Category Archives: Encanto Manor Historic District

Encanto Manor Historic District News, Dining, Events, History, School Information and Real Estate For Sale.

Historic Phoenix Sees Major Rejuvenation ‘Between the Sevens’

Some of Phoenix’s most desirable neighborhoods to live can be found in an area that’s commonly referred to as “between the sevens,” which is the region between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street throughout Downtown, Midtown and Uptown Phoenix.  

Home to historical neighborhoods like “The Windsor,” prominent office buildings and iconic retail centers, the area between the sevens is also becoming an increasingly attractive place to work and play as new commercial real estate projects take shape, blending modern needs with the area’s rich history.  

The latest projects range from adaptive reuse transformations of a former grocery store and other businesses into multifamily communities or trendy bars and restaurants. It also includes the modernization of older office buildings to meet current standards with lots of natural light, high ceilings, large open floorplates and easy connection to amenities.

Whether its people or companies, everyone is looking for a connected place that’s walkable, vibrant and linked to other amenities and uses, says City of Phoenix Economic Development Director Christine Mackay.  

In addition to providing great transit options such as light rail, buses and the Grid Bike Share program to get around, Midtown and Uptown also boasts incredible dining and shopping options as well as prime office locations for major corporate companies.  

Mackay says the rejuvenation of Midtown started in 2016 when Banner Health moved its corporate headquarters to the Banner Corporate Center on Thomas and Central Avenues.  

Banner retrofitted an old building, bringing it to the 21st century, explains Mackay, which signaled to other large corporate tenants that the area and surrounding communities would support regional and/or national headquarters.  

From there, the 2828 North Central building renovated its bottom floor to include a co-working shared space that’s currently occupied by Mod Phoenix. Meanwhile, the owners of the 2020 On Central building renovated all of its lobbies and shared spaces, which eventually led Facility Source to lease office space.  

“Those three things really set the stage for other building owners to come in and start making dramatic changes,” Mackay says.  

Now, Midtown is experiencing office renovations across the board because so many of the existing buildings were constructed in the 1970s and 80s.  

Mackay also describes an incredible and growing demand to live in Midtown and Uptown. “It’s cultured. It has night life, distinctive dining and pretty much everything is local. It’s exactly what people are looking for today,” she says. 

In addition to new office product and multifamily units, the area between the sevens has also seen a surge in new retail projects as it’s becoming more widely well-known as a foodie hotspot with an eclectic and tasty mix for restaurants and bars.  

Mackay says, “The restaurants, culture and nightlife is really what’s drawing people into this Central City to live.” In fact, she says, there are not less than 100 restaurants in that area for people to choose from.  

Mackay points to the success of projects like The Yard, along Seventh Street and Missouri Avenue, as an example of the pent-up demand for restaurants nearby, which has spurred other retail and dining destinations to follow like The Colony, built by LGE Design Build in 2016.  

Looking ahead throughout Midtown, Mackay says, the renovations of Park Central Mall is “the last missing piece before the area returns to full throttle.” Meanwhile in Uptown, she predicts, the completion of Arrive Phoenix will “really prove the market and show what a destination hotel looks like in that area.”  

ARRIVE Phoenix

historicphoenix, 7th street, 7th ave, historic,homes,real estate

DEVELOPER: Vintage Partners; Venue Projects 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Venue Projects 

ARCHITECT: Arrive Hotel & Restaurants  

LOCATION: 400 & 444 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix  

SIZE: 45,000 SF; 79-rooms 

VALUE: $20M 

START/COMPLETION: Q1 2018 – Q4 2018 

Located at what’s been called the Valley’s “hottest intersection” by the Urban Land Institute of Arizona, the project transforms a trio of mid-century gems into Uptown Phoenix’s newest dining, entertainment and urban hotel hub. The two-acre site will also host a boutique coffee shop, poolside taco bar, gourmet ice creamery, and nautical-themed rooftop craft cocktail bar featuring 360-degree city views. For the project, Vintage Partners teamed up with Venue Projects, the visionary developers behind The Newtown and other successful adaptive reuse projects like Windsor/Churn and The Orchard along Central Avenue. 

First Place-Phoenix

neighborhoods,historicphoenix, 7th street, 7th ave, historic,homes,real estate

DEVELOPER: First Place AZ 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: hardison/downey construction 

ARCHITECT: RSP Architects  

LOCATION: 3001 N. Third St., Phoenix  

SIZE: 81,525 SF; 56-units 

VALUE: $15M 

START/COMPLETION: January 2017 – March 2018 

The $15 million residential property for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities will be a first-of-its-kind facility that First Place AZ plans to expand into a worldwide model. First Place AZ Founder, President and CEO Denise Resnik started the nonprofit to ensure that housing and community options are as bountiful for people with autism and other neuro-diversities as they are for everyone else. The project provides a one-of-a-kind approach that combines apartments, a residential training program and a national leadership institute to advance more independent and community integrated living options. 

The Curve at Melrose

homes,historicphoenix, 7th street, 7th ave, historic,homes,real estate,districts,neighborhood

DEVELOPER: P.B. Bell 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: M.T. Builders 

ARCHITECT: Studio 15 Architecture Inc. 

LOCATION: 4333 N. Sixth Dr., Phoenix 

SIZE: 204-units; 308,618 SF 

START/COMPLETION: August 2016 – Early 2018 

The Curve will consist of 204-luxury apartments in a vibrant and eclectic urban Melrose District neighborhood positioned within walking distance of Indian Steele Park, light rail as well as numerous locally owned shops and restaurants. Included in the property’s luxury amenities are several that were selected by public vote in 2015, which include a resort-style pool and spa along with an outdoor kitchen and gas grills. P.B. Bell also worked with the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association on plans to reserve three display windows at the property to spotlight community-curated work and displays. 

