,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski. “The opportunity to have Central Avenue – the main route connecting the central city and our downtown to the South Mountain area – decked out in holiday lights would really add that extra layer of excitement for families and children. Let’s turn Central Avenue into a holiday wonderland!”
“I am thrilled to see holiday decorations come back to Central Avenue. These decorations foster a sense of community among Phoenix residents, and help build a festive holiday spirit for downtown shoppers, diners and visitors,” said Councilman Tom Simplot. “I applaud the leadership of Phoenix Community Alliance and the Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association in making this happen.”
“Holiday decorations along Central Avenue are one of our greatest community traditions,” said Mo Stein, Chairman of Phoenix Community Alliance’s Board of Directors. “Growing up in Phoenix, this was always a family activity. What better way to continue to bring families together and celebrate the Heart of our City, with new restaurants, shops, housing and light rail happening daily. We thank everyone who is helping this great tradition.”
“The Downtown Phoenix Partnership is very excited about the prospect of holiday lights along the entire length of Central Ave through the central city. This is our signature street and it deserves to be the showcase of our holiday festivities,” said David Roderique, President and CEO of Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
Central Avenue will twinkle with spirit from Thanksgiving through the MLK Holiday. ‘Tis the season to bring your family and friends to Central Avenue, ride the light rail and take in the beauty of the season.
The following is the list of 100 participating sponsors of Holiday Decoration Fund:
A Tropical Concert
Aragon Real Estate Group
Arizona Central Credit Union
Arizona State University
Artisan Lofts on Central
Barron Collier Companies
Best Buy Insurance
BMO Harris Bank
Brophy College Preparatory
Central Park Square
Central United Methodist Church
Chateaux on Central
City of Phoenix Industrial Development Authority
Dick’s Ace Auto Repair
DOXA Central, LLC
DWL Architects & Planners
Evergreen Commercial Realty LLC
First American Title Company
FEZ Restaurant & Bar
Friendly House/Unity Way Fire Star
Gaedeke Group LLC
Habitat Metro LLC
Hon. Ruben Gallegos and Kate Gallegos
Hon. Tom Simplot
Goodwill of Arizona
Grandview Neighborhood Association
H-M Investments LLC
Hazel and Violet Ink
The Heard Museum
H-M Investments LLC
Hula’s Modern Tiki
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona
Investors Warranty of America/Jones Lang LaSalle/Security Title Plaza
Irish Cultural Center
JP Morgan Chase
Just You Transportation
La Canasta Restaurant
La Bodega Furniture
Laura Crosby and Cat Sweetsir, 2800 Tower
Lawrence and Geyser, Geyser Management LLC
LBA Realty Fund II – Company V, LLC
L.D. Schneider & Associates
Marcos de Niza Tenant Council
Maricopa Integrated Health Systems
McCormack Baron Salazar
McCarthy Cook & Co. / Viad Corporate Center
Metro Realty LLC
Midtown Museum District
Native American Connections at Devine Legacy
Native American Connections/Phoenix Indian Center/People of Color Network
One Camelback Office Building
One Thomas Building
Parallel Capital Partners/City Square
Park Central Mall
Pastor Consulting, Inc.
Pavilions Apartments/Gray Development
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Financial Center/Robert Knight and Associates
Phoenix Revitalization Corporation
Pierson Place Historic District/Charley Jones
Pinnacle Property Management
Place by the Park LLC
Carol A. Poore, Ph.D.
RAZA Development Fund
Red Development LLC
Regency House Condominiums
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Parish
Security Title Plaza
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS
Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar
Tapestry on Central Condominium Association
The Comisar Collection/TV Museum Phoenix
The Foundry Hotel
The Great American Tower Office Building
The Mueller Family
The One Thomas Building
The Phoenix Plaza Association
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Urban Affair LLC
Valle Del Sol
Westward Ho Associates, L.P.
Special Thanks to: Ali Avey – Premiere Volunteer; Joseph Benesh – Phoenix Center for the Arts; Margaret Deitrich – Midtown Museum District; Susan Engstrom – The Great American Tower; Steve Banta and Hillary Foose – Valley Metro; Luz Enriquez and Councilman Nowakowski – City of Phoenix; Don Keuth and Jo Marie McDonald – Phoenix Community Alliance; Jim McPherson; Catrina Kahler – Urban Affair; Dave Roderique and Terry Madezska – Downtown Phoenix Partnership; Eva Olivas – Phoenix Revitalization Corporation; Kurt Schneider – LD Schneider & Associates; Olga Soto; Victor Vidales – REMAX Real Estate; All of the team at WESCO – Mark Forman, Geoffrey Kay, Michael Knoblock, and Christmas Light Decorators Doug Topham and Aaron Farrelly.
