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Roosevelt Row Arts District is a walkable, creative district in the urban core of downtown Phoenix that is nationally known for its arts and cultural events, award-winning restaurants, galleries, boutiques and live music. RoRo is fostering an urban renewal with rehabilitated bungalows and new infill projects. The Arts District connects downtown Phoenix to historic neighborhoods including Garfield, Evans Churchill, F.Q. Story, Willo, Historic Roosevelt and Grand Avenue. Roosevelt Row begins at 7th Avenue and extends east to 16th Street. On the north side it begins at Interstate 10 and extends south to Fillmore Street.

A BIT OF HISTORY

Roosevelt Row has been a vital mixed use area from the earliest days of the establishment of Phoenix. Many of the concrete sidewalks in the neighborhood were poured in 1909, three years before Arizona officially became the 48th State. In the early 1940s, when there were approximately 30,000 people living in Phoenix, numerous businesses were established along Roosevelt Street. The flower shop at Fifth Street and Roosevelt has been in continuous operation since 1948.

In the 1970s, parts of the area were re-zoned as a high-rise incentive district leading to land speculation and a decline of the neighborhood that lasted until the late 1990s.

The blighted area was attractive to artists because the boarded-up buildings and former crack houses were affordable for studio and gallery space. The arts were a major factor in the revitalization of the area and crime rates plummeted as more people began to venture into the area to experience the cultural vibrancy.

The corridor is re-emerging as one of the most dynamic areas in downtown Phoenix and a valued cultural resource in the metropolitan region and the state.

As followers of this page know, our Pie Social event went down this past weekend. We got good weather, good tunes, and some wild pies. I was one of the event’s judges. It was a good gig. The judges’ table practically creaked under tens of thousands of calories, hundreds of grams of sugar, and every sweet color you can dream. It was a sight.

Here are three pies that really surprised me. These aren’t necessarily my three favorites of the group. Rather, each of these gently slapped my head sideways in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Cheeky Cherry from Holly Heizenrader, MacAlpine’s Diner and Soda Fountain
Some pies were traditional, some pies were creative. Heizenrader’s cherry pie was the former. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t expecting such flavor. This pie, oozing with molten cherry goodness, located whatever part of the brain is responsible for the experience of cherry. It then pushed the pedal all the way down. Nothing fancy here, other than the pie’s elegant appearance. Just a damn good pie.

Guinness Stew Patsy from Dean Thomas, Cornish Pasty Co.
A savory pie. Interesting. It takes some moxie to enter a savory pie into a competition like Pie Social. The effect of eating a bunch of sweet pies and then sinking my teeth into this pasty, loaded with tender meat, was to throw the savory flavors into richer relief. Going sweet and then savory accentuated the savory. I don’t know if there is any science behind why this is, but I strongly feel that the transition made the meat’s decadence, the flaky shell, and the cool cream that much better. Also: It was lunch time.

Salted Caramel with Pistachio and Cherries from Monique Kauppi, The Herb Box
The dark chocolate flavor of Kauppi’s pie came like an avalanche. It kept on coming and coming even after the flavors of pistachio and caramel had fallen away. One judge said she got a kind of chocolate brain freeze from the rush of pure cacao to the head. No such thing as chocolate too dark, in my opinion. This was easily the most intensely flavored pie of the bunch. You could see that on the faces of folks who tasted it. Between this pie, the other two, and the remaining 12, it was a nice run this year.

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By NOVEMBER 22, 2017
(Original post)

Hundreds of people ate hundreds of pies baked by more than a dozen local bakers at the eighth annual Pie Social Sunday at Hance Park in Phoenix.

And that’s not counting the dozens of pies created by community bakers.

It’s safe to call the day a successful pig out, brought to you by Roosevelt Row and Phoenix New Times.

Competition was fierce in all categories, but one newcomer really stood out — both for our panel of judges and festival attendees.

The results of the contest:

Best Presentation — Crystal Kass, Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Hazelnut Praline Chess Pie
Best Taste — Dean Thomas, Cornish Pasty Co., Guiness Stew Pasty
Most Creative — Tamara Stanger, Helio Basin Brewing Co., Hibiscus Vinegar Pie
Most Memorable — Tamara Stanger, Helio Basin Brewing Co., Hibiscus Vinegar Pie
People’s Choice — Tamara Stanger, Helio Basin Brewing Co., Hibiscus Vinegar Pie
Best in Show — Tamara Stanger, Helio Basin Brewing Co., Hibiscus Vinegar Pie

Stay tuned for a slideshow. Thanks to all who participated and congrats to the winners.

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By:  | NOVEMBER 20, 2017
(Original post)

Boarded-up buildings and weed-filled vacant lots were the norm in metro Phoenix’s oldest historic neighborhood not too long ago.

Now, the 100-plus-year-old Roosevelt District in downtown Phoenix has evolved before our eyes into Roosevelt Row, one of the most popular neighborhoods in not only metro Phoenix but the U.S.

