For the past year, Phoenix residents have provided thoughtful feedback on the City of Phoenix’s future investment in transportation (Prop 104) and its General Plan (Prop 100). On June 16, RadiatePHX invites the community to rally in support of these important initiatives and their impact on downtown at the August 25 ballot box.
The networking event is a special edition of the monthly RadiatePHX, where business, community, and city leaders gather on a monthly basis to connect about issues and happenings affecting our city’s core.
Featured Speakers: This month’s program features remarks from Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego on MovePHX, PlanPHX Committee Chair Mo Stein on the General Plan, plus a welcome message from this month’s host, DeSoto Central Market General Manager Shawn Connelly.
In “Rock the Vote” spirit, an official voter registration ambassador from the Arizona Secretary of State will be on hand to register voters and answer questions.
When: Tuesday, June 16 5-7 p.m. (program begins at 6 p.m.)
Where: DeSoto Central Market, 915 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
Cost: FREE, with complimentary bites
Park/Ride: Vehicle parking is limited. Walk, bike, or take light rail!
RSVP: June RadiatePHX
Presented by Downtown Phoenix Inc., Downtown Phoenix Journal, and the Phoenix Community Alliance, RadiatePHX is a free monthly networking event that invites you to “connect to the core” to learn about downtown opportunities, issues, and solutions; receive key updates from guest speakers on what’s happening in downtown; and discover how you can connect and contribute.
Roosevelt Neighborhood property owners, business representative and interested citizens recently gathered at the Roosevelt Community Church for a Community Forum that provided insights into what communities can achieve with a Business Improvement District (BID).
While the proposed Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill BID has been a work in progress since last year, the Community Forum was the first opportunity for the general public to understand the process and its potential impact on our downtown.
Dave Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix, Inc., opened the presentation by pointing out “we are in the midst of building the urban heart of our city right now.” Unlike eastern cities or the coastal cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, Phoenix is very young and Krietor noted that “we have a unique opportunity to collectively plan for and build the city we want, district by district.”
The next level of development in the life of the city is happening now in our unique downtown districts and neighborhoods. Increasingly, these areas are coming together to build on those infrastructure bones to create and enhance vibrant neighborhoods that truly bring our urban core to life. A shining example of this important community building has been happening for the last 15 to 20 years in the Roosevelt/Evans Churchill area, which Krietor referred to as “Ground Zero for neighborhood and community building in downtown Phoenix.”
Learning From Others
Three different forum presenters provided their insights into the success of Business Improvement Districts in San Diego, Sacramento and elsewhere, including examples of how participating in a BID assessment has given area property owners an important seat at the table in their cities. They emphasized how property owners in these districts were empowered to make important decisions that have protected and developed the unique features and elements of their neighborhoods.
- Jimmy Parker, San Diego’s Gaslamp District. The success of this BID has meant a $10 return on every dollar invested through the assessment. The Gaslamp District also has developed the highest concentration of affordable housing and the highest concentration of hotels in the city.
- Liz Studebaker, Midtown Sacramento Studebaker’s references to this BID seemed to most resemble the Roosevelt Neighborhood. She explained how the district has been able to support the property owners desire that the arts be a significant defining feature of their neighborhood, followed closely by “third place” amenities such as food, coffee, beer and spirits. As a result of the success of their BID they have developed a much stronger connection with the city and have a direct line to the police for trash abatement and security.
- Allison Harnden, nighttime economy consultant. Harnden showed how planning for nightlife is key, and she pointed out that Roosevelt/Evans Churchill is in a unique position to carefully plan for all of the important elements that will support a thriving nighttime economy in the area.
Locals Weigh In
Greg Esser of the Roosevelt Row CDC and Tim Sprague, of Habitat Metro, a local residential and commercial property developer pointed out that the BID offers an opportunity for self-governance and a collective voice. Sprague openly admitted he’s in the “middle” in terms of his support for the district, but said “It’s a chance to work as a cohesive group.”
