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.
What’s the go-to place when out-of-town politicos, like Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Elizabeth Warren, find themselves needing much larger space to hold their public events? Why, the Phoenix Convention Center, that’s where. It’s great to see our convention center recognized for “hitting its stride” in the world’s leading news and online resource for the trade show, exhibition, and event industry. Congratulations and thanks to Convention Center Director John Chan and his team for being a connected member of our downtown community.
Traveling from Tempe into Downtown Phoenix earlier this month I counted nine large construction cranes. A number of factors are contributing to this urban building boom. One of the most important is that more people – across the nation and around the globe – want to live, work, go to school, and play near public transportation. This makes passage of Proposition 104 in Phoenix critical to our future as a vibrant urban city. Click here to read a few more of my observations about Prop 104. Our mayor, Greg Stanton, weighs in on the matter in this Arizona Republic op-ed.
In this time of summer stay-cations, I now bring you other “-cations” on several different topics pertaining to our downtown…
- Be: Coffee, Food + Stuff now open on Roosevelt Row
- Blended & frozen cocktails with Ross Simon of downtown’s Bitter & Twisted
- Details announced for 2016 Devoured Culinary Classic
- Downtown centennial Old Spaghetti Factory gets face-lift
- Hidden Track Bottle Shop now open in Downtown Phoenix
- June restaurant openings, closings in metro Phoenix
- Mother Bunch Brewery’s Holly Arguello pairs food, beer, pickling & pork belly
- Westin’s Downtown Phoenix restaurant gets new chef, menu, look
- Real, Wild & Woody Summer Beer Festival showcases best of Arizona brewing
- Roberto Dadone & Luca Dagliano open Forno 301 in Downtown Phoenix
- Starbucks price increase deters few Downtown Phoenix drinkers
MONET-CATION (ARTS & CULTURE)
- Bomba Lucha! merges Mexican wrestling with burlesque at Paz Cantina
- Get your comic on at Comicon
- McDowell Mountain Music Festival announces 2016 concert date
- Need a little urban respite from the great outdoors?
- New public art dedicated on Roosevelt Row
- Phoenix metro art institutions poised for change
- ”Phoenix Loves Sci-Fi” film event celebrates Arizona scenery in movies
- Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture awards over $800,000 in grants
- Rosemarie Dombrowski on Phoenix’s literary scene
- The Nash on Roosevelt Row sets jazz offerings for July
- ASU downtown academy mentors next generation of public service leaders
- ASU downtown camp helps high schoolers get hip to health
- ASU downtown group works to create community for Native American students
- Construction of ASU’s law school is expected to bring tax revenue & jobs
- Higher density housing key to downtown Logan (UT) revival
- In a place: former Post Office in Downtown Phoenix
- New ASU nursing degrees include holistic, community-health focuses
- Game CoLab gets new grant, seeks developers for next incubator program
- Inside Roosevelt Barber Shop, where old school meets modern
- Local tech firm, WebPT, makes employee health, fitness a priority
- The history of the YMCA in Downtown Phoenix
- Theranos, ASU team on Downtown Phoenix lab testing site, open to public
- Startup PHX challenge winner to relocate to Monroe Building
- Velo Bike Shop looks to build Downtown Phoenix cycling community
- AIA Phoenix Metro holds “Make a Place” downtown design competition
- Christine Mackay takes bold steps for Phoenix’s economy
- Coyotes tell fans they want to stay at Gila River Arena
- $18.25M financing secured for development of Edison Midtown
- How economic developers plan to boost job growth in the new fiscal year
- New Downtown Phoenix arena could bring end to Coyotes’ bumpy desert road
- New RAPID bus service connects local commuters to Downtown Phoenix
- Once-hazardous South Phoenix lot opens to development
- Phoenix creates shade on Roosevelt Row with giant planters
- Recent sale of One North Central high rise a good sign for downtown Phoenix
- Shipping container developments make their home in Downtown Phoenix
- Campus police say bike thefts dropped significantly in Spring semester
- Charities house displaced homeless from closure of CASS overflow shelter
- Congressional leaders urge U.S. Senate to help phoenix fight the FAA
- Downtown Phoenix security increased with Muslim holiday, liberal convention, and immigration protest
- Drinking from sprinklers, Phoenix homeless scrabble to survive heat wave
- 20 years after Srebrenica, Phoenix holds first ever ‘Walk to Remember’
DPI’s What’s Happening Guide for the week of July 20 to July 26 is hot off the presses. It’s an excellent recap of what’s happening in our downtown. You can review and download a copy by clicking here. And… you can find the “latest and greatest” listing of downtown events at our online events calendar and Facebook page. Have an event that should be promoted in the What’s Happening or online calendar? Submit it here.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
From restaurants to residential development, more than $8.2 billion in private and public capital investment has been built near the initial 20-miles of light rail that extends from Phoenix and Tempe into Mesa. Another $346 million in commercial and residential building is being planned, most of that from private developers.
