Blog Archives

Hance Park Master Plan Design Team is announced

300308_591530424193170_1324452721_nEarlier today, the City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department announced their recommendation for the Hance Park Master Plan RFQ (Request for Qualifications). The four finalist firms were Weddle & Gilmore (from Scottsdale), Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston, Mass.), Gould Evans (Phoenix), and West 8 Urban Design (Rotterdam, Netherlands). The recommendation went to Weddle & Gilmore, having scored the most points on the City’s scoring criteria.

Joining Weddle & Gilmore are the following firms with expertise in various areas:

  • !melk (landscape architecture) – New York, N.Y.
  • Floor Associates (landscape architecture) – Phoenix, Ariz.
  • HR&A Advisors (development advisory) – New York, N.Y.
  • ETM Associates (public space design) – Highland Park, N.J.
  • City Activators Inc. – New York, N.Y.
  • Rider Levett Bucknall (construction project management) – global
  • Pentagram (visual design) – London / New York, N.Y.
  • Kimber Lanning (Local First Arizona) – Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Public Workshop (youth involvement in urban design) – Philadelphia, Penn.
  • David Evans & Associates (land development design) – Portland, Ore.
  • Buro Happold (environmental engineering) – Bath, England, U.K.
  • IAS Labs (soil analysis) – Tempe, Ariz.
  • Artistic Arborist (tree management) – Phoenix, Ariz.
  • RAMM (geotechnical engineering) – Tempe, Ariz.

We look forward to working with Weddle & Gilmore as well as these other organizations to make Hance Park a world-class park.

Certified Local Fall Festival this Saturday, Nov. 13th

Free food • Live music • Fun for kids • Unique shopping • Live Music

Now in its 6th year, the Certified Local Fall Festival celebrates Arizona’s locally owned businesses with a bang this November!

This family-friendly street festival drew over 5,000 attendees last year with over 60 members participating. We hope you’ll count yourself as one of the attendees for this year’s festival!

Entertainment is provided by some of Arizona’s best musicians and bands. Many booths will also have fun activities!

Certified Local Fall FestivalLocal breweries and vineyards provide drinks in the Beer & Wine Garden; many local vendors will also be offering non-alcoholic drinks

A raffle and silent auction raise funds for Local First and the first 500 attendees receive gift bags!

A bouncing castle will keep the young ones entertained while kids of all ages can scale the rock climbing wall.

Details

Where? Duck and Decanter 1651 E Camelback, Phoenix 85016 (map)

When: Saturday, Nov. 13th, 10 am – 4 pm

Contact: (602) 274-5429 • duckanddecanter.com

More Info: http://www.localfirstaz.com/fall-festival/ or Facebook Page

 

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MALLS R US returns Feb. 28, Phoenix Art Museum

MALLS R US: A contemplative investigation on mall culture and effect by Helene Klodawsky

  • Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010
  • Time: 1 p.m. (doors at 12:30 p.m.)
  • Place: Whiteman Hall, Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Ave., Phoenix AZ 85004
  • Free Admission (ask for pass at front desk)
  • Film introduction by Kimber Lanning, Director, Local First Arizona

MALLS R US discusses the psychological appeal of malls to consumers, how architects design their environments to combine consumerism with nature and spectacle, how suburban shopping centers impart social values, and how malls are transforming the traditional notions of community, social space and human interaction.

As entertaining as it is informative, MALLS R US offers a trip to the mall like no other, reveling in their architectural splendor as consumerist paradises but also showing how the social dynamism they represent can be a destructive force, one that confuses the good life with the world of goods.  And yes Arizona, you will recognize several local sites.

Co-presented by No Festival Required; sponsored by CityCircles

Downtown Voices Coalition reviews its past, looks to the future

On Saturday, January 16, over 75 individuals interested and involved in downtown Phoenix participated in the Downtown Voices Coalition “Moving Forward” strategic planning session at the historic A.E. England Building.  The information and ideas garnered from the group will help Downtown Voices update its August 2004 report, “Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown,” and prioritize issues and projects for the future.  The information will also be useful for others (individually or organizationally) to review and use in their own efforts to improve downtown Phoenix.  Stay tuned for details.  At any time, you’re welcome to communicate your questions, comments, concerns, and ideas via e-mail, or by attending Downtown Voices’ monthly meetings.

The Downtown Voices Steering Committee sincerely thanks the following individuals and organizations for sponsoring this event.

  • Arizona Preservation Foundation
  • Arizona State University
  • Butler Housing/Roosevelt Commons
  • Candid Landscapes
  • City of Phoenix
  • Downtown Phoenix Journal
  • Fair Trade Coffee
  • Fresh Gourmet to Go
  • Get Consensus, LLC
  • Habitat Metro
  • Impact Printing
  • Kooky Krafts Shop
  • Local First Arizona
  • John Saccoman
  • Matthew Tomb

Thanks also to Suad Mahmuljin for taking photos of the day’s activities.

“Building healthy local economies” topic of Feb. 1 downtown Phoenix talk

Advocacy group stresses importance of local companies

[Source: Luci Scott, Arizona Republic] — For every $100 spent in a chain store, $13 remains in the state.  For every $100 spent in a locally owned business, $45 remains in the state.  That’s the message delivered at a Tempe Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday by Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona, an advocacy group promoting local companies.  Chandler officials are well aware of the benefits of local buying; the city began a Shop Chandler campaign this year.  Lanning said the figures came out of an Austin-based Civic Economics Study in 2002.

Lanning, owner of Stinkweeds music store in central Phoenix, said Local First Arizona is starting a campaign to persuade people and companies to shift 10 percent of their spending toward locally owned businesses.  That shift would result in 1,600 new jobs and $15 million in new local wages, she said.

