Phoenix City Council Passes Proposal on Roosevelt Row Housing Development

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Phoenix City Council passed a proposal on Wednesday, January 29, to sell a city-owned lot at Roosevelt and Second streets to Roosevelt Housing Associates and approve RHA's proposal to build a mixed-use development, called The Row, and rehabilitate the historic Leighton G. Knipe House.

See also: Phoenix City Council to Vote on Roosevelt Row Housing Development Proposal

The 8-1 decision came, with Councilman Jim Waring voicing the one vote against the proposal, after community members voiced their varying opinions on the project.

Speakers against the project included Roosevelt Row business owners Wayne Rainey of MonOrchid, Reid Butler, Jason Freeman of Golden Rule Tattoo, Carly's Bistro owner Carla Logan, GreenHaus owners Cole and Dana Reed.

Some reasons for opposing the project were that it wasn't a good fit for the area, that residents 55 and older would not appreciate the activity and noise that come with First Friday, and that Rainey's change.org petition for the City to restart the proposal process had garnered 1,400 signatures.

Jim McPherson of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, Roosevelt Row CDC's Nicole Underwood (who voiced a few concerns, despite being in favor), and Dianne Barker of the Roosevelt Action Association were among those in favor of the proposal.

Reasons for supporting the project included: the adaptive reuse of the Knipe House, increasing diversity by incorporating older people in the arts scene, and that the developer had taken community feedback and modified its original proposal.

Mayor Greg Stanton also spoke in support of the City Staff-approved project, as did Council members Michael Nowakowski, Laura Pastor, and Kate Gallego.

The the housing portion of the now-approved development is slated to include 56 to 75 units in buildings between three and five stories, with ground-floor resident amenities, offices, and live-work units. Between 80 percent and 85 percent of the units would be age- and income-restricted, meaning that at least one person living in such a unit would need to be 55 or older and not exceed a specified income level.

Additionally, under the approved proposal the Knipe House will be revamped as a craft brewery and restaurant.

This project proposal was chosen from four submissions: DAVIS/RoTwo (Mike Davis); Rainey Development LLC/Butler Housing Company Inc. (Wayne Rainey, Reid Butler); Roosevelt Housing Associates; and Urban Sol Development LLC (Feliciano Vera and partners).

After taking community feedback on its original proposal, the developer agreed to have approximately 15 percent to 20 percent of the units (about eight to 15 units) at market rate, with no age or income restrictions, creating a diverse, mixed-income project; require all tenants to sign an affidavit acknowledging they are moving into a vibrant arts district; develop street-level units as live/work artist studios; actively market the project to artists; and dedicate a portion of the common area space for local artists to prominently display their works.

Renovations to the Knipe House are expected to begin in 2014 and be complete in early 2016. Construction on the residential portion of the project is scheduled to start in 2015 and be complete in 2018.

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Location Info

Map

Leighton G. Knipe House

1025 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Monorchid

214 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Carly's Bistro

128 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Golden Rule Tattoo

120 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Roosevelt Row

300 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

GreenHaus

222 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General


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17 comments
petersonjulie
petersonjulie

There are plenty of openminded, arts-loving people over 55 who long to find a neighborhood like RoRo to live and find community in -- they are hard to come by in Phx. Many are on limited incomes but so are most of the artists who hang out down there. It's really a pretty good option for a place to locate senior housing, and the people who choose it will probably love living there. And drinking.

james8394
james8394

One of the reasons the businesses on E. Roosevelt are successful is because the city subsidized the establishment of ASU Downtown, thus giving them a more or less captive customer base. Now the city is subsidizing housing for seniors. Perhaps the business people there are not seeing the possible upside. Or maybe they are just afraid of change.


The gritty, urban reality so sought after by younger people will now include seniors without a lot of money. That is urban reality also.


And I have lived in this area long enough to remember when the building  Greenhaus is in was a drag bar. That was urban reality.   

Mary O'Hagan
Mary O'Hagan

Does anybody know what the other projects were that weren't considered?

j_donnelly85
j_donnelly85

The irony of opposing a certain demographic moving in is so rich. 

Mary O'Hagan
Mary O'Hagan

I'll admit that I don't know what the area needs. But at least 5 different places to get alcohol are within a mile radius. That seems excessive. I don't think everybody wants to just drink and see art.

Dain Quentin Gore
Dain Quentin Gore

I think it needs even more galleries, so I can have even more options to hang my paintings ;)

Mary O'Hagan
Mary O'Hagan

Yeah. I don't see the need for more bars or condos.

Victor Moreno
Victor Moreno

Monorchid's proposal witha rooftop cinema and more artist spaces would've been something better than this IMO. But I think the 1400 signatures gathered show that there should be more thought given to developing the space organically than another condoplex on Roosevelt, moreso one that is age restricted and only offes yet another bar as a carrot. Roosevelt Row has plenty of bars already, adapt reuse of the Knipe house or not. Look at Mill Avenue now versus when it was a culture haven in the 90's. When you raise bars to entry in the arts district then that art moves. Just my 2 cents

Jackalope Ranch
Jackalope Ranch

I think a lot of folks will be bummed. But both sides made good cases at the meeting.

cultclassicsvic
cultclassicsvic

Sad. It says something the opposing voices comes from some of the most interesting businesses in the area with Carly's Bistro, Monorchid and Greenhaus. It also says a lot about Phoenix that theyre so apt to gentrify the area by putting in a proposal that discourages the arts scene developing further and places age and economic bars to entry to the type of community that the area is trying to draw.

Jackalope Ranch
Jackalope Ranch

If you could put anything in that lot, what would it be?

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