Category Archives: Downtown Revitalization

Watch this Channel 12 preview of the Grand Avenue Festival!

Yuma Heritage Area project at halfway point

[Source: Joyce Lobeck, Yuma Sun] — Even underfunded, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area has transformed eyesores to parks and new development since it was created eight years ago this month. The Hilton Garden Inn and Pivot Point Conference Center (pictured) have risen from bare ground along the Colorado River to serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment of the downtown riverfront, a landfill has become the inviting West Wetlands Park and the 1,418-acre East Wetlands has evolved from a trash-strewn jungle of non-native vegetation into one of the largest and most ambitious restoration projects in the Southwest, said Charles Flynn, executive director. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Tucson deal aims to acquire artist space

[Source: Bud Foster, KOLD News] — “We got empty lots. We got falling down buildings,” says Susan Gamble, President of the Warehouse Arts Management Organization. But WAMO is working to change that. There are about 30 old, dilapidated warehouses in downtown Tucson which are owned by the Arizona State Transportation Department. Local artists would like to have those buildings to house their studios. They proposed a deal. The city and state would swap some land in exchange for the warehouses. The city would then deed the warehouses over to the artists. The artists would then start to work. “If we take on all the expense of doing rehab, the work of it, the advertising, it’s really a good deal for them (Tucson) because we do a public service and a public good,” says Gamble.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: TucsonRailfan.]

Florence’s Old Silver King Hotel ready to be renovated

[Source: Arizona Republic] — The town is hoping the historic Silver King Hotel will be ready for an occupant by the end of the year. Twelve contractors have submitted proposals to complete renovations on the hotel, and the town wants an aggressive construction schedule. The hotel was a center of local social life for 100 years until it closed in 1977. The Florence Preservation Foundation bought the building and 12 years ago was awarded a $500,000 federal grant. The money was used to stabilize the building and put on a roof, windows and doors. The town bought the building from the foundation last year.

Nogales to save, restore Old City Hall

[Source: Nogales International] — “This is the only place where you can live in history,” said Executive Director Axel Holm as he welcomed visitors to the Pimeria Alta Historical Society Museum on Friday. The museum occupies the Old City Hall building at 136 N. Grand Ave. The occasion was a kick-off for a historical preservation and restoration program sponsored by the City of Nogales. “We will strive to be a great community by initiating and completing the restoration of the city’s showcase property, our original city hall,” said Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel. The city has painted the outside of the building and will make repairs to the roof and air conditioning, said Nils Urman, community and economic development director. His department will provide signs through a grant from the Arizona Department of Tourism. Nogales Volunteer Firefighters built the original city hall, and the city will work with that group and the Pimeria Alta Historical Society to make the building more functional, Urman said.

Event Center could add life to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic] — Pearle Marr’s family owned Imperial Lithographics in downtown Phoenix for nearly 40 years. Now Marr and her husband, Malcolm, hope to make another imprint on the changing community. Malcolm and Pearle Marrs, 61 and 57 respectively, are working to make the Fifth Avenue and Madison Event Center (pictured) one of downtown Phoenix’s premier spots. When a business decided last year to stop leasing the buildings on the block where Imperial was formerly located, between Jackson and Madison streets and Fourth and 5th avenues, the couple had to decide what they wanted to do with the location. “Two of (the buildings) are historically designated and it was important to us as a family that we do something that will enhance their designation,” Malcolm said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Mark Henle, Arizona Republic.]

ASU professor’s neglect irks Superior officials

[Source: Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune] — Glenn A. Wilt Jr. has taught scores of Arizona State University students about finance and real estate investment during his 45 years as a business professor. But officials in Superior are puzzled at what guided Wilt to purchase many of the tiny mining town’s abandoned theaters, shops and houses only to neglect the structures. The professor has amassed a vast real estate portfolio the past two decades, including most of downtown Superior. But dozens of his buildings are collapsing; a few have become unsalvageable ruins. “He seems to feel these falling-down structures are going to be beautiful someday and that there will magically be the money,” said Todd Pryor, Superior’s fire marshal.

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