Welcome...you lucky people
"HERE COMES THE NEIGHBORHOOD"
a special e-hood online presentation by Wayne Murray
Michelle Steinberg-Dan Archibald-Buddha Luginbuhl-Tod Shinsky-Mark Murray-THE MIDTOWN MESSENGER
COLLECTOR STREET- STREETSCAPE AND MITIGATION
MAIN ARTERIES AND REAL ESTATE VALUES
THE INFLUENCE AND EFFECT OF PROPERTY VALUES
SOLUTIONS THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF THE CORONADO HISTORIC DISTRICT
SOLUTIONS THROUGH CORONADO FIGHT BACK SOUTHWEST
The Greater Coronado Neighborhood is comprised of..........
the homes, businesses, streets and most importantly, the community of neighbors that live and work in the area that is bounded by 7th Street on the west, Thomas Road on the North, Interstate 10 on the south and State Route 51 known as the Piestawa Parkway on the east.
This article will serve as an information resource for those interested in this area and demonstrate how we as a community can successfully, from the past through the future, through challenging economic can pull together to form a vibrant community network that will sustain us in the present but also move us forward towards a bright future This is a message of inner challenge, vision, hard work, resource allocation and reallocation as well as a call for a commitment from the community. These words will be repeated often in this article. It is a message that will be translated into a brief summary presentation that I will be giving at the June 5rd, 2008 General Meeting of the Coronado Neighborhood Association. This meeting begins at 7:00PM in the Media Room (towards the back) of Emerson Elementary School located on Palm Lane at 9th Street.
My presentation will be divided into two parts: residential, the neighborhood behind the arteries and collector streets; and the arteries, collectors, and businesses. Each part will be farther divided into more parts identifying problems and concerns, and then solutions that identify the roles that various organizations, the city of phoenix, local businesses, the press, and most importantly, the individuals can play.
It is important to reflect that to be successful, our commitment will and must define our future structure and the structure must not and will not define or limit our commitment.
For review, I have compiled four slide shows filled with images of the Greater Coronado Neighborhood. These are a closer look at what we perhaps do not see as we pass by these locations, and also perhaps a closer look at what we do see. They are “not” all positive images, but images that are designed to spur you to motivation and determination into not just sustaining the neighborhood that we live in but to use this opportunity, this economic down turn, to move forward into in a spirit to say “here comes the neighborhood”. The vision and potential to take the Coronado to the next level. Please view the images once, at a comfortable pace as there are many, and then read this article, then take another look at the same images and see if you cannot grasp hold of what is referred to in that article as vision and potential.
The shows are divided according to relevant titles. Some of the things that you may become aware of and look for/questions that you may be asking yourself as you view them are as follows:
What are the messages that we as residents are getting regarding the area that we live in? What is becoming the identity of ourselves-who we are a Coronadoans, as we form our sense of place in the City?
What are the messages that the “outside members” of the larger metropolitan area and visitors to the area are receiving from our most visible parts? How may they differ from ours?
How many homes were once occupied during the real estate boom and are now for rent or for sale, so that property owners can survive the downturn? Is there a cascading effect just around the corner? Homes that were once owner occupied?
Notice the large number of business locations that are available for lease or sale?
How many of these appear to us and others as not only available but abandoned, neglected and vacant?
Look closely at the special architectural features, and the unique place they have in the city and in its past? What of the historical significance of many of these properties, the unleashed potential? How can we realize this outwardly? How can we draw attention to this? What will actually be necessary to turn the tide?
Notice the intense diversity in the businesses, as well as homes. Unique, every one. How can we draw on this, celebrate it and make it work for us to enhance our definition of who we are?
Notice the scattered individual locations that exhibit a strong and powerful sense of pride of ownership, how can we work with the knowledge and expertise of these people to build on this and expand it at an exponential rate.
Notice the scattered locations that exhibit a strong and powerful lack of a sense of pride of ownership, how can we discourage and change this?
