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DVC December 13, 2014 Meeting Agenda

C604RWHo Ho Ho Friends of Downtown Voices Coalition:

Time once again for DVC’s monthly Steering Committee Meeting. Please join us on Saturday, December 13, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Roosevelt Commons Clubhouse, 825 N. 6th Avenue. This is the group’s annual holiday mixer, so we’ll try to keep business “short and sweet.” And you’re welcome to bring a holiday treat for all to enjoy.

As Santa would want, take a peek at Saturday’s DVC agenda. Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice since we last met? New items are highlighted in red. The “other” bullet points allow for new/other/just-came-up items to be discussed under each section.

Welcome & Introductions

DVC Business

  • Proposed 2014 Recap of Issues & Actions (Tim Eigo)
  • Treasurer’s Report (Louisa Stark)

Today’s Guest Speaker

  • Jonathan Koppell, Dean, ASU College of Public Programs; Lattie & Elva Coor Presidential Chair, ASU School of Public Affairs

Development Updates

  • Jefferson Hotel/Barrister Place (Mark Davis)
  • Containers on Grand (Kathleen Santin)
  • Other

Community/Neighborhood Updates

  • City Observatory Report on High Poverty Neighborhoods
  • Central Arizona Shelter Services Overflow (Capitol Mall)
  • Airport Flight Pattern Changes (various downtown neighborhoods)
  • State Fairgrounds (Fairview Place)
  • Status of Ted DeGrazia Murals, 222 E. Roosevelt (Evans Churchill)
  • Hance Park (Evans Churchill)
  • Other

Transportation/Streetscape Updates

  • City of Phoenix Ordinance Review re trees, trees, trees
  • Transit Open Data Release
  • Other

New/Other Business

  • PlanPHX “next steps”
  • Other

Adjournment… to holiday mixer

At any time you’re welcome to check out our Downtown Phoenix Community Calendar, online here. If you know of events to add to the calendar, please send us an email.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday! Thanks for all that you do for our community. Happy Holidays!

Tim Eigo

Chair, Steering Committee

Downtown Voices Coalition

Evans Churchill Interesting Interiors Tour, Nov. 3

Touring downtown Phoenix… by bike

Visiting the murals in the alley behind 5th St. near Roosevelt (photo source: Tony Arranaga)

[Source: LightRailBlogger.com] — I took my neighbors on a hour long bike tour of downtown Phoenix.  Mike and Jane were not too familiar with the backstory to some of the historic sights in our urban core, so it was fun to give them some background on the landmarks in the heart of the city.

We started in the Evans Churchill neighborhood near 4th Street and Fillmore.  We visited the community garden near Conspire Coffee and the murals in the alley behind 5th Street near Roosevelt in the arts district.  Mike, Jane and I then went to the Phoenix Public Market, the Westward Ho and Civic Space Park.  Our tour then continued south on 1st Avenue to see the Orpheum Lofts, 44 Monroe and the old City Hall.

Next. we made our way over to Hanny’s Restaurant, which used to be home to a high end department store back in the day.  We then stopped by St. Mary’s Basilica where Pope John Paul II visited several years ago.  Our trip ended at Heritage Square and then we stoppped for a bite to eat at Front Row – TGIFriday’s restaurant inside Chase Field where the Arizona Diamondbacks play ball.

How did I do?  Where would you take friends or out of town guests to explore the heart of Phoenix?  [Note: Read the full blog entry at Touring downtown Phoenix… by bike.]

In case you missed it: Downtown Voices Visioning Conference welcome address

Below is the transcript of Steve Weiss’ welcome address at the opening of the Downtown Voices Coalition’s Visioning Conference on January 15, 2010 at the Matador Mexican Restaurant.

Good evening and welcome to the pre-event for tomorrow’s Downtown Voices Coalition Visioning Conference.

You know, Downtown Voices was formed in a place just like this.  As a matter of fact, if the Matador bar wanted to, they could create a new drink called the DVC.  All you need is a shot of good tequila and a signature on an article of incorporation!

What some may not realize is that Downtown Voices Coalition was the culmination of a chain of events that began with a move to bring a pro football stadium to downtown.  As the art folks and small business owners got wind of the plan, they felt their work to make a new and interesting arts district was going to suffer with a giant stadium plunked in its center.  Though the protests didn’t stop the demolition and razing of the Evans Churchill neighborhood by speculators and the City, it did manage to shine a light on the project, and successfully persuade the city officials to put the idea aside.