The Osborn

historicphoenix, 7th street, 7th ave, historic,homes,real estate,neighborhood,homes,district

DEVELOPER: Trammell Crow Company; High Street Residential 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Chasse Building Team 

ARCHITECT: ESG Architects 

LOCATION: SWC of Seventh Avenue & Osborn Road, Phoenix 

SIZE: 190-units; 45,000 SF (retail) 

START/COMPLETION: July 2017 – August 2019 

The Osborn is a mixed-use grocery anchored retail shopping center and multifamily development. The project sits on a 5.96-acre site located in the heart of Midtown Phoenix where the city’s oldest Bashas’ grocey store, originally built in 1956, used to be located. The site benefits from immediate adjacency to many major employers, desirable affluent neighborhoods, abundance of social venues and high visibility with over 50,000 vehicles passing per day. 

Uptown Plaza

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DEVELOPER: Vintage Partners 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Kitchell 

ARCHITECT: Nelsen Partners 

LOCATION: 100 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 

SIZE: 116,787 SF 

START/COMPLETION: 2014 – June 2016 

The Valley’s first retail center located outside of Downtown Phoenix is being restored to its former glory and street appeal as a result of wall-to-wall renovations over the last three years. The property’s renovation aims to restore this iconic shopping center — originally constructed in 1955 by the Del Webb Co. — to its stylish brick-lined, mid-century roots and appeal. The 11-acre renovation includes restoring the original brick façade, adding new landscaping and successfully securing a variety of local, regional and national tenants like Shake Shack, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Huss Brewing Company’s flagship taproom, Creamistry, Flower Child and more. The latest phase included updates to the exterior of AJ’s Fine Foods. 

The Grid

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DEVELOPER: ABI Multifamily 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Alexander Building Company 

ARCHITECT: Corgan 

LOCATION: 5227 N. Seventh St., Phoenix 

SIZE: 16,281 SF 

VALUE: $3M 

START/COMPLETION: Q4 2017 – Q2 2018 

The two-story adaptive reuse project will transform the former Uptown Phoenix office building into a refreshed Class A office for ABI Multifamily on the top floor and co-working space on the first floor. A large multipurpose room will be used for entertaining, training and a yoga room open to the community. The design repurposed raw industrial materials, while still maintaining a sleek modern feel. In addition, a perforated metal canopy and second skin will be added to create new dynamic exterior spaces while protecting the building from the harsh summer sun of the desert. 

Dignity Health Third Avenue Parking Garage Expansion

neighborhood,homes,area,district,historicphoenix, 7th street, 7th ave, historic,homes,real estate

DEVELOPER: Dignity Health 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: JE Dunn Construction 

ARCHITECT: GLHN Architects & Engineers  

LOCATION: 2929 N. Third Ave., Phoenix 

SIZE: 177,000 SF 

VALUE: $11M 

START/COMPLETION: December 2017 – July 2018 

While the area’s public transit options like buses, light rail and Grid bikes have made commutes easier, parking is often a top-concern for companies and tenants considering a move to the Central City. That’s why the Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix is embarking on a campus-wide parking solution that will add approximately 500 new spaces. 

Park Central

districts,neighborhood,homes,historicphoenix, 7th street, 7th ave, historic,homes,real estate

DEVELOPER: Plaza Companies; Holualoa Companies 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: DPR Construction 

ARCHITECT: richärd+bauer architecture 

LOCATION: 3121 N. Third Ave., Phoenix 

SIZE: 337,000 SF 

VALUE: $57M 

START/COMPLETION: Q4 2017 – Fall 2018 

“Our goal is to transform Park Central into a truly innovative and exceptional work environment for companies in the ‘New Economy,’” says Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, which also led the the successful transformation of the Los Arcos Mall in Scottsdale into the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center – SkySong. As Phoenix’s first-ever mall, Park Central benefits from an exceptional location and unique retail history. In total, 337,000 square feet will be revitalized into several distinct districts, each with its own identity.  

If you are interested in a free consultation to see if buying a Phoenix home is a better option for you, please call or email me today. You may be surprised at what you learn. I have access to programs that offer down-payment assistance with money you do not have to pay back. 

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime.

8 Metro Phoenix Neighborhoods You Should Know

For a long time, Metropolitan Phoenix felt distant and had been sorely ignored around the middle. Today that’s not the case. The hottest real estate on the market is smack in the center of town and that emerging historic Phoenix neighborhood you had your eye on is suddenly out of reach. We’ve combed the not-so-mean streets of our city to find eight neighborhoods you might not have heard of and that you definitely need to know more about.

While we’re celebrating these gems, we haven’t forgotten the implications of gentrification and urban development. So we’d like to invite you to be part of the discussion of how Phoenix is developing; what neighborhoods have it right, which are on the wrong path, and what can we do to preserve the past, respect current residents, and create a vibrant future for our city.

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Floralcroft
Boundaries: State Avenue, Myrtle Avenue, 59th Avenue, and 61st Avenue, Glendale
Median home price: $140,000
Origin story: Flora Mae Gillett-Statler founded this neighborhood in 1928 and named it after herself. Ten years later, she founded the town of Surprise.
Why it’s emerging: It’s hard to find a bargain in the Phoenix historic housing game, and these homes have the bones and character to rival way more expensive counterparts in Willo, Encanto, and F.Q. Story.

