Phoenicians gathered last night at monOrchid on Roosevelt Row for RadiatePHX, a monthly networking event for business, community, and city leaders produced by Downtown Phoenix Inc. and Downtown Phoenix Journal. monOrchid owner Wayne Rainey welcomed those gathered speaking directly to the relationship between creative spaces and special places, and what we can do about it.
monOrchid is a place of hope.
It’s a studio complex. It’s two galleries. It’s a venue. It’s home to more than a dozen creative force businesses and is the platform for the symbiotic relationship of those businesses.
By being adaptable and flexible it provides an extraordinary opportunity for growth and advancement by consolidating experience with experiments and thus – often – art.
This building that is monOrchid is much like downtown Phoenix in many ways. Not that many years ago it was a broken and under-utilized place – a warehouse for forgotten things. It was inefficient and expensive to refit but its history and authenticity were still mostly intact, and that authenticity was an absolutely essential component for it – and its neighborhood’s – revival.
The investment was worth it.
Today we gather here and celebrate the many future possibilities that are Phoenix.
But this great view is also the place of a precipice. As we evaluate and decide who we will be as a more mature city we must be cognizant of our path. There is so much potential here – perhaps more here now in Phoenix than in any other major city in the country – and that is because we have been, in the past, so bad at being a city.
We must do better.
We must plan for the long term. And that means we must be willing to be choosey.
We should be careful to not accidentally damage our best assets, like our great arts districts, but we must also find ways to encourage more density.
We should build our great parks but we must also find ways to facilitate those who would come.
There are incredibly difficult problems that we will face and there must be great discourse and conversation. But the conversations must begin in earnest now.
I’m so happy to see you here and engaged, and I hope some of those conversations will take place here tonight. Thank you for coming.
Photos courtesy of Wayne Rainey. Featured image by Douglas Proce.
You’re Invited to Radiate on a SPECIAL DATE
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Phoenicians are invited to join Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and the Downtown Phoenix community on Tuesday, January 13, at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel for a “Super Pep Rally,” in anticipation of the upcoming NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.
The hosted event will celebrate the contributions made by residents, businesses and organizations that have transformed downtown Phoenix into a vibrant urban core that is ready to welcome the estimated million visitors anticipated for Super Bowl Central.
This “pre-game huddle” will take place as part of the grand opening of downtown’s newest outdoor event space, the “Valley Overlook” at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The appropriately named venue features a fresh view of Phoenix’s skyline, a live visual of the nation’s sixth largest city’s ongoing development and progress.
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.
This month’s program features remarks from Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel General Manager, Mike Ehmann, and Downtown Phoenix Inc. CEO, David Krietor.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the “Valley Overlook,” plus live entertainment by Urban Electra and hosted food and drinks, will follow Mayor Stanton’s remarks.
When: Tuesday, January 13, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Program begins at 6 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel – Valley Overlook, 340 North 3rd Street, 4th Floor
Cost: FREE, with complimentary bites and bar
Parking: Complimentary valet parking and self parking
RSVP: January RadiatePHX
About 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.
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December RadiatePHX “Holidays Take Center Stage” at Historic Orpheum Theatre Tuesday, Dec. 16, 5-8 p.m.
This month’s RadiatePHX features brief updates on downtown initiatives and some festive performing arts moments to help “city-brate” what makes downtown Phoenix special. Performing arts entertainment includes Dickens Carolers, Arizona School for the Arts Student Jazz Ensemble and The Nash Jazz Ensemble.
When: Tuesday, December 16, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St.
Cost: FREE, with complimentary bites and bar provided by Aventura Catering
Parking/Transportation: City public parking lot on 3rd Ave. and Washington. Or ride light rail to the Central and Washington station and stroll on over
RSVP: December RadiatePHX
Join Downtown Phoenix business, community, and city leaders on October 21 for RadiatePHX, the free downtown networking event that invites you to “connect to the core” on the third Tuesday of each month.
Presented by Downtown Phoenix, Inc., Downtown Phoenix Journal, and Phoenix Community Alliance, RadiatePHX provides a forum to learn about downtown opportunities, issues, and solutions; receive key updates from guest speakers on what’s happening downtown; and discover how individuals and businesses can contribute to building the downtown we want.
This month’s RadiatePHX invites you to “get in the game” by getting involved in downtown. Coinciding with the cooler weather and the launch of the new Phoenix Suns season, brief announcements about new downtown-based health and fitness initiatives, FitPHX and Meet Me Downtown, will be shared.
The event is hosted by the Phoenix Suns and US Airways Center in the Verve Lounge, a spacious, comfortable venue with a bird’s eye view of the arena. Complimentary food and drink is provided by Levy Restaurants. Free parking in the US Airways garage is available.
Guest speakers are Phoenix District 5 City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela; Suns President Jason Rowley; and Ralph Marchetta, Senior Vice President, Ticket Operations & General Manager of Sports & Entertainment Services for US Airways Center.
What: RadiatePHX – a monthly networking event
When: Tuesday, October 21, 5 to 7 p.m.
Where: Verve Lounge at US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St.
Cost: FREE, with complimentary bites and bar
Parking: Complimentary parking in US Airways Center garage (enter from 1st Street)
RSVP: Click here to RSVP
The Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (DPI) team received excellent feedback at our quarterly Board of Directors meeting earlier this week. In addition to a comprehensive overview of new development initiatives, we focused on events, membership, establishing our brand, and our work with Roosevelt Row and Evans Churchill to investigate the feasibility of creating a business improvement district. Our economic development partner, the Downtown Phoenix Community Development Corporation (CDC), has joined the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP) in agreeing to a January 1, 2015 consolidation date. We continue to work with the Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) on a similar arrangement.
