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Density Development.......
Light Rail......
The Enviornment......
Historic Neighborhoods……
The Future Of Phoenix Is Bright………

October 29, 2007


I recently attended a Historic Willo Neighborhood Board meeting which was well attended.  The topic of discussion was the development of the North West corner of McDowell and Central.  In an unprecedented, unanimous vote, the Willo Board, Willo Neighborhood, and the developers of the Phoenix One project, showed that neighborhoods can work with the development of high density buildings and still retain the historic character of the neighborhoods. This neighborhood leadership should be applauded.  It was echoed again at the Encanto Village Planning Committee meeting where Dr. Ruth Ann Marston made the motion, which passed with overwhelming support, to give the Phoenix City Council the green light   to move forward to approve the project.  A week later, again in a separate action on an entirely different project at the Central City Planning Committee meeting over welcomingly supported a height waiver for a mixed use project. Informational flyer presented to the Willo Neighborhood.

 

 

This project a stones throw from the other is located approximately 300 feet south of the southeast corner of Central and McDowell Road and consists of two residential towers.

Why am I excited about these developments?  This will bring an additional 700 to 900 residential homes on a very small footprint with state of the art environmentally and energy efficient housing.  This will attract individuals of a mindset to use the light rail project with a predisposition to walk to services and employment. The light rail project of Phoenix will have a station within walking distance of these towers, the effect may just be that these residents will walk and use the light rail rather then “get out the car” with a net effect of reducing traffic congestion, while it the same time promoting the downtown retail services. Residential towers are aesthetically more striking in their appearance than commercial buildings, with leaner lines and attractive skins.  The support of these developments at this time will stop the speculation of the land values and therefore increase the affordability of development, which can cut into the actual development on locations such as these, making worthwhile projects unattainable...

Why should historic neighborhoods support this kind of development?  These particular kinds of residential projects will bring in 1700 new residents and their families.  These new neighbors will have a vested interest in round the clock safety and security of the area and will become stakeholders in the downtown community;  They will be our neighbors, not just office workers, college students, conventioneers, or sports event attendees. Let me say it again, they will be our neighbors.  They will live here and will create a demand for the kinds of services and retail that is residential oriented, not retail that is oriented towards a more transient time allocation that a visitor to our community would bring. This has a snowball effect when it brings neighbors that can support business and services that we as residents use.

We commend the Willo Neighborhood, and all of the other historic neighborhoods that have supported this concept and co-operate with density developers through consensus.  We applaud the Encanto and Central City Planning Committees for their recommendations, leadership, and support.  We look f toward the Phoenix City Council to finish off this exciting advancement in the movement towards a residential rebirth of the great cities of the West in an environmentally friendly and sensible way.     It begins with a positive paradigm shift and we are proud to be a part of it.  We who have provided support will also hold the developers accountable for constructing the vision we have reached together…….and then on to the next project.

Wayne Murray resident Historic Coronado Neighborhood

 


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