Long before the age of personal branding, hashtags, and celebrity endorsements, Flora Mae Gillett-Statler did something exceptional. She put her name on a west-side neighborhood. In the early 1900s, the daughter of a pioneering clergyman and land speculator made her mark on the Valley by investing in real estate. She founded a town and a neighborhood, naming the latter after herself.

In 1890, Flora was born in Missouri to Rachel and Charles E. Gillett, an old-school multi-hyphenate who brought his family to Glendale, making them among early city residents. Among other things, Charles was a service-station owner, real estate investor, and friend to Arizona’s first governor, George W.P. Hunt.

One of five siblings, Flora married Luther Ward Statler in 1911 and had two children, Vernon and Elizabeth, eventually known as Bette Stofft, a prominent Valley philanthropist and artist.

After World War I, Flora’s father, Charles, opened a service station in Glendale with Homer C. Ludden, with whom he also worked in insurance and real estate. Drawn to speculation, Flora worked at the station and her father’s office. Eventually, she took the reins in Charles’ real estate business, and by the late 1920s, she was ready to branch out and make her own investments. In 1928, she platted an 83-lot neighborhood just north of downtown Glendale and named it Floralcroft.

It’s unclear when she and Statler separated, though public documents note that he spent a lot of time away from home due to business pursuits, including mining. Flora went on to marry her father’s business partner, Ludden, who until 2010 was erroneously credited with founding the town of Surprise. That was actually Flora, who also named the town. (She subdivided land in El Mirage and Yarnell, too.)

Flora resided in her neighborhood — first in a two-story brick house that served as a model to entice potential buyers and later in a Norman cottage revival that happens to be on the market currently — until her death from breast cancer in 1953.

Today, Floralcroft has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to its decades-spanning architectural styles, including ranch, bungalow, and late 19th- and 20th-century revivals. Take a drive through the neighborhood, wedged between Caitlin Court and Northfield, and you’ll find sidewalks lined with black street lamps and charming homes in red brick and pink stucco with original crank windows and white wood siding.

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Eastlake Park In Central Phoenix
Boundaries: Van Buren Street, Jackson Street, 12th Street, and 16th Street
Median home price: $359,900 (based on one home for sale as of press time)
Origin story: A segregated African-American community arises around Phoenix’s oldest park
Why it’s emerging: Recent renovations, a new community grant, and modern-day cultural significance

If you’re unfamiliar with Eastlake Park, there’s a strong chance you’re not alone — and an even stronger chance you’re, well, white. That’s because, for the majority of its existence, Eastlake Park has served a predominantly African-American community. And while those who have lived, worked, or possibly attended civil rights rallies there may already understand the area’s significance, for everyone else who’s unsure as to what Eastlake Park means or even where it’s located (hint: there’s no actual lake at this point), we need to look back at the neighborhood’s history.

Eastlake Park, formerly Phoenix Park, was established in 1890 by Moses Sherman and later purchased by the city of Phoenix in 1914. During its early-20th-century development, Eastlake Park and the surrounding neighborhood of the same name, along with areas in west and south Phoenix, became home to Phoenix’s black community.

This had less to do with choice and more to do with a lack of opportunity for African-Americans. Between limited funds, increasing segregation, and later an all-out combined effort from banks, real-estate agents, and lending agencies to prevent African-Americans from moving north of Van Buren Street, it was difficult for black residents to live elsewhere.

As a result, Eastlake Park was comprised almost entirely of black-owned businesses, churches, and schools such as Tanner Chapel A.M.E. Church and the Booker T. Washington School (now occupied by Phoenix New Times). It also bore witness to many of the historic milestones made by African-Americans in Arizona during the 20th century, including speeches by Booker T. Washington in 1911 and Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, the founding of Arizona’s first African American-owned newspaper, the Phoenix Tribune, and the founding of the Booker T. Washington Hospital in 1927 by Phoenix’s first African-American physician, Dr. Winston Hackett.

As the Civil Rights movement gained momentum in Phoenix during the 1940s, Eastlake Park became a hotbed for protests against inequality and discrimination. But progress was slow, and by the 1960s, Eastlake Park had begun to change. Housing started to deteriorate, residents who could relocate did, and business development waned, leaving the area in a less than ideal state.

In 2013, Eastlake Park underwent a $4 million renovation to upgrade its facilities. This past spring, Eastlake was one of nine communities selected to participate in the inaugural AZ Creative Communities Institute, a collaborative program for improving communities through creative efforts.

“Eastlake is one of the few truly diversified urban neighborhoods being redeveloped with a history of leadership and community involvement.” says Virgil “Jackie” Berry, one of the team members chosen to represent Eastlake Park in the AZ CCI grant.

The Eastlake AZ CCI team notes that while the neighborhood is experiencing positive change in recent years, it’s been at an inconsistent pace. Still, they’re working to explore ways they can create a better environment for the Eastlake community while at the same time memorializing the area’s past, because at the end of the day they all agree, “Eastlake is the soul of the city of Phoenix.”

squaw peak groves,neighborhood,historic phoenix,phoenix,historic,district,,neighborhood,area,real estate

Squaw Peak Groves In Central Phoenix
Boundaries: 12th Street, 12th Place, Glenn Drive, and the Arizona Canal
Median home price: $423,900
Origin story: Former citrus groves turned midcentury suburb
Why it’s emerging: Trendy new restaurants, a prime central location, and atomic ranch appeal

If you’re looking for the sweet spot south of Sunnyslope but north of uptown, we’ve got three words for you: Squaw Peak Groves. Tucked between 12th Street and 12th Place, Glenn Drive and the Arizona Canal, this hidden gem of atomic ranch homes built primarily between 1960 and 1962 — is a suburban dream.

