Blog Archives

Opinion: It’s time to close downtown divide

ASU Downtown is run by helicopter parents. They are friendly parents, but they are still helicopter parents. They are the cautious, closed-minded parents that refuse to encourage their children to play with the neighbor kids. They plug in the video game and think their children will be satisfied.

The administration at ASU Downtown has done little to encourage fusion between campus and community. ASU needs to step up and break down the wall that separates it from the rest of downtown Phoenix, instead of continuing to foster isolation. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

The “It’s Time” video released by ASU earlier this month highlights the university as rejuvenating downtown Phoenix, but the campus administration is doing very little to actually realize that. They are failing to intertwine the Downtown campus with the downtown community. Yes, there are 10,000 students that were not here four years ago, but beyond our bodily presence, we are doing very little for the neighborhood.

It’s time for a change in the mindset and direction of the Downtown administration.

College towns around the country are centered on partnerships between universities and local shops, eateries and entertainment. Downtown ASU has not built these partnerships — at all.

ASU signed a massive contract in 2008 with food provider Aramark that lasts until 2023. It ties the hands of students by forcing them to buy ridiculously priced meal plans. ASU created a food monopoly.

In turn, the administration says it is completely unfair to blame ASU’s policies for the closure of eateries like PastaBar and Verde, both within two blocks of campus. But what did the university do to support their businesses?

The university created an isolated campus. We are sheltered, and it’s time ASU puts resources and time into connecting students with the arts district on Roosevelt and the festivals and activities held on Grand Avenue. We can have all the events and celebrations we want in the shade garden of Taylor Place, but when are we actually going to take a step off of the curb and be a key part of downtown life?

Then again, increasing the cost of the U-Pass to $150 from $80 is the incentive we were looking for, right?

Plans are under way to turn the historic U.S. Federal Post Office building into Downtown’s version of the Memorial Union. One of the ideas brought to the table by an administrator is to make the building only accessible to ASU students. It would be a shame to close out the public to one of the only remaining historic buildings left in Phoenix. That’s not community engagement. We should cherish the uniqueness of our area.

The university is also currently planning out the construction of a downtown student recreational facility. I hope this facility is built in partnership with the YMCA. It baffles me why we would invest in a recreational facility when we already have a stellar setup at the YMCA. Both ASU and the YMCA benefit from each other’s presence.

And where was ASU in denouncing the parking lot built at the site of the old Ramada Inn? ASU allowed the city to build another parking lot that is destructive to the urban environment of our campus.

To counter the new block of hot asphalt, we proposed working with ASU and the city of Phoenix to construct a dog park where the McKinley parking lot is currently located. ASU was not willing to take the extra step in bettering our community. Excuses were made. It was easier to say no. The land has to be used for “educational purposes” because bond money was used to purchase the land. I’m glad that a parking lot meets the university’s standards of an educational purpose.

ASU recently sent a mailer to its alums. With a large picture of downtown in the background, bold white letters read: “With urban temperatures 11 degrees higher than in surrounding areas … how do we design cities that stay naturally cool?” It is a great question, ASU. Unless my knowledge of science is off, I don’t think parking lots are naturally cooling.

Are these advertisements reflecting reality? I am one of the most outspoken supporters of the great attributes of this campus, but there is so much more to be done.

Students need to take responsibility as well. While we bicker about elections and tuition or wave our pom-poms on Taylor Mall, we need to rise above and do our part.

The downtown community is intriguing. This fall, I hope the helicopter ASU administrators begin encouraging their kids to go out and play ball with the neighbors. They are waiting.

Vaughn Hillyard is a journalism sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School and the founder and president of ASU Downtown Alive!

Downtown Phoenix’s Historic Post Office to be home of ASU Student Center

[Source:  Jack Fitzpatrick, Downtown Devil.com]

Post office renovations to create student space

ASU is seeking students’ opinions on the $4.9 million renovation of a new campus space in downtown Phoenix’s historic U.S. Federal Post Office building.

ASU students and staff members discussed what should be done with the ASU-owned area of the post office at a meeting Friday with Holly Street Studio, the local architecture firm that will renovate the building. (Kristin Fankhauser/DD)

ASU students and staff members discussed what should be done with the ASU-owned area of the post office at a meeting Friday with Holly Street Studio, the local architecture firm that will renovate the building. (Kristin Fankhauser/DD)

The upcoming renovation will utilize a first-floor portion of the late 1930′s building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Because of the building’s historic status, many of its characteristics must stay true to their original nature.

