Daily Archives: July 5, 2009

Carnegie Center speaker to examine state of Arizona’s economy, July 8

image003As we approach the State Centennial in 2012, Arizona’s economic situation is uncertain.  Dr. Timothy Hogan examines our state’s recent economic history, the boom of the 1990s that ended with the “dot.com” collapse and the 2000-2001 recession, followed by the housing/financial sector-driven boom/crash that pushed first Arizona and then the national economy into the severe recession that we are still in the midst of today.  Arizona’s economy entered the current recession three months earlier than the national economy, and will likely emerge later.  Dr. Hogan looks to Arizona’s economic future and examines the national and local factors and ideologies that impact it.

  • Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Place: Carnegie Center, 1101 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Free and open to the public.  Bring your lunch!  Light refreshments served.  Free parking.  Call 602-926-3368 or send an e-mail for more information.

About the Speaker: Timothy D. Hogan is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Associate in the L. William Seidman Research Institute in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.  He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the University of California and his Ph.D. degree in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  He joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1970 and retired in July 2004.  Dr. Hogan served as Director of the Seidman Institute from 1995 to 2004 and the Center for Business Research from 1987 to 2004.

A few moments of people watching in downtown Phoenix

A month ago, amateur videographer Ed Kishel traveled to downtown Phoenix to document some of its architecture, but found watching the people walking around him much more interesting.

“My obsession with the Westward Ho continues…”

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Former Westward Hotel in downtown Phoenix (Photo source: Michael Ruiz)

Flickr photographer Michael Ruiz of Phoenix loves photography, but is admittedly still figuring out what style he likes.  He doesn’t know if he’ll ever figure it out, but he’s sure going to enjoy the ride. Now from the comfort of your laptop, you can enjoy Michael’s Flickr slideshow of Phoenix locales, over and above the Westward Ho, by clicking here.

As longtime tenants leave, Tempe’s iconic downtown works to reinvent itself

[Source: J. Craig Anderson, Arizona Republic] — The Mill Avenue commercial district in downtown Tempe has a history of leading the way for other local downtown areas when it comes to embracing the next business or real-estate trend.  The downside to having such high visibility is that people are more likely to notice when you stumble and fall.  A decade after the high-tech office boom and bust, in which downtown Tempe was a major player, Mill Avenue is facing new economic challenges in the form of stalled development projects and the departure of major retailers, including Borders Books & Music, eclectic home furnishings and art seller Z Gallerie, and Coffee Plantation coffee house.

Much of the negative attention has been focused on Centerpoint, a large office-and-retail complex on the downtown Tempe promenade’s southern end.  But business owners, real-estate brokers, and economic-development officials in the area, north and west of the main campus of Arizona State University, say that recent reports of the district’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.  Though they acknowledged problems such as high rent and the departure of beloved merchants, area leaders said customer traffic was as strong or stronger on Mill Avenue than anywhere else in the Valley.

New projects have risen from the ashes of the old ones, they said, such as a multistage music-and-theater venue called the Mill Avenue District Community Arts Project — MADCAP for short — at the former Harkins Centerpoint multiplex, and a mini-office complex for startups that offers small, inexpensive suites that share centralized meeting and research space.

Harkins moved its theater about 2 miles east, to Vestar Development Co.’s Tempe Marketplace, which opened in 2007.  While it was a major loss, Nancy Hormann, executive director of Downtown Tempe Community Inc., said an upside exists.  “Fun things are happening, almost like silver linings that never would have happened if the bottom hadn’t dropped out of the real-estate market,” said Hormann, whose group represents area merchants.  She said that Harkins was the only Mill Avenue merchant to relocate to “that place.”

Perhaps the most noticeable and talked-about signs of the recession on Mill are the unfinished Centerpoint condominium towers, casting long shadows across the outdoor mall’s concrete and stone walkways.  [Note: To read the full article and online comments, click here.]

City Council green lights downtown Phoenix Latino arts center

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(R-L) Inside Phoenix Council Chambers, Novelist Stella Pope Duarte, ALAC President Erlinda Torres, and painter Jim Covarrubias will lead a group of Latino arts & business leaders to develop the new center. (Photo credit: Jose Muñoz)

[Source: Marcos Najera, KJZZ Radio] — A Latino arts group will start making plans today to turn a storefront space at 147 E. Adams St. in downtown Phoenix into a new cultural center by the end of the year.  The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the lease.  To listen to the radio segment, click here.

Phoenix Cycle Chic promotes cycling as travel alternative

pcc5The new blog, “Phoenix Cycle Chic,” promotes cycling as an alternative form of transportation in Phoenix.  Click here to learn more.