Blog Archives

Downtown Phoenix Partnership to install way-finding signs

[Source: Lynn Ducey, Phoenix Business Journal] — This spring, Downtown Phoenix Partnership will begin installation of its $800,000 way-finding project to identify key sites and attractions for downtown visitors.  The signs are being funded through a 2006 voter-approved capital bond earmarked for improving downtown.  SmithCraft of Phoenix is doing the work.   “Our big focus is on downtown aesthetics.  This is a way for everyone to be able to easily find and walk to cultural sites,” said David Roderique, president and CEO of the partnership.

City leaders also are working on a proposal to address the hordes of newspaper boxes throughout downtown.  Not all are maintained.

Downtown Phoenix ASU Health Center offers services to the public

[Source: Arizona State University] — The ASU Health Center in downtown Phoenix is offering students, residents, and the local business community a way to meet their healthcare needs at an affordable rate.  Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix in Suite 155 on the first floor of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at 500 N. 3rd Street, the 4,000-square-foot center is hosting an open house and breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.  The open house is free and is an opportunity to learn about the center’s services, meet the staff and healthcare providers, and ask questions. 

The ASU Health Center is a full service site that includes six exam rooms, a special procedure room, four mental health consultation rooms, and space for research and ASU student education.  The healthcare provider staff includes practitioners who specialize in family practice and behavioral and mental healthcare.  They can also write prescriptions and provide quick access to quality, professional healthcare. “Two weeks ago, I came down with something and I couldn’t get into see my doctor,” said David Roderique, president and CEO, Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  “I called the ASU Health Center and they were able to see me later that day.  They gave me thorough and professional advice, wrote me a prescription and I recovered two days later.  It’s a great resource for the downtown community.”

Services include men and women’s health exams, counseling and mental healthcare, minor illness care, chronic disease management, family planning/emergency contraception, 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.  “We offer quality healthcare at an affordable rate, said Dr. Denise Link, associate dean for Clinical Practice and Community Partnerships in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.  “Students, faculty and staff from any ASU campus, as well as the public, are able to access quality, healthcare while studying or working in the downtown Phoenix area.  We want to be a primary source for healthcare in this community.”

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 Nurse Care Health Plan offers packages to provide their employees with quality and accessible health insurance plans tailored to fit each businesses size.  For students, residents, families and employees who do not have insurance, the Nurse Care Health Plan offers a discounted fee on services.  Enrollment in the plan has an annual fee of $50 (single), $75 (couples), $100 (families) or organizational memberships and businesses ($500) that makes them eligible for discounted fees.  For more information or to enroll in the Nurse Care Health Plan, visit the ASU Health Center at 500 N. 3rd St., Phoenix or call (480) 496-0721 or click here.

NRA tourists laud convention center, say downtown Phoenix lacking

Phoenix Convention Center

Phoenix Convention Center

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The Phoenix Convention Center impressed many visitors at this month’s National Rifle Association convention, but some attendees felt there wasn’t enough to do downtown. Tourists’ impressions from the NRA convention are important because the May 15-17 event was the largest gathering in the convention center’s history.  It was also an opportunity for Phoenix to showcase a $600 million center expansion, light rail, and a new hotel.

Several convention attendees said that they were impressed with the sleek convention center, which is within walking distance of major hotels.  “It’s one of the nicer ones that I have been in,” said Craig Dutton, who is based in Smyrna, Ga., and is an exhibitor for Glock Inc.

Las Vegas residents Michael Villegas and his wife, Lisa, say they were also wowed by the convention center. They only wished that there were more activity at night.  “It reminded me of what San Diego was like 20 years ago,” Villegas said.  While there are eateries and nightspots near the convention center, a few blocks away, it was tougher for the couple to find things to do.  Villegas said he and his wife frequently talked to orange-clad downtown ambassadors to get information about restaurants and that they had a good time.  They also attended a concert in a downtown park, Villegas said.

Downtown leaders say they received positive feedback from the NRA and have been asked to bid on the 2015 convention, said David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  The business group helps market the neighborhood as an economic and tourist destination.  “Downtown does need a few more things to do, and that is something that we are working on,” Roderique said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix sees fall in crime reports

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The number of reported crimes in downtown Phoenix has plummeted more than 50 percent since 1999, and it dropped nearly 10 percent from 2007 to 2008, police statistics show. The drop is the result of old-fashioned police work, a national decrease in crime, and a downtown building spree that has transformed the neighborhood, police and other experts say.

Phoenix is in good company.  Several major U.S. cities, including New York and Philadelphia, have turned once-seedy downtown neighborhoods into tourist areas. But an expert says that even the most successful downtowns must always be mindful about public perceptions about safety.

The city has come a long way since strolling prostitutes were a familiar sight downtown decades ago.  And it’s gotten much safer during the last few years, too, gallery owner Greg Esser said. When Esser and his wife opened the Eye Lounge art space eight years ago, they were afraid to leave the door unlocked during business hours.  Now, they don’t worry about crime much. “Instead of open-air drug deals, there are strollers and joggers and a lot more people on the street,” Esser said.

Since 1990, downtown Phoenix has gained the Arizona Center shopping mall, two sports arenas, a larger convention center, a slew of condo projects, more art galleries, and an ASU campus, said David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. Now Diamondbacks fans linger in neighborhood eateries long after the ninth inning and convention attendees feel at ease roaming downtown streets.  “As we put more activities and businesses downtown that have later hours, we create more comfort zones,” Roderique said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Slight sales hike encourages downtown Phoenix restaurateurs

Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, downtown Phoenix

Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Downtown Phoenix is more appetizing than it’s been in years, with more than 20 new bars and restaurants catering to tourists and locals.  All of those businesses have opened or have started construction within the past two years.  That’s a 25% increase, said David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  It’s also the biggest jump in recent memory, he added.

Many of the new establishments hope to capitalize on the thousands of people expected to descend upon downtown Phoenix’s new attractions, including the Phoenix Convention Center, which will wrap up a $600 million expansion this month.  Others want to serve a quick bite to ASU students, downtown workers, or Metro commuters when the $1.4 billion light-rail line opens Dec. 27.

To be sure, the national financial crisis has curbed consumers’ craving for restaurants — taxable sales are down citywide at Phoenix restaurants and bars, according to city figures.  But people are still eating and drinking downtown: Sales are up, and some entrepreneurs have forged ahead with new spots.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

City sales tax from downtown Phoenix eateries, hotels rise

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Most downtown Phoenix shops face tough times: they are weathering the usual summer slowdown with fewer tourists and are worried about the bleak economy.  But there appear to be a few bright spots, a downtown business group says.  City sales tax from downtown restaurants rose 4.1% from April to June compared to the same period in 2007, according to quarterly sales tax figures from the city.  Citywide, restaurants were down 4.7%.  Downtown hotels’ sales tax was up 5.6% during that three-month span, but were down 5.5% in the city as a whole, the figures show.

All of that is good news, said David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  “Even a flat or minimal increase is great,” given the downturn, he said.  [Note: To read the full blog entry, click here.]