Having our business, city, and community leadership at the same table focused on the future of downtown bodes well for the future.
Doing Our Best
USA Today named the Roosevelt Row Arts District one of the top ten best arts districts in the nation. Last year Roosevelt Row was spotlighted, again by USA Today, as one of the ten best neighborhoods that tourists haven’t found yet.
Bleacher Report named Phoenix the 13th best city (out of 25) to be a sports fan. Rankings were based on number of teams and events, success of teams in last five years, stadiums, fan passion, general fan experience, media, star power, and tradition and history.
Our Bleacher Report ranking should go up a few notches as the Phoenix Mercury completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago Sky on Sunday to win the third WNBA championship in team history. They join the Arizona Rattlers who, a few weeks earlier, won their Arena Football League championship against the Cleveland Gladiators.
Earlier this month, government, business, and civic leaders hosted representatives from the Democratic National Committee in town to evaluate Phoenix as the site of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Phoenix was the fifth and final stop for convention planners. Other cities being considered are Birmingham, AL; Columbus, OH; New York City; and Philadelphia, PA. According to Mayor Stanton, “I am confident that when the DNC leadership leaves here, they will leave with an understanding that, logistically, there is no better place than Phoenix.”
What’s Brewing Downtown
Downtown Phoenix welcomes a new brewery. On September 15, Mother Bunch Brewing opened in the 1926 J.B. Bayless Grocery building at Seventh Street and Garfield. Until it offers its own signature beers in a few weeks, Mother Bunch will make available a variety of Arizona beers through its 20 taps along with a “sophisticated, but not complicated” lunch and dinner menu.
Local First Arizona has released the fifth edition of its Phoenix Small Wonders map, a pocket-sized guide featuring nearly sixty local restaurants, pubs, galleries, boutiques, venues, and experiences located in central Phoenix. All of the businesses included in the guide are independently owned and operated.
The City of Phoenix received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to evaluate the planning, environmental, and conceptual engineering to extend Metro light rail down Central Avenue from Jefferson to Baseline Road. According to Mayor Greg Stanton, “Getting light rail to South Mountain is one of my personal priorities. I want to bring the same flexible transit options to the area as others in the city experience with Metro.”
The City of Phoenix has selected Chicago-based Smithfield Properties to develop a mixed-used project on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Van Buren, the current site of the Central Station transit facility. Smithfield proposes a 476-apartment, 390-foot building that would be one of the tallest buildings in Arizona. A parking garage also would be built as part of the new development. Metro light rail trains and Valley Metro buses still will run through the station.
New City Church will be moving into a 18,000 square foot building at 1300 North Central Avenue for more space and a central location near the Roosevelt Row Arts District. According to Pastor Brian Kruckenberg, “We love being on the ‘front porch’ of the city and are ecstatic about the growth and attention that the city’s center is getting.”
New apartments and condominiums have sprung up or are being planned in and around downtown Phoenix. That’s a positive trend. But stalwarts of downtown living are the residents of Phoenix’s historic districts who remained while others fled to the suburbs in the 50s or purchased, renovated, and brought back to life vintage homes since then. The Arizona Republic has begun to profile these neighborhoods in word and photo: Country Club Park, Del Norte Place, East Evergreen, Encanto Palmcroft, F.Q. Story, Fairview Place, La Hacienda, Margarita Place, North Encanto, North Garfield, Roosevelt, Windsor Square, Woodland, and Woodlea.
Our Creative Arts
The second RadiatePHX business and community networking event, sponsored by DPI and Downtown Phoenix Journal, was held at the ASU Step Gallery in the Warehouse District on Tuesday. The theme and conversation focused on the importance of the arts community, cultural engagement, and the work of our local creatives to help transform and improve our downtown. Guest speakers in front of a packed audience included Councilwoman Kate Gallego and Steven Tepper, the new Dean of the ASU Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. We appreciated the strong participation of PCA members at this event.
Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix is opening the doors of its New Media Innovation Lab to the public, offering expert advice and support on entrepreneurial and technological endeavors.
Two members of the DPI Board of Directors were just highlighted in the press, partly due to their involvement with the arts: Ken Van Winkle, managing partner with Lewis, Roca, Rothgerber, most recently chaired Ballet Arizona’s successful campaign to create their new facility at 29th Street and Washington. Tim Eigo, editor of Arizona Attorney magazine, serves as steering committee chair of Downtown Voices Coalition and recent host of Space 55’s first PHIL Talk (Phoenix Has Ideas LIVE), a comical parody of TED Talks. In addition, Dr. Carol Poore, chair of PCA’s Arts, Culture, and Public Life Committee, wrote a compelling op-ed in the Arizona Republic about how science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts are all vital to attracting businesses and retaining skilled workers in cities and towns throughout our state.
Amanda LaCasse, one of the 106,800 college students who live in Phoenix – and more specifically downtown Phoenix – shared her opinion about growing up and now furthering her education here: “The gems I have grown to love are not hidden – they are plain and simple, out in the open. Anyone can find a spot to feel at home in downtown Phoenix if they spend enough time getting to know the area, and nobody should be afraid of it. It offers the same services as any other part of the city, but with a more authentic attitude and honest, personable interactions with people who love you for who you are.”