When viewing the McDowell photos look at the wide berth the pedestrian is given from the street to the store front and sidewalk, the shaded overhangs of the historically significant properties. Isn’t it beautiful? What potential! All of this was thoughtfully planned during the Gateway Arch Public Art and McDowell the Golden Years renovation during the widening of McDowell Road in the late 80’s.
Move in a comfortable pace, or click on the slide show button in the new window to view in a automatic show presentation. We will revisit them again with a different mindset. (top)
The Slide Show button is linked on the left, then return to the discussion of the photos, vision and solutions below.
COLLECTOR STREET- STREETSCAPE AND MITIGATION
In 2006 the voters of phoenix passed a capital improvement 2006 Bond Program and 10 million dollars from the bond election was designated for Collector Street Traffic mitigation. I was fortunate to be a member of the Street Transportation Bond Subcommittee and this part of the allocation was the only part to remain intact retaining 100% of its funding, and over half of the total for street improvement. This indicates the need, desire and determination on the part of the voters to address this issue. View the numbers: http://phoenix.gov/2006bond/bondtraffic.pdf . While not a part of the 2006 Bond program, but a neighborhood Fight back Program I was also fortunate to participate in the establishment of The Virginia Traffic Mitigation Project, now completed on Virginia Avenue in the Coronado Neighborhood. Along with working on the 12th Street and Oak Street Traffic Circle, we here have first hand knowledge of exactly what careful traffic mitigation and paying attention to streetscape appearance, neighborhood involvement and participation can do to create sense of place and what it can do for a area. It is now a proven fact in Coronado, no guess work needed.
Oak Street between 16th Street and SR 51 is a 2006 Bond Program eligible Collector Street. Past and recent traffic studies conducted show a great need for traffic mitigation along this stretch of road. Children, speed, wide roadway, and large numbers of rental units make this a perfect area for improvement to achieve the best results and serve the most people. Now that the City has tested the Traffic Circle concept and function as a mitigation device through its Pilot Traffic Circle Program, wouldn’t it be in the City’s best interest to have yet another, at least a second, tool in the box to use that specifically addresses speed as a problem without affecting the necessary flow of traffic on a collector street? Consider what a contributing factor this would be to the entire rental housing that lines that street to have this short and easily manageable stretch of road be a test template for larger and more complicated collector street mitigation that may be needed elsewhere in the city. What an impact and incentive this would be for the landlords and property owners to contribute their private capital to improving their property along with and at the same time as the city is improving the street. Remember the potential tenant base and resource that lies within walking distance of this area, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Arizona Heart institute? Working with the established Tri-network Fight Back program which has already begun traffic mitigation in the area, this can become a real possibility. Because of the pre-established desire along that stretch of roadway, collecting the support for such improvements will certainly be a easy task for the residents to accomplish and there will be little opposition for creative innovation for this long needed improvement. Let’s try a different type of mitigation, mitigation for speed and safety in a densely populated short stretch of roadway, and let’s try it on Oak Street between 16th Street and SR51. (top)
MAIN ARTERIES AND REAL ESTATE VALUES
It is very important to have concerns and to express them regarding the difficult economic times that are ahead for the Greater Coronado community, especially as it relates to the real estate values and the loss of equity-economic value and business closures along our arteries. These arteries are McDowell Road and 16th Streets.
However it is much more important to take that next step forward and have vision, and resolution resulting in answers to the questions we raise, concerns we express and to formulate a plan that moves forward with all of the resources available.
I would now like to identify some of those resources and how they can be used to move us forward.
