Category Archives: Midtown Vitality

DVC supports Prop 104 Ballot Initiative

Prop 104

Midtown News: New Development

This comes to us from the Midtown Museum District:

Land Use Proposal at 3550 N Central Ave (between Walgreens and Alexi’s) Z-39-13-4 This is a large residential and commercial project proposed for the site. It extends from Central to 2nd Avenue.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 17.10.37

This comes before the Encanto Village Planning Committee on Monday November 4 at 6:15pm at the Phoenix College Willo Conference Room, Flower & 11th Ave. This room is not easy to find. It is at the NW corner of Flower and 11th Ave, the first walkway at the south end of the complex.

With development activity picking up, it’s good to make your voice heard in the process.

Midtown Museum District invites midtowners to two January meetings

MMDNAThe Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association (MMDNA) board meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Hob Nobs, 149 W. McDowell Rd. All are welcome. You are also welcome to email to info@midtownmuseumdistrict.org any questions or comments that you would like addressed at the meeting. On the agenda: March 10 Block Party, Hance Park Classic 100 event, Block Watch issues, review of December event and plans for other events/activities, and status of the Midtown MUSE newsletter.

Also, join Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Simplot for a morning coffee chat at Citizen Espresso Bar, 4700 N. Central Ave., on Thursday, January 10 at 7:30 a.m. MMDNA will discuss some of our accomplishments in 2012 and our goals for 2013.

Among your First Friday options, consider The Great Paint Escape (Part Two), Sept. 7

Harder Development and Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona are proud to present an exhibition and silent auction to benefit Free Arts on Friday, September 7, at 335 W. McDowell Rd. Silent auction bidding will begin at 6 p.m. and end promptly at 9:30 p.m. Participating artists include: (Curator) Hugo Medina, Sebastien Millon, JB Snyder, Angel Diaz, Katie Beltran, Amanda Adkins, Colton Brock, Pablo Luna, Thomas Breeze Marcus, Gennaro Garcia, Lauren Lee, Isaac Nicholas Caruso, Kyllan Maney, and Aaron Johnson.

Background: Ashley Harder, President of Harder Development, hosted a community mural and painting project with a dozen local Phoenix artists and Free Arts youth on August 11, 2012. Kids worked side by side with artists to create a community mural on the building, as well as painted with artists on canvasses.

Central & Thomas Brutalist building to undergo renovations; learn more Sept. 12

[Source: Phoenix Community Alliance] – The Central Avenue Committee of the Phoenix Community Alliance will meet on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 1:30 PM to 3 PM for an update on Central Avenue activities and plans for renovation and a tour of 2828 N. Central Avenue, one of the few examples of Brutalist architecture in Phoenix. To register on or before September 10, click here. For parking, enter on west site of garage. Take your parking ticket to meeting for validation. The attendant will direct you to 2nd level. Meeting will be held on 13th floor.

High-rise living in Central Phoenix

[Source: Kara G. Morrison, The Arizona Republic]

Central Corridor condo market shows signs of revival

One Lexington. Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic

When Michael Hauer decided to buy a home, the 25-year-old looked for something with architectural flair close to his midtown-Phoenix office.

In December, he chose a 734-square-foot condo in One Lexington, a high-rise on Central and Lexington avenues.

Once called Century Plaza, the steel-and-glass former commercial building went through bankruptcy during the housing collapse, and the new owner cut condo prices by about half.

Less than a year after One Lexington restarted sales, more than 70 percent of its 145 units are sold or under contract.

Hauer thinks his new home is a good investment at $181,950 plus a $299 monthly HOA fee (based on his unit’s square footage), which he’ll start paying at the end of the year.

Such luxury-condo developments, meant to capture buyers wanting an urban lifestyle with access to Metro light rail and Phoenix’s burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, are showing signs of life after the housing crisis sent several such properties into bankruptcy.

Will Daly, a Phoenix broker who specializes in urban properties and lives in a midtown-Phoenix high-rise, said he’s starting to see an uptick in interest for high-rise and urban-living options.

“The urban-condo market in Phoenix is relatively small and relatively new,” he said. As the economy picks up, he says, “it seems like some major pieces are now in place for development to continue along light rail and in downtown Phoenix.”

Mini urban mansions

Just down the road from One Lexington at Central Avenue and Palm Lane (just north of the Phoenix Art Museum) is another luxury development that went through months of financial turmoil but is back on the market under new ownership.