“Big things are happening in Phoenix because of light rail, and big things are going to continue to happen,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Light rail has been transformative for our downtown and our economy. With it we’ve linked jobs, education, arts and culture in a way that would not have been possible otherwise.”
Phoenix and Tempe mayors made announcements on Tuesday at Phoenix’s DeSoto Central Market, an adaptive re-use bar, market and food court that intentionally chose their site due to proximity near the Roosevelt/Central Avenue light rail station.
“Investment in transit does more than improve neighborhoods; it improves lives,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “More than $3.4 billion has been invested in Tempe around light rail since construction began in 2005. Everyone benefits from public transportation.”
Economic Development along 20-Mile Light Rail
Number of Projects: 204
Capital Investment – Private: $ 5,989,639,864.00
Capital Investment – Public: $ 2,241,737,632.00
Total Investment: $ 8,231,377,496.00
SF Commercial/Office: 10,327,168
SF Public: 938,737
SF Education: 4,698,902
SF Residential: 5,666,863
# Residential Units: 15,328
# Affordable Units: 1,300
# Hotel Rooms: 2,948
Economic development within one-half mile of the system has been stimulated by ridership that has exceeded original projections. Valley Metro began compiling development activity since construction started in 2005 as part of an economic development database. The original $7 billion investment had included projects that were proposed. The updated $8.2 billion includes projects completed or under construction. With the 3.1-mile Central Mesa Extension set to open in less than four weeks, there is an added $90 million in private and public development that occurred since construction began in June 2012.
New housing options are set to arrive in Downtown Phoenix by way of South America.
Chilean-based development firm Sencorp is bringing their less-is-more design ethos to the valley, developing an empty lot on 2nd and Moreland Streets into a condominium complex, cheekily named en Hance Park.
After arriving in Phoenix in 2006, the team immediately recognized the growth potential of the downtown area, according to developer Alvaro Sande. For the last 50 years, they’ve been creating living spaces in Chile and beyond, and specialize in efficient design, turning small units into liveable homes.
“In my country,” Sande said, “we sell units that are around 700 square feet with three bedrooms. We love designing small areas, and we love to make smaller areas feel bigger.”
In bringing that experience to Phoenix, the layouts at en Hance Park will maximize the team’s goal for smaller, more affordable spaces while incorporating high-end design features.
“We had to make smaller units, and that’s how we bring the price down but we keep the quality. We like modern amenities, we like wood finishes, we like good design, but in a smaller setting. Therefore we allow people to afford a unit,” he said.
The firm has purchased 80% of the block, and plans to build more condominiums once the first phase is complete. The initial building will reach 5 stories, and include a handful of floor plans, ranging from studios, to ground floor units with private courtyards.
Looking out at Margaret T. Hance Park, which is set to undergo welcome renovations, and just a block away from Roosevelt Row, it’s no surprise the project has stirred a fair amount of interest in the community. While they are currently taking reservations, they will not begin formal sales until construction has begun.
Photos courtesy of en Hance Park
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
AZ’s 100% nonprofit music festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix for a 13th annual celebration on March 11-13, 2016; the 2015 Festival raised more than $120,000 for charity.
Listen up music fans, the 13th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF) will take the stage on March 11-13, 2016 for three full days of music, food, art, culture and more in the Arizona sun. Can’t wait to get your groove on? Presale ticket packages for MMMF 2016 will be available for purchase at a discounted rate starting on August 1, 2015. Plus, the first 150 presale purchasers will receive a special limited edition ticket package directly from the festival organizers, with all details about the package deemed “top secret.”
Boasting a soon-to-be-announced lineup of both top national and local bands (with previous headliners ranging from Widespread Panic to The Roots), the McDowell Mountain Music Festival annually lures thousands of music fans nationwide to the grass-lined fields of Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.
Even better, the MMMF is Arizona’s premier charity-based music festival, with 100-percent of all profits donated to worthy local charities. In fact, with help from contributors, donors, sponsors and, most important, loyal fans, MMMF 2015 donated $120,000 to benefiting charities, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers, the largest shelter for homeless families in the state.