Set against the backdrop of Piestewa Peak, this cluster of cul-de-sacs and winding no-outlet drives delivers on generous lots, manicured lawns, and quaint facades that feel familiar to anyone who grew up in Phoenix’s more mid-century developments: breeze-blocks, weeping mortar, and yes, maybe even a pastel paint job here and there. It’s ideal for anyone looking to raise a family without relinquishing that coveted central location.

While there aren’t as many, or any groves as the name would lead you to believe, Luci’s owners Ken and Lucia Schnitzer have been bringing the area’s past front and center with their multi-use space, The Orchard.

Located on a former citrus farm and nursery, presumably the source of the development’s original name, The Orchard features Luci’s second location, Splurge Ice Cream and Candy Shop, and Pomelo, an Italian eatery with a citrus name to pay homage to the neighborhood’s history.

Since its opening in 2016, the generous space has become a hotspot for 12th Street corridor in North Central residents looking for a place to gather with their kids, dogs, and the influx of new neighbors. Actually, The Orchard has become a major selling point for the once-sleepy neighborhood, where Ken Schnitzer says that home values have definitely increased. And he’s not surprised.

“Across the United States, people would build housing developments and then shopping centers would go in there and they’d say okay, there’s a need for shopping centers and open a store and restaurants and they’d come in after. Nowadays, the restaurants and places are there and people want to live in the area. So it’s backwards now. You don’t want to move to central Phoenix if there’s no cool places. But if there’s Luci’s and Stock & Stable and The Yard and Windsor … you want to be there.”

And to Schnitzer’s point, there’s very little for sale in Squaw Peak Groves at the moment. Those that are available are a mix of mint condition grandma-chic and newly flipped homes from investors who knew a good deal when they saw one. Either way, interested buyers are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled because a home in the Groves gets snatched up quickly. 

west side clark addition,neighborhood,historic phoenix,phoenix,historic,district,,neighborhood,area,real estate

West Side-Clark Addition
Boundaries: Country Club Drive, Date Street, Second Place, and Pepper Place, Mesa
Median home price: $190,000
Origin story: This was Mesa’s first suburban neighborhood.
Why it’s emerging: Although it’s a suburb, West Side-Clark looks nothing like your average Mesa stucco-and-tile fest. After years in limbo, it was finally granted historic status in 2017.

Mesa doesn’t have a reputation for architecture — let alone historic architecture. But a cluster of bungalows and ranches situated just west of the city’s original townsite bucks that stereotype.

With homes built between 1930 and 1958, the neighborhood, known as the West Side-Clark Addition, stands out as Mesa’s first move from an agricultural settlement to the sprawling, third-largest city in Arizona that we recognize today.

“This is the seventh historic district for the city of Mesa, but it could’ve been one of the earlier ones,” says Lauren B. Allsopp, who worked with the city’s Historic Preservation Office to secure the neighborhood’s recognition as an official Mesa Historic District. The former farmland already had landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Allsopp says West Side-Clark is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a prime example of bungalow and ranch housing that gave Mesa its original architectural style. And second, its residents were passionate about having the neighborhood preserved — even though it took a while to make that happen.

As Allsopp explains it, the process for historical designation began in 2004. But it was shelved when the recession hit and the city temporarily didn’t fill the full-time role of Historic Preservation Officer. (Another city employee served as the acting officer, but had several other responsibilities.) When Allsopp joined the office in 2016 on contract, she was able to help reinvigorate the project.

“It’s not the all-one-color tile roofs that you see today,” Allsopp says. “In the 17 years that passed — believe it or not — the neighborhood hardly changed at all.”

That’s a significant factor in a historic designation. In addition to houses still retaining notable features and materials, there were a few more structures that had aged into historic eligibility — or were resorted appropriately.

“Originally, over on Date, there was a little enclave of row houses that weren’t included, and now they were old enough,” she says. Another home became eligible for inclusion after its owners removed siding that covered original materials used in construction.

Residents worked closely with Allsopp to circulate a petition (which is required by Mesa) to move forward with the historic process. It paid off — and the neighborhood got the preservation nod.

This is the first of what Allsopp hopes will be several preservation success stories for Mesa. She’s working on other projects with the city currently, including a recent analysis of the Nile Theater’s mortar, preservation of the city’s neon signage, and securing grants for other neighborhoods.

Still, she says, West Side-Clark was special because she knows how much work went into it.

“I can show you a bungalow, I can show you a Tudor, and I can show you how people have made it work in the 21st century without ruining the character,” Allsopp says. “This is a neighborhood where you’ll want to walk.” B.B.

garfield historic district,garfield neighborhood,neighborhood,historic phoenix,phoenix,historic,district,,neighborhood,area,real esatate

Garfield Historic District
Boundaries: Seventh Street, 16th Street, Van Buren Street, and Roosevelt Street
Median home price: $269,000
Origin story: Former farmland turned booming middle-class residential development in the early 20th century.
Why it’s emerging: An influx of hot new restaurants and boutiques, a downtown Phoenix resurgence, and still somewhat affordable historic housing.

Tell native Phoenicians — your parents, for example — that you’re looking at houses in the Garfield district, and they might do a double take. That’s because up until very recently — say, the last five years — the historic downtown Phoenix hood had seen better days. Early 20th-century homes had fallen into either poorly stuccoed despair or complete disrepair. Historic storefronts sat abandoned. And despite the heavy foot traffic of the revitalized Roosevelt Row arts district just a block away, Garfield remained more or less a ghost town for downtown visitors.

