Hubbard Street Group's 26-Story Building Approved for Roosevelt Row
By Raven Payne, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
The vacant lot across from Roosevelt Growhouse is to be filled with a multi-family complex after having spent many years empty.
The 26-story project on the southeast corner of Sixth and Garfield streets was approved for construction recently by the Community and Economic Subcommittee.
Hubbard Street Group, the developer responsible for this project said it would bring 264 construction jobs and 77 permanent ones.
As Community and Economic Development Director Cristine Mackey was presenting the project to the board, she revealed a surprise voluntary addition of $100,000 toward affordable housing in the city on behalf of the developers.
Hubbard Street Group’s attorney, Nick Wood presented this add-on to Mackey just the night before. Wood stated that it was not his idea. “My clients are very magnanimous. They thought the city would appreciate it.”
A past Phoenix housing press release supported their notion.
In a July 20th press release revealing Phoenix’s’ first ever plan to address the housing shortage in the city, it was stated that “the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn is intensifying the already existing housing crisis.”
In the Housing Phoenix Plan, Mayor Kate Gallego said, in a letter to Phoenix citizens, that assuring Phoenix has affordable housing options for all who desire to call our city home is a priority for the Phoenix City Council.
With a goal to create 50,000 homes by 2030 and increase overall supply of market, workforce and affordable housing according to the report, the funding of $100,000 from the developers seemed more than welcome to the area as was portrayed by District 7 Councilman Michael Nowakowski.
“I believe that if we start with this new trend where we get at least 10 percent plus a donation into a fund where we as a city of Phoenix can either turn around and have a nonprofit or ourselves build workforce housing or affordable housing, I think it’s a good trend to have.”
Although Councilwoman Debra Stark too praised the development and additional funding as “top of the cake” and the project was approved with little to no hitches, the area of planned development composed within the arts district has a history of complaints against big monolithic housing plans.
In a 2015 multimedia article by AzCentral [https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/04/17/downtown-phoenix-roosevelt-row-arts-district/25886609/] when developers were first flocking to downtown Phoenix, advocates for Roosevelt Row were seen in a video chanting “Save Roosevelt Row.”
Roosevelt Row arts district is known for its arts and historical presence in downtown Phoenix and especially for the Roosevelt Growhouse.
In an attempt by the city of Phoenix in 2017 to get a buyer for the Growhouse, there were many objections including that of architect, Bob Graham. “For the most part we have lost any aspect or sense of what the history of that area is like.” [AzCentralhttps://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/06/15/phoenix-seeks-buyer-historic-knipe-house-roosevelt-row-district/384676001/ ]
Amid those past objections to any change to the historical house, the presentation showed there would be work conducted with the Growhouse to find a new location.
Despite the past pushback, the project will still move forward. The projected completion of the high rise is unknown at this time.