Although national chains employ people too, they don’t give to local charities at the same rate, Lanning said.  And local companies hire other local business people such as attorneys, CPAs, sign makers, and Web designers.  Lanning commended the utility APS for recently signing a contract for supplies with Wist Office Products of Tempe rather than using a national chain.

Lanning said the idea that local is more expensive is a myth.   In comparing prices, she discovered, for example, that a big bag of dog food was $4.30 less at the Noble Beast on Camelback Road than at a big box.  In some cases, the big boxes are cheaper, she said, but “they’ve convinced us it doesn’t pay to shop around.”  She encouraged the audience to, when they’re in the dairy section of a supermarket, to buy locally by picking up Hickmans’ eggs and Shamrock milk.

Supporting local independent businesses not only keeps more money in the area, it also promotes a sense of community and enriches the culture, she said.  “People are living here and telling how great it is where they came from,” she said.  “When you move to Phoenix, you shop in big boxes and eat at national chains, and never feel connected to Phoenix… They’re still from Des Moines even though they’ve lived here 20 years.”  Lanning said when Arizonans go to Chicago, they return talking about the great local pizza place they found; they don’t come back raving about Applebee’s. 

Buying locally and creating a sense of community would help keep young, creative people in Arizona, she said.  “Of the top 10 percent of our graduates, 98 percent leave.  The bottom 50 percent all stay.”

In terms of promoting local procurement, Arizona rates low nationally.  Arizona is one of only three states that doesn’t give preference in purchasing to local businesses, Lanning said.  The other two states are Mississippi and Michigan.  Because other states are loyal to their own, Arizona contractors can be put at a disadvantage, she said.  “Kitchell and Sundt can’t get contracts in California, Nevada and Utah, because those states favor the home team,” she said.  Giving preference to companies in Arizona would also help lure business to the state.  “They look whether they’re going to be favored,” she said.  “We’re thinking like it’s 1985 in terms of economic development,” she said. “We need to shift our thinking.”  [Note: To read the full article, visit Advocacy group stresses importance of local companies.]

Buying local in metro Phoenix

phm1109cover_ctThe latest issue of Phoenix Magazine features 130 of the Valley’s best mom and pops, including clothing stores, cookie shops, funky boutiques, book stores, and more.

It’s Arizona Restaurant Week… Let’s eat!

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Bill Johnson's neon sign (Photo credit: Kathie Moffett)

So as they exclaim at Bill Johnson’s Big Apple… “Let’s eat!”  Yep, it’s Arizona Restaurant Week, and we encourage you to take family, friends, and associates out and about as many times as you can (whether in central Phoenix or not). Here is Local First Arizona’s statewide dining guide and downloadable Small Wonders brochure (one for Phoenix and one for Tempe).

For those of you of legal drinking age there are alcoholic beverages named after our fair city (or the bird) — the Phoenix and Phoenix Paradise — along with one named after the 48th State, which would be, you guessed it, Arizona.   Then for one and all, there’s AriZona Iced Tea (founded in Brooklyn, NY… go figure).

If you know of other Phoenix or Arizona named food-related things, feel free to leave a comment!

Independent restaurants aim to Devour Phoenix

[Source: Lynn Ducey, Phoenix Business Journal] — A handful of Valley restaurateurs and Local First Arizona are banding together to promote independent eateries across metro Phoenix through a new group called Devour Phoenix.  Local First Arizona is a grassroots nonprofit aimed at supporting homegrown companies and encouraging state residents to do the same.

A handful of entrepreneurs and chefs have formed a steering committee to put the Devour Phoenix idea into motion.  The fledgling effort has yet to map out a to-do list, but organizers say they could tackle everything from a restaurant crawl and shared advertising to pooled purchasing power on restaurant supplies.  “I think it’s really important that people realize there are great eating establishments in Phoenix.  We offer original ideas and different concepts,” said Arizona Sen. Ken Cheuvront, a steering committee member and owner of Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar on Central Avenue in Phoenix.  [Note: Read the full article at Independent restaurants aim to Devour Phoenix and Phoenix New Times’ coverage of the same.]

Phoenix residents encouraged to take a night out on Night Rail, July 31

[Source: Rail Life] — Metro stepped up and extended the hours for light rail, so now it’s our turn to show them it was a great decision!  Introducing Night Rail, July 31.  If you are a fan of the extended light rail hours, a friend of business owners along the line, or just a fan of having fun, join us for Night Rail.  Several groups will be getting together along the line throughout the evening and then meeting at the Roosevelt Station at midnight to show support for the extended hours.  After midnight, we will head to a couple of nearby places before calling it a night.

You can join our friends at “Light Rail Friday Night” who will be meeting at Rula Bula on Mill from 6-9 p.m.  After that, people will meet (10 p.m.) at Monti’s and at Maizie’s, which is just south of the light rail station at Central and Camelback.

Since the new hours are being tested on a trial basis, it is very important for people to be aware of the change and to take advantage of the hours so they don’t go away.  You know, the “Use it or lose it” mentality.  I mentioned in the Use it or Lose it post, “My thought, so far, is to talk with Local First Arizona, Downtown Phoenix Journal, CenPho TV, Mill Avenue District, Kyle Moyer Agency, Downtown Voices Coalition, Radiate Phoenix, local bloggers, and others.”  Turns out, people have stepped up, big time, to help raise awareness and to get people out next weekend, July 31 for “Night Rail.”

Business owners let us know how you want to be involved!  If you have ideas, or if you are a blogger writing about Night Rail, please let me know that as well.  I’ll update this post as I hear of more happenings.  You might also want to follow RailLife, CenPhoTV, No Festival Required, Light Rail Beer, and LocalFirstAZ on Twitter for updates and ideas. Another option is to follow the #NightRail feed for details…  Or, click here for a twtvite.