In DPJ’s Street Style PHX series, Kammie Kobyleski hits the streets in search of the looks that define our city style.
“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” -Harry Winston
While running errands on a recent Sunday, I needed a quick caffeine boost. I hopped into Lux Central for one of my favorite iced green teas and admit to stopping dead in my tracks and staring at these two fabulous and fashionable Phoenicians.
Ricci Demery, a Chandler native who now resides in Tempe and Jahmal Landers, a Portland transplant, took grabbing a casual cup of joe to a whole new level. I stopped my (awkward) staring long enough to ask who influenced this stylish duo, hoping to learn some of their secrets.
What are you wearing?
Ricci is wearing a white trendy top from Ross, Levi Jeans and coral heels from Charlotte Russe (if you can’t wear these fabulous heels to grab coffee where can you wear them?) Jahmal is in Guess jeans, a tank top from H&M and shoes by Nike.
Favorite places to shop?
Jahmal prefers second hand shops like Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill (shout out to ½ price Saturdays) and prefers a minimalist and effortless look, but likes to dress up too. Ricci said she doesn’t follow people or trends much, but wears what feels right for her (I mean LOOK at her. She’s doing her just right).
If you could raid one Style icon’s closet, who would it be?
Jahmal follows style icon Ozwald Boateng, a bespoke couture designer with accolades from Hollywood, London and the fashion elite. Ricci definitely has her own sense of style but named Beyoncé as a source of inspiration (because, Beyoncé.)
What about living in PHX influences your style?
Jahmal shared, “Phoenix is different than Portland. Here we don’t cover up as much because it’s so hot. I like the four seasons and enjoy dressing for that, but it’s hard to do here. I still have a bunch of coats from Portland that I don’t wear. I’m also super active so I wear stuff that can be comfortable and work for different activities.”
These two should set up an Instagram feed so we can all follow along on their stylish journey. If they make grabbing coffee look this good, who knows what going to the gym, grocery shopping and date night looks like.
For the past ten years, Victoria Lindley has kept the ladies of central Phoenix decked in the latest clothes, shoes, and accessories from her boutique, Muse Apparel. This month, Lindley will pack up her north central Phoenix shop and head south to reopen in the revamped Uptown Plaza at Central and Camelback.
Muse found much success in its current location, but with all the changes that have happened in Phoenix since she first opened her doors, Lindley saw an opportunity, both for herself and for this community.
“When I opened my store ten years ago, I always wanted it to be like a village setting, someplace where there were people mingling, with restaurants and art and shopping,” says Lindley.
Her vision for Muse is a perfect fit for the changes coming to Uptown Plaza. With the new location situated between the existing AJ’s Fine Foods market and the future second location of Fox Restaurants Concepts’ Flower Child, it is likely to draw the desired level of vibrance.
Says Lindley, “I just feel really blessed that we got this spot and that we’re able to do this. It’s going to be amazing for my business, but for me personally, it’s going to be really satisfying for the concept that I always had.”
Muse Apparel has a French flea market feel, with a splash of Lindley’s own Bohemian, surfer vibe. She carries contemporary clothing and accessories with an emphasis on wearability. “Though I push the current trends, we offer them in a more classically inspired sense,” says Lindley. “We offer brands that cater to juniors, but predominantly women’s. Our customers are mostly in the 25-55 range, but one of our favorite customers is 84. We try to have something for everyone.”
As a boutique owner in Phoenix, Lindley has learned a lot about our city’s style and is excited to add her experience to the mix of Uptown Phoenix. “One characteristic that I learned right away as I was getting to know the customers is how well-balanced their lives are. They work hard and play hard and family and friends are a huge priority. This community is tight and I feel very privileged to have become part of it,” she says.
Lindley is wholeheartedly dedicated to the reinvention of the central Phoenix core. Not only is she moving her business, but she and her husband are moving their lives here, as well. After twenty years of living in north Scottsdale, they will relocate to the Portland on the Park condos, currently under construction near Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix.
“We’re not only moving my store to some place urban, we’re moving our life to some place urban,” says Lindley. “And we are so dedicated to everything that’s going on. My husband is in commercial real estate and a lot of his business is up and down Central. We’re both really excited to just become involved more in the reinvention of those parts of Phoenix.”
Though the soul of Muse will remain the same in the new location, the store will have more space, additional dressing rooms and a larger front display window. New offerings will include a line of active apparel and boho-style printed yoga mats. Lindley hopes to also hold more evening events to complement the lively environment of Uptown Plaza.
The new location of Muse Apparel is set to open mid-August, with grand opening celebrations planned for September and October. More information on the store and the moving sales currently under way can be found on the shop’s Instagram at muse_apparel or on Facebook, Twitter or at www.shopmuse.com.
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.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Uptown Farmers Market partners with Local Restaurants and C-CAP for Summer Chef Series. Series strives to inspire and educate home cooks using seasonal Arizona products.
