[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.]