Blog Archives

Flurry of activity set for Roosevelt Action Association meeting, Nov. 18

[Source: Catrina Knoebl, President, Roosevelt Action Association] — Autumn seems to have officially arrived, and with the new season comes a flurry of neighborhood activity.  Please read on and join us for our monthly Neighborhood meeting next Wednesday, November 18.

Saturday, November 14, 7:30 a.m. check-in at Trinity Cathedral

Please join us for a neighborhood tree planting as part of the Mayor’s Annual Day for Downtown. The Roosevelt Neighborhood will be the recipient of 40 new trees planted on Roosevelt St. near Trinity Cathedral, Portland Parkway, and Latham St. near the Great Arizona Puppet Theater. Volunteers participating in this rewarding day of service will receive a voucher for the Phoenix Public Market as a thank you! The event is presented by the Mayor Phil Gordon’s office, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, HandsOn Greater Phoenix and the Phoenix Community Alliance.

There have been a number of recent break-ins in and around the neighborhood. Just last week, a resident heard a noise in an adjacent backyard, called the police and a robbery was stopped IN PROGRESS. The perpetrator was arrested and was found to have two outstanding warrants and 12 previous felony convictions. They booked him on burglary, trespassing, and possession of stolen goods. PLEASE remember that suspicious persons in the park/alley/hidden corner could have a warrant, or ill intentions for you or your property. The police GREATLY APPRECIATE us being their eyes and ears on the street. There is no such thing as an inconvenient call. Just having their presence in the neighborhood can deter would-be incidents. The number of officers that protect our neighborhood is directly related to the number of calls from its residents. Call Crime Stop: 602-262-6151.

The RAA is planning a Winship House visioning workshop in early December. Residents, City representatives, and downtown stakeholders are invited to discuss the renovation and potential uses for the Winship House, and identify its impact on the surrounding area. Want to participate or sponsor the workshop? Please send an email and we will forward details once final.

Irish Cultural Center (1106 N. Central), Wednesday, November 18, 6:00 p.m.

This month we will welcome representatives of Brilliant Green Energy who will discuss how we can make our urban homes more energy efficient. The agenda is as follows:

  • Welcome/Introductions
  • Approval of Minutes
  • Community Action Officer Crime Report
  • Brilliant Green Energy Presentation
  • Winship House Visioning Workshop
  • 2nd Avenue Parking Update
  • 7th Avenue/McDowell Development Update
  • Tree Planting Recap
  • Restaurant Tour Plans
  • Announcements

All RAA Meetings are open to the public.  To subscribe to Roosevelt updates, go to

Phoenix seeks residents’ input on General Plan revision

[Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic] — Meetings are taking place citywide to ask citizens what they like about Phoenix, and what they want to change.  The gatherings are the first step in a three-year process aimed at revising the Phoenix General Plan, a document of nearly 500 pages that governs growth and development in the city.  “If you want to have a say in what happens — highways vs. transit, sprawl vs. infill, pollution, parks and open space — then you need to get involved,” said Jim McPherson, a civic activist who has volunteered in the effort.

Carol Johnson, a city planner who is managing the process, said meetings will take place over the rest of the year in connection with local village planning committee meetings.  “We really need to hear from the community about what they want Phoenix to be, and how we can get there,” she said.  “That will define the scope for what we do next.”

Johnson described the general plan as the city’s “long-term guide for the physical manifestation of the city.”  She said development of the revised plan would entail a period of “visioning,” in which ideas and goals are developed, followed by a period of drafting policies and measures, and determining implementation.

The plan could include updated sustainability measures, improved business-development plans, revised historical features, and new benchmarks for infrastructure repairs and upgrades.  In meetings so far, “there is a lot of interest in climate change and the urban heat island,” Johnson said.  “Some people have said the village cores are not working. Others want to see land use and transportation planned in tandem.” She said the plan ultimately would be organized around four subject areas: community, economy, environment and infrastructure.

Catrina Knoebl, a downtown activist, said she expects the process to be worthwhile for the public as well as the city.  “I have found the city absolutely listens to citizens,” she said. “They want to hear what residents have to say.  They are actively reaching out.”  Knoebl said she finds the timing to be advantageous because “we have more people than ever before who are knowledgeable and engaged.”

McPherson agreed the timing is right.  “We have a little bit of breathing room now,” he said.  “With the slowdown caused by the economy, we have some time to do some thinking.” [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix seeks residents’ input on General Plan revision.]