That wasn’t always the case. In its heyday, Garfield was a thriving residential development bound by what is now Seventh and 16th streets and Van Buren and Roosevelt streets. Between the 1910s and 1920s, approximately 500 houses were built to meet the demands Phoenix’s early population boom — a growth spurt attributed to the 1911 completion of the Roosevelt Dam. By 1935, 85 percent of the former farmland had been converted into housing, offering up a selection of bungalow, Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival, Tudor, and English Cottage-style homes to primarily middle- and working-class families.

Not only did the neighborhood give residents direct access to the then-essential Phoenix Street Railway, it also offered an assortment of conveniently located commercial spaces: churches, groceries, even a pharmacy. That same pharmacy, now an indoor plant nursery called Pueblo, is just one of the spaces that has seen new life in recent years, thanks in part to downtown’s resurgence as a whole.

“I just wanted to be as close as possible to my own house,” says Michael Lanier, Garfield resident and Pueblo owner. “I wasn’t trying to focus on opportunity. I was just trying to improve the area where I live for the residents and myself.”

Lanier isn’t alone. At the same intersection of 10th and Pierce streets, businesses including Gallo Blanco and Welcome Diner are also laying down roots, bringing with them an influx of hipsters, foodies, and home buyers who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Throughout the neighborhood, construction is in full swing, and homes that were once selling well under $200,000 just last year are now going for roughly double the price.

Despite its seemingly overnight popularity, however, Lanier is reluctant to label Garfield as the next big thing. “There’s a really fine line with that, to call it emerging. But it really is on sort of a come-up. I think a lot of the residents that have been here five, 10, 15, 20 years have always appreciated it and have wanted it to be better in the sense that anything could be better.”

Like any homeowner who wants to have his cake and eat it, too, Lanier just hopes that Garfield’s newfound attention doesn’t take away from the initial charm and affordability that initially drew him and others to it. “It’s improving greatly. And hopefully that starts working out for the both longtime residents and new [ones],” he says. K.J.

brentwood historic district,brentwood neighborhood,historic phoenix,phoenix,historic,district,,neighborhood,area,real esatate

Brentwood Historic District
Boundaries: 16th Street, 20th Street, Brill Street, and Culver Street
Median home price: $199,000
Origin story: Former farmland turned early-20th century residential development
Why it’s emerging: Affordable historic housing, a central Phoenix location, and a influx of new restaurants and shops along the neighboring Miracle Mile.

If you’ve ever driven by the modest remnants of Phoenix’s once-thriving Miracle Mile — a generous strip of storefronts along McDowell Road that served as a prominent shopping destination in the 1950s — chances are you’ve passed its even less-assuming historic neighborhood, Brentwood. Nestled between 16th and 20th streets and Brill and Culver streets, this freeway-adjacent residential area has remained, for the most part, undisturbed, thanks to its limited-access streets.

With its collection of 19th- and 20th-century revivals, including Tudor, Southwest, Spanish Colonial, and bungalows, Brentwood offers a vibe not too dissimilar from more established historic neighborhoods, but without the gentrified price tag.

Like other neighboring districts, Brentwood homes began as farmland, but thanks to Phoenix’s transportation growth and a population that doubled roughly every decade between 1900 and 1940 (it quadrupled in the 1950s) the area was platted for residential development beginning in 1924. By the time of its completion in 1956, Brentwood was composed of six subdivisions — McDowell Heights, Brentwood, Brentwood East, Wright Davis, Valley of the Sun, and Governor Hunt Tract. However, a good portion of the neighborhood later had to be razed to make way for the construction of State Route 51 and Interstate 10.

Still, despite some patchy areas, the neighborhood maintains its historic charm and a central location thanks to its proximity to the concentration of topnotch Mexican dining along 16th Street and of course the Miracle Mile, which, according to residents and business owners, is poised for a comeback. Actually, some of Phoenix’s more popular restaurants and retailers have set up shop along the McDowell corridor over the last few years, including Tacos Chiwas, Ollie Vaughn’s, and Rubymint General Store. Artists like Emily Costello and Kathy Cano-Murillo have arrived, too.

When asked if the area is gearing up for a resurgence, Rubymint General co-owner Kui Mi Oh is hopeful. “[It] used to be the main drag back in the day, so it would be nice to revitalize that. There’s a lot of businesses that have been trying to move on the Miracle Mile, so revamping it would definitely be a plus for us, and I think for the neighborhood as well.”

Aislyn Richmond, McDowell Corridor Coordinator, is working to make it happen. Through a partnership among the Phoenix Community Alliance, Banner Hospital, and Trellia, a nonprofit specializing in affordable housing and community development, Richmond is able to host cleanup events, workshops with businesses in the area to help them succeed, and visioning sessions with residents in Garfield, Coronado, and Brentwood to make sure ideas are being heard.

“The main goal is that [the Miracle Mile] is a very locally focused. So it’s supposed to really serve the neighborhoods here and be community-driven with services that the neighbors can really appreciate while still maintaining the history of the area and bolstering that.”

garden art district,phoenix,neighborhood,historic,real estate,historic phoenix,district

Garden Apartment District
Boundaries: 68th Street, Fifth Street, Goldwater Boulevard, and First Street, Scottsdale
Median home price: $180,000
Origin story: South of the Hotel Valley Ho, more than 15 upscale garden apartment complexes were built in the mid-20th century. Originally marketed to seasonal tourists, this is a unique collection of multifamily housing that ranges from luxury to kitschy and dramatic.
Why it’s emerging: As housing prices creep up, apartments and condos are once again prime real estate investments. And this particular cluster of apartment buildings has been recommended for historic designation.

