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New downtown housing development key to improving Phoenix’s urban life

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Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By Colton Krolck


MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: The tallest residential building in downtown Phoenix is in development and it’s planned to be 34 stories tall. Joining us now street-side with updates on this city development is reporter Colton Krolak. Colton?

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: Thanks, Michael. Right now a transit center is sitting at the spot where the high-rise is expected to go.

WES WAGNER/DOWNTOWN PHOENIX RESIDENT: It just seems to clear out when the workday is over.

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: But hundreds more people may soon be able to call downtown Phoenix home.

DAN KLOCKE/ECONOMIC DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX PARTNERSHIP: This is a high-rise rental project, about 475 units, and right at the heart of downtown at Central Station at Central and Van Buren.

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: The $82 million project is being called the Phoenix Central Station. In addition to the apartments, it’s expected to include a huge commercial space, even a dog park. But this is much bigger than just a new building.

DAN KLOCKE/ECONOMIC DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX PARTNERSHIP: Well obviously we’re not as large of a downtown like Chicago, or some other cities of that size, but really what we are is a city that is rapidly catching up to a lot of the great urban environments out there, the Denvers, the Seattles, and so forth. We’ve got a lot of ways to go, we know that. But really one of the keys to making things successful in downtown is having a large residential population.

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: Downtown resident Wes Wagner moved to Phoenix from the Windy City. His major complaint? The lack of grocery stores.

WES WAGNER/DOWNTOWN PHOENIX RESIDENT: To get food or something, the closest grocery store to here is at least a mile away. You’ve got to drive to it.

DAN KLOCKE/ECONOMIC DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX PARTNERSHIP: Quite honestly, it’s a chicken-and-egg for grocery stores. Do I have enough people to shop there before I open the store, but we want to get people living down here, and they want a grocery store. So it’s kind of how do we get to that point? But we’re pretty close with 9,000 people living down here.

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: And with more businesses moving in…

WES WAGNER/DOWNTOWN PHOENIX RESIDENT: I think there’s a lot of potential here.

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: Lots of potential, without the Chicago price tag.

COLTON KROLACK/CRONKITE NEWS: Apartments in Phoenix Central Station range from $800 to $1,600 a month. Average prices in Chicago – more than $2,000 a month.