I love downtown Phoenix. I love the people, I love the atmosphere and I love that it has so much potential.

What I don’t get, and probably never will, is why there is so, so much focus on restaurants and retail.

Restaurants attract tourists. Retail attracts shoppers. Both pay low wages. Neither serves residents.

Ever been to downtown Phoenix? Restaurants, save for one shining star, are usually half full. During the summer, many of them are closed for weeks at a time. Since so few people live here, mainly due to the fact there’s nothing to keep them here, the only busy nights are Fridays. Sure, First Friday is fantastic, but that’s once a month.

I want downtown Phoenix to succeed just as much as you do. I want an AJ’s in CityScape, I want the Public Market open more often and I want things to do after 11pm, but I realize that takes time and that takes people. I want more than just retail. I want more than just corporations. I want variety.

So please, please, let’s be realistic about all this. Downtown Phoenix isn’t booming, it’s growing. Hell, the last time I heard downtown Phoenix was booming we got a bunch of high-end, high-priced condos that still aren’t full that few people can afford to rent.

Stop saying revitalization. Downtown Phoenix doesn’t have much history to build on. Stop living in the past. Look toward the future.

Let’s develop, but let’s be sure to do it sustainably. The last thing we need down here is another collapse.