ASU students and staff members discussed what should be done with the area at a meeting Friday with Holly Street Studio, the local architecture firm that will renovate the building.

The meeting included group discussions about students’ wants and needs, a tour of the space that will be renovated and a presentation of building blueprints by the architects.

Public policy and public service sophomore Marcus Jones, the student representative for the renovation project, said that despite the challenges of keeping the building true to its history, it will be possible to make the area functional for students’ needs.

“It needs to be to-date, but still incorporate historic concepts — (that) is what makes it the challenge, but I know it’s doable,” Jones said.

The goal for the area is to create a gathering center for students. Lockers, computers, a convenience store, a strong Wi-Fi connection and more space for student organizations were among the needs mentioned by students during a group discussion period. Students also discussed adding larger windows to open up the view to the nearby Civic Space Park.

Openness to the surrounding community and historic preservation were also prevalent topics in the meeting.

Dean of Student Affairs Georgeana Montoya mentioned the possibility of local transients using the space, especially if lockers are available, and brought up the possibility of making the area only accessible to ASU students. The building, however, would still function as a public post office.

ASU architect senior Patricia Olson mentioned dozens of “character-defining features” that legally have to be kept intact, including the four large skylights in the student area, the intricate accentuation at the entrances and the original murals, which represent a national trend of federally commissioned art during the Great Depression.

Olson said maintaining the historic accuracy of the building would contribute to students’ sense of community.

“History gives a sense of a tie to a larger social urban fabric,” Olson said. “Being in a building with this history … gives students a connection to their community.”

Jones agreed that ASU’s involvement in a historic building contributes to the goals of an urban campus.

“The historic feel sets us apart from everywhere else,” Jones said. “It does bring us that sense of community. We are the downtown community. That’s what sets us apart.”

All of the money used to renovate the building will come from a facilities fee, which has not yet been levied on students but was passed by ASASUD, ASASUD Vice President Jessica Abercrombie said.

Students are invited to attend another meeting on Friday, April 22, when the architects will present some initial concepts for the space.

Construction is roughly estimated to start October 2011 and end May 2012, although Montoya said various obstacles would likely push that deadline back to fall 2012.

Contact the reporter at john.l.fitzpatrick@asu.edu

Correction: April 11

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Marcus Jones was a journalism major and that the portion of the post office that will be renovated was owned by ASU. Jones is a public policy and public service major and the building is owned by the City of Phoenix.

ASU to Host Latino Urbanism Symposium in Downtown Phoenix: May 4-5

The Latino Urbanism Symposium

May 4, 2011 – May 5, 2011
Wednesday – Thursday
Cost: FREE
Open to the Public

The Latino Urbanism Symposium, to be held at The AE England Building on Wednesday and The Phoenix Urban Research Lab on Thursday (both on the ASU downtown Phoenix campus) will highlight Latino Urbanism and its role in American placemaking. We will spend two days celebrating and understanding how Latino Urbanism is reshaping the American urban landscape.

Latino Urbanism is an emerging approach to development that responds to Latino lifestyles, cultural preferences, and economic needs. Through an opening design charrette, evening keynote address and day-long series of presentations and panels, the symposium will expand upon a growing interest in the built environments of Latino communities, focusing on shaping and incorporating Latino needs in the development of present and future places in American cities. Topics include:

  • Empirical assessments of the current conditions of Latino neighborhoods: health, walkability, safety and diversity issues
  • Implications for the design of the public realm: connecting social and cultural spaces in Latino Urbanism
  • Latino Urbanism vs. New Urbanism: Cultural implications of placemaking
  • The relationship between sustainability and Latino Urbanism
  • Latino Urbanism best practices and implementation strategies

Scholars have suggested that Latino Urbanism is an important alternative to conventional urban planning strategies in Southwestern cities, where Latino populations are expanding rapidly. Significantly, Latino Urbanism is often in keeping with the main principles of Smart Growth and New Urbanism: compact urban form, pedestrian activity, public transportation, and the importance of an active public realm. Latino New Urbanism has emerged as a movement that fights sprawl and seeks to preserve Latino settlement traditions and create healthier versions of the American Dream.

