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.”
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While this article is focused on downtown ASU students, the tips are relevant for anybody who lives, works and/or plays in downtown Phoenix.
Downtown Phoenix has come a long way in a short period of time. Anyone who’s been around longer than an ASU freshman can tell you that. But the dining scene for students still leaves a bit to be desired. Here are our tips for feeding yourself, these first few weeks of school.
1. Become a Coupon Clipper Printer
Little known fact: downtownphoenix.com has tons of special deals and coupons on local restaurants and businesses, just select the option from the “What to do” tab and print away.
2. Be Picky About Your On-Campus Eating
There are two restaurants in the bottom of the Cronkite School at 555 N. Central Avenue: Subway and El Portal. Subway is good for a few meals, then all of the sudden one day you walk in and never want to smell that bread again. And El Portal has earned quite a reputation locally for its health inspections, which you might want to check out here.
Our pick for an on campus meal?
ASU’s Taylor Place (120 East Taylor Street) offers lunch and dinner to everyone, not just students or dorm residents. A little more than $8 will get you an hour of bottomless food and drinks at the buffet-style cafeteria, which has offers a pizza station, salad and fruit bars, pastries, and made-to-order sandwiches. Sit outside on the patio for less of a rowdy high school cafeteria experience, unless of course, that is your thing.
The places you should be going and our coffee picks, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat bad food.
Republic/azcentral.com restaurant critic Howard Seftel recommends these five places for Arizona State University students taking classes or living at the downtown campus.
Matt’s Big Breakfast
You can’t think deep college thoughts on an empty stomach. Matt’s helps you start the day right, with everything from cage-free eggs and pancakes with real maple syrup to the best bacon, sausages and off-thebone ham you may ever eat. Just make sure you have plenty of time or go at off times. There’s usually a line out front.
Details: 801 N. First St., Phoenix, 602-254-1074, mattsbigbreakfast.com.
Need an island getaway? You can almost feel the tropical breezes at this cute Jamaican spot. Look for homeland specialties like plantain avocado spring rolls, tilapia empanadas, curried chicken and dumplings, jerk chicken and sweet potato pudding.
Details: 108 E. Pierce St., Phoenix. 602-267-1266, thebreadfruit.com.
The exotic scents and flavors of Thailand make it easy to take your mind off the student grind. And somehow it’s easier to pick up the books after a refreshing break for papaya salad, Thai barbecue chicken, pork panang curry and pad Thai.
Details: 20 W. Adams St., Phoenix, 602-252-3873, thaielephantaz.com.
The menu is small at this shiny new Mexican restaurant, but everything on it is first rate. It starts with the tortillas, made from scratch on the premises. It continues with green chile pork, shredded beef tacos, red chile chilaquiles and oregano-lime rotisserie chicken.
Details: 825 N. First St., Phoenix, 602-254-4400.
The Roosevelt Tavern
You’ve taken the test. You’ve turned in the paper. Now it’s time to unwind at this cheerful place. Along with craft beers and boutique wines, you’ll find comfy fare like campfire franks and beans, deviled eggs and the wonderful tomato soup/grilled cheese combo.
Details: 816 N. Third St., Phoenix. 602-254-2561.
[Source: Amy Silverman, Phoenix New Times Chow Bella]
Edward Jensen is on a one-man quest to review every cafeteria in downtown Phoenix. Through his Downtown Phoenix Cafeterias Project — which you can follow on Facebook [and Twitter – ed.]– he intends to eat off a tray til he can tell us for certain which cafeterias in town serve up the best (and worst?) chow.
We’ll admit that when we think “cafeteria” we have unsettling flashbacks to a. elementary school and b. too much television coverage of a slaughter at a certain Luby’s, a couple decades back. But hey, different strokes and all that. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of information he forks over.
Jensen is a senior in the Urban & Metropolitan Studies program on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. “I’m not a self-described ‘foodie’ but I know what I like when it comes to food and I’m sure that there are others that have similar tastes,” he says.
He’s already got a good number of followers on Facebook, one of whom posted the image above, from a long-ago downtown cafeteria.
In the interest of “scientific experiment” — and mainly because we couldn’t think of more than a handful of public cafeterias in what’s typically considered “downtown,” we had a couple questions for Jensen.