About Phoenix Community Alliance:
Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and a collaboration of over 250 major business corporations allied with government, education, research, health & science, as well as arts & cultural organizations. The organization, formed in 1983, is the major, private sector catalyst for the urban renaissance in Downtown Phoenix and the Central City. For more, visit PhoenixCommunityAlliance.com.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a 30-year-old national intermediary based in New York City, was invited in 1992 to open a Phoenix office. One million dollars was raised locally by the Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) and matched by the national LISC office to be used for community development. 20 years later, that investment has exceeded $176.8 million and leveraged an additional $590.6 million, generating almost 6,000 affordable housing units and almost 300,000 sq. ft. of community facility space.
“LISC is proud to bring private funding to the Valley to help take full advantage of the opportunities that are here, including leveraging the public infrastructure investment that brought us the Light Rail,” said Teresa Brice, LISC-Phoenix executive director. “LISC’s overall mission is to help develop sustainable communities using private funding to make direct investments or to help leverage funding.”
Mo Stein, Chairman, commented “PCA is proud to have played a role in bringing a LISC program to Phoenix. The return on Phoenix’s community investment in LISC has far exceeded our expectations! More important, LISC ‘s Phoenix Program is more critical today than ever before. The shifting dynamics of the housing market require LISC’s expertise in capacity building and developing partnerships that create quality affordable housing for our community.”
PCA will welcome a group of community leaders to celebrate the 20th Anniversary event to a special event, “Community Investment – What is it worth?” that will speak to how the community has benefited from their initial investment in the LISC Phoenix Program over the years. The event will take place at the PCA Corporate Office today, April 18th from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. All parties interested in leveraging community investment are welcome to attend.
About LISC: The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods. LISC also assists in the development of new community opportunities. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary in Phoenix, LISC has brought millions of dollars to the development of sustainable communities. Since its founding in 1992 LISC Phoenix has:
- Provided over $176 million in direct investments and
- Over one-half billion dollars in leveraged funds which have supported the development of:
- Almost 6,000 housing units and
- Almost 300,000 square feet of non-residential space
About PCA: Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and a collaboration of over 250 major business corporations allied with government, education, research, health & science, as well as arts & cultural organizations. The organization, formed in 1983, is the major, private sector catalyst for the urban renaissance in Downtown Phoenix and the Central City.
Business Real Estate Weekly of Arizona is reporting a loan on Park Central is currently in default, and the property is scheduled for a trustee’s sale on April 19. Read the full story here.
Park Central has played a key role in this community’s development and the potential change of ownership of this prime Midtown property could set the stage for a renewed interest in the Central Corridor.
Upon hearing the news, DPJ asked its colleagues what they thought the potential change might mean.
“In residential terms, the Park Central site is one of the strongest potential development plays in Midtown,” David Newcombe, realtor for Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the nearby One Lexington condominiums. “With the right mixed-use elements included it could be game-changer for the Central Corridor.”
“You can’t talk about Park Central development without mentioning METRO Light Rail, and how it has changed people’s view of Central Avenue in recent years,” said Don Keuth, Phoenix Community Alliance President. “Will there be an opportunity to capitalize on that asset by developing a dense, multi-use project more appropriate for an urban setting? We’ll have to see how it shakes out.”
Park Central was billed as Phoenix’s first “modern” shopping mall and has been more recently viewed as the impetus of Phoenix’s propensity for sprawling development. As mentioned by Phoenix residents J. Seth Anderson, Suad Mahmuljin, and Jim McPherson in their recently published book, Downtown Phoenix, (Arcadia Publishing, 2012):
“In 1957, Phoenix’s first shopping mall, Park Central Shopping Center, opened along North Central Avenue between Thomas and Osborn Roads, enticing downtown retail fixtures to move – Goldwater’s, then Diamond’s, then J.C. Penny’s.
In the 1960s, all of the major department stores fled downtown and empty storefronts replaced bustling activity. Where the action (and corporate investment) took place was midtown and uptown Phoenix in the first wave of high-rise development, exemplified by the construction of the Phoenix Corporate Tower in 1960 (replacing the Westward Ho as the city’s tallest building), the Executive Towers Condominiums in 1963, and 4000 North Central Avenue in 1964.” (Downtown Phoenix, page 95.)
[Note: Phoenix Community Alliance partners with Urban Affair, publisher of Downtown Phoenix Journal. David Newcombe partnered in the development of DPJ's Live Here section. J. Seth Anderson writes for DPJ. Jim McPherson is a sponsor of DPJ's Engage Page. All are knowledgeable and trusted voices of Downtown Phoenix.]
The Second Annual Phoestivus Market, an open-air holiday shopping event dedicated to locally-owned businesses and vendors, is set to take place on two consecutive Wednesdays, December 14 and 21, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The event will feature over 70 vendors, seven food trucks and activities and entertainment for all ages. The festivities will take place at the Phoenix Public Market, one of 12 Downtown Phoenix organizations and businesses co-hosting the event.
Loosely inspired by the “Festivus for the Rest of Us,” the Phoestivus Market will host Feats of Strength, a Phoestivus Pole and an Airing of Grievances.