What can we learn from these traditions, and how relevant are they for urban design in the American Southwest? What are the needs and possibilities of new approaches to urban design in Latino communities? What are the most pressing problems to address, and what solutions can be offered?

Agenda

Wednesday Evening, May 4, 5:00 – 6:30

A.E. England Building
424 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Keynote presentation by Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman, CityView and former HUD Secretary
Introduction by Tom Espinoza, President and CEO, La Raza Development Fund

6:30 – 7:30: Opening reception
This event is free and open to the public

Thursday, May 5th, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory
234 N Central Ave, 8th Floor
To register contact aaron.rothman@asu.edu

Panel presentations and discussions:

  • Patterns and Forms of Latino Cultural Landscapes (morning)
  • Latino Urbanism vs. New Urbanism (morning)
  • Latino Urbanism, Economic Development, and the Marketing of Ethnic Identity (afternoon)
  • Designing Public and Private Space for Latino Communities (afternoon)

Speakers include: Stefanos Polyzoides, James Rojas, Roberto Moreno, Jesus Lara, and Kevin Kellogg

FREE Regional Tree & Shade Summit in Downtown Phoenix on Wednesday

Growing Connections: Roots to Branches

Arizona and its communities face challenging problems with diminishing resources. How do communities do more with less? Green Infrastructure is a solution multiplier that provides cost effective solutions to many economic, social and environmental problems. All Arizona communities and businesses have a role in cultivating a healthier, more livable and prosperous future.

Presentations and a Discussion on Cultivating Green Infrastructure

The Regional Tree & Shade Summit will bring together municipal and private sector professionals for a one-day meeting to address the growing importance of regional tree and shade plans and green infrastructure to the long-term sustainability and success of our communities.

Details

Date

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
8:30am – 5:00pm

Location

A.E. England Building @ Civic Space Park
424 N. Central Ave, Downtown Phoenix

Adjacent to Downtown Phoenix Central Station. Light Rail Use Strongly Encouraged

RSVP

Space is Limited: Register at http://sustainablecities.asu.edu

More information

If you have any questions, please contact Anne Reichman at anne.reichman@asu.edu or call 480-965-2168.

Sponsors

This event is brought to you by: 

  • Arizona Forestry
  • ASU Global Institute of Sustainability
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Phoenix
  • City of Mesa
  • US Department of Agriculture Forestry Service

A Potential Tenant for Vacant Cronkite Space in Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Caitlin Cruz, Downtown Devil]

Evie Carpenter/DD

ASU expects to finalize a lease with an undisclosed tenant who would occupy a vacant retail space in the southwest corner of the Walter Cronkite School building’s ground floor within a week, a university official said on Wednesday.

Negotiations have been in progress since November, and the potential tenant hopes to open his eatery during the spring 2011 semester, said Patrick Panetta, associate director at the University Real Estate Development Office.

Panetta did not disclose the identity of the potential tenant as the deal is not yet official, but he said one of the specifics preventing the completion of the agreement has been the inclusion of ASU’s Maroon and Gold Dollars program.

“We would like him to take M&G Dollars,” Panetta said. “That’s one of the finer points we’ve included in the lease.”’

Recently, downtown businesses have voiced concerns over the high fees associated with M&G, but many students still feel the M&G program has merit.

“These shops (around the Cronkite School) are convenient, and I would like it if they would use M&G, not just Sun Dollars,” said Aly Galt, a freshman kinesiology major.

The retail space, one of two currently vacant in the building, was occupied by Sbarro Italian Eatery until August 2010, and despite the equipment that is already in place for making pizza and similar foods, the potential tenant wants to execute a different restaurant concept, Panetta said.

Panetta said one possibility that has been considered is a salad and smoothie eatery.

However, he said, “that is not the main thrust of the project. There will be other facets.”

Kate Rosenberg, a graduate social work student, said she would welcome a salad and smoothie alternative. Rosenberg said she spends one day a week on the Downtown campus and eats at Subway.

“Only Subway,” she said. “Nothing else is good.”

According to Panetta, the tenant hopes to make a few changes to the equipment and layout of the space. Depending on how quickly the changes can be made, the new restaurant could be opened as soon as late March, Panetta said.

The potential tenant “wanted to get open this semester to announce to the ASU community that he was there,” Panetta said. “This is what he’ll be offering and will see everybody when they are back from summer.”

In addition to filling the spaces in the Cronkite building, the University Real Estate Development Office is responsible for finding tenants for the empty spots on Taylor Place’s ground floor.

