Daily Archives: June 10, 2009

Jackson Street Entertainment District hits a political nerve

[Source: Michele Laudig, Phoenix New Times] — This afternoon, the City of Phoenix Planning and Zoning Committee has a scheduled hearing on the establishment, through rezoning, of the controversial Jackson Street Entertainment District — ground zero for those five new Bernie Kantak restaurants I mentioned yesterday.  And it looks like a protest is in the works, too.  I found the link on Twitter [and Facebook].

It seems like there would be a lot of support for a mixed-use development like this, but as with CityScape a few years ago, there’s plenty of skepticism as well.  The fact that Jackson Street Entertainment District will be located in the Warehouse District — where there are a number of historically significant early 20th century buildings — makes it all the more sensitive.  (However, a staff report from the Planning Department notes that this project will preserve the historical character of the Warehouse District.) [Note: To read the full article and online comments, click here.]

Viewpoint: Jackson Street project is too good to ignore

[Source: Arizona Republic editorial board] — Incongruous as it may seem in the current real-estate market, the Jackson Street entertainment district in downtown Phoenix is forging ahead once more.   It has been a tough haul for this plan to dramatically make over the southern side of downtown.  But some ideas are just too good to grind to a halt.

In terms of the planning process, the entertainment district at last seems to be on a fast track.  The ambitious plan for a mix of nightclubs, restaurants, commercial and residential space, and, perhaps, a boutique hotel on the blocks south of US Airways Center has been slowed by the economy, but is gaining traction again.  We’re gratified to see it.  Few projects planned for the central city have the possibilities for transforming downtown like Jackson Street does.

The proposal went through a Phoenix Village Planning Committee review earlier this week. Tonight it is scheduled for review by the municipal Planning and Zoning Committee.  Unanticipated delays notwithstanding, the entertainment-district plan could go before the full Phoenix council by the first of next month.  In one form or another, the rare combination of gritty, old industrial buildings and sleek, new development has been under consideration for many years.  At one time, the proposal included elements on both sides of Jackson Street, north and south. [Note: To read the full editorial and online comments, click here.]

Visit with Phoenix’s mayor, talk about downtown, June 19

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon invites downtown residents and those interested in downtown Phoenix to join him at his monthly mixer on Friday, June 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Skylounge, 132 E. Washington St.  Click here to RSVP.  Then everyone is welcome to attend the Third Friday Concert Series at the Downtown Phoenix Civic Space.