According to Get Your PHX founder and Phoestivus lead organizer, Ken Clark, “We have a vision for an open air holiday market that celebrates locally-owned businesses and locally-produced food. We want to create a tradition that will be here long after we are gone.”
This year’s the market will double in size, with food and gift vendors to be accompanied by local gourmet food trucks, popular with diners throughout Phoenix: Short Leash, Hey Joe, Mojo Bowl, Emerson Fry Bread, Beet Street, Jamburritos and Mamma Toledo’s Pies.
The first 100 attendees of either evening will receive a free Phoestivus Goodie Bag, contributed by Local First Arizona and event partners.
The community event is sponsored by the Phoenix Public Market, Get Your PHX, CenPho.com, Downtown Phoenix Journal, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, FilmBar, La Picolla Cucina, The Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA, Local First Arizona, Oasis on Grand, Phoenix Community Alliance, Phoenix New Times and Roosevelt Row.
The first Phoestivus Market launched in 2010 as a pilot project. With limited resources, the grassroots effort featured over 40 vendors, 6 food trucks and drew over 500 attendees. With increased partner support and community participation, organizers anticipate over 2,000 participants this year.
UPDATE: The 2011 Phoestivus vendor line-up:
|3 Brothers Coffee Co.||ModernMuse61|
|Athena’s White Light Candles/td>||Mystic Pieces Jewelry|
|Accessories by Annie||Nina and Grapey|
|Alley Cat Art Studio||One of a Kind AZ|
|annieWHERE||One Windmill Farm|
|Babcia’s Closet||Poppa Maize|
|Barb’s Sweets and Treats||Retro Rose|
|Beaded Dreams||Retro Spectacular|
|Bread Basket||Riteway Catering Co.|
|Sano Studio||Sebastien Millon LLC|
|Community Exchange||Sherrye’s Kitchen LLC|
|Copper Square Ambassadors||ShopDevious|
|Costantino’s Kitchen||Smart Cookie|
|Carol’s Delectables||SugarJam Cookie|
|Desert Gypsy Goods||Southwest Designs in Jewelry|
|Dr. Hummus||Strawberry Hedgehog|
|Fallen Wood Turnings||Studio Artology|
|Fashion Resources||The Tamale Store|
|Flipped Bird||The Loaded Cupcake|
|Ginny’s Creations||Think Positive Apparel|
|Golo Family Farms||Tiger Mountain Foundation|
|Grate Roots||Treehouse Bakery|
|Happy Snappy Dog Treats||Wei of Chocolate|
|Hazel & Violet||White Light Candles/Athena’s|
|Herb’N Organics||Ziindi Shop|
|Horny Toad Farm||ZonieBaskets|
|Jewelry by Sue Ann|
|Kathy Zimmerman Photography|
The 26 Blocks art project is now a free iPad application, courtesy of the Phoenix Community Alliance. The iPad app offers a new-media presentation of the successful art exhibit, launched on May 7, 2010, combining the work of 26 Phoenix photographers, 26 Phoenix writers, and 26 sculptures of one Phoenix artist. The collaborative effort of these 53 artists showcases their interpretations of 26 separate, downtown Phoenix city blocks.
The 26 Blocks iPad app includes intuitive navigation, artistic attention to detail, and multi-media richness. 52 HD photographs are zoomable up to 400 percent without loss of quality, as are the writers’ contributions and the 26 sculptures by Phoenix painter/sculptor, Rafael Navarro. The soundtrack features music by Phoenix-based electronica rock band, Mr. Meeble, and solo piano by the late Phoenix composer, performer, and teacher Charles Wells. Links within the app take users to content-specific information found on websites, while the soundtrack continues to play so you know you’re still in 26 Blocks. Screenshots on the iTunes app store, here.
“The intuitive, hi-tech nature of the iPad — which is better for reading and viewing images up close, more personal and experiential than a laptop or smart phone, and 1/3 of the production cost if we’d done a hard-cover coffee-table book — make it the perfect 26 Blocks companion for giving fans what they continually ask for: some way of taking the exhibit home with them. Thanks to Phoenix Community Alliance and our other sponsors, we’re excited about delivering the 84-piece writing, photography, and sculpture exhibit — and Phoenix itself — to a much wider audience,” said Joey Robert Parks, the creator of 26 Blocks.
“26 Blocks represents a wonderful community-based arts and culture initiative that is an illustrative example of the many assets that exist within the area,” said Don Keuth, president and CEO of Phoenix Community Alliance.
Financial and in-kind support to develop the 26 Blocks iPad app was provided by After Hours Creative, APS, Artisan Colour, CityScape, Discovery Triangle, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, HDR Architecture, L.D. Schneider & Associates, and Phoenix Community Alliance.
The free 26 Blocks iPad app, requiring iOS 3.2 or later, is now available on the iTunes App Store. High-rez visuals available to the press upon request. For more information about 26 Blocks, visit 26blocks.com. For more information about the Phoenix Community Alliance, visit phoenixcommunityalliance.com.