Uptown Farmers Market has joined forces with local restaurants, chefs and C-CAP to host its Summer Chef Series at the market each Saturday through the summer 2015. Each week, the Summer Chef Series will feature a different chef from throughout the valley using seasonal Arizona products to inspire and educate home cooks. We have two goals for this Series. The first goal is to help customers learn how to transform seasonal items into simple, delicious summer recipes; over and over we see this is best accomplished through a personal demonstration at market. The second goal is to help our customers learn which restaurateurs are actively engaged in sourcing locally and show that we, as a market, support these restaurants.
“The idea of a summer chef series came from a conversation I had with Chef Justin Beckett,” says Bo Mostow, Uptown Farmers Market Manager. “He wanted to get involved and I wanted to implement an educational market component. We see so many folks who don’t know the name of certain vegetables, let alone how to prepare them. So, together we worked out the details.” Mostow continues, “What started as a small, fun project quickly grew as we threw this idea out to the neighborhood, local businesses and chefs.”
While the Summer Chef Series is still in development, the current chef line up includes Chef Jimmy Ducas and Chef Joe Hobsen of Lon’s at the Hermosa, Chef Rebecca Tillman of The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, Chef Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail, Chef Wade Simpson of Bistro on Wheels, Chef Matt Fenton of Tarbell’s and Chef Bernie Kantak of The Gladly and Citizen Public House, with additional chefs in talks for August.
C-CAP has created an internship for this series, and will have students on site assisting the Chefs with demonstration and sampling. In addition to the weekly demonstrations from local chefs, the Summer Chef Series will feature a raffle for four $50 gift certificates to the featured restaurant of the day. All products & recipes used in the chef-driven demonstrations will be locally produced and highlighted on recipe cards.
“Initiatives such as the Summer Chef Series provide us a forum to highlight exactly what farm to table food means, “says Chef Joe Hobsen of Lon’s at the Hermosa, “while at the same time educating the community and practicing Michael Pollan’s concept to ‘shake the hand that feeds you’.”
On October 26, 2014, Christine Mackay started as the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix. It’s a big job overseeing several large divisions. She served in the same role for the City of Chandler for six years, but a city the size and complexity of Phoenix is a whole new challenge. We sat down with her to discuss her first ten months on the job and to learn what’s next.
DPJ: How do you see your role within the City of Phoenix?
CM: My role is to recruit companies and recruit the workforce that attracts those companies. My job is to help create the quality real estate that they want, a workforce that they want, an educational system that they want, and then they can’t say no.
For me, first it’s been about cataloging all of the assets that exist and really understanding those assets. I grew up here, I’ve been here my whole life, but I only came into Phoenix to go to GPEC meetings or a basketball game and then I went back to my suburb. No joke.
Two weeks before I got the call from Paul Blue asking me to coffee, my city council in Chandler was interested in looking at adaptive reuse on some of the old buildings in Chandler. Phoenix had done such a brilliant job with their adaptive reuse that we took a bus tour to see what had been done. I got to see Angels Trumpet, the Vig, Cibo, the Duce, and Luci’s Market. I got to see all this stuff and I went, ‘I’ve lived here my whole life, how did I not know this was here?’
Now, all I can think about is Phoenix. It’s a dynamic, exciting, cool market, and it just needed help telling its story. So many people are beginning to understand and tell the story: brokers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, etc. and doing a remarkable job. It’s become much more than just a local story, it’s getting national play and national attention.
DPJ: What is your approach and what steps have you taken so far?
CM: My approach is to ‘take no prisoners.’ This is a big, bold, vibrant city and it needs to take big, bold, vibrant steps. This is the sixth largest city in the country and it wasn’t competing as the sixth largest city in the country. So, in the beginning it was about getting a marketing plan done, getting our website done, and getting our strategy set.
This isn’t a ‘fire, ready, aim’ situation, this is very strategic. We got our website done so that it was more attractive to site selectors, corporate real estate executives, thought leaders, and decision makers. We also made it very attractive to that knowledge workforce that wants to find a new place to live.
DPJ: Tell us a little more about that knowledge workforce and what’s attracting these people to Phoenix.
CM: I represent all 517 square miles of Phoenix, but the central city is our unique environment, it is the heart of metropolitan Phoenix. When you look at the way things are going, where a workforce wants to live, where a workforce wants to be, where they want to evolve – it’s in an urban environment. The days of a large house with a pool and a backyard in a suburban market are few and numbered. People want to connect in lifestyle. They’re tired of spending their weekends taking care of their yard and their house. The central city offers an incredibly vibrant lifestyle that the suburbs can’t duplicate.
DPJ: How do you see the connection between Downtown and other parts of the central city, for example, Midtown?
CM: Let’s look at Midtown. When I started, the commercial vacancy rate in Midtown was 38% and now it’s 23%. It’s a nine million square foot market, so that means we’ve brought in 1.3 million square feet of tenants in just 10 months. By the end of the year we will be into the teens.