Back in the 1950s, Scottsdale was a Hollywood playground. Swanky hotels, new businesses, and tourist attractions set the stage for a multifamily housing boom. One hundred such complexes were built between 1948 and 1964 to accommodate people who wanted to live in the suburb.

The influx came, in part, because of high-level job prospects at Motorola, which announced plans to open a facility in the suburb in the late ’50s.

Nearly 20 garden apartment complexes popped up just south of Hotel Valley Ho, a resort that opened for business in 1956, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright student Edward L. Varney.

Motorola used the hotel to house employees while they looked for permanent residences in the area. And the Valley Ho welcomed entertainers including professional baseball players and the cast and crew of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Perhaps most notably, Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner hosted the reception for their first wedding in 1957 at the Valley Ho.

It was an exciting time for the suburb, says Ben Brosseau, a Realtor and Garden Apartment District resident. That history and Old Hollywood glamour is what drew the midcentury modern enthusiast and film buff back to Scottsdale after living in Los Angeles for about a decade.

It’s also why he’s working to get the neighborhood a historic designation — something that’s been on hold for a few years.

Brosseau lives at the Shalimar Sands complex, which, alongside buildings like Embassy and Capri, mirrored the designs of destination hotels like the Valley Ho, and the neighboring Safari, which was designed by Al Beadle and later demolished.

“People didn’t just buzz out here for a couple days,” Brosseau says. “They came for a week.”

Those two hotels drew visitors, and demand for Scottsdale rentals skyrocketed. Around the same time, multifamily housing construction was supported by government incentives. Hence, the boom.

Turns out, some of Scottsdale’s garden apartments are architecturally significant for several reasons, according to Steve Venker, Scottsdale’s Historic Preservation Officer. Venker says the district near Valley Ho has one of the best collections of upscale garden apartments in metro Phoenix, and it’s important because of “its use of theme designs and dramatic facades as part of ongoing marketing efforts to attract the seasonal resident.” Also of note is the “range of modern styles, varied use of materials, decorative features, and extra amenities.”

Though a study recommended several of the Garden Apartment District buildings as eligible for historic status, the project was shelved a few years back.

But Brosseau’s taking action. “The city can only get so involved with projects like this,” he says. “They have to wait for people to rally a neighborhood.”

That’s why he’s working to get all the buildings’ homeowners associations on the same page, and he hopes to make major progress next year. Then, they can take more formal steps toward preservation.

Regardless, the neighborhood’s time capsule-like midcentury dwellings are just a hop away from Scottsdale’s arts and entertainment districts. Make that a bike ride, as the city’s recently implemented a bike-share. Brosseau asks, “How great is that?!” B.B.

warehouse district,phoenix,neighborhood,historic,real estate,historic phoenix,district

Warehouse District In Phoenix
Boundaries: Jefferson Street, Sherman Street, Seventh Avenue, and Seventh Street
Origin story: An industrial district and former home of Phoenix’s Chinatown with railroad proximity.
Why it’s emerging: A flood of new businesses, warehouse renovations, and a downtown resurgence.

In major metropolitan cities across the country, warehouses have long been en vogue, operating as clubs, co-ops, studio apartments, and of course industrial chic wedding venues. But like many things our cosmopolitan cohorts have created, Phoenix has admittedly been a little late to the game.

Despite the fact the fifth-largest city does in fact have a bona fide warehouse district — its debated boundaries fall between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street, Jefferson and Sherman — for decades, urban dwellers and developers were reluctant to recognize the area south of downtown as anything more than storage space and potential parking lots.

Fortunately for these early 20th-century buildings — which have housed everything from wholesale grocers to Phoenix’s now-lost Chinatown — preservationists like Brian Cassidy of CCBG Architects have sought to turn things around. Since constructing their own offices at the corner First and Buchanan streets 12 years ago, the architectural team specializing in, among other things, adaptive reuse, have witnessed firsthand how the warehouse district is making an 11th-hour comeback.

So far, roughly two-thirds of the warehouse renovations have been handled by CCBG architects, including spaces like R & R Partners, The Croft, Grant Street Studios, IASIS Healthcare, Moses Inc, and most recently, the 411 Building, soon to be the home of Scottsdale-based software company Scientific Technologies Corporation.

Cassidy, who’s also Warehouse District chair, says CCBG averages two inquiries a month from businesses looking to move into the warehouse district. But at this point, demand outweighs supply. “Nothing is immediately available. All the space that could be available is going to take anywhere from three months to a year to renovate the buildings.”

So why the sudden rush of ready-to-relocate businesses in the Warehouse District? Cassidy has a few ideas. “We’re seeing that a lot of creative type businesses … their employees are more interested in unique buildings and buildings that you can literally walk out the front door and be out on the street — be close to the restaurants, the entertainment, the bars, and so forth.

Cassidy also credits the warehouse district’s upswing to the catalysts of downtown’s own renaissance: ASU’s downtown campus, the expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center, and Valley Metro’s ongoing light rail expansion, which is set to extend directly through the warehouse district to Baseline Road.

“I always felt that people living in Phoenix wanted a better urban experience but it wasn’t being offered,” he adds.

Now, however, downtown and its subsequent Warehouse District are finally getting the recognition they deserve, thanks to new bars, new restaurants, a grocery store coming in 2018, and a plethora of high-rise residences, including the warehouse district’s first residential development in a decade, set to break ground next year.

“This area’s really going through a resurgence,” Cassidy says. “And if you could fast forward five more years, you’d really be amazed at what’s likely going to happen down here.”

