This envision project’s goal is to show that the Warehouse District, in spite of its many challenges, can still become a vibrant, 24/7 urban neighborhood and destination through connectivity, increased sense of community and a variety of mixed uses. It uses its location close to sports and entertainment venues not as the sole defining element, but as one of many key pieces that can be leveraged to form a strong community and sense of place as a strong, urban neighborhood that serves at the southern front door to downtown. By creating this strong neighborhood, the foundation for a place that invites visitation will be formed.
The main focus is area is Jackson – Grant, 7th Street – 4th Avenue.
Currently, The Warehouse District is extremely disconnected from its surrounding, both literally – being separated by deadzones such as parking lots and garages and lacking transit – and figuratively – by a lack of awareness and visibility.
A connected district is one that offers mobility for those using any mode of transportation, with infrastructure that creates a safe environment and encourages development. It is one that has an identity and provides visitors with a unique sense of place and residents with a feeling of belonging.
To achieve this sense of connectivity – internally and externally – this project looks at the following key points:
The Warehouse District also lacks a sense of place because of its lack of community. Currently, there are very little residential options and of the ones that do exist, few integrate themselves into the Warehouse District and contribute to any critical pedestrian mass.
For the Warehouse District, building a community means leveraging existing buildings to create affordable and sustainable spaces and utilizing new public spaces for recreational amenities and community events. It also means leveraging the unique cultures that have shaped the area by developing cultural assets such as museums and other attractions. Finally, to attract and cultivate this diverse residential base, new services must be encouraged and developed.
This project looks at building a dense community with a sense of place through:
There will be certain nodes where a concentration of uses – such as entertainment or arts – is most heavy, but the vitality of the community is dependent on spreading these uses throughout the entire area. By keeping a mix of uses throughout, visitors are encouraged to explore the entire District, increasing (the perception of) safety and increasing the opportunity for chance encounters and purchases. This is largely accomplished through the N-S streets which connect the E-W roads that each have distinct planning characteristics.
Adjacent to the sports venues and entertainment district to the north, Jackson will become the entertainment spine from 4th Street – 1st Avenue.
Uses along the railroad tracks will be diverse to draw foot traffic south from Jackson.
Buchanan would form the main residential spine of the District.
In order to create a true live/work/play neighborhood, employment offices will be developed throughout the District.
One focus area will be sustainability, near 2nd Avenue/Jackson, where there are already several ‘green’ businesses already. Here, several amenities can be found to help foster growth in the sector:
Currently, downtown and South Phoenix lack many of the amenities that suburban Phoenix offers. This makes the central city a less desirable place to live, and also forces those who do live in these areas into their cars in order to meet basic needs. The Warehouse District, with its large empty lots and abandoned warehouses makes for a perfect, centralized, transit-accessible location for these big box stores. Such stores would be hard to locate in the core of downtown because of the space and parking needs necessary.
Locating these stores in the southeast quadrant of the District allows visibility from 7th Street and I-17, and allows for easy access from auto, bus, future light rail, and potential streetcar modes of transportation. These stores must still be designed in an urban fashion – built to the street with little setbacks, as part of mixed use projects when possible, etc. – to integrate them into the District. Examples include:
By enhancing the connectivity of the District and improving its visibility to neighboring communities, providing a unique mixed income neighborhood with community amenities and cultural attractions, integrating existing businesses into a new plan for the District, attracting education and employment opportunities, and fostering a 24/7 live/work/play environment, the Warehouse District can fulfill the potential it has to follow in the footsteps of similar districts throughout the country.
By achieving these goals and implementing these tactics, the District will become one that is:
Warehouse District, Jackson St. to Grant St., btwn 7th St. and 4th Ave.
Design Studies and Marketing Graduate
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.
January 14, 2015