The forum concluded with a presentation by Nancy Hormann, the BID consultant who has been working with neighborhood stakeholders the past year to determine what services they want for their area and to develop a proposed workplan.
The consensus is that the added services should include management and administration of the workplan, beautification, added clean and safe services, a parking plan, business and development assistance, event management, and marketing & branding of the area. The estimated cost for these additional services would be $375,000. The city will contribute $75,000 (as an area property owner) and the remaining $300,000 would come from the property owners tax assessment.
By mid-June the final proposed workplan and assessments will be mailed to every property owner (with the exception of single family homeowners, or owners of multi-unit properties with four units or less) in the defined area, which runs east/west from 7th St. to 7th Ave., and from Fillmore St. on the south to Moreland/Hance Park on the north. Property owners will be asked to express whether they support the proposed BID, do not support it, or need further information.
Over the summer months, Nancy and her team will work to reach every property owner to answer questions and provide all of the information they need. Since the total assessment is $300,000, property owners representing $150,001 are needed for the BID to move forward to City Council for approval in the fall.
Property owners can learn more about what’s next for the proposed Roosevelt/Evans-Churchill area BID workplan and assessment by contacting Nancy Hormann directly at Hormann Associates.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
In a brief and dramatic moment at sunrise this morning, a 104-year-old Craftsman bungalow moved from the north to the south side of East Roosevelt Street. The Joseph W. Wurth House, formerly located at 314 E Roosevelt Street is now at it’s new permanent location across the street at 401 E Roosevelt Street.
Originally built in 1911, the Joseph W. Wurth House was donated by Sam and Debra Moyer in memory of Vic Armstrong. John McCullough, owner of McCullough Move-A-Home, oversaw the lifting and relocation of the building. Now retiring, this building relocation will be the last of more than 200 structures that McCullough has relocated over the course of his long and accomplished career.
The new location for the property housed a commercial structure that was demolished by prior owners in 2001 and has been vacant since. The lot and Wurth House are currently owned by Kimber Lanning, owner and operator of the adjacent Modified Arts gallery. Future use of the Wurth House is yet to be determined.
“When the building was slated to be demolished, I knew something needed to be done,” says Lanning. “The house matches the character of this area better than any new construction could, and replaces an empty dirt lot with a beautiful structure.”
East Roosevelt was closed to traffic by the City of Phoenix, while steel plates were placed to protect existing sidewalks. Overhead power lines had to be temporarily relocated by APS in order to accommodate the relocation of the building. Lorenzo Perez, co-owner of Venue Projects who provided the development of the house’s new foundation, is eager for the once vacant home to have new life.
“The Wurth House provides a missing tooth on Roosevelt Street,” says Perez. “It marries an old structure on a vacant parcel, activating an important corner of the community, and continues an on-going legacy made by artists in the area.”
The surrounding community suffered several decades of decline and blight, revitalized by artists who began occupying formerly vacant buildings in the mid-1990’s, creating galleries and studio spaces. Currently, the Roosevelt Row Artists District is home to over 100 local businesses supporting arts and culture.
“This relocation represents a significant moment in the more than century-long history of the area,” says Greg Esser, co-founder of Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. “It preserves a significant structure that contributes to a more vibrant, walkable community for future generations.”
Last year, Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill property owners proposed developing a new Business Improvement District (BID) for their area to the City. In April 2014 the Phoenix City Council approved funding for the group to assess the viability of the opportunity. Read our previous story here.
Following months of work, the group is coming together to host a Community Forum on Thursday, May 28, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Roosevelt Community Church. The Forum will showcase the success of BIDs in other cities, and outline the proposed investment for Roosevelt.
With the help of long-time BID professional Nancy Hormann of Hormann & Associates, the property owners have been working hard to determine a work plan and budget that will both support the arts character of the area and encourage thoughtful economic development to support their collective vision.
“This is a peer-to-peer process,” says Hormann, “Over the last 12 months, through focus groups, surveys, one-on-one meetings, and group workshops, the property owners determined the type and level of services needed to make a difference in their district. This forum is the first time people who are not property owners are being invited to listen to what’s going on.”