For the first time, artists and small business folks started talking to each other.  Then, the Jerde Project, a big box mall development, was floated as another direction for downtown.  Ideas were being discussed for another ASU campus, and suddenly the University began as a player in the fate of the downtown community.  The fledgling organization known as D-PAC, the Downtown Phoenix Arts Coalition, felt now was the time to get the other voices heard, ones that didn’t have political power or an outstretched hand looking for tax incentives and variances.

The result was an event singular in the City’s history: A one-day facilitated discussion at the Icehouse of over 80 downtown stakeholders, to determine what WE as a group wanted for the future of downtown Phoenix.  The resulting report created from the discussion was titled Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown.” It was not only presented to the City of Phoenix, but also found its way into many of the aspects of the newly created Downtown Strategic Plan.

On that day, when we all met and talked, new relationships were formed.

Artists, business owners, developers and, yes, even city officials began to realize that the ultimate goal of the downtown stakeholders were actually very similar.

However, as the dust began to settle from the good work done, development projects in once untouched and unwanted areas began to rise.  We as stakeholders learned how zoning by variance and self-imposed hardships could dramatically change the development rulebook.

A key group of stakeholders, coming from different backgrounds yet tied together with similar concerns, realized it would be beneficial to speak with one voice, the voice of what became the Downtown Voices Coalition.  We met with a lawyer at the old Ramada Inn downtown bar, and with a toast, began our first mission and organization.

Negotiating a better project for The Summit at Copper Square became our first test, and as we created our organization’s bylaws and elected officers, we found direction from that initial Downtown Voices document.

It was a boom time, and it seemed many times we were playing Whack-A-Mole, that great carnival game where hitting one pop-up mole only made another rise.  We found ourselves as a group both welcomed and disparaged.  The tactics of “Agitate, Negotiate and, when all else fails, Litigate” brought us through a series of events with many successes and some sad losses.

A Tibetan Buddhist Lama, whom when asked at a conference the definition Buddhism, replied “Divine Common Sense.”

It is regular old common sense that drives our group, and something else just as tangible.  Dr. Howard Cutler has worked with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to write three books, The Art of Happiness, The Art of Happiness at Work, and The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World. In each book, the over-arching view expressed that people as a common goal ultimately desire happiness above all else.

As I’ve worked with this group of fellow DVC members, I’ve come to realize that each member seeks the same thing: Happiness in their lives and in their community.  There isn’t one member of DVC who wouldn’t want happiness above all other things.  The desire is a better place to live, a better place to create sustainable businesses, and a genuine dedication to staying here and making it a great city for all of us.

An example of how different this sentiment can be expressed was in one particular issue, when a proposed out of scale development’s lawyer declared in front of City Council that he’d “never dealt with people who didn’t want to raise their property values.”

The truth is, we represent people who aren’t moving toward the next buck or the next city, to which it’s more important to raise living values than financial values.

Since 2004, new blood with new ideas have entered the downtown picture.  Individuals are drawn to the small-town feel of the 5th Largest City in the Nation, great small businesses have enhanced neighborhoods, partners have been found in thoughtful development, and the ASU Downtown campus is showing signs of like-minded goals for that sustainable, cool, and enhanced downtown where we all will happily live, work, and recreate.

In these circumstances of a down-turned economy, it seems appropriate to take a breath, reflect a bit on the past, but, most important, look forward.

  • What is the City that we hope for?
  • What have we achieved and what can we improve?
  • How can we get more voices to speak as Downtown Voices so that together we can create that happiness we all desire?

These are tomorrow’s questions, and the facilitated discussion we begin at 10 am at the A.E. England building at OUR Downtown Civic Space will help to provide some answers.

Tonight we reflect, remember old battles, good friends, vocal and silent partners.  Tomorrow we begin anew and renewed, with new ideas and voices, to create a better Phoenix.

I toast the future.  To the city of Phoenix!

Celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Phoenix’s Morin House, April 29

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Morin House in its original location.

Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of the M. Edward Morin House, Wednesday, April 29, 2009:

  • Open House ~ 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Short Program ~ 6 p.m.

