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plinko Mar 9, 2011 1:22 AM

^Right, but the question is duration. If APS or Pinnacle can bolt in 2012 or the year after, that's a big block of space that's now empty and needs to be updated to keep up with other newer buildings. If one or both is locked up for 5-8 more years...score...

HooverDam Mar 10, 2011 6:56 AM


Tree experts envision the return of Phoenix's oasis of green

1 comment by Connie Cone Sexton - Mar. 10, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

In the early 1900s, the Valley was an oasis of green with lush trees sprouting tall along wide canal banks that crisscrossed Phoenix and its suburbs.

Cottonwoods, among the more common of the area's trees, dug in, drinking water that seeped from the dirt-lined canals.

By the 1950s, as families flocked to the Valley in post-World War II bliss to create a modern community, the oasis withered.

Today, only hints of the area's original vegetation remain. Among them, Murphy Bridle Path, which stretches north along Central Avenue from Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.

With an explosion of cars, home development and street widening, "it was the march to civilization," said Ed Lebow, a city of Phoenix employee who was one of several speakers Wednesday at the Regional Tree and Shade Summit held in downtown Phoenix.

The goal of the daylong program was to help Valley communities realize the need to expand their shade coverage, including planting more trees. The idea is to help the Valley return to more of an urban-forest environment, one that promotes healthier air and makes the region a more livable space.

The more than 200 participants included representatives from Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and other cities, and was supported by the Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability and the U.S. Forest Service.

Along with getting cities to step up their tree-planting programs, residents may want to research the best tree to add to their yards, participants said.

Phoenix is working on more than doubling its amount of shade from trees. "Our urban tree canopy is about 11 percent," said Richard Adkins, a forestry supervisor for the city of Phoenix. "We want it to be 25 percent. Will it be easy? No. Is it possible? Yes."

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is a believer. He told the group that increasing the number of trees can only help reduce carbon emissions.

"As I drive around, I see fields of asphalt," he said.

The challenge, he said, was to get the community to change and see the value of creating an urban forest.

It's easy for governments to divert money for trees to more pressing needs, said Mark Buscaino, executive director of Casey Trees, a non-profit organization that works to protect trees and forests within the District of Columbia.

Someone is always saying you need to spend money on city needs, such as paving a road. But not including funds to plant trees or add shade structures hurts the community in the long run, he said. More people are moving to urban centers and need more livable spaces. "They're going to demand it," Buscaino said.

If not for them, then think of the generations to come, he added.

Phoenix officials pointed to Civic Space Park as an example of trying to improve the downtown environment and reduce the city's urban heat island.

The park, at Central Avenue north of Van Buren Street, opened in fall 2009. It was designed to be a community gathering place and, with its expanses of trees and man-made shade, has been a lure for visitors.

Even with new and existing trees, residents and even city officials have to be better water conservationists, said Ken Vonderscher, a deputy director for the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.

"We water our trees too much," he said.

Lebow, who directs the Phoenix public-art program and has researched the impact of the Salt River Valley canals on the Valley, said that if not for progress, the Valley's residents may have preserved its oasis.

In digging through newspaper archives, Lebow found an item from the 1870s that reflected the importance of trees.

"It said, 'Planting season is now at hand in this city. Let every person who owns a lot see that shady trees are set out.'"

Residents took it to heart, he said.

"That's why in the early 1900s, we were known as a city of gardens and trees. You just can't beat a tree."

Read more:
Not really "development" per se, but it does relate to urbanism and making Phoenix a better and more walkable place. If we could increase our tree and shade cover to 25%, especially in Downtown it would be wonderful.

combusean Mar 10, 2011 9:13 AM

I remember Phil Gordon yammering on about shade something like 4 or 5 years ago when he introduced Urban Form. Since then, I think they've had two tree plantings and redid Taylor Street.

Woo-@#$!-hoo. Maybe shade will be the next mayor's legacy.

PHX31 Mar 10, 2011 2:31 PM

More Fu*#ing demolition of historic buildings.... damn this city's preservation efforts (or lack thereof).

All of the little historic buildings on the NWC of 7th Ave and Jefferson have since been demo'd, and there is now a for sale sign on the lot proclaiming the "Prime" downtown location. How long until some sh!tty low rise government building is built? Ever? Would rather have the little structures (including the weirdly renovated blue building and the cool but low long brick building... what was it originally? apartments?)
RIP /\ this stuff.

combusean Mar 10, 2011 3:16 PM

I think the white structure was the last residential building of its kind in Phoenix--it reminded me of the one just like it they tore down years ago to build Taylor Place. I have yet to see others in that style.

