It’s no mystery that Downtown Phoenix is a foodie’s dream – traditional Neapolitan pizza at Cibo and Pomo, unique sushi at Moira & Squid Ink, fun American fare at Angel’s Trumpet and Short Leash…the list can go on and on. With all the restaurant options around the core, you really can’t go hungry, except when you realize the fact that you’ll be eating out every night because there’s nearly nowhere to pick up ingredients of your own. Yes, we have the farmer’s market and the little markets Bodega 420 and L-E-X3 Mercantile which are great additions to our community. However, many Downtown residents are forced to hop in a car or find alternative transportation to pick up the other necessities that aren’t available in the smaller markets. This Could Be PHX envisions a grocery store smack dab in the middle of Downtown, servicing the multiple housing units surrounding the site – all that are under 15 minutes of walking.
We love the idea of a grocery store in the building that most recently housed Circles Records and Discs, closing in 2009. Right at the intersection of Central and McKinley, it is diagonal from the bustling Public Market center that hosts the farmer’s markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Food Truck Fridays. We’ve spoken with many Downtown residents who have expressed enthusiastic interest in a grocery store and love the idea of this location and say that the proximity to the market would only help local vendors.
The area surrounding our project site is rich with housing units. We counted over 15 larger complexes all landing under 15 minutes walking time to the site, along with numerous other smaller units and homes. What better location than this…the gathering area for hundreds on the weekend and a well traversed path to the other areas of Downtown right in the middle of a high residential population?
A grocery store represents legitimacy, really. What urban core can truly call itself successful without offering the amenities that people need to live their daily lives within its boundaries? None, really. It also represents a fuller urban lifestyle that people can live in Phoenix. Rather than getting in a car to get the nearest grocery store miles away, we should be able to walk there, bike there, take the light rail. This doesn’t even take into account that the whole area South of Roosevelt to Jackson is deemed by the USDA as a “food desert,” since there is a high percentage of households with no vehicles and are more than half a mile from a grocery store. We already live in a sweltering desert, so let’s get a grocery store so we don’t have to live in a barren one too.
McKinley & Central
Ryan Tempest and Quinn Whissen
Architect and Graphic Designer
This is an envisioning of the possibilities of this location, and is by no means a project that is planned or overseen by the site or property owners. With these hypothetical projects, we hope to spark a conversation to help imagine the city's future, and our ideas do not reflect actual plans.
October 01, 2014