At Roosevelt and Central sits one of the largest light rail stops in Phoenix. This stop represents the northern gateway to downtown via public transportation. This Could Be PHX envisions a lively, mixed use gateway demonstrating everything a walkable city should have; housing, retail, restaurants, offices, everyday conveniences, tree-lined streets, parallel parking and bike lanes.
Many of these components are already there or are on their way. Roosevelt Square apartments to the west feature three floors of housing on top of mixed-use spaces where you will find Fair Trade Café, Portland’s restaurant and State Farm Insurance. At the southwest corner, Metro West development has planned another mixed use project with retail on the first floor and housing above. Both of these developments have or will have parallel parking and tree-lined streets surrounding them and both are excellent examples of urban design and walkability. To the east we find office buildings, another vital component to diverse urban environments. At the southeast corner we find an old historic building being renovated for retail / office space – an excellent example of the adaptive reuse potential here in Phoenix.
But to the south of the light rail stop, a barren landscape area sits unattended too and flanked by a parking lot for KMLE, KOOL, and KZON radio stations. This is not what we should find at the gateway to downtown. This Could Be PHX envisions transforming the existing landscape area and parking lot into a five to seven story mixed use building with retail along the street and housing above. An underground parking structure will serve the occupants of the new building as well as the employees of the radio station. Parallel parking will continue along Roosevelt with trees serving to shade pedestrians. Furthermore, we envision a large bike share drop-off / pick-up at the light rail stop, enabling people to easily traverse the downtown core in its east / west directions. Bike lanes down Roosevelt are a must and our project certainly features them.
This site has great potential to demonstrate what true urbanism encompasses; mixed-use areas with close proximity to amenities, walkable sidewalks, bike-able streets, trees for shade and regulating temperatures in the hot desert, parallel parking for retail and to create a buffer for pedestrians and most of all – a lively community that attracts the Creative Class and all other members of society. We also want the gateway to downtown to serve as an educational and inspirational example of the benefits of urban living for the large number of single-family residential dwellers that make their way downtown on the light rail for First Friday and other downtown events.
Roosevelt and Central Ave.
August 31, 2014