Leo the Dog Mar 10, 2011 5:17 PM

That picture is a perfect example for the need to re-forrest Phoenix. 3 palm trees, zero shade.

phoenixheadphones Mar 10, 2011 11:14 PM

This is pretty great news. I hope this project goes well, and the community is able to do something cool with the rest of those lots. Phoenix really has a chance to get creative and turn those blighted lots into something interesting. I think i'm going to volunteer to help clean up the lot.


Roosevelt Row in the Evans Churchill Neighborhood is surrounded by blight. The area is filled with abandoned dirt lots left by developers who sought high rise zoning in the 1970's. Many of these dirt lots are owned by private developers, while others are owned by the City of Phoenix for future medical campus development. Development is planned for 10-20 years from today.
After much negotiation, Roosevelt Row, CDC has signed their first lease with a private land-owner for the A.R.T.S Program (Adaptive Reuse of Temporary Space)! They plan to sign more leases in the near future.
A.R.T.S. Projects will address the issues of vacant urban space by putting dirt lots into productive use. Roosevelt Row CDC has leased a privately owned dirt lot and plans to temporarily activate the empty spaces with events and infill projects that will promote connectivity between existing amenities, houses and businesses, beautify the area and attract new residents, businesses and development of the lots. Temporary programming includes arts markets, community gardens, public art projects, cultural fairs including science, outdoor film space, and concerts. The CDC will manage, maintain and beautify the lots. Roosevelt Row is handling the insurance and the maintenance.
The first phase of A.R.T.S. will be the creation of an A.R.T.S. Market, a highly curated fine art, handmade craft, and culinary arts market on First Fridays for the monthly art walk. The first A.R.T.S. site will be located on the dirt lot north of Roosevelt between 4th and 5th street. The goals of the A.R.T.S. Market are as follows:
To cultivate new local, arts businesses within the Roosevelt Row Arts District by serving as a small business incubator.
• To provide opportunity for local artists and performers, who are not affiliated with an organized exhibition space, to show and sell their artwork in public.
• To use vendor fees to support public art projects, dirt lot cleanup / beautification, the Mural Match Program and the district improvement efforts of the Roosevelt Row Merchant's Association
To further promote the continued growth and popularity of the arts district on other days throughout the month, Roosevelt Row is introducing the Community Builders Agreement for vendors. Through this agreement we would like to ONLY offer space at the A.R.T.S. Market on First Fridays to vendors who show a commitment to the success of the district by agreeing to come back and participate in an A.R.T.S. market on another, less visitor-attended day in the month. Currently, the brick and mortar businesses of Roosevelt Row are voting on the second day,
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: To launch the A.R.T.S. Projects - Roosevelt Row is hosting a volunteer clean up day on Saturday, March 12 2-6pm
Location: Dirt Lot b/w 4th and 5th Street North of Roosevelt /408 E Roosevelt St /Phoenix, AZ
Volunteers are needed to help pick up garbage, remove debris, spread mulch donated from local landscaping companies, plant posts, & enjoy the sunset. Gloves, tools, water, and snacks will be provided. Wear comfortable clothing, tennis shoes or boots, and bring your own water bottle/canteen to refill onsite.
Volunteers can let Roosevelt Row know they are coming (602) 475 2661, or emailing, or just show up!

HX_Guy Mar 11, 2011 4:45 AM

This could be cool...


‘Mystery Restaurant’ to Debut Downtown?
Posted by Justin Lee on 3/10/11

Did someone say pop-up restaurant?

Something’s officially astir Downtown, and according to trusted, mischievous sources, we won’t be getting a taste of it until this weekend — at the Devoured Culinary Classic.

Capitalizing on neglected cooking spaces in prime but otherwise forgotten locations, momentary pop-up restaurants are speedily becoming a national food trend too irresistible to ignore. These shadow restaurants have emerged as a new culinary platform, allowing talented, restless chefs to take strikingly creative professional risks without the bondage of long-term budgets and tenured appeal.

From New York City to Los Angeles, clever, food-ly forces coast to coast have begun exploiting this guerrilla dining craze. Speculation of the phenomenon’s eventual emergence here in the Phoenix area has wandered for years now. But, who would be behind it? Where would it be located? And, what would the menu be like?