RadiatePhx event at The Lost Leaf, June 30

radiatephx[Source: Catrina Knoebl, RadiatePHX] — Join RadiatePHX in celebration of National Independents Week, June 29 through July 5.  Celebrating with us will be Local First Arizona Director, Kimber Lanning. She’ll be our guide to the week and share how we can continue to support the cause by tapping into Local First’s directory, Golden Coupons, and more.

  • Date: Tuesday, June 30
  • Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.; panel discussion will start a little after 6 p.m.
  • Place: The Lost Leaf, 914 N. 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Radiators will also receive $1 off the 8 p.m. Tuesday evening showing of documentary film “Malls R Us” at Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt St.

Then make a night of it!  We will be gathering at The Lost Leaf for beverage refreshment so everyone can head out afterward and visit nearby independent restaurants in our own downtown.  You will be invited to forward your own brief restaurant review (“We had a terrific burger and the best margaritas!”) by the end of Independents Week and they will be posted on the RadiatePhoenix site and on for all to see.

Click here to RSVP.  For more information about RadiatePHX, click here.

Store tied to popular downtown Phoenix public market expected to open in August

Phoenix grocery store

Interior work underway at downtown Phoenix Public Market (photo: Jack Kurtz, Arizona Republic)

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Attention shoppers! The first grocery store to open in downtown Phoenix in nearly 30 years is taking shape. On a recent afternoon, a crew worked on plumbing and electrical systems for the 2,000-square-foot store, which is expected to open sometime in August. Soon they will bring in refrigerated cases, ovens and other kitchen equipment, said Alan McLaughlin, the store’s general manager.  “We will source everything local,” he said, including meat, milk and cheese.  “This will be a hangout place in the neighborhood.”

The $475,000 project is an offshoot of the popular, biweekly Phoenix Public Market, which is run by the non-profit Community Food Connections.  Downtown Phoenix residents hungered for a grocery store for decades.  The last supermarket in the neighborhood south of Interstate 10 closed in 1981.  Community Food Connections, which raised $375,000 to open the store, is in the process of raising the remaining $100,000, spokeswoman Catrina Knoebl said.

The 4-year-old farmers market and the grocery store are part of the Phoenix Public Market. The shop will be known as the Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery & Wine Bar, Knoebl added.  The store will be open from Tuesday to Saturday and will carry prepared food and wine, and it will have a cafe.  Royal Coffee Bar, the trendy coffeehouse near the Maricopa County court complex, will serve java there.  Local food will be the focus, McLaughlin said.

Recap of inaugural Jane’s Walk in downtown Phoenix


Jane's Walk walkers gather at Portland Park.

[Source: Yuri Artibise] — The inaugural Jane’s Walk Phoenix was a huge success.  Over thrity people took advantage of the nice weather to come out and celebrate Jane Jacobs and learn more about the neighborhoods of downtown phoenix.  The initimate size of the group allowed people to meet one another and share stories, history, and gossip about the streets, parks, and buildings that we passed during the walk.

Special thanks goes to Catrina Knoebl, Greg Esser, and Kimber Lanning for sharing their knowledge and insights along the route, as well as all the particpants for their great questions and observations.  As I’ve said from the beginning, it’s the participants who are the true guides of the walk.  Special thanks also to Jack London, Nick Bastien (Rail Life), and David Bickford (PHXRailFood) for taking photos along the way.   [Note: To read the full recap, click here.]

Retailer H&M rumors swirl in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — H&M, a trendy clothing retailer, could be shopping for a downtown Phoenix location.  On Monday, a Phoenix marketing company called Urban Affair emailed an online survey that asks downtown workers and residents about their shopping habits and their feelings about H& M.  Currently, there are no H&M stores in Arizona, but the firm plans to open a location at Scottsdale Quarter, $270 million development that will open at the end of March.  H&M has not announced an opening date for that store, a spokeswoman for the retailer said.

H&M has a strong following among the budget-conscious, fashionable set because it has low-priced, European-influenced style.  The retailer collaborates on product lines with upscale designers, including Stella McCartney and stars, such as Madonna.

An Urban Affair official downplayed the H&M aspect of Monday’s survey.  No developer asked the firm to do it, added Catrina Knoebl who co-founded Urban Affair.  “We did the survey to gauge support about downtown retail,” Knoebl said.

The survey doesn’t say where a downtown Phoenix H&M could be located.  However, an obvious choice would be the $900 million CityScape development, which is under construction in downtown Phoenix.  Through a spokeswoman, RED Development LLC declined to comment about H&M.  CityScape is bound by First Avenue, Second Street, Washington Street, and Jefferson Street.  The project broke ground in 2007 and crews are building a cluster of shops, offices and restaurants.

