Phoenix’s warehouse district is on the verge of a comeback. Head south a few blocks of downtown and the buildings get shorter. Towering skyscrapers are replaced by vintage brick warehouses. Here, just a stone’s throw from where the Suns and Diamondbacks play, the vibe is more laid back. This is where visionaries see what others cannot. A glimpse, at once, of Downtown Phoenix’s past and future.
Today, the neighborhood is being reborn with unexpected results. It’s attracting an eclectic collection of office spaces, restaurants, galleries and one-of-a-kind venues for music and events. Its urban realness draws creative ventures and tech start-ups alike. Ambitious entrepreneurs are reinvigorating once-shuttered warehouses with adaptive new uses. It’s more than a different side of the tracks–it’s a different side of Phoenix–and it’s gaining momentum. This is the future of downtown’s next wave of growth.
The Historic Grand Avenue neighborhood includes an eclectic mix of art studios and galleries, vintage architecture, interesting adaptive reuse projects, diverse residential, and is one of Phoenix’ oldest downtown commercial districts. Artist-decorated planters, green bike lanes, art installations, colorful murals, free on-street parking, and small businesses highlight this unique area situated on the western edge of downtown.
The Central Arts District is composed of 11 arts and cultural venues and groups in midtown Phoenix, with many directly accessible via light rail by being located adjacent to the Central Avenue light rail line. Formally created in May 2014, its boundaries are Virginia Avenue on the north, Roosevelt Street on the south, Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue on the east and west, respectively. The district aims to create a combined brand and create more opportunities for its members to engage in joint promotions and offer visitors more varied ways to become exposed the arts. The Central Arts District’s 11 members (those adjacent to the light rail line are marked with asterisks) are:
– Heard Museum
– Phoenix Art Museum
– Arizona Opera
– Phoenix Theatre
– Phoenix Center for the Arts
– Phoenix Community Alliance
– Arizona School for the Arts
– Hance Park Conservancy
– Metro Arts Institute high school
– Central Arts Plaza building
– Playhouse on the Park