Phoenix Champ Car race in center of redevelopment plans San Diego has the Gaslamp Quarter, Miami has South Beach and Denver has LoDo. Now, a group of private developers wants to create a hip hangout spot in downtown Phoenix, one that rivals or even surpasses those found in some of the nation's greatest cities.
The proposed Jackson Street Entertainment District would cut a path across the southern end of downtown, stretching from Central Avenue to Chase Field, and could be anchored by the state's first House of Blues music venue. [Note the NASCAR banner ad in the photo. Rest assured NASCAR will make certain Phoenix people will think the Champ Car race is really a NASCAR race as they will flood the market with NASCAR media in Phoenix before, during and after the Champ Car weekend. There really is no beating a monopoly and hence why the Sherman Anti-trust laws were created - to break up monopolies so others have a fair competitive chance. As it is, NASCAR smothers everything else in the USA, but until the government steps in, they will continue to ride roughshod over the industry.]
The blockbuster proposal is significant because it addresses downtown Phoenix's lack of full-time residents and nightlife, both of which are key to turning the area into a true destination spot. The new district, when complete, could boast comedy clubs, signature restaurants, live-music spots and art galleries, as well as office space, housing units and a hotel.
Dale Jensen, part owner of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Champ Car race promoter [Race will be held in center of this proposed redevelopment] is one of Jackson Street's backers. He said he and his business partners decided to move forward with the idea after realizing that there was nothing to keep people downtown after a Suns or Diamondbacks game.
"The thought was, we have these two big boxes in downtown, the arena and the ballpark, but we really have nothing for people to do but go to that box and go home," he said.
Jackson Street marks the second time in recent months that the private sector has turned its attention to downtown Phoenix in a big way.
Late last year, Phoenix officials approved plans for CityScape, a megashopping, residential and retail project that will give the downtown area its first grocery store in 25 years.
CityScape, which will be just north of the proposed Jackson Street Entertainment District, is expected to complement this newest plan by providing residents and urban workers with a variety of shopping and dining options downtown.
It is expected to feature more national retail chains, while Jackson Street will focus heavily on music and entertainment venues. More at azcentral.com