“We’re still actively looking for tenants for all the spaces,” Panetta said. “There have been some tentative interest from some local restaurants, but it hasn’t gone very far yet.”

A relocation of Wells Fargo Bank, currently at the Arizona Center, is “potentially in the future” for an open-retail space in Taylor Place, Panetta said.

“They would have to approve the space,” Panetta said. “That is kind of why it isn’t a done deal yet — they haven’t agreed on anything yet.”

Contact the reporter at caitlin.cruz@asu.edu

ASU Downtown Phoenix Hosting “Have a HeArt” Benefit on Feb 25

[Source: Downtown Phoenix Journal]

Have a HeArt for NP Healthcare Clinics

ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation will host the inaugural “Have a HeArt” benefit on Friday, February 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. to help fund the university’s four nonprofit clinics around the Valley, collectively known as NP Healthcare.

The benefit, featuring heart-healthy food and drink, live entertainment and silent auction prizes, also aims to educate guests about the clinics and how they can be utilized as part of a healthy lifestyle.

ASU's College of Nursing & Health Innovation. Photograph by Yuri Artibise.

“Most people think of our health clinics are just for students but our services are available to the entire community,” said Debra Vincent, community liaison for ASU’s Clinical Practice and Community Partnerships. “We offer accessible and affordable healthcare in a professional setting.”

On-site nutritional analysis and advice on what food to keep your heart healthy and to fight specific diseases will be offered as well as tours of the 4,000-square-foot health center at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

Attendees will discover that “heart-healthy food” doesn’t mean “boring” or “carrots and celery sticks.” Quite the contrary, as evidenced by the menu below, provided by Tiffany Skall A-List Corporate Events & Catering:

  • Chicken, beef and shrimp satay
  • Smoked salmon bruschetta
  • Mashed potatoes with lobster butter, blue cheese butter, truffle butter, prosciutto, sour cream, cheddar feta and chives
  • Tarragon-braised beef tips with root vegetables, whipped cauliflower and onion straws
  • Domestic and imported cheese spread with fruits, vegetables, nuts, dips, artisinal breads, lavosh and crostini
  • Build-your-own lettuce wraps with spicy chicken, roasted root vegetables and beef
  • Assortment of low-calorie cakes, pies and tarts

Silent auction prizes feature exceptional works from local artists, including photography by Marilyn Szabo and jewelry by Heidi Abrahamson. Goods and services from noted local businesses, from the Clarendon Hotel, to the Phoenix Art Museum and many others, are also up for grabs.

The NP Healthcare provider staff includes practitioners who specialize in family practice and behavioral/mental healthcare. Services include men and women’s health exams, counseling and mental healthcare, minor illness care, prescriptions for medications, chronic disease management, family planning, healthy lifestyles education, stress management, tobacco cessation, nutrition advice, on-site EKG, sexually transmitted infection testing/treatment and referrals to other medical and health services.

Patients can use their health insurance to pay for services as well as cash, credit card, Sun Card or have their student account charged for the cost of the services. For employers, the NP Care members enjoy access to quality and accessible basic health services for a fixed office visit fee and discounts on tests performed at outside labs.

Tickets for the event start at just $25. Purchase online here.

The ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation is located at 500 N. 3rd St. on the ASU Downtown campus (light rail at Central Station).

 

Downtown Phoenix Park is a Finalist for National Award

[Source: Cassie StraussDowntown Devil]

Civic Space Park one of five finalists for national urban excellence award

Cassie Strauss/DD

Civic Space Park in downtown Phoenix is one of five finalists for the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, a recognition given every other year for urban spaces that contribute to their community.

A team of three judges visited Phoenix this past week to evaluate the park and its impact on downtown Phoenix. At an interview luncheon Tuesday, members of the community gathered to present their case. Among those speaking were community volunteers, performers who use the park, members of arts groups, a police officer, and some of the men and women who collaborated to create Civic Space.

All attending spoke in favor of the park’s versatile spaces, safety record and, most importantly, tolerance of the area’s inhabitants, who include many homeless and mentally ill. The nearby Westward Ho building is a low-income housing center for the elderly and many residents frequent the park.

ASU’s liaison to the park, Malissa Geer, explained that diversity makes the park what it is.