Originally located at 1115 N. 2nd St. in the Evans Churchill neighborhood, this threatened historic structure was moved through the streets of downtown Phoenix during the wee hours of September 8, 2007 to its current Roosevelt neighborhood location.  Owner Dan Klocke has rehabilitated the structure to its former glory as office space, and he invites you to see the final product.

RSVP here.

Project Description

The M. Edward Morin House was built in 1909 and is one of a handful of two story brick homes from that era in all of Phoenix.  Morin and his wife D’Etta were the owners of the Phoenix Bottling Works at the turn of the last century and built the home as a testament to their hard work.  The 2.000 square foot house employs a unique blend of Queen Anne massinq, featurinq an octagonal projection at the south end, with Colonial Revival ornamentation, including a classical entablature supported by Ionic columns.  Craftsmen details are also present, such as overhanqinq eaves with exposed rafter ends.

The property was a sinqle family home until the late 1930’s, served as an apartment for many years, and until recently was an office and home to Orcutt Winslow Architects.  Threatened with demolition, the current owner moved the house from 2nd Street and Moreland to its current site.

While all of the floors, windows, and character pieces have been restored, the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems are all brand new. The first floor has restored leaded glass windows and woodwork in the lobby, front room, and large back room, complete with massive pocket doors.

Help plan route for May 2 Jane’s Walk in downtown Phoenix

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[Source: Yuri Arbitise, Jane’s Walk Phoenix Coordinator] — The May 2, 2009 Jane’s Walk Phoenix will focus on the northern part of downtown Phoenix between 7th Ave. and 7th St, and Van Buren and Interstate 10 (i.e., Roosevelt neighborhood, Evans Churchill neighborhood, and ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus).

While this area in mind, walk organizers would appreciate your responses to as many of the questions below as you like (five would be great)!   Your answers will help in selecting a specific walk route and identifying features and concepts to point out during the course of the walk.  For this survey, “neighborhood” refers to the northern part of downtown as explained above.

In addition, with your permission, organizers would like to profile some respondent’s answers in the Jane’s Walk Phoenix Blog.  However, if you would rather your answers to be anonymous or confidential, that’s no problem!).  Just cut and paste your responses into an e-mail to janeswalkphx@gmail.com

  1. What are some important meeting spaces in your neighborhood? (important for work, food, thinking, recreation, laughing with friends, local politics — think broadly)
  2. What spaces are you most proud of in your neighborhood?
  3. What are some important green-spaces?
  4. What are some interesting short-cuts you take?
  5. Where do kids like to play? Adults? Retired folks?
  6. Where are some spaces that feel more private, like a small urban oasis?
  7. Do any buildings have unusual marks or features?
  8. What is your favorite adaptive use project? (older buildings that have been reconfigured into different uses)?
  9. Where do you feel most comfortable?
  10. Are there any important historical spaces in your neighborhood?
  11. Where do you not feel safe?
  12. What is a space that you really dislike?
  13. What is your favorite mixed-use location (places that mix retail, business, and residential)?
  14. Are there spaces you would like to see change?
  15. Are therer spaces/features you want to see preserved?
  16. Is there an important question or idea that should be talked about by everyone?

Which downtown Phoenix “character area” do you live/work in?

In early July, the Phoenix City Council voted to adopt the Downtown Plan, a vision for future growth, neighborhoods, and parking, and the first part of the Urban Form Project.  The Plan defines Character Areas within the plan boundaries (roughly bound by Seventh Avenue, Buckeye Road, Seventh Street and McDowell Road) with the goal of ensuring that city planning and zoning decisions stay consistent with the Character Areas.  So what Character Area do you live and/or work in?  Click here and then go to the specific page(s) of interest:

  • Arizona State University (page 3-10)
  • Biomedical (page 3-33)
  • Business Core (page 3-7)
  • East McDowell (page 3-27)
  • Evans Churchill (page 3-29)
  • Government (page 3-39)
  • Light Rail (page 3-10)
  • Park Neighborhoods (page 3-47)
  • Roosevelt (page 3-15)
  • Seventh Avenue (page 3-18)
  • Townsend Park (page 3-25)
  • Van Buren (page 3-35)
  • Warehouse (page 3-42)
  • West McDowell (page 3-23)

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, contact Dean Brennan, Principal Planner, Phoenix Planning Department, by e-mail or phone at 602-262-4499.