The forum will feature an introduction by Dave Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix, Inc., a panel of three BID professionals sharing stories of the remarkable impact BIDs have had on their respective cities, and representatives from the Roosevelt BID Working Group, who will share the work they’ve done over the last year.
So what exactly is a BID and why is it important? A BID is a public/private mechanism that allows property owners within a defined area to fund district-specific improvements, services and activities through a self-imposed and self-governed property assessment. These assessments provide services that are above and beyond what the city can provide. And they’ve been very successful. Over 1500 BIDs are currently active in cities throughout North America and their success stories are impressive.
Currently, the only existing BID in Phoenix is the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, which covers 90 square blocks of the downtown core.
Dave Krietor articulates what this has meant for Phoenix. “The core BID came from a vision created by the Phoenix Community Alliance back in the late 1980’s. Downtown business leaders saw what was happening in other cities and recognized that creating a BID would be integral to revitalizing our downtown.” He adds, “You only need to look at what’s happened in downtown to see that the core has been reinvented. The BID created a focal point and a center of gravity to revitalize downtown. Now this powerful, effective tool is available for property owners in the Roosevelt/Evans Churchill district to take advantage of to improve and sustain their neighborhood.”
But “seeing is believing” and the BID Community Forum will provide an inspiring vision of what can be accomplished. Three BID professionals will share stories of how their districts have developed and the significant impact they’ve had on their respective cities, including: Jimmy Parker, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter executive director; Elizabeth Studebaker, Midtown Sacramento; and Allison Harnden, a longtime BID professional who has worked with 45 BID Districts nationwide. In addition, Roosevelt/Evans Churchill BID working group representatives including Greg Esser, Roosevelt Row CDC, Tim Sprague, Habitat Metro LLC, and consultant Nancy Hormann will provide a quick overview of the Roosevelt area work plan, budget and assessment, outline next steps, and take questions from the audience.
If you go:
What: BID Community Forum
When: Thursday, May 28, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Roosevelt Community Church, 924 N. 1st Street, Phoenix
Cost: Free and open to the public.
RSVP: Space is limited. RSVP requested here.
Historic DeSoto Building reopens its doors as community marketplace on April 11th — DeSoto Central Market
The historic DeSoto Building located on Roosevelt and Central Avenue is getting a new lease on life when it reopens on April 11th as DeSoto Central Market. The nearly-90 year-old building has been reimagined and updated with food and socialization in mind. The 17,138 square foot property will retain its Deco-inspired roots housing several restaurants, a coffee shop, a local produce and artisanal market, bar, and a mezzanine level with event and meeting space.
The concept was dreamed up by food enthusiast and DeSoto manager, Shawn Connelly, who felt Downtown Phoenix’s time has come for this type of community gathering space, which has proven popular in other cities like San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), Los Angeles (Grand Central Market), and New York (Chelsea Market). According to Connelly, “Downtown Phoenix has seen tremendous growth recently in all sectors from housing to business, the Roosevelt Row Arts scene to ASU, but it still lacks a central food hub to get the basic grocery goods.” He envisions a spot where downtown dwellers can grab a bite, hold a meeting, relax with some music and attend community events — with plans for cooking classes, wine tastings, and much more.
While his goals are lofty, they ultimately have the community in mind and the execution is quirky, humorous and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Signs on the windows tout the “charming staff” and encourages patrons with the tagline “a delightful place to read, meet or enjoy an old fashioned cocktail.”
Connelly has tapped Stephen Jones, former chef of Blue Hound Kitchen + Cocktails at the Palomar Hotel, to be the head chef of DCM burger bar, Walrus & the Pearl oyster bar and Tea + Toast Co. coffee bar, as well as his own concept, yard bird + the larder. He’ll also oversee the inclusion of new restaurants to the space and work toward the goal of creating what Jones envisions as “a community table” downtown.