The Greater Coronado Neighborhood is unique. Paint a picture, a positive visualization. We are unique in our location within the larger Phoenix metropolitan area. The Greater Coronado Neighborhood does not have natural barriers that define it, nor is it a gated-guarded, planned community but rather an open community. It is fortunate to have strong, significant man made vehicular arteries like McDowell Road running east and west and 16th Street along with 12th street running north and south through it. The life bloodlines of the residential areas beyond these arteries we call home. It is also very fortunate to have on its outermost boundaries Interstate 10 to the south, and State Route 51 to the East. On its northern boundary, Thomas Road and the lovely upscale homes of the Phoenix Country Club, with its beautiful open green space golf course. The Phoenix Country Club cuts many of the north-south through streets and funnels them out to the main arteries of 7th Street and 16th Street. The outer boundary to the west is 7th Street, a very nice and friendly business oriented boundary with beautiful Historic upscale homes and businesses between 7th and Central. These man-made vehicular barriers provide an effect that reduce the amount of cut through traffic that would normally occur in a north-south and east- west directions if these were not in place, it is important to recognize them as a positive influence in the community. While not being natural they are effective and in the case of the Country Club and west of 7th St. are contributing factors to our historic identity. Being man-made makes them easier to design and change to be most beneficial for the community they surround. This is good and is important because it gives us as a community a defined area in which to concentrate efforts.
Look at a few of the other very positive factors that provide for an exciting stability opportunity for the Coronado area. As strong influential anchor points in the upper northeast corner are Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Arizona Heart Hospital. Both these facilities provide clean, round-the-clock, high income and moderate income stable employment. This is great for both homeownership and rental opportunities and businesses as well as all the retail business that comes along with that. Phoenix Children’s Hospital is presently developing a large expansion that will explode the aforementioned benefits for the area. David Cottle recently said at a Coronado General meeting that the expansion will most likely add 200 Jobs over the next four years. APS is building a substation in the same vicinity and both have worked closely with the neighborhood and the Tri-network Fight Back Association to facilitate major traffic improvements surrounding the hospital and the substation. The Greater Coronado Neighborhood has a mirror image effect in the opposite southwest corner with the large Banner Samaritan Hospital Medical center, and all of the independent supporting medical facilities surrounding that location. Again, a great anchor point for employment, sustainability and long term neighborhood stability. All are generous contributors to the neighborhood, and should be looked upon as partners for resources and be a major part of any co-coordinated stakeholder effort for improvement.
Looking west we have a major grocery store within a gas-free walk or short drive. Closer to Central Avenue the new light rail system that will open up large stretches of the valley, from Tempe to north Phoenix within a walk and train commute. Along Central we have access to many cultural venues such as the Phoenix Art Museum and the Burton Barr Library. For the sports minded, all of the venues downtown and Tempe alike will be accessible from the light rail system, free from car and parking hassles. The greater Coronado Neighborhood is located close to Margaret Hance Park, and has within our own boundaries at its heart, the Historic Coronado Park, due for a 1.5 million dollar renovation in the coming years with the 2006 Bond election money. The City of Phoenix urban form project, downtown redevelopment, First Fridays, newly proposed high-rises will bring new neighbors and residential retail. The Coronado Neighborhood enjoys a close physical location and spiritual relationship with our sister Historic Neighborhoods. This is something that should be expanded, exploited and developed as a source of shared resources and ideas. Coronado has cause to announce in these difficult economic times “here comes the neighborhood”.
What can be done? How can we realize this positive potential to its fullest extent?. (top)
With all this potential, all these positives, why are McDowell Road and 16th Street in a state of decline with a look of hopelessness reflected in the photos I have presented? It does not make sense does it? Why the underlying message; “there goes the neighborhood”?
THE INFLUENCE AND EFFECT OF PROPERTY VALUES
One of the greatest issues that we should concern ourselves with when it comes to residential integrity and ensuing stability in the area is “value.” Not only the value that we who live in the community place on our community, but how others may value our area. Not just the economic value but in the emotional sense as well in terms of how we view ourselves and more importantly, how others view us. If this is ignored, left to spiral in a downward trend we can lose value ourselves, and it can soon be out of our control to do anything about it as a community. It can take on a life of its own, where we have little say or influence in determining the direction and outcome of where we live and the place we call home.
