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.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
TrueDTPHX celebrates local food, music, art and the ‘True’ urban experience
With NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl activities putting Downtown Phoenix in the national spotlight, the downtown community is throwing an extended open house party to give visitors and locals a taste of what makes downtown so rad.
TrueDTPHX kicks off Jan. 23.
Here’s the game plan:
- TrueDTPHX , a showcase of our local music and art scenes, will be held at award-winning Civic Space Park in the heart of Downtown Phoenix over two days on Friday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 24. This free, family friendly gathering includes musical performances by Steve Ayote, Luna Aura, Decker, WLFPCK, Captain Squeegee and Jared & the Mill. TrueDTPHX will also feature a live art installation by local artist Isaac Caruso. Known for his attention-grabbing public art pieces, Caruso had his first showing at the Smithsonian when he was just 19 years old. The festival also features food trucks, beer garden and community vendor tables.
- Speaking of local fare, DTPHX City Sampler gives locals and visitors alike the wallet-friendly opportunity to taste test many of downtown’s mouth-watering restaurants. DTPHX City Sampler is a self-guided walking tour so wear sunscreen and comfortable kicks. And with over 20 downtown restaurants each offering two menu items for $5, best bring your appetite, too.
- Feel like shopping local? How about dancing? Check out the Roosevelt Row Sidewalk Sale or Phoenix Public Market Featuring Kalliope.
- One of the most anticipated projects of 2015 is the new Desoto Building and you can get a free sneak peek at the property during an all-day patio party Jan. 24 benefiting the Evans Churchill Community Association.
- What about something quintessentially downtown cool? That would be the Super Fooshuman foosball tournament being held Jan. 23-31 at Kitchen Sink Studios.
- Speaking of cool, Jan. 23 thru Feb. 1 locals and visitors are encouraged to travel between activities at Super Bowl Central and to community based events to the north via First Street, which is emerging as the preferred pedestrian corridor linking the downtown core to the Roosevelt Row Arts District. During Pro Bowl and Super Bowl weeks First Street will feature stimulating activations like pop-up living rooms, the first phase of the temporary park Space Between as well as the impactful storage container art installation The Scarlet Cord.
Images courtesy of Downtown Phoenix, Inc.
Linton’s collection of black-and-white photos of people living on the streets returns downtown in a February exhibition at monOrchid’s Bokeh Gallery, and “I Have A Name” has expanded with ambitious plans for a mural on the monOrchid building.
The gallery show opens on February 6, with additional events on February 13 — when the local support organization Pineapple Triangle hosts an artisan market benefiting the mural project — and on February 20 (the closing reception).
Meanwhile, Linton is running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the monOrchid’s exterior artwork, with the goal of spurring conversation about homelessness. “The ‘I Have A Name’ Project has teamed with prominent artists Brian Boner and Wayne Rainey to create this powerful and important mural,” Linton states in his fundraising description. “A west wall of the building will carry a message in humanity and compassion while the north facing wall shall list names of those lost to the street. The overall scope of this work intends to create a dialogue beyond the boundaries of this city and help motivate action that might end the human suffering that is homelessness.” Of the $15,695 goal, $10,000 is designated to pay for artist labor over several months.
“During this past year,” says Linton, “the Project…has supplied or helped facilitate many donations in clothing or hygiene kits to local shelters, and enjoys working with Justa Center and Central Arizona Shelter Services.” He continues, “We have provided shoes, socks, meals and water to our neighbors in need on the street.”
Linton describes another aspect of his organization’s charitable activities. “Recently, we sold tee shirts printed by TumbleTees, a local Phoenix company that hires formerly homeless teens, and used the proceeds to provide a meal to 50 homeless veterans at Christmas at MANA House.”
Although “I Have A Name” is not a non-profit 501c3 organization, its association with monOrchid’s Shade Projects allows tax-deductible charitable contributions. Linton explains, “The…project is essentially a one-man army, and while receiving donations that have allowed the exhibition to travel, our efforts remain self-funded.”
“Over these past months, I have dedicated nearly 1800 hours in expanding this message of compassion,” he adds. “I continue to take photographs and gather narratives weekly. It’s tragically dehumanizing to be on the street — on many occasions the most valuable thing I can offer is an ear.”
- The “I Have A Name” project’s website and Facebook page
- Gallery show runs Feb. 6-20 at monOrchid’s Bokeh Gallery
- 214 E. Roosevelt St. in downtown Phoenix
- email@example.com or 602-253-0339
- The mural campaign for “I Have a Name” on Indiegogo
- Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS)
- 230 S. 12th Ave.; 602-256-6945
- Justa Center
- 1001 W. Jefferson; 602-254-6524
- MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House
- 755 E. Willetta; 602-254-6785
- Part of Madison Street Veterans Association — Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) at 233 S. 11th Ave.
- TumbleTees t-shirts
Last year, a conflicted, but deeply engaged community process led to a City Council recommendation of approval for a proposal from Roosevelt Housing Associates (RHA) for “The Row,” a mixed-use development that included new residential buildings and the renovation of the historic L.C. Knipe House.
Over the ensuing months the developers experienced a setback when they learned they would not receive tax credits for the residential part of their project. As they looked for alternative development strategies, they were charged with beginning work on the renovation of the Knipe House. The work needed to commence by end of year, 2014, or the development agreement with the city would be terminated.
As of late yesterday afternoon, DPJ received word from Scott Sumners, Deputy Economic Development Director for the City of Phoenix that the City and RHA had agreed to mutually terminate the agreement. The information came in the form of an email to Kevin Rille, President of the Evans-Churchill Community Association. The ECCA group had provided leadership and outreach for community engagement with the RFP process for this parcel of land, and had written a letter of support for the project months earlier.
We’ve opted to print the email whole, so that no questions are left unanswered.
I’m writing with an update on The Row, the mixed-use project on 2nd Street including the historic L.G. Knipe House approved by our City Council earlier this year. We appreciate Evans Churchill’s participation throughout this process, and your leadership on this key project.
From the start, the preservation and adaptive re-use of the Knipe House has been of paramount importance to the City. Throughout the year, we have remained hopeful that RHA would commence renovations on the historic building before the end of the year, as required in our development agreement. RHA had a setback in June, when they learned that the residential part of their project would not receive tax credits. RHA was committed to this project, and took the initiative to explore alternative development strategies that would allow their project to continue.
In recent discussions, the City and RHA acknowledged that RHA will not be commencing renovations on the Knipe House by the end of the year, and we have mutually agreed to terminate our development agreement. While The Row will not be built on this site, we remain supportive of RHA, confident that the market demand for their product will remain strong, and respectful of their success in neighboring cities, with award-winning projects that enjoy 100% occupancy and waiting lists.
We look forward to working with Evans Churchill on a new plan for the Knipe House and the surrounding City property. I hope to meet with you in early 2015 to discuss this further.
Thank you again for your support and leadership.
Scott Sumners | Deputy Economic Development Director | City of Phoenix
We contacted Sumners to suss out next possible steps with regards to this parcel. “We don’t really know what the next steps will be yet,” he said. “Our biggest concern is that building,” he continued, referring to the preservation of the Knipe House. “We want to get something viable in the building and protect it.”
The building was broken into and set on fire over a year ago, which resulted in major damage. Sumners mentioned that on December 23 this year, a community member alerted them that someone had once again tried to break into the Knipe House. They were able to send workers out to fix the damage and board up the house again, but it highlights the vulnerability of the building.
With the preservation of this building as the key driver, Sumner hopes that a consensus can be reached among neighbors, the city and other stakeholders on how to both preserve a piece of our history and add life and business to the area.