The historic DeSoto Building’s 1930s Industrial-era flavor has been preserved and revitalized with a totally modern concept. The interior has been opened up and includes a new mezzanine level meant for group seating and event space. The large family and dog-friendly patio is equipped with lighting, shade cloth, and ample seating where patrons can sit with a cup of coffee or hang out for a game of corn hole or ping pong. Located in the heart of downtown in the Evans Churchill neighborhood, DeSoto is right off Central Avenue adjacent to the Roosevelt light rail stop making it easily accessible by car or public transportation. For the growing downtown population and Grid Bike users, bike parking is abundant.
The soon-to-open grocery will bring much needed fresh produce to downtown Phoenix from McClendon Select Farm, along with other local farmers and growers, and will eventually include artisanal vendors like a butcher, bakery, and cheese monger. The market will also feature artisanal products and pantry goods such as spices, local flour and grains, hot sauce, pickles, paper goods and more.
DeSoto Central Market is home to a diverse mix of eateries and bars catering to the casual diner as well as the hard-to-please foodie. Shawn Connelly conceptualized DeSoto Central Market as an incubator for new and upcoming culinary talent in the Valley. The idea: creating small, ready-to-go kitchens, so up-and-coming chefs have the opportunity to test their culinary ideas.
“It is a place that we developed in such a way that foodprenuers can come in and for a fraction of the cost to start-up somewhere else, can get their start on their dream”
The space will feature seven culinary choices ranging from burgers to more eclectic fare (think Mexican/Asian) that will cater to a variety of ages and palettes. Patrons can order inside, or at an outdoor walk-up window, and then dine at the bar, on the patio or on the mezzanine level.
- DCM – The DeSoto Central Market burger bar serves fancy egg burgers in the AM or a variety of artisan burgers thereafter. Also available: Craft beers, wine and cocktails.
- Tea & Toast Co. – Get your morning (or afternoon, or evening) coffee or specialty tea paired with pastries or an array of savory and sweet toasts.
- Walrus & the Pearl – This mostly-raw bar features fresh oysters — but also serves other seafood favorites like ceviche and poke.
- yard bird + the larder — Chef Stephen Jones (formerly chef at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar) reinvents some Southern and New American favorites; think fried chicken skin po-boy or black eyed peas and rice.
- Radish — Radish is a farm-to-table, fast- casual restaurant serving delicious salads and cold-pressed juices. Environmentally conscious and supportive of healthy lifestyles, Radish invites you EAT RAD + DRINK RAD + BE RAD.
- Adobo Dragon — Chef Allan Inicencia’s Latin/Asian fusion creations.
Opening Weekend Celebrations
The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening of DeSoto Central Market on April 11th (11am to 11pm) and 12th (11am to 8pm). Guests can expect the full market experience plus pop-up vendors, live music, cocktail tastings, chef demonstrations and specials throughout the 2-day event. A portion of proceeds from the weekend will go to Release The Fear, a non-profit that teaches Arizona’s youth the life skills needed to combat the effects of peer pressure, gang involvement, bullying, abuse, and violence and to make better life choices.
About DeSoto Central Market
Housed in the historic 1928 DeSoto Building on Central and Roosevelt Avenues, the new DeSoto Central Market combines seven diverse restaurant choices, an organic produce market, a deco coffee house and meeting mezzanine in one stylish and easily accessible location.
Creator Shawn Connelly, a 16-year veteran in the food industry, is taking his knowledge and experience of the big market concept to create what he hopes it will hark back to a time where central markets were at the heart of every city. To that end, DeSoto Central Market is a spot where downtown workers and dwellers can grab an egg sandwich or a coffee to-go, meet a friend for a drink on the extensive patio, or pick up some locally-grown tomatoes and a loaf of bread on the way home.
Address: 915 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Hours: 6:30am – 10pm, Monday – Thursday; 6:30am – 11pm, Friday and Saturday; 6:30am – 9pm, Sunday
Images courtesy of DeSoto Central Market.