H&M has had a long flirtation with the Valley.  Before the Scottsdale Quarter announcement, there was talk about a possible H&M shop at Scottsdale Fashion Square and at Tempe Marketplace.  Neither shopping center has a store.  Generally speaking, H&M may decide to open other locations in the future to serve the Valley, H&M communications specialist Shaneika Haskins.  Haskins wouldn’t talk about the downtown Phoenix buzz. “We don’t comment on rumors,” she said.

Central Phoenix neighborhoods invited to join Dec. 27 Light Rail celebration

[Source: Catrina Knoebl, Roosevelt Action Association] — The Roosevelt Action Association (RAA) is working feverishly to ensure that the Roosevelt neighborhood and extended community are appropriately represented in downtown Phoenix’s portion of the December 27 Light Rail grand opening celebration.  Light Rail event organizers have agreed to move the RAA booth to the Roosevelt Station and lend a few tables for RAA’s booth and others who may be interested in participating.  Organizers will have a staffed table on the platform to provide directions to people getting on and off the train.

The December 27 event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  RAA is working with Fair Trade Coffee and others to determine the best position to set up along Central.

IMPORTANT: RAA needs to know how many other neighborhood groups are interested in having a presence at this station.  This will help RAA determine the best location and layout.  Please send an e-mail with the following information by end of day today so RAA knows how best to proceed:

  • Name/organization
  • ID whether or not you need a full table or if a shared table will work
  • Contact info (e-mail and phone)

Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row named one of nation’s “best secret neighborhoods”

[Source: Catrina Knoebl, Roosevelt Action Association] — Travel and Leisure Magazine recently picked Roosevelt Row as one of the best secret neighborhoods in the country.  And its signature Block Party is a can’t miss, with artists and vendors booths on Garfield Street between Fourth and Sixth streets.  Our own Phoenix New Times named it the Best Block Party.  

Roosevelt Row is home to visual and performing art spaces such as Modified arts, eye lounge, MADE Art Boutique, and Red Dog Gallery; iconic F&B hotspots Fate, Carly’s, Roosevelt Tavern, Portland’s and Lost Leaf; plus shopping destinations Spoken and Bunky Boutique.  Just to name a few.

And tonight, Friday, October 3, is First Friday.  Artlink’s art walk/ride spans several galleries and art spaces throughout the area, and most are open (at least) from 6 to 10 p.m. so there is plenty of time to check out some of the old and new, including those all in a Row.  If there was ever a day — night! — to explore your core, this is it.  Click here for more.

RadiatePhx to hold mixer for downtown Phoenix aficionados, Aug. 26

[Source: Catrina Knobel and Claudia Bullmore]RadiatePhx (formerly IgnitePHX) is looking for creative and entrepreneurial individuals who care about how Phoenix develops, appreciate good design, have a social conscience, and enjoy converging with eclectic people.  RadiatePHX is a non-traditional networking group that meets once a month to support smart growth in our emerging city.  It is intended to be an informal and fun forum for connecting people, ideas, and vision. 

This month Carla Wade, co-owner of Carly’s Bistro, will welcome featured speakers Adam Iten & Quinn Murphy of Make Phoenix Weird who will discuss their upcoming plans with the September Urban Affair and inform the assembled how Phoenix is indeed…weird.  Carly’s is kindly providing special Radiate rates for select beverages.

  • Date: Tuesday, August 26
  • Time: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
  • Place: Carly’s Bistro, 128 E. Roosevelt St.
  • RSVP: Click here.

Roosevelt neighborhood asks for increased security at Hance Park

Japanese Garden, Margaret T. Hance Park[Source: Andie Abkarian, Roosevelt Action Association] — As part of City of Phoenix budget cuts, the Parks Department has eliminated security in downtown’s Margaret T. Hance Park.  Out of $13,500,000 cut from the Parks budget, the Parks Department chose to eliminate overnight park security at Hance Park for an estimated cost savings of $50,000.  The neighborhood was told that the Police Department will monitor security at the park as part of their regular patrol, but neighbors are concerned that (1) Phoenix police officers are already overwhelmed with regular patrols and (2) there is no way Phoenix police officers can adequately keep the park safe without dedicated foot patrols into the depths of the park throughout the night.

The Roosevelt Action Association asks interested persons to ASAP call and/or e-mail the following representatives requesting an immediate reversal of this decision.  On May 20, RAA representatives will meet with city staff.

For more information on what you can do to help or for more details on the buget cut, send an e-mail or call Andie Abkarian (480-600-8826), Catrina Knobel (480-579-2998), or Mike Hall (602-258-6048).