The 2nd Annual Grand Avenue Festival will be held this Saturday, September 25, 2010! For those who missed last year’s events, it is a day full of art, music, fashion, and more that celebrates the vibrant culture of the Lower Grand Avenue arts & small business district.
A central part of the Festival are the morning’s Adaptive Reuse, aka Re-Dapt Tours. These special walking tours highlight some of the most interesting adaptive re-use projects on lower Grand Avenue.
Over the last 16 years new uses have been popping up in the Lower Grand Avenue district (from Van Buren to the 1-10 Freeway overpass) with many buildings reverting from industrial uses back to the original small retail and office uses that once lined this important connector to Wickenburg, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and points west. An influential factor in this renaissance has been the many innovative commercial adaptive re-use projects in the neighborhood: new owners have preserved parts of the existing vintage structures while making modern conversions that allow for more practicality in today’s world, including a myriad of hybrid uses.
Adaptive re-use of commercial buildings in older commercial districts is an important factor in creating true neighborhood sustainability. Many small, entrepreneurial businesses are attracted to the character these older structures lend to a neighborhood – and rents are usually more affordable than brand new construction can offer. The Re-Dapt Tours during the Grand Avenue Festival focus on celebrating the unique history of Grand Avenue, as well as the wonderful adaptive re-use projects in the neighborhood.
This year the Re-Dapt Tours will include La Luz Del Mundo Church, the Gonzalez Heating and Cooling buildings, The Oasis Motel and future home of The Grand Oasis multi-use project, the Rodriguez Boxing Gym corner, and the Grandevelt Complex, home to Kooky Krafts Shop, The Bikini Lounge, Sweets & Beats, and The Trunk Space. Click ‘more’ below for descriptions of these buildings.
Each tour is led by an expert Phoenix historian who will reveal the past uses of these unique buildings and the history of how Grand Avenue developed into a major transportation corridor to points west.
Tours will begin at 8:00 am, 9:00 am, and 10:00 am and last approximately two hours. Tours will start at the Rodriguez Boxing Gym at the corner of Roosevelt and 15th Ave. (map) All tours will include the same five buildings.
Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased in advance at Sapna Cafe, Paisley Violin Cafe, Kooky Krafts Shop, and Sweets & Beats, or online by clicking HERE. Tickets can also be purchased the morning of the festival starting at 7:30 am at Kooky Krafts Shop, 1500 W Grand Ave.
City of Phoenix Planning Department
200 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
The following letter is in reference to two zoning cases (ZA-727-08-7 and ZA-728-08-7) that are scheduled to be heard on January 22, 2009.
The Downtown Voices Coalition (DVC) was incorporated in 2004 to advocate for a sustainable Phoenix with, among its goals, the preservation of historic properties. With this in mind, the organization’s steering committee voted unanimously at its January meeting to support the variances that have been requested by the La Luz del Mundo Church, 1206 N. Laurel Ave., as they relate to the preservation of their present-day church here in Phoenix.
Originally the church leadership, in order to have enough parking for the construction of a new and larger church at the same address, decided to tear down the original church on their property — a building constructed in 1934 which, today, is the largest adobe church in the State of Arizona. However, in a recent development the church has decided to save the original building. In order to replace parking that would have been available on the site of the old church, La Luz del Mundo has agreed to move their new church closer to Grand Avenue and to request parking variances for the project.
Because of the importance to the preservation of the historic church, the Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee voted to support the two variances requested by La Luz del Mundo. We request that these variances be granted at your January 22, 2009 hearing.
Steve Weiss, Chair Steering Committee, Downtown Voices Coalition