[Source: Salvador Rodriguez, ASU Web Devil] — The sandlot near Taylor Place on the Downtown campus may stay vacant for at least another year despite city attempts to attract developers, a Phoenix official said. The city put out a request for proposals almost two years ago to develop the property, which is managed by the Valley Youth Theatre and located between First and Second streets.
But the city did not receive any responses that fit the criteria of the request for the nearly 28,000 square feet of property and does not anticipate receiving any in the near future, Phoenix Redevelopment Program manager Jeremy Legg said. “That site is underutilized, and we would like to see something happen there,” Legg said. “But given the economy and the lack of responses to the first request, I don’t see anything occurring in there this year for sure.”
By closing the request for proposals, the city could then reissue it with looser criteria in hopes that it would appeal to a broader audience and get more proposals, Legg said. “Part of the reason that possibly nobody responded to it was because of the detailed criteria in [the first request for proposals],” Legg said.
Some of the criteria in the proposal included developing mixed-use facilities for residential, retail, and commercial spaces as well as conforming to the area’s aesthetics. The proposal also asked that developers incorporate the youth theater into plans or assist in funding a new youth center. There have also been discussions about the property becoming available to the University in the future, possibly for more student housing, should the Valley Youth Theatre relocate, said Patrick Panetta, assistant director of ASU Real Estate Development. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Excerpt from”Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown,” August 2004: “Downtown Phoenix has a wide spectrum of arts activities, from large non-profits like the Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix Art Museum, and Phoenix Center for the Arts to medium-sized projects such as Valley Youth Theater, Black Theater Troupe, Museo Chicano, Icehouse, and Great Arizona Puppet Theater to the multitude of small-scale, grass roots projects like Modified Arts, Thought Crime, Paulina Miller Gallery, Trunk Space, Alwun House, and Paper Heart Gallery.
Within the context of these multiple spaces you have official arts-related non-profit institutions, independent arts-related businesses, and the artists whose works are integral to the success of both. Many of these smaller entities help create the dynamic, street level, pedestrian-friendly infill that is so desperately needed in and around downtown.”