The rich social fabric is a necessary “learning experience for students to learn that safety does not equal homogeneity,” she said. “To learn that safety is not just ‘these people look like me.’”

As a large presence in the downtown area, the university needs to “break the fear” that pervades the perception of the neighborhoods surrounding the Downtown campus, Geer said. Safety is often not the true issue. The homeless are rarely dangerous, but rather, make other citizens — including many students — simply uncomfortable, she said.

Cmdr. Richard Wilson, the police officer who spoke at the interview, said that many students and parents question the safety of the park, but in reality there is little danger.

“I had one parent say to me, ‘My daughter saw a homeless person. What are you going to do about it?’” he said. “The fact is, this is a benign population. If you ask them why they’re here, they say, ‘Because I feel safe.’”

Geer said it’s important to activate the park — to raise the number of people using the park on a daily basis. The park is one of just a few in Phoenix with a security presence, and not only can the park be a beautiful place to visit, but a necessary encounter with urban living, Geer said.

“We want our students to actually understand diversity,” she said. “How can we displace the homeless and train social workers at the same time?”

The award for urban excellence measures, among other things, the impact on the community. One way that impact is shown is through inclusion of all facets of the population.

Already the park has garnered a $10,000 prize for being a silver finalist, and if selected for the gold it will receive a total of $50,000.

Other finalists include The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center in Dallas, Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago and the Santa Fe Railyard Redevelopment. Civic Space is the only project this year that is technically a city park.

The 2009 winner was Inner-City Arts of Los Angeles, an organization that services youth in the city’s Skid Row area by providing art instruction and education.

Contact the reporter at clstraus@asu.edu

Residences on the Rail in Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Scarlett Jane Heydt, State Press Magazine]

Residence on the Rail

Every student needs a place to live — and come spring, it’s on everyone’s mind. Incoming freshman shop around with anxious parents for the perfectly cool apartment complex, while commuter students finally decide to make the move out of Mom and Dad’s. Others tire of the on-campus experience after a year or two of shared living with roommates, suitemates, hallmates and floormates. Eventually, privacy and freedom beckon in the form of (often cheaper) off-campus apartments.

For most students, living near the Metro Light Rail has serious appeal. Driving to and parking on campus gets expensive, and many students commute between multiple campuses. Light rail-adjacent apartments market themselves as such, drawing more and more residents with each dollar rise on the gas pump.

But not every place suits every student. Some are for the quiet and studious, while others are designed for the social, college experience. Here’s a look at the culture of some popular apartments on the rail near the ASU Tempe and Downtown campuses.

Downtown Phoenix

Alta Phoenix Lofts

The Alta Phoenix Lofts located just off the Van Buren Street and Central Avenue light rail stop. Photo by Vivian Padilla.

Quick Stats:

Phone number: 602-374-7133
Light rail stop: Van Buren Street and Central Avenue
Amenities: fitness center, cyber cafe, clubhouse with billiard and poker tables, pool, art gallery, local business on property, acupuncturist, tattoo parlor, personal trainer
Furnished: No
Pet-friendly: Yes
Price range: $960 – $3,500

Sitting catty-corner from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation building, Alta Phoenix Lofts boasts an urban style. Residents find themselves walking through halls with exposed copper pipes and duct work. Property manager Chiara Elie says the light rail is another way to give residents an urban experience.

“We go for the whole downtown vibe, participating in First Fridays and reminding residents the light rail is nearby,” she says, sitting in her pool-facing office.

Elie says not many students live at the Lofts because they are higher-priced than other apartment complexes in the area. She says she tries to hold at least two or three events per month so residents get what they pay for. She says the active student would appreciate living at the Lofts.

Modern decor inside the Alta Phoenix Lofts. Photo by Vivian Padilla.

Modern decor inside the Alta Phoenix Lofts. Photo by Vivian Padilla.

“Our biggest appeal to students is we’re very close to the Downtown campus,” she says. “But we also have so much to offer in terms of amenities and activities.”

Nursing senior Barbie Frazier says she chose to live at Alta Phoenix Lofts after looking at The Met and Roosevelt Square. She says Alta won her over because she thought it was the best deal for what she paid for.

“The lofts were bigger than the other places I looked at and it has this really big balcony with a pretty view, which The Met and Roosevelt Square didn’t have,” Frazier says. “The balcony just makes it so much more open and I like having my own space outside.”