Previously hosted in late March, the 2016 McDowell Mountain Music Festival was moved up to take advantage of Arizona’s mild spring weather and hopefully ensure the perfect mix of sunny days and cool nights, said MMMF founder and organizer, John Largay. “Spring is an outstanding time in the Valley. We want festival-goers to enjoy the sun and music all the same, and early March is certainly the month for both.”
Additional details will be released in the weeks and months to come, including enhanced experiences for 2016, ticketing options, lineups, partnerships, and more. For the latest information, visit www.mmmf.com, or Facebook (www.facebook.com/mcdowellmountainmusicfestival), Instagram (@mmmf2016), or Twitter (@mcdowlmtnmusic). #MMMF2016
Photos: Jacob Tyler Dunn
Members of the Bosnian and downtown Phoenix communities will gather at Civic Space Park Saturday to begin a “Walk to Remember” for the 20-year commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide.
The event will be the first of its kind in Phoenix, and will highlight some of downtown’s symbolic public art sculptures communicating the event’s message of peace, patience and healing.
“The walk will begin at Civic Space Park, under the Janet Echelman sculpture, ‘Her Secret is Patience,’” said Suad Mahmuljin, one of the event organizers. An active member of the downtown Phoenix community, Mahmuljin and his family were forced to flee their homeland, Bosnia and Hercegovina some 23 years ago.
Echleman’s woven aerial sculpture has become a civic icon, known for it’s subtle fluorescent glow in Phoenix’s dark night sky. According to Mahmuljin, the billowing structure provides an appropriate starting point for the walk, which will finish at the Burton Barr Central Library.
“(Echelman’s) sculpture really speaks to patience,” Mahmuljin said. “When tragedies like Srebrenica occur, patience is a virtue one must exercise.”
“Patience and healing go hand-in-hand,” he said.
While the “Walk to Remember” could be held anywhere within the community, Mahmuljin chose downtown Phoenix for its unique context.
“Downtown Phoenix is important because it is the nucleus of where activity happens,” Mahmuljin said. “There are cultural and artistic expressions in the downtown environment that you wouldn’t necessarily find in a suburban environment.”
Another such expression is made from 8.5 tons of metal and required a great deal of patience to fund.
“Release the Fear,” which serves as the second stop along the walk, is a sculpture by local Phoenix artist Robert Miley. According to the sculpture’s inscription, it is comprised of 8,000 pounds of weapons used in violent acts throughout Arizona and it took 10 years to source funding for the project.
“‘Release the Fear’ speaks to gun violence and how it harms our community,” Majmuljin said.
With more than 8,000 people put to death over a three-day period in Srebrenica starting July 11, 1995, Amela Gračanin, one of the original event organizers wants people to learn from this tragedy.
“The walk is to bring awareness,” Gračanin said. “Where we came from, what we went through, and to make sure that everyone is focused on what really matters in the world.”
“We are doing this for the people of Bosnia, our people,” Gračanin said. “It’s kind of a healing process for us.”
“(The event) is for us to never forget, so it never happens again.”
Author, psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor, Esad Boškailo, is the event’s keynote speaker. For Boškailo, his involvement with this historic event goes beyond obligation.
“With (my involvement in) any event like this, I do not even question myself,” said Boškailo. “I feel it is my duty.”
As well as practicing psychiatry, Boškailo is also an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona. After surviving six concentration camps, Boškailo has experienced the depths of loss and tragedy and wants to give back.
“I feel that it’s time for me to give back to society,” Boškailo said.
“I came from a place where everyone took everything away,” said Boškailo who lost almost everything, including his house. Many of his friends and family members were killed.
“I lost my best friend, my cousin, my aunt,” he said.
Event organizers emphasize that everyone in the wider Phoenix community is invited to join the historic “Walk to Remember.” Commemorative t-shirts will be available to purchase and wear on the day of the event the event.
All proceeds will go to the provision of basic necessities for families of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Boškailo’s own organization, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences is helping to make this possible. People may also make donations through the event’s GoFundMe page.
When: Saturday, July 11
Walk: 8:30 a.m. at Civic Space Park 424 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Commemorative Program: 10:00 a.m. at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Contacts for More Details:
Amela Gračanin: 801-949-2090
Dijana Mujkic: 623-755-7917
Photography by Lauren Potter