The bustling Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street hub of Roosevelt Row was recently voted the sixth most popular metro Phoenix intersection by Urban Land Institute Arizona. The area didn’t even make the list 10 years ago.

Roosevelt Row garnered one of the American Planning Association’s “Great Places” designations last year – Phoenix’s first and only one.

Hotspots Rentals just ranked Roosevelt Row as the 24th “coolest” neighborhood in the U.S. based on transit, walkability, entertainment and cost of living. It was the only Arizona neighborhood to make the ranking.

Last week, plans for one of the area’s historic buildings – the Knipe House –  got City Council approval to be purchased and preserved as part of a $151 million project.

In October, construction started on the 30-story apartment tower Link Phx on the eastern end of Roosevelt Row. And one of the neighborhood’s new apartment complexes, Alta Fillmore, just sold for a record price for downtown Phoenix.

 “We are flooded with requests for information and development proposals for Roosevelt Row,” said David Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc. “The biggest challenge is not squeezing out the area’s artistic vibe.”

Walking the art walk

While we Phoenix locals love “RoRo” for its bars and restaurants, most people know the area best for its First Friday art walk.

The tour now has dozens of venues and draws big crowds on Fridays. Many of Roosevelt’s vacant lots and rundown buildings have been filled up by galleries, restaurants and bars.

The neighborhood has evolved so much in the past decade because area business owners like monOrchid gallery owner Wayne Rainey and Carly’s Bistro owner Carly Wade Logan are fierce protectors of its art scene and historic buildings.

Developers are drawn to Roosevelt Row for both.

“We have a strong desire to save properties with significant history,” said Niels Kreipke of Desert Viking, which renovated the popular retail and eatery hub Gold Spot Center at 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt. “We want to ensure Roosevelt holds onto its vast history and local business ownership.”

Last week, the Phoenix City Council approved True North Holding’s $3.56 million purchase of the city-owned Knipe House and land around it.

The developer plans to incorporate the house on 2nd Street near Roosevelt Street into an office, retail and housing development. A 19-story tower and two smaller buildings are planned for the project, named Ro2.

The 1909 Knipe House is now one of the last remaining historic buildings in Roosevelt Row that hasn’t been redeveloped.

Seeing Roosevelt Row grow

Living and working adjacent to Roosevelt Row, it’s been easy to take its rebirth for granted because I see it daily.

Recently, Roosevelt Row lost a court fight to become a business-improvement district, paid for by a new property tax. The boundaries would have stretched roughly from Fillmore to Moreland streets and Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue.

Many supporters from the city and the neighborhood are disappointed.

But Roosevelt Row’s evolution is heartening, and continues despite the loss.

Recently on my way home from work, I noticed several restaurants with crowded patios and new apartments and condominiums with people on their balconies in Roosevelt Row.

A decade ago, I would have been staring at vacant lots and rundown buildings.

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By: , The Republic | azcentral.com | December 10, 2017
(Original post)

Tempe’s Pedal Haus Brewery is opening a second location in downtown Phoenix at a new shipping container development in downtown Phoenix.

Pedal Haus already has a location on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe.

It’s a concept of restaurateur Julian Wright

The downtown Phoenix location will be at The Churchill. That is a new development being fashioned out of old seaport shipping containers being built at Garfield and First streets on the north side of downtown Phoenix near Roosevelt Row.

State Forty Eight ­— a Chandler-based clothing and apparel maker with a focus on Arizona themes — is also locating a shop at The Churchill.

Archicon and Local Studios are designing and building the container project for developers Hartley Rodie and Kell Duncan.

They are using 19 shipping containers for the project.

Cocktail bar Pobrecito, Freak Brothers Pizza and Cosas, an artisans boutique are also locating at development.

Construction has started at the site with completion set for next spring.

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By   –  Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal | Decemeber 13, 2017

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., which got its start in Gilbert, is planning to open a location in Downtown Phoenix at 201 East Roosevelt.

The new brewery, slated to open in early 2019, will feature burgers and the brewer’s craft beer, the Phoenix Business Journal reports. It will keep its original location, but its second spot joins the likes of FilmBar and Angels Trumpet Ale House, which are only a few blocks away.

The Roosevelt Row building that will be home to the new brewery is notable for a mural of a bicycle deliveryman on the side adjacent to Second Street.

“Expanding our presence to Downtown Phoenix allows us to continue as an authentic craft brewery while enhancing and growing the objective,” Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. founder Jonathan Buford wrote on his blog. “We will continue our efforts to uphold our sustainability efforts (solar, reclaimed rain water, efficiently using natural lighting, recycling, composting food waste, etc.), but also progressing our farm to pint/table initiatives.”

Buford also lauded urban cores as hotbeds of creativity, including Phoenix. “City centers are a splendid showcase of the surrounding people’s abilities, feelings and artistic culture,” he wrote.

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Original post: Dees Stribling, Bisnow National | December 18, 2017