Frazier says one of the frustrating things about living at the Lofts is wasted space in the apartment, which makes cleaning difficult. She says she had to buy a stepstool to reach a lot of her cabinets and storage space.

Frazier says she thinks ASU students who are studious, but also social, would enjoy living at the Lofts.

“People here are pretty nice so I don’t think anyone would call the cops on you for having a party,” she says. “As a nursing student though, I have to be studious and I never hear anyone so it’s easy to study.”

The Met

Quick Stats:

Phone number: 602-258-6387
Light rail stop: Van Buren Street and Central Avenue
Amenities: pool, hot tub, fitness center, 800+ DVDs for free rental, Wi-Fi throughout the property
Furnished: No
Pet friendly: Cats and caged animals only
Price range: $779 –  $1,264

Rising only three stories high, The Met apartment complex is one people might miss, especially as it’s surrounded by buildings with 10-plus stories. The city has grown around it; journalism sophomore Liam Hausmann says he enjoys living there because it’s so close to the Downtown campus where he takes classes.

“I don’t live as close to the light rail as some other places, but it’s worth it to me to be able to walk back and forth to campus four times a day without it being a hassle,” Hausmann says.

The Met is often overlooked because of its smaller size. Photo by Diana Martinez.

Hausmann rents a two-bedroom two-bath with his roommate and says he gets the most use out of the Jacuzzi. However, he says he has a rocky relationship with management, though it doesn’t affect his enjoyment of his living experience.

“I got a message from [management] complaining to me about people parking in The Met guest parking spots and then leaving,” he says. “They blamed me and my roommate and my roommate had to go the office and basically say it’s not our job to watch the parking lot, regardless if the people doing it are people we know or not.”

The Met is often overlooked because of its smaller size. Photo by Diana Martinez.

Hausmann says while the facilities are very nice, management tends to treat students as if they aren’t full and responsible adults.

“If you take management not appreciating students out of the picture, the location, the amenities and stuff is all awesome,” he says. “It’s not really a hustle and bustle place, it’s really mellow and I think it’s good for students who work on campus.”

Assistant manager of The Met Kathy Kimminau says they don’t treat students any different than other residents but admits they do give them more noise complaints notifications if other residents are voicing complaints.

“The studious student would prefer to live here because we are strict about noise complaints,” she says. “We still want people to have fun and have people over and party, just not late at night. We’ve never evicted someone for too many noise complaints but we would if we had too.”

Kimminau says she thinks students would want to live at The Met because of the proximity to campus, as well as the availability of Wi-Fi.

“We’re also located right next to a lot of places to eat and entertainment, like the movie theater,” she says.

Roosevelt Square offers students and residents refined living within walking distance to the downtown campus and light rail station. Photo by Jessica Heigh.

Roosevelt Square

Roosevelt Square offers students and residents refined living within walking distance to the downtown campus and light rail station. Photo by Jessica Heigh.

Quick Stats:

Phone number: 602-258-7678
Light rail stop: Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue
Amenities: 24-hour gym, pool, on the bus line, dog-walking area, 24-hour sky terrace, local businesses on property, four restaurants, dry cleaner
Furnished: No
Pet friendly: Yes, except for larger, aggressive breeds of dog
Price range: $563 – $1,500

Three separate buildings make up Roosevelt Square, its own small community where assistant manager Wes Carmichael says many residents have referred each other.

“We have a mixture of young professionals and students,” he says. “A lot of students move here after their first year or two on campus because it’s cheaper to live here than on campus.”

One of the three apartment complexes that make up Roosevelt Square. Photo by Jessica Heigh.

One of the three apartment complexes that make up Roosevelt Square. Photo by Jessica Heigh.

He says some reasons students might enjoy living at Roosevelt Square is the proximity to First Fridays, a monthly art walk, as well as plenty of local shops and eateries to walk to. He says they are also extremely pet friendly.

“We have almost as many pets as residents I think,” he says.

Sustainability and journalism senior Lexie Runge lives at Roosevelt Square with her dog Maverick and says she loves living so close to the light rail.

“I almost never drive anymore because I can walk to my journalism classes on the Downtown campus and take the light rail to my other ones on the Tempe campus,” she says.

Runge says she feels the complex is for students who are respectful but like the urban life.

“Most residents here really do respect each other,” she says. “It’s a lot of young people and young couples and everyone has this understanding that this isn’t for cranky older people and there’s no underclassmen who want to party constantly. I think it’s a place for people who have their priorities straight.”