Midtown has been a kind of ‘red-headed stepchild’ of the central city. Downtown has sports, the central government, CityScape, the Orpheum, etc., but no one had really cataloged the assets in Midtown. It’s just as unique as Downtown, and just as cool as Downtown. Where Downtown is hip, vibrant, cutting edge, thought-leading, sports-minded and fun, Midtown is just a little bit more sophisticated. It’s arts, culture – the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Opera. The two areas complement each other incredibly well.
DPJ: What are the city’s plans for Midtown this next year?
CM: We have money in the city’s CIP (Capital Improvement Program) budget for 2015-16 for Midtown to really engage and connect with Central Avenue, and with the 3rd Street Promenade. Currently the buildings along Central, which were mainly built in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, turn their back on Central, but that’s not the way buildings succeed today.
The city is looking for ways to make those connections, including public sidewalks that go right up to the entrances of the buildings; crosswalks in mid-blocks so people don’t have to go all the way down to the next light to cross to the other side; small landing places with shade; and comfortable seating spaces. For the 3rd Street Promenade, which is anchored by Steele Indian School Park on the north, we’re focused on creating shade and trees and making it both walkable and bikeable.
DPJ: What about the northern end of Midtown and into Uptown. How would you describe what is happening there? Where do you see the boundaries?
CM: Any developer would say Midtown goes between the 7s from McDowell to Camelback. So to me, Midtown stops at Camelback and then Uptown starts on the north side of Camelback. When you go into Uptown, you go into a much more suburban market that includes single story houses, and ranch houses with big lots and mature trees.
But look at the area around the Camelback and Central intersection, with all the activity that’s going on there today, like Vintage Properties (Uptown Plaza), the Newton, the BMO building. There’s just so much.
The city owns a little strip of land in that area near the light rail station, on the western side of the empty triangle parcel at the southwest corner of Camelback and Central. We’re going to put out an RFP to dispose of it. Starting in July and August we’re going to hold neighborhood meetings in that area to let everyone know what will be happening on that site.
In addition, the developer who owns the southwest corner is looking at some new development plans for there. The neighborhood had some opposition to what he’d wanted to do before, so he’s really scaled it back to make it more palatable, but the neighborhood will need to have their input, so we’ll see what they say.
DPJ: We’ve heard that there is a comprehensive parking concept being developed. Can you tell us about this?
CM: When I got here the thing I kept hearing from the brokers and the building owners was that they couldn’t bring companies down here because they couldn’t park them. These buildings used to have 300-500 square feet per person and park at two to three per thousand. But, today, even the financial institutions only have 170 square feet per person in their new model and you’ve got to be able to get five to seven per thousand in your parking to make it work. And, until the central city is the favored darling of urban development, we’re still competing with places like Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Places where they can surface park for free.
We have a lot of vacant space – 2.6 million square fee. of vacant space between Midtown and Downtown. And we don’t want to just fill the buildings, we want to bring the right companies with the right work force. To attract these companies we need temporary solutions until public transportation becomes more common place. We’re getting closer and closer to that, but in the interim we have to provide places for these people to park within four minutes of their building or the companies won’t look at you.
We decided to catalog all of the parking in Downtown and Midtown: everything from Buckeye to Camelback and between the 7s. Now, when a building owner calls and says ‘I can do this lease but I need 200 parking spaces for five years,’ I can say ‘here’s six places within a four minute walk where you can buy parking and here’s who you can call.’ And they do.
We’ve now done six transactions where we’ve helped people find parking. We’re going to the city council in September to ask permission to post private transaction information on a public website. Then we will be able to post all of the contacts for all of the buildings, along with rings around the buildings to show a four minute walking distance, and information on who to contact to lease parking in those areas.
Over time we won’t need as much parking, because people will get so used to mass transit that it will do what it is intended to do. But, we’re not there yet because we don’t have all the mass transit connections. As time goes on and we finish making those connections, everyone, or at least a great proportion of people, will move around by mass transit.
DPJ: Are you taking a similar approach to parking in the Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill area?
CM: In Roosevelt Row for certain….I’m working with Councilman Nowakowski to identify some city-owned sites where we can get some parking up for the next three-to-five-year term while we figure out a structure and what needs to go there. Businesses will die if we don’t get them some parking by end of summer; it’s a ‘now’ priority.
DPJ: What are the main challenges/opportunities you see coming next?
CM: More parking is the challenge that we need to overcome first. It will be a game-changer. Then, I believe what you’ll see next is downtown pushing to the south. When you look at the Warehouse District…that’s the next cool, hip place. The development of the Warehouse District is going to be amazing. Absolutely amazing.
DPJ: Any final thoughts about your first ten months on the job?
CM: I am so excited. There’s so much opportunity. The city has done an amazing job since 2007-2008 in driving downtown development, but the vibrancy of downtown really changed with the Super Bowl. Our own citizens in metro Phoenix got on light rail to come downtown for the Super Bowl events and figured out how cool that part of town is.
So, that’s what we’ve been doing for the last 10 months: setting the stage for what we want to accomplish and putting the tools in our tool belt to say ‘now we’re ready, let’s go!’