Taz Loomans on Leaving Phoenix, Moving to Portland, and The Characteristics of a "World-Class City"
Taz Loomans is an architect, a writer, a real estate developer, and the head honcho at Blooming Rock.
Maya Dukmasova Loomans with her cat, who was named Bamboo, in her former Central Phoenix home.
She's a first-generation immigrant (her family's Indian), who was born in Mozambique. She says she moved to Phoenix 22 years ago, but told Jackalope Ranch last June that she hadn't felt home here until about three years ago.
This week, Loomans is packing her bags and moving to Portland.
Loomans told New Times contributor Robrt Pela in this week's issue of New Times that her move is a result of a change of heart and mixed feelings about what she's spent the majority of her professional career fighting for in Phoenix -- walkability, good design, and a strong urban core.
Pela writes that in her move, Phoenix lost a creative force:
In short, Loomans grew weary of trying to affect change in a city on its way up. She wants to live in a place that's already arrived. She admits she's as guilty as anyone of focusing on how much better things are here than they were, say, five years ago. "It's a dangerous myopia," Loomans points out. "The world is changing at a fast pace, and we need to keep up. In order to do that, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard and to stop patting ourselves on the back about how far we've come. Because we still have a lot of work to do to become a world-class city."
Loomans agrees with me that a good part of that work includes making Phoenix attractive to younger people who will want to settle here, and "re-branding" the city as something other than a place to find nice winter weather.
Read the full conversation between Pela and Loomans in the arts section and in the print issue of New Times, on newsstands tomorrow.