It looks like after this weekend, we won’t have to wait any longer.

glynnjamin Mar 11, 2011 2:44 PM

^Phx has had these for years. We've been to a few. Usually the chef will post on Twitter about 24 hours before the dinner with a vague location. You tweet back to get a reservation. Then, an hour before you get a tweet with the location. You show up and get fed whatever they are making. Pretty cool stuff. Chef Nathan Crouser & his brother did a few that were amazing.

glynnjamin Mar 11, 2011 2:44 PM

BTW, Devoured is the single greatest thing in Phoenix. If you can go, you should. Such amazing food.

HooverDam Mar 14, 2011 7:33 AM

Hey look, good news!


Brookings report: Phoenix No. 7 among U.S. metros in job-growth

by Betty Beard - Mar. 14, 2011 12:05 AM
The Arizona Republic

While new federal data indicates that Arizona lost jobs over the past three years, metro Phoenix began adding jobs last year and is among the best job gainers in the country, according to a Brookings Mountain Monitor report released today.

The number of metro Phoenix jobs grew 1.5 percent between the low point in the third quarter of 2009 and the end of 2010, the report said.

Though that sounds small, the Brookings Institution said that's the seventh-fastest growth rate among the 100 metro areas analyzed. Much of that growth came in the latter part of 2010, said Brookings research analyst Jonathan Rothwell.

A Brookings report released in December said metro Phoenix was one of two dozen metropolitan areas in the world likely on the road to "full recovery" because of improvements in personal income and jobs.

But today's report says that, despite the job growth, metro Phoenix's overall economic performance since the recession began in December 2007 puts it in the bottom fifth of the largest 100 metro areas based on job numbers, falling housing prices and weak improvement in gross metropolitan product.

"For whatever reason, Phoenix has been able to add jobs at a fairly rapid rate over the past year without exceptional performance on the other indicators," Rothwell said.

The report said that boomtowns, such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Boise, Idaho, with economies that fell the most, are having the toughest time rebounding.

One big problem is the housing market. Since peaking in the fourth quarter of 2006, Phoenix-area home prices have fallen 48 percent and were still dropping in the fourth quarter of 2010, Brookings said. That compares with an 18.5 percent decline in nationwide housing prices.

Several studies have identified Arizona as among the states with the fastest-growing job markets. But recently revised numbers from the Arizona Department of Commerce and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics say the state actually lost 12 percent of its jobs over the past three years.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said, "That means the 'Arizona rebound' that we thought we saw as the year ended was a mirage."

The federal bureau will release revised job numbers for metro areas on Friday. Chad Shearer, a Brookings research assistant, said he didn't expect those numbers to be significantly different than Brookings'.

Read more:

Phxguy Mar 15, 2011 7:00 PM

The mystery resturant is set to open at the Lexington Hotel.

HX_Guy Mar 15, 2011 7:59 PM

I fucking hope not...


...As for the Hotel Monroe, eventually that building will be sold and either restored or torn down. But don’t hold your breath. This economic mess isn’t going to be fixed in even an Arizona minute.

Read more: Phoenix the poster child for suffering construction sector | Phoenix Business Journal

HooverDam Mar 15, 2011 8:10 PM

^That entire article was moronic, especially that quote. There's a 0% chance that building gets torn down. We have very few buildings of that size and age left in Phoenix and there's no way the community would ever let it be demolished.

HX_Guy Mar 15, 2011 8:20 PM

It is also on the National Register of Historic Places...which means it cannot be torn down, right?

Vicelord John Mar 15, 2011 8:45 PM

I would be one of those tree hugging hippies chaining myself to the building before that were to happen.

HooverDam Mar 15, 2011 8:52 PM


Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 5201977)
It is also on the National Register of Historic Places...which means it cannot be torn down, right?

I poked around a little online and it seems being on the Historic Register isn't a guarantee of it not being torn down, but it would make things a lot more difficult.

dtnphx Mar 15, 2011 9:09 PM

The following link is for a survey on the Downtown Phoenix Strategic Vision proposal by the Phoenix City Council. Might as well get our two cents in.

PHX31 Mar 15, 2011 9:20 PM

I thought the Hotel Monroe was sold (or in escrow)... didn't someone (Hoover?) poke around recently and find a bunch of places around downtown were recently sold?

Buckeye Native 001 Mar 16, 2011 12:13 AM


Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 5201977)
It is also on the National Register of Historic Places...which means it cannot be torn down, right?

Three words: Tiger Stadium, Detroit

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