Monthly Archives: February 2009

After nearly 30 years, downtown Phoenix gets a grocery

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — After nearly 30 years without a grocery store, downtown Phoenix will get one as early as June.  The non-profit that runs a popular weekend farmers market has secured $305,000 to open a 4,000-square-foot shop at 14 E. Pierce St., the group will announce today.  The store will be open five days a week and will sell produce, dairy, eggs, prepared foods, wine and beer, said Cindy Gentry, executive director of Community Food Connections.  The biweekly Downtown Phoenix Pubic Market will remain open.

A key loan came from the non-profit Phoenix Industrial Development Authority.  The farmers market group needs an additional $170,000 for startup expenses, but the authority’s $250,000 will allow renovations to start. “In these difficult times, the efforts of the Public Market and the outlet it creates for small business is needed more than ever,” Don Keuth, the Phoenix authority’s president.  The last grocery store to serve Phoenix’s downtown core, the area south of Interstate 10, closed in 1981.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

CenPhoTV for the week of 2/27/2009

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living.  For more information, visit their website.

ASU students delve into history of Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix

lion[Source: Rebekah Parsons, Arizona State University] — Graduate students at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication developed a comprehensive podcast on the history of downtown Phoenix’s Westward Ho Hotel — its architecture, tunnels (yes tunnels!), broadcast tower, celebrities (yes celebrities!) — and the people who live there today.  Click here to view.

CenPhoTV for the week of 2/20/2009

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living.  For more information, visit their website.

Metro Phoenix light rail sees higher than expected business

Cronkite News Service reporter Nicole Grigg reports that in the first month of use metro Phoenix light rail ridership is better than expected.

Viewpoint: downtown Phoenix is Arizona’s urban heart

[Source: Arizona Republic] — David Roderique is chairman and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  He oversees a staff of 40 whose mission is to provide economic development and enhanced services to the core area of downtown Phoenix.  Roderique was the guest last week on Live Talk Wednesday.  Here are excerpts from the interview, which can be found in its entirety here.  Roderique has worked in economic development in the Valley for 25 years.

1. Dave, what makes a successful downtown?  A successful downtown draws together a diversity of people and institutions to create a unique and eclectic experience that’s available on a 24/7 basis.  Part of this is the result of careful planning and development, like the ASU expansion, the Convention Center, the new office buildings, the sports arenas and other important projects we’ve completed over the last decade.  Another part is more organic, a street-level experience created by cafes, restaurants and shops that open to serve a diverse clientele.  We think that Phoenix is well on its way to achieving success as a truly distinctive downtown destination.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

U.S. economic stimulus and change in unemployment by county

Off the Map, a website dedicated to geodata and visualization, has taken’s dataset and mashed it on a map with regional unemployment numbers. Check out the interactive map. Also, be sure to read their post explaining what they did.[Source: Stimulus Watch] — Off the Map, a website dedicated to geodata and visualization, has taken’s dataset and mashed it on a map with regional unemployment numbers.  Check out the interactive map.  Also, be sure to read their post explaining what they did.

Downtown Phoenix sculpture gets a name, and it’s not “jellyfish”

"Her secret is patience" patiently awaits its netting (Photo: Arizona Republic)

[Source: Connie Cone Sexton, Arizona Republic] — For almost a year, Sky Bloom has been the working title for a public art sculpture being created for a downtown Phoenix park.   The name fit, in part, because it represents the sculpture’s design: a floating saguaro cactus flower.  But on Tuesday, Boston artist Janet Echelman unveiled the formal name she has chosen — Her secret is patience.  It is half of the full line — “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience” — by poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.  The name is also fitting, as the piece has been both hailed and questioned during the past months.  Now, with the last element of the piece to be added in early March, the patience of the public is soon to be rewarded, allowing them to judge the piece as a whole.

Echelman discussed her work at the Phoenix Art Museum.  During the evening, she was congratulated time and again by audience members.  She stressed that the piece wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of a wide-ranging team.  The group includes the Phoenix Arts and Culture Office; CAID Industries, a Tucson metal-fabrication specialist; EDAW, a landscape architectural firm in Phoenix; M3 Engineers of Tucson, which made the structural steel; Speranza Architecture in Barcelona; designer Buro Happold from New York; ForeSite Design and Construction from Tempe which did the foundation in the park; Nexus Steel of Tempe, which erected the steel posts; Diamond Nets of Washington state, which is weaving the netting; and NETServices also of Washington state, which will install the netting.

That many companies with Arizona connections could take some of the fight out of naysayers who questioned the piece since it was approved by the City Council in 2007.  The project is being funded by the city’s Percent for Art program.  The sculpture is to be an iconic piece for the 2.77-acre Civic Space downtown park being developed between Central and First avenues, and Van Buren and Fillmore streets.

Echelman profusely thanked Valley residents for standing up for her project.  At one point in late 2007, some city leaders suggested it be cut.  A groundswell of support helped push it forward.  “I am privileged,” Echelman said to the audience.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

CenPhoTV for the week of 2/13/2009

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living. For more information, visit their website.

Phoenix District 6 residents encouraged to meet new council member

The City of Phoenix District 6 Office will host two meet-and-greet sessions with the newly-appointed District 6 Councilman, Sal DiCiccio.  Residents are welcome to share and discuss concerns and feedback about the district or citywide issues.  The sessions will be held 5 to 7 p.m. at two locations:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 18, Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave.
  • Thursday, Feb. 19, Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.

DiCiccio, a 51-year-old former Phoenix City Councilman who served from 1994 to 2000, was selected by the mayor and City Council to serve the remainder of Councilman Greg Stanton’s term that ends on Jan. 4, 2010.  For more information, call 602-262-7491 or click here.