We as individuals can take care of our own homes and have a great impact; we can reach out to our neighbors and make sure in a neighborly way that they also do the same. This requires many differing forms of communication with each other, building a cohesive feeling. On a broader scale, we can organize as a community and see that this happens area wide, this is the most important factor because it is that organization, with the proper goals and objectives that with the proper leadership can have the most impact in the community. Having and maintaining friendly forms of 21st Century communication and networking in a neighborly way is a key to the sewing of a strong fabric of a neighborhood. What about the city’s responsibility? Once the responsibility passes outside of the individual and the community it loses some of its closeness and intimacy with the problems and concerns and along with that loses its maximum potential effectiveness. The city, because of its larger resource pool can be a great facilitator of ideas, tools and funding as well as a location for sharing common experience such as in the city funded fight back programs, especially the training in the fight back academy for neighborhood leadership. But the true and most effective way to maintain and increase value lies between the individual and the city at the community organization level and its leadership.
Each individual may value their property and their place in the community, and their responsibilities, differently. For example, an outside investor may be interested in just increasing or maintaining the financial value of the physical location, with little or no interest in community value, and this will be different than perhaps a stake holder who has lived in the community with family members has established friendships and perhaps has children in the local school. In other words residents have a deeper tie to the community spirit and a different vested interest. This does not mean that these different individuals, property owners, resident tenants, absentee landlord etc…. cannot come together on the same page and work together for their mutual benefit, each with their own different interest, each in their own different way. This does not need to default necessarily to a mean spirited and divisive attitude when recognizing these differing interests. This again is everyone’s responsibility to understand organization and need to facilitate cohesiveness in planning when working towards a determined common goal.
Today we are being faced with difficult times in the real estate value aspect of our community, the actual economic value of our homes. I am referring to the dollar amount that a person can receive for their home, should they decide to sell and or realize a need to move and or perhaps decide to rent their home. This only means that the other aspects of the community need to be strengthened. We need a heightened sense of community and meaningful bonding together during these difficult times. This needs to be acknowledged, planned and communicated to be successful.
Let me give a few examples. If a person pays x dollars for a home and knows/realizes that it is costing them x dollars to live there, then they in turn make logical financial decisions based on reason from experience in their lives. If they can now live somewhere else for less, improve and have the same value, quality of life as they have in Coronado, they may leave. What can cause this decision to leave or rent their home varies. It may be because of employment changes that require a move or maybe a necessary reduction in the cost of living for a family. It may be that the quality of life in the community is declining and they decide that they can improve this by moving. Or in some cases it may be that they purchased the home to make improvements and renovation and now are selling with the hopes of realizing a profit from these efforts. It is important to remember that no-one wants to lose money. So if you are living in a house that is your home and the community is such that you value the cost of living there as a home then you stay, after all it is your home and you realize that anywhere else you could move would not improve this.
As I mentioned above, often there are other factors at play that may require you to think differently and make you want to sell your home. If the real estate market is strained or you cannot get the desired price for your home, your choice may become to walk away from the home, (foreclosure), sell the home for less than you paid in order to save your credit, or to rent your home out hoping that the real estate market will improve sometime in the near future. You would need to rent your home for enough money to cover your cost of owning the home and hope that the annual loss would be offset by the increased value of the home. You can see that in these situations, your choices become limited in a real estate market that is declining, stressed or questionable. When the decision to rent becomes the norm in a community and the rentals are managed by individuals with little or no experience, rather than professional management companies in the business then the rentals usually do not improve the community and are not contributing factors to the overall improvement to the neighborhood. This results in downward pressure and decline. A good indicator of this is when the rental value, becomes less than the purchase value. Unless of course a community has reached a point where the values of the homes are for residential use as homes rather than as rentals for income.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN THE MAJORITY OF THE CORONADO NEIGHBORHOOD, and is only the case in small pockets of the neighborhood. Decline can only be deterred during difficult economic times by a strong sense of community and resulting community team work with stability as a goal. It does not happen in a community neighborhood where there is a vacuum that is devoid of a sense of community. In fact that vacuum is filled with other factors that result in an opposite desired effect.