Chateau on Central is a development of 21 luxury townhomes that looks like miniature brick castles, complete with turrets. These Queen Anne Victorian-style townhomes boast 5,200 square feet of living space or more on five floors.

The homes went on the market for $1.389 million to $2.459 million in December (plus a $575 monthly HOA fee), when the new developers unveiled two model homes decorated by the Scottsdale design firm Est Est.

None of the units has sold yet.

Prices are about half of the townhomes’ original asking price of $2.8 million to $4.5 million in 2007.

MSI West Investments bought the 21-townhouse development for $7 million last year after its financer, Mortgages Ltd., declared bankruptcy.

Each home has four floors plus a basement, a private four-person elevator, a two-car garage, a top-floor terrace and balconies.

There are no shared community amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools or cigar clubs, at Chateau. Joe Morales, a real-estate agent with Arizona Great Estates-Realty One Group, said that’s because luxury buyers prize privacy over shared spaces. All the townhomes are zoned as work/live spaces, so buyers could set up professional offices in the basement or on the first floor.

Morales said he may seek a light-commercial buyer, such as a high-end restaurant or law firm, for the largest townhome: an 8,252-square-foot corner property on Central Avenue, currently listed at $2.459 million.

Sell vs. rent

One Lexington and Chateau on Central are bucking a trend. Other developers are putting rental signs on luxury and high-rise urban properties built during the height of the market and meant to sell as luxury condos. The 44 Monroe building in downtown Phoenix and West Sixth, formerly called Centerpoint in Tempe, are two such properties whose units will be leased rather than sold.

Two years ago, Daly, the Phoenix broker, conducted bus tours, taking dozens of urban-living enthusiasts to see high-rises and new condo developments around the Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe city centers. The economy put many of those developments, and his tours, on hiatus.

Today, Daly said he’s getting more inquiries from out-of-towners looking for investment properties and second homes. And Valley residents are asking when his tours will resume.

“Right now, it’s just a matter of time and energy,” he said. “I think we’ll be firing them up again in the next two to three months.”

For Hauer, an architect in training with Gabor Lorant Architects, the clean lines of the contemporary One Lexington building won out over some older downtown high-rise properties he considered.

Remaining units at One Lexington (owned by the Macdonald Development Corp.) range from $165,400 to $981,900 for a two-story, 2,846-square-foot penthouse.

“The finishes were a big part of it,” Hauer said, listing the Caesarstone countertops, stainless-steel Bosch appliances, bamboo floors and modern kitchen cabinetry.

The building’s amenities include a pool, gym, community room, parking and a small dog run, which comes in handy for Hauer’s longhaired Chihuahua, Margarita.

Hauer said he also enjoys sitting on his small 14th-floor balcony, looking north over the stunning midtown Phoenix skyline and the distant mountains, reading his iPad.

“That’s the icing on the cake,” he said.

New Bike and Beer Festival near Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Tempe Bicycle Action Group]

New Bike and Beer Festival – SanTan Wheelie Jam – 4/23

Get ready for a new bike and beer festival on April 23rd at Steele Indian School Park [near] downtown Phoenix, the SanTan Wheelie Jam. EVERYONE should be there, and bring all your friends too (oh and make sure everyone buys a few beers).

This is an all local festival, local bike groups, local beer (SanTan brewing), local food, local bands, local bike shops. TBAG is getting it going, and all beer sales proceeds will go to Phoenix groups like Rusty Spoke, AZ Bike Polo etc.

Right now we need to line up sponsors and bike activities. We can do roller wars, mini/tall bike rides and races, riding contests, fixie trick demos, bike build offs, giveaways etc. Contact ryan@biketempe.org if you know someone who wants to sponsor the event, or can help provide some kind of bike related fun. Also let me know if you can help plan the event or would like to volunteer at the event.

Any non-profit or club that wants to get the word out about their group is welcome at the event. There will be table space, you can do fliers, stickers, or sell merch.

This festival is for and by the local bike community. It’s all new so it’s a great place to try new ideas and get people excited about riding bikes and being involved in their local community.

Heard Museum Opens Coffee Cantina This Weekend

[Source: Christen Bejar, New Times]

Coffee Cantina 1.jpg​The Heard Museum is about to get a little bit sweeter.