Entrance to New City Studio on Central Avenue – Article Courtesy Phoenix New Times 

To buy or sell any historic Phoenix home in the Central Phoenix or Downtown area, call Laura Boyajian for her expertise in historic homes real estate.

 

A History of a Historic Preservation Advocate

G.G. George, the Phoenix author of the new book, “The Arizona State Fair,” has a history of preservation activism dating back to the 1960’s and remains an active voice in the historic community today for Historic Phoenix Districts.

districts,historic,phoenix,real estate,G.G. George,neighborhood,encanto palmcroft,encanto park,neighborhood,“G.G. George is the Energizer Bunny of historic preservation,” said Kathryn Leonard, the Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer.

Most recent, the Norton House and all of Encanto Park were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This completed a project led by George, the president and founder of the Encanto Citizens Association, and the president of the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition, to put the entire Encanto Neighborhood on the National Register, which was started in the 1970’s.

And these are only a few of her accomplishments.

“G.G. has always been an extremely valuable voice in the historic preservation movement in Phoenix and it dates back to when all of our historic districts downtown were considered blighted, and nobody wanted to live in them,” said Leonard.

Papago Freeway

George began her work back in 1969 when she heard the plan to construct the I-10 Papago Freeway was displacing residents from their homes. These homes were in the area known as the Moreland Corridor, located between McDowell and Roosevelt Streets and Central and 19th Avenue.

At the time, the Arizona Highway Department, now known as the Arizona Department of Transportation, was offering homeowners less than what their houses were worth so that they could begin construction on the freeway, according to George.

“The freeway fight spurred preservation awareness,” said George. “The homes they were tearing down in the Moreland Corridor were just as nice as this house, just as old and even older,” said George, referring to her home in the Encanto-Palmcroft neighborhood.

George was invited to a meeting by a group known as Citizens for Mass Transit Against Freeways which included a group of concerned neighbors who wanted to make a difference. George attended the meetings, heard the stories from the people who lost their homes, and wanted to help in some way.

“She really was instrumental in saying ‘Hey, these houses have value,’” said Leonard.

According to George, the people in this neighborhood had no idea there was anything they could do to stop the construction of the freeway until a few activists organized the neighborhood. Nearly 2,000 neighbors came together to express their dissent against the construction.

In 1973, a vote appeared on the ballot which determined the fate of the freeway. The Citizens for Mass Transit Against Freeways and preservation advocates won their first battle when construction of the freeway was voted down.

The Department of Transportation had to scrap their original plan for the Papago Freeway, which led to the development of a new plan of an I-10 tunnel under Margaret T. Hance Park.

Arizona State Fairgrounds

Over the years, George has worked on countless other efforts to preserve historic buildings. Most recent, when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) building, located on the Arizona State Fairgrounds near Fairview Place Historic District, was threatened with demolition, George supported the effort to save it.

George wrote “The Arizona State Fair,” a book that chronicles the history of the fairgrounds from its formation in 1905 through the Great Depression when the WPA building was built. George wrote the book “to stimulate interest in the preservation of the buildings and the grounds.” According to George, the profit from the books goes toward historic preservation efforts.

“I devote all my time, research, and writing ability to the [Encanto] citizens association who gets the profits from these books to carry on our work,” said George.

According to Jim McPherson, president of the board of directors for the Arizona Preservation Foundation, George was very supportive of this effort from both a preservation and neighborhood standpoint.

“We have been really appreciative of G.G. in undertaking that major project,” said McPherson regarding George’s book.

Moving forward, George said that she will continue to fight to preserve the integrity of historic districts.

“If we don’t understand the past we can’t even plan for the future,” said George.

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North Encanto Historic District In Central Phoenix

NORTH ENCANTO HISTORIC DISTRICT

The purpose of North Encanto Neighborhood Association (NENA) is to preserve & enhance the historic character of the North Encanto Neighborhood & to improve the quality of life for its residents  by creating a safe, vibrant & engaged community. Period of Significance: 1939-1956.

French Provincial Ranch North Encanto

A 1947 French Provincial Ranch In North Encanto

North Encanto Historic District is generally bounded by 19th Avenue on the West, 15th Avenue on the East, Thomas Road on the South, and Osborn Road on the North housing almost one square mile of historic homes. This neighborhood is close to freeways, I-17, I-10, a very short drive to downtown Phoenix and even a shorter drive (or walkable) to the light rail. There are 456 homes in this this district. North Encanto illustrates the residential development trends of the 1939 -1956 period.

North Encanto is my personal, current historic district residence. I can tell you first hand that it is one of the most wonderful historic districts this city has to offer! On a daily basis, you’ll see residents walking their dogs, walking with their kids (and more dogs), jogging, playing and just hanging out for a good, friendly chat. So many of us neighbors know each other and continue to get to know each other. We have many neighborhood functions from Groundhog Day parties, Christmas & New Year’s gatherings, Halloween parties, joint neighborhood block yard sales and a bunch of other street festivities where we actually block off a street while food vendors attend along with our local fire fighters and more. Games are played by all the wonderful children while the adults hang out, laugh, eat, drink and get to know each other more & more. We look out for one another, watch each others pets, homes and whatever is needed and wanted which keeps a tight knit community.

