[Source: Life in Downtown Phoenix blog] — Before I moved back to Phoenix, I would drive around downtown and wonder why it looked the way it did with so many empty lots. Other cities with somewhat desolate downtowns usually just have a lot of empty buildings. But Phoenix is peculiar with its abundance of barren land right in the middle of its downtown.
Now I don’t wonder where the vacant lots come from; I’ve come back and watched some of the lots appear. And just this week a new one popped up as a landowner decimated an entire block of vacant buildings at First Street and Portland, as pictured above. While I don’t believe any of the buildings were necessarily “historic,” they were somewhat old and could have been excellent homes to small businesses as downtown continued to rebound. But now they’re gone, and in their place is just more infertile land, zoned for a high rise that may never be built.