Carmichael says if students are looking to rent in the fall, they should begin the process about 75 days in advance. He says the Phoenix Mercury are already inquiring about renting apartments there again. Last year the team leased 14 units, he says.

Reach the reporter at sheydt@asu.edu

See the original article for residences along the rail in Tempe.

The changing face of downtown Phoenix

[Source: Salvador Rodriguez, Downtown Devil]

The Devil's Den. Photo credit: Downtown Devil

A new lounge for Taylor Place residents is the first in a series of recent additions to downtown Phoenix this semester.

Devil’s Den, located on the first floor of Taylor Place along East Taylor Street, includes a pool and ping-pong table, large screen televisions and game consoles and is open until 1 a.m. every day.

With the development of the remaining retail space on the first floor of Taylor Place, the addition of CityScape and various other changes throughout downtown Phoenix, new restaurants and other businesses will begin offering their services to students downtown.

“The college experience is not just limited to getting an education, making new friends or joining a club,” said Georgeana Montoya, downtown campus dean of students, in a statement. “I believe the college experience means trying everything that life has to offer, which includes exploring your surroundings, opening yourself up to new ideas and opportunities and getting a taste of the local culture.”

Along with the new businesses opening this semester—which include the now open Nobuo at Teeter House, an Asian-style teahouse on North Sixth and East Monroe streets, and Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, set to open this Friday in CityScape—the existing restaurants El Portal and Hsin have begun accepting Maroon and Gold Dollars this semester.

The large investments made in the area over the past years—the Downtown campus, light rail, Sheraton hotel and others—have made downtown Phoenix an opportune market for businesses, said David Roderique, president of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

“Even with the economy being as bad as it is … all these things have created a much stronger market down there,” Roderique said. “That’s attracted the interest of a lot of folks that want to take advantage of that.”

Over the summer, however, the Downtown campus lost the Sbarro pizzeria on the first floor of the Walter Cronkite School and the Uno Chicago Grill located in the Arizona Center—though plans are already set for Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar to take its spot.

“Even in good times, there is a pretty significant turnover in restaurants—it just happens,” Roderique said. “What we’re happy about is that in general the places that have closed have been replaced pretty quickly.”

Marcus Jones, a nonprofit leadership and management sophomore and staff member of the Devil’s Den, said he thinks the influx of businesses will benefit students by providing job opportunities and making the downtown Phoenix area livelier.

“It’s just more places for us to go hang out,” he said. “There’s always something going on here. It’s a great campus to be on now.”

Contact the reporter at salvador.rodriguez@asu.edu

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Jackalope Ranch’s Student Guide to Downtown Phoenix

Here is the latest installment in Claire Lawton’s series of great guides to downtown Phoenix!

[Source: Claire Lawton, Jackalope Ranch, Phoenix New Times]

*     *     *

The first week is never about what actually goes on during class. It’s about figuring out what your schedule means by “the Brickyard,” checking out potential lag-time hangouts and figuring out which path will save you three more minutes.

Here’s a peek at our guide to ASU’s Downtown Campus …

Claire Lawton

Click on the image (or right here) for a full-size, printable version.

On the Map:

  • New vending machines, sweet couches and every news show you could ever want to see are up and running in the Cronkite Building’s First Amendment Forum (they also host pretty cool speakers every Monday).
  • Cheap/Free/Easy Date Night: Take a look at a ton of local art that’s featured on the second floor of the UCENT building and check out the view of the city from the eighth floor.
  • For caffeine and munchies, skip the Starbucks down the street and check out Fair Trade Cafe across Central Avenue, Royal Coffee Bar at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market on Pierce Street (Jackalope sighting!), Conspire on Fifth Street, or Cartel Coffee on First and Washington Streets.
Off the Map:
  • The Heard Museum is free for students on Sunday, August 15 (just show your Sun Card). Heard also hosts free admission events every third Friday.
  • Check out the Phoenix Public Library for refuge from the sun, a quiet afternoon, or a ride up and down the elevator (seriously).
  • Third Friday Concerts are back on at the Civic Space Park (under the large, flying blue object) at 424 N. Central Ave. from 7 to 9 p.m. (totally free). This space is also popular for bikini-clad sunbathers, who consequently create a popular activity for those on the fifth and sixth floors of every building that surrounds it.

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