North Encanto Historic District Homes For Sale

Architectural Styles and Square Footage: North Encanto is red brick heaven loaded with 1940’s and 1950’s Mediterranean Ranch Style Homes, Mid-Century Ranches ranging from less than 1,000 square feet to 2,800 square feet. This district is predominantly comprised of Transitional Ranch-style houses with the largest concentration of intact Transitional/Early Ranch-style homes in metropolitan Phoenix, perhaps even in all of Arizona. But, there are also has a variety of Pueblo Revivals plus three Art Moderne homes. Many of these gorgeous homes have 1 to 2 car detached garages, detached studios, guest houses and lot sizes with room to make it your own. Many of these homes still boast the 2-color, original tile combo with colors that you just don’t see anymore like peach and black, pink and black, powder blue and black, pink and green and peach and green. There are also many, many homes here that have extremely modern interiors while keeping historic integrity. These are must see homes.

If you like North Encanto, you’ll probably like Campus Vista Historic District which is just east of 15th Avenue, Del Norte Place near 15th Avenue and Encanto Blvd., and, Country Club Park Historic District near 7th Street and Thomas Road.

Homes For Sale In North Encanto Historic District

History of North Encanto Historic District

Celebrate Arizona Beer Week in Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix Events

Beer Week Arizona 2016

Arizona Beer Week 2016

Arizona Beer Week festivities begin this Thursday and whether you’re a craft brew connoisseur or just a beginner, you’re sure to find something to please your beer-drinking palate. Events are scheduled across the state from February 11 through February 21, but here is a list of events you’ll find in the greater downtown Phoenix area.

Thursday, February 11

Clever Koi – THAT Brewery Beer Dinner

Friday, February 12

Oven & Vine – Two Brothers Beer & Food Tasting

Angels Trumpet Ale House – Stone/Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover

The Coronado – San Tan Brewing Craft and Charity Night

Saturday, February 13

Angels Trumpet Ale House – Brunch Before the Storm

Steele Indian School Park – Strong Beer Festival

Sunday, February 14

Phoenix Ale Brewery, The Velo Bike Shop/Bicycle Nomad Cafe, ThirdSpace, The Rose & Crown Pub – Phoenix Ale Beer & Bike Social Ride

Flowers Beer and Wine – VIP Wristband

Rose & Crown Pub – VIP Wristband

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Central Phoenix Brewery Tour

Pizzeria Bianco – Historic Brew Co. “Beer is for Lovers” Dinner

Monday, February 15

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Food Pairing with Copper Dome Pilsner

Tuesday, February 16

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Cupcake and Beer Pairing

Stand Up Live – Strong Beer Night

Wednesday, February 17

DeSoto Central Market – Sonoran and Phoenix Ale Tap Assault and Burger Night

Circle 6 Studios Gallery – Hot Glass Cold Beer with THAT Brewery

Thursday, February 18

Angels Trumpet Ale House – Arizona Firkin Day

Friday, February 19

Sun Up Brewing Co. – Cigars with Uwe

Rose & Crown Pub – Left Hand Keep the Pint Night

Sunday, February 21

ThirdSpace – Ice Cream Beer Brunch with SanTan Brewing

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Roosevelt Row BID Proposal Faces New Challenges

Since April 2014, Downtown Phoenix Journal has been sharing the story of the developing proposal for a Roosevelt area Enhanced Municipal Services District, more commonly known as a Business Improvement District or BID. 

Roosevelt Row Historic Phoenix

Roosevelt Row, Phoenix, AZ

Over the past 18 months, the Roosevelt Row community has been engaged in the process of forming a business improvement district (BID), which would provide enhanced municipal services for the area. Though the proposal for the BID passed the Phoenix City Council in January, it is now in danger of being invalidated due to a bill that is advancing in the state legislature.

HB 2440 would essentially change the process for the formation of BIDs – not just in downtown Phoenix, but across the state. If passed, it would incorporate more government oversight into the process and would be retroactive to January 1, 2016. The bill is sponsored by Representative Warren Petersen of Gilbert and is supported by a group of Roosevelt Row land owners who oppose the formation of the BID. The bill passed the House this week and is now on its way to the Senate.

Earlier in the week, Roosevelt Row CDC sent a letter to Roosevelt business owners informing them about the bill. The letter is excerpted here:

Dear Roosevelt Row Business Owner,

As many of you are aware, the Phoenix City Council recently approved the formation of a business improvement district for our Roosevelt Row area. That vote gives us the opportunity to create an organization that represents us, the small business owners of Roosevelt Row, to collectively market our area as an evolving canvas of creativity. By forming this district we will be able to promote arts, music, dining and shopping opportunities which will increase business and community awareness of Roosevelt Row as a culturally diverse destination welcoming to everyone.

To be clear, the Council’s vote to approve the District is contingent upon us working together to develop by-laws and a budget which reflects our priorities in a fiscally responsible manner. Once those documents are completed the City Council will then review, modify, and/or approve what we submit.

While we are currently in the process of developing those items (budget and by-laws), a lobbying firm, which recently purchased a building on Roosevelt Row, is using its influence to retroactively stop our district from being formed and essentially prohibiting any future Business Improvement Districts from ever being organized again. Public Policy Partners, a lobbying firm owned and operated in part by lobbyist Marcus Dell’Artino, has successfully gotten a Gilbert lawmaker to introduce House Bill 2440, which would essentially prohibit any types of these organizations from ever being organized again anywhere in Arizona! And the bill is retroactively dated to the date our district was approved by Phoenix City Council.

Currently business improvement districts are successfully operating in Downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Tucson and Flagstaff – they have been highly effective in revitalizing these urban core areas by recruiting, retaining and expanding locally-owned and independently operated small businesses and promoting these areas as unique cultural, artistic and commercial destinations. They have proven to be powerful economic engines to spur business and job growth.

If you agree with the Roosevelt Row CDC and would like to voice your support for the BID, follow this link to contact members of the Arizona Legislature: http://www.rooseveltrow.org/save-roosevelt-row/

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