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.

Happy New Year! To start off the new year, I asked a host of friends and colleagues I work with on a day-to-day basis to share what they considered the successes experienced in and around downtown Phoenix in 2013. The responses have been pouring in over the past few days, and here is what we collectively tallied. The list is pretty impressive and a measuring stick for our resurgent downtown.

We might not have caught everything, so it’s your turn to think of something we missed. Tell us in the comments below.


Arts & Culture

Arizona Opera opens new office & performance space, Arizona SciTech Festival, Art Detour 25, Ballet Arizona expands into new facility, Black Theatre Troupe opens the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, Chaos Theory #14, Chile Pepper Festival, Devoured Phoenix, Feast on the Street, First Friday success continues, Ground Cover Public Art Project, Jimmy Buffett Pre-Concert Beach Party at CityScape, Local First Certified Local Fall Festival, Mardi Gras Parade, McDowell Mountain Music Festival moves to Hance Park, mural art opportunities increase, Pedal Craft, Phoenix Comicon, Phoenix Design Week, Phoenix Festival of the Arts/Mayor’s Arts Awards, Phoenix Phabulous Experience launched, Phoenix Theatre expands, Phoenix Urban Design Week, Phoestivus, Pie Social, Tour de Coops, Zombie Walk, and more art galleries and art and museum shows.


New seasons for our very own Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Rattlers, Phoenix Mercury, and Phoenix Suns. Yoga taught at outdoor public venues (e.g., CityScape, Civic Space Park, Hance Park, Roosevelt Row Pop-Up Park).


Arizona Cancer Center breaks ground, Arizona Center undergoes exterior facelift, Bee Transportation property at Sixth Ave. & Fillmore purchased by IDA/CED for possible future development, Local First Arizona opens downtown office, Maricopa Co. opens new $93M Sheriff’s Headquarters at Fifth Ave. & Jackson St., new Marriott Hotel announced at Central and Jackson St., Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS opens in former Channel 12 space, Sustainable Communities Collaborative hosted national representatives of Living Cities, and a number of makerspaces and “Made in Phoenix” furniture companies open.


ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law announces new downtown building, ASU School of Art moves programs to Warehouse District, ASU Sun Devil Fitness Complex opens, ASU Barrett Honors College Downtown Community Encounters class introduces college students to the “real” downtown, and enrollment increases for our elementary schools, high schools, community colleges, and universities.

Food & Beverage

Bragg’s Factory Diner, Clever Koi, Coach’s Corner, The Fillmore Vig, Flor de Calabaza, Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup, Game Seven Grill, Greater Than Coffee, Harumi Sushi, Jimmy John’s, Kaleidoscope Juice, La Piazza Locale, Mama Toledo’s Pies, Mud Dauber Coffee, Pallets, Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Pizza People Pub, Pomo Pizzeria, Red House Pub, Red Hut Coffee, Royal Coffee, Shine Coffee expands, Short Leash Dogs Sit Stay, Squid Ink Sushi, Starbucks (Osborn & Seventh St.), Taco Guild, Tammie Coe Cakes, The Bar on Central, The Groove on Grand, Welcome Diner, and more tasty food trucks. Inaugural Check Please Arizona Food Festival held at CityScape. Community gardens proliferate (e.g., Bioscience High School, Garfield Neighborhood, Roosevelt School District, Steele Indian School Park).

Historic Preservation

DeSoto Building renovated, Evans Shackelford House renovated, First Presbyterian Church gains new congregation, Professional Building sold for future use as boutique hotel, Winship House opens, and World War II Memorial dedicated at Wesley Bolin Plaza.


Roosevelt Point and Urban Living 2 open. Numerous new residential developments are announced, including artHaus apartments, Cooper Place (2nd & Fillmore), Portland Place 2, The Residences at CityScape, and Union at Roosevelt. Phoenix becomes nation’s first city to end chronic homelessness among veterans. Our adjacent neighborhoods continue to open up their spaces for public tours (e.g., Evans Churchill, F.Q. Story, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt, Midtown Museum, Willo).


Adams Street Activation Study, Fifth Street Streetscape, First Street Streetscape, Grand Avenue Streetscape, Roosevelt Streetscape, and increase in the number of bike related initiatives (e.g., Bike Lab, GRID, Heavy Pedal, HoodRide, Hotel Palomar Pocket Square Bike Maps, and We-Cycle-USA).

Urban Planning

Adams Street Activation Study, GRID Bike Share approved, Bike Master Plan process initiated, bicycle infrastructure funding increases from $50K to $1.5M, Complete Streets Policy Planning initiated, Downtown Phoenix Comprehensive Transportation Study launched, Downtown Plan process initiated, Hance Park Master Plan process initiated, Infill Advisory Group, Plan PHX General Plan Update process launched, Project Rising Phoenix launched, Reinvent Phoenix, This Could Be PHX launched, Valley Metro launches South Central Corridor planning process, and Valley Metro Light Rail ridership continues to grow.


CitySkate Ice Rink attendance soars, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. formed, Get Your PHX showcases new downtown venues, Hance Dog Park opens, Holiday Lights on Central becoming an annual tradition, annual holiday luminarias light up several of our neighborhoods, Manifesto Project launched, Phoenix City Council bids adieu to Michael Johnson and Tom Simplot and welcomes Kate Gallego and Laura Pastor, Preserve Phoenix formed, TEDx Evans Churchill holds first downtown TED Talk, Phoenix earns perfect score on Municipal Equality Index, Winter Holiday Events Calendar mushrooms, and number of concerts, conventions, and hotel bookings increase. Over $100K raised for Special Olympics at “Over the Edge” rappelling at CityScape office tower.