Daily Archives: June 6, 2009

Enjoy a sneak peek of the new ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation

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Mark Kranz of SmithGroup, project architect, explaining the building to tour-goers (Photo source: Steve Weiss)

Last Monday, members of the Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee and City of Phoenix staff were given a tour of the new ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation building in downtown Phoenix. Click here for a “behind the scenes” look at the building’s interior, courtesy of photographer Steve Weiss.

Phoenix residents debate Jackson Street Entertainment District impact

Phoenix City Councilman Michael Johnson discusses the Jackson Street Entertainment District project at a recent PCU Coalition community forum.

[Source: Phoenix Communities United (PCU) Coalition] — PCU is a diverse and inclusive group consisting of neighborhood groups, students, religious and service organizations, and community leaders from Central and South Phoenix. Coalition members have been attending and will continue to attend various City of Phoenix meetings to voice their opinion on the zoning case for the Jackson Street Entertainment District.  The project is located in Phoenix’s historic Warehouse District, next to Chase Field, connecting south Phoenix to downtown.  The developers want to build a four-block entertainment district, including various entertainment venues, 1,000 units of market-rate housing, 150,000 square foot of retail, 150,000 square feet of office, and at least one hotel.

PCU has been organizing for months, and is working to ensure that this project positively impacts the surrounding community; and includes affordable housing, green standards, job opportunities for local residents; priority for local businesses, and support for community parks which are being shut down due to city budget cuts.

The next meeting in the development process is with the Phoenix Planning Commission. All interested residents are invited to attend:

  • Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
  • Time: 5:45 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Place: Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

For more information about this issue or PCU, contact Corrine Widmer via e-mail, phone 480-495-4738, or Facebook.

Store tied to popular downtown Phoenix public market expected to open in August

Phoenix grocery store

Interior work underway at downtown Phoenix Public Market (photo: Jack Kurtz, Arizona Republic)

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Attention shoppers! The first grocery store to open in downtown Phoenix in nearly 30 years is taking shape. On a recent afternoon, a crew worked on plumbing and electrical systems for the 2,000-square-foot store, which is expected to open sometime in August. Soon they will bring in refrigerated cases, ovens and other kitchen equipment, said Alan McLaughlin, the store’s general manager.  “We will source everything local,” he said, including meat, milk and cheese.  “This will be a hangout place in the neighborhood.”

The $475,000 project is an offshoot of the popular, biweekly Phoenix Public Market, which is run by the non-profit Community Food Connections.  Downtown Phoenix residents hungered for a grocery store for decades.  The last supermarket in the neighborhood south of Interstate 10 closed in 1981.  Community Food Connections, which raised $375,000 to open the store, is in the process of raising the remaining $100,000, spokeswoman Catrina Knoebl said.

The 4-year-old farmers market and the grocery store are part of the Phoenix Public Market. The shop will be known as the Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery & Wine Bar, Knoebl added.  The store will be open from Tuesday to Saturday and will carry prepared food and wine, and it will have a cafe.  Royal Coffee Bar, the trendy coffeehouse near the Maricopa County court complex, will serve java there.  Local food will be the focus, McLaughlin said.

Renovated, relocated Morin House now houses downtown Phoenix office

Dan Klocke

Dan Klocke in front of renovated (and moved) Morin House (photo: Michael Schennum, Arizona Republic)

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The newly restored 100-year-old Morin House is standing tall in a new neighborhood.  Two years ago, Phoenix resident Dan Klocke put the historic house on the back of a flatbed truck to prevent developers from tearing it down.  After more than $900,000 in renovations, the building is now an insurance office.  It sits on a bustling downtown Phoenix block with restaurants, apartments and businesses.  “This (project) is preserving some important history in Phoenix, filling in a gap in the neighborhood and bringing some life into Phoenix,” Klocke said.

The renovated house got its first tenant, a regional Aflac office, in May. The milestone caps a two-year odyssey for the 1909 building.  The two-story brick home originally stood at 1115 N. Second St., and was once owned by M. Edward Morin, owner of the Phoenix Bottling Works, a major employer at the time. The house’s former owners opposed the city’s 2004 effort to put the property on the city’s historic register.  Later, they made plans to put the house up for sale and asked the city for a demolition permit. But the owners also were willing to give the house away to anyone who wanted it. “So I got the house for free, but it wasn’t free to move it,” Klocke said with a laugh. [Note: To read the full article, click here.  To view a slide show on the building’s move, click here.]