Songbird Coffee & Tea House
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.
I want you to mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 26, 5 to 7 p.m., at the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. It’s the premiere of RadiatePHX, a monthly networking event for business, community, and city leaders. Hosted by Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Downtown Phoenix Journal, RadiatePHX provides a monthly opportunity to connect with a broad spectrum of downtown advocates, receive key updates from guest speakers on what’s happening in the city core, and learn how you can connect and contribute. RSVP here.
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is seeking 5,000 volunteers to help out over a nearly two-week timeframe at various Super Bowl-related events, including Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix. If you have friends, family, or employees interested in helping to showcase our downtown (and I know you do), have them visit the Super Bowl Volunteer webpage.
This Could Be PHX, a website that promotes downtown businesses, launched PHX Coffee Culture last month to emphasize the city’s growing coffee movement, highlighting 13 coffee shops in central Phoenix. The project is a joint effort between Ryan Tempest and Quinn Whissen, co-founders of This Could Be PHX, and Jonathan Carroll, owner of Songbird Coffee & Tea House.
Turning Phoenix Green
According to the Arizona Republic, homes and businesses along light rail routes in Phoenix should save about $13 million a year on electricity bills from new energy-efficiency projects paid for by Energize Phoenix grants under the federal government’s 2009 stimulus program. But an audit released earlier this year showed that energy savings from upgrades, which included better lighting, shade screens, cooling systems, and duct repairs, were lower than predicted.
Progress is being made on the renovation of the 1931 Professional Building at 15 E. Monroe St. in downtown Phoenix. The project, renamed the Monroe Hilton Garden Inn, is now in the city permitting stage.
Several recent studies highlight how Arizonans and Phoenicians are becoming less reliant on a car-centric transportation system:
- Arizonans Driving Like It’s 1994, Streetsblog USA, July 23, 2014
- When Car-Loving Cities Start to Embrace Light Rail, Next City, July 15, 2014
- HUD Sustainable Communities Grantees Take a Healthy Path Toward Urban Development, National Prevention Strategy, July 1, 2014
- Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, Smart Growth America, June 16, 2014
Snell & Wilmer LLP has renewed its lease for approximately 10 years at Arizona Center. A long-standing anchor tenant at the downtown development, Snell & Wilmer is the largest commercial law firm in metro Phoenix.
Buffalo Wild Wings is seeking a new restaurant location in central Phoenix, possibly downtown Phoenix, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.
College students and Millennials are driving the local multi-family housing market as younger demographics are pushing new apartment developments in central Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Despite this trend, the Phoenix-area housing market is officially in a slump, according to a new report from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
According to the Wall Street Journal, as Millennials and other urban dwellers have children, their needs are changing. And cities, like Phoenix, want to hold on to them by becoming more “playable,” for both children and adults.
Parking meter changes in downtown Phoenix take effect next week. Hours that drivers have to pay to park are extended to seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., including holidays. How much drivers pay will vary depending on what area or “zone” they are located.
AZ + Africa
The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a six-week professional civic leadership training institute for 25 young African leaders, was recently concluded by the ASU College of Public Programs. Listen to Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College, and Al Kags, one of the ASU Fellows, recap the time spent in downtown Phoenix in this KJZZ Radio interview.
A $1 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation will enable ASU journalism students to produce daily coverage of business and economic issues for regional and national media outlets. The Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau will be located in a state-of-the-art newsroom at the Cronkite School on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program, in partnership with Friendly House and the ASU School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, will receive a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant. The funds will be used to create “Story Days,” a two-year series of story-based arts programs and events that explore the connections Phoenix residents have to their communities.
Congratulations to three young downtown advocates who received significant recognition this past month. Kimber Lanning (right), director of Local First Arizona, a small business owner, and member of the Downtown Phoenix, Inc. board of directors, has been named the recipient of the International Economic Development Council’s 2014 Citizen Leadership Award.
As you drive by the monOrchid building on Roosevelt St. you may notice one more bird painted on the exterior wall. That’s the logo of the Songbird Coffee & Tea House, which is just a few short weeks away from opening its doors on a planned opening date of Monday, June 18.
While owners Jonathan and Erin Westgate Carroll work on the usual build-out and permitting process, and the fun headaches that come with that, let’s look ahead and get a glimpse of their vision for this re-activated space.
Songbird will be located at 214 East Roosevelt St. and the Carrolls are “committed to making Roosevelt Row and the surrounding areas the most talked about coffee community in the state of Arizona.” [Worth noting: if you want to stroll to Songbird without stepping outside, contact monOrchid for office or studio space.]
Competition or Synergy?
With Fair Trade Cafe, GIANT Coffee, Royal Coffee Bar and JoBot Coffee Shop nearby, Songbird will be the fifth coffee business within a half-mile radius. The owners view their coffee spot as one more business contributing to the Roosevelt Row community.
With a planned selection of coffee, tea, pastries and burritos, Songbird seems set on satisfying a variety of appetites and palates.
“Casual and contemporary with an accent of industrial and modern décor throughout.” Plenty of electrical outlets are promised as is free Wi-Fi.
They are planning to take advantage of the open gallery space in monOrchid, offering free movie nights, acoustic music shows of all genres, art displays and poetry readings on random nights. Games and books will be on display/located on the bookshelf for customers.
Timeline and Schedule
Says Carroll, “We’re hoping to have our grand opening Monday, June 18. Thus far, we’re on schedule, but the 18th is tentative depending on [the permits, etc.].” Hours will be 7 a.m. 7 p.m. to start. Carroll says they will chart the first few weeks to a month and then fluctuate hours based on the results. As with any local business, if we want them to keep those hours, we will have to do your part and go.
Photos by Esther Martinez courtesy of Songbird.
If you go
Where: monOrchid, 214 E. Roosevelt, in the Evans Churchill Neighborhood
When: Scheduled to open Monday, June 18
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to start
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