The downtown art venue announced this week that it will open a new book store and coffee shop (that’ll serve margaritas, too), dubbed the Coffee Cantina, with an opening bash on Friday.

​According to museum representatives, the cantina will serve up gourmet blended drinks, teas, and snacks. Added bonus: Every bean of Heard Museum brand coffee is grown organically in the Americas and locally roasted in Cave Creek.

Coffee Cantina 2.jpgPlaying towards the latter part of the its name, the Coffee Cantina will have a bar option available so museum goers can get themselves a nice margarita after perusing art exhibits.

Both the cantina and book shop will be officially opened for business after a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 11, followed by a book signing with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on February 12.

The Coffee Cantina will serve customers Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The Heard Museum is at 2301 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For more information, check out the Heard Museum website.

Places, Spaces and Faces Community Dinner in Downtown Phoenix

Feasting on Phoenix: Creating Community over Food and Place

[Excerpts from a post originally published on BloomingRock.com]

There’s something special about sitting down over a meal and how it brings people together and forms a special bond between them. This is what happens at the Places, Spaces and Faces Community Dinner (PSF) every month. This event started about a year ago by some dedicated Phoenix residents who were craving community, Yuri Artibise, Kathleen Bartolomei, Jim McPherson, Marshall Shore and Taz Loomans.

PSF is not an exclusive club where you need some sort of membership to attend. It’s open to the public. It’s a way to get together with your fellow Valley residents and share some things with them: your time, your food, your stories, your presence, your self. It’s a way of saying, hello, how are you, my name is…to new people in a beloved setting in the city.

January’s Dinner

When: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Where: After Hours Gallery – 116 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ (between N. 3rd Ave. & 1st Ave.); West of Light Rail station: Central/McDowell

Organizers: Yuri Artibise, Joseph Cuevas and Julie Zagars

Theme: Come “C” What’s Cookin’!

Co-mingle with comrades and come celebrate our city over courses of communal cuisine! Cue the “Sesame Street” theme song: this month’s Places, Spaces, & Faces potluck event is brought to you by the letter “C.”

Feel free to interpret this concept creatively. “C” can stand for Casseroles, Carrots, Cookies, or Cucumbers. Think Cake, Corn, and Calamari. Serve your creation on a Cake Stand, in a Carafe, or atop a Chia Pet. Consider Chicken, Cheese and Cashews. And Chocolate (after all, January 22nd is National Blond Brownie Day). Oh, and definitely Cocktails!

As usual, there will be a people’s choice vote to determine three prize winners in the categories of “top savory dish,” “everyone’s favorite dessert,” and “the evening’s best beverage.” After Hours Gallery permits alcohol so feel free to play with booze in your shared dish or drink.

Last names A-I: a drink
Last names J-R: savory
Last names S-Z: sweet

*Plus appropriate serving spoons/forks/tongs.

Please bring your own plate, cup, napkin, and silverware. We’ll again utilize a buffet setup, like we did with December’s dinner. Please label your shared savory/sweet/liquid contribution to share and highlight any prospective allergens (particularly if you are working with alcohol).

Speakers: Our speakers will include gallery owners Mike and Russ, plus Scott Roeder, After Hours construction project manager. Photographer John Wagner will also speak about his exhibit “SALT,” featuring photographs from the Bonneville Salt Flats currently on display at the gallery

More information/RSVP HERE.

“Cartography and the Cultural Terrain III” Exhibit at Downtown Phoenix ‘s Burton Barr Library

[Source: Phoenix Public Library]

Phoenix Public Library Exhibits “Cartography and the Cultural Terrain III” by Deborah Springstead Ford

"OM" Silver gelatin print, 12" x 12" © 2008/9 Deborah Springstead Ford

Burton Barr Central Library will host an exhibit by Deborah Springstead Ford, titled “Cartography and the Cultural Terrain III,” Jan. 12 – March 20 at the library’s @Central Gallery, 1221 N. Central Ave.

In this body of work, Ford combines photographic images of landscapes and geological forms with historic maps and text to explore the ideas surrounding westward expansion, colonialism and the search for natural resources.

Ford uses photography to engage viewers with issues of the environment and our relationship to it.  Her images are often altered in the camera or in the darkroom, using various photographic techniques, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces.

"Shoshone" Silver gelatin print, 12" x 12" © 2009 Deborah Springstead Ford

 

Phoenix Public Library is a system of 15 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library.  For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org.  Follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/phxlibrary.