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August, 2012

  1. Seventh and Roosevelt Streets Transformation Continues: Part 2 of 2

    August 31, 2012 by Connor Descheemaker

    So sorry for the delay. The school year has begun, Downtown Devil is back to publishing daily, and Vanishing Phoenix is back to its weekly schedule.

    This year, I have lots planned for the blog, including guest posts, more historic building spotlights, musings on the Valley’s history and a new monthly feature where you, the reader, determine the content.

    Today, I return with the long-awaited sequel to the never-ending drama of development on Seventh and Roosevelt Streets. First, a few updates on the proposed Circle K, relocating to the southeast corner of the intersection.

    This past week, the agenda for the upcoming City of Phoenix abandonment hearing was revealed, with a pending application from MD Partners, LLC, the developer behind the Circle K project. The shorthand for the application reads as such: “Approximately 3,534 s.f. of excess ROW along the south side of Roosevelt Street, east of 7th Street, adjacent to the parcels addressed 917 and 925 N. 7th Street.”

    What this means for surrounding residents, is relatively large indent where the sidewalk currently sits, making room for a recessed bus stop. Following my initial repost of the memo on Facebook, a reader shared a few photo illustrations to show the space that would be taken up.

    The red area indicates the location of the proposed abandonment zone, where the current bus stop will me moved. (Photo illustration courtesy of Vanishing Phoenix reader W Brent Armstrong)

    The abandonment process will be discussed this Wednesday in front of the Abandonment Hearing Officer, with the final decision to directly affect the footprint of the impending development.

    Watch in the next week or two for a full report from the Downtown Devil on the development’s progress.

    And now for the northeast corner, the location of the current Circle K, Tacos de Juarez, a laundromat and a barber shop.

    With the proposed move of Circle K, one developer, Vintage Partners, is already lining up to purchase the entire block and turn it into a new, modern commercial development.

    Vintage Partners has recently gained attention for its work in developing the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and McDowell Road, which Vanishing Phoenix covered back in April and May. After purchasing the midcentury plaza, the group changed the face of the entire corridor, welcoming six new fast-casual restaurants to the historic neighborhood, five of which were franchises.

    Though the plaza had long been rundown and was undoubtedly improved, there was a major outcry in the community for the inundation of chain and chain-like restaurants in an area long identified by its unique, local businesses.

    Similarly, residents of the Evans-Churchill and Garfield Neighborhoods expressed concerns about the takeover of a largely-ethnic and arts-based corridor with a gentrified, franchised plaza.

    At the moment, Vintage Partners is only making offers to the various building owners along Seventh Street and slowly working to build a cohesive vision for the area.

    As they continue this process the development firm is gauging interest in the community, and putting their feelers out among potential tenants for the plaza.

    With these two potential vision-altering projects being proposed, there will certainly be an outcry in the community, for better or for worse. So, readers, to you: what do you think about these developments? Could they be better integrated into the flow of the neighborhoods? Or are they already going to serve a vital enough purpose?