There is a lot of good news for the Greater Coronado Neighborhood. Much of the recent increase in value of homes in the Coronado neighborhood has been the interest in historic homes. Coronado is one of the few remaining Historic areas with truly affordable prices. This effect broadens our market base and increases our chances for stability during hard times. This also has resulted in the purchasing of home by individuals who want to “project” their home and make it theirs. It has also resulted in a great place for developers to purchase and with their knowledge, skills, and capital make the necessary improvements and then resell at a still affordable price to those individuals wishing to live in a Historic District but not take on the “project” aspect of home improvements.
I believe that we as a community have not done enough to support of this kind of improvement, and in fact in many cases, efforts have been thwarted by those who are not willing to try to understand this as a positive. This has made it so difficult that the opportunity for this kind of project, the development, and the resulting improvements have now passed us by. This has resulted in some of our empty lots not having potential realized. Empty lots now sit where infill housing was planned due to this lack of community support, and there is no telling how much longer before the next economic opportunity to improve these lots will arrive. Much of the increase in value due to the physical improvements remains very strong in the Coronado Neighborhood, and the opportunity for continued solid improvement in this area is also strong. It needs to be supported, by both the community and the city processes.
Coronado’s close proximity to downtown and the improvements to that area with new retail and residential living are within walking distance of Coronado. This will remain a strong factor in the attractiveness of the neighborhood. With gas prices high and getting higher, the turn to a denser living standard will remain a priority for many; our affordable homes will double this positive factor. The closeness to so many activities, cultural, educational, and sports, that a person can enjoy remain attractive strong community anchors. Perhaps one of the least recognized positives for the Coronado Neighborhood lies east of 16th street. This has been an area of steady improvement and renovation, as it is largely a community of neighbors involved in the construction trades. The networking of this resource and the affordability of homeownership has resulted in an increase in value not based on outside speculation but grounded firmly in real improvement to the area. This no doubt will result in less of a decline in home values and more retaining of a strong sense of homeowner community spirit that will weather any economic decline elsewhere. East of 16th and our neighbors who live there should be recognized for its contribution to out neighborhood. While it is not historic in nature, it certainly has a great number of homes that reflect pride of ownership with well manicured yards, and extensive home improvement.
We as individuals can do our part by communicating with our neighbors, if they have left and rented their homes, give them a friendly call if there appears to be neglect setting in. I have called the management companies of some of the commercial properties bordering Coronado who are unaware of the fact that their maintenance crews are skipping the areas that back up to the residential part of their properties. Offering to have your landscaper or a referred landscaper maintain a rental property or a property that perhaps someone doesn’t have the ability to maintain (city services are sometimes available for this) can be a real help for improving the area. The neighborhood organizations and the neighborhood newsletters, and electronic forms of communication, can be an excellent way of letting people know of home improvement workshops, available funding for improvement, and various venues of community organization. To be effective, these vehicles must have these objectives as goals with information presented in such a manner that the community wants to rise to the occasion and organize and participate. A sense of invitation and participation must be present in this communication, a sense of inclusiveness. I believe that Coronado needs to take an open, honest look, and reassess the past on this subject, and decide how it can best use these valuable resources, which are actually our strongest and potentially most effective resources. Change may be underway at this very moment. (top)
SOLUTIONS THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF THE CORONADO HISTORIC DISTRICT
In June of 2007, the Coronado Neighborhood appealed to the City Council and the City Historic Preservation Office to expand the boundaries of the Coronado Historic District. This request was approved by the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission and the City Council but has since been pushed back 2 years due to budgeting issues. Clearly illustrated in the photos of the slide show is that many of these potential “contributor homes” may lose their contributing factors over the next two years, and result in difficulty in obtaining an expansion in the future. Necessary renovation to these older homes will proceed outside of the guidelines of the Historic Preservation for the City of Phoenix. It is important for the preservation of the existing District that this pressure on its borders be addressed. With a Historic Overlay in place, there are valuable guidelines that can assist the preservation of not only the Historic character of the area but increase in stability when such guidelines and assistance is available and defined for an area. This overlay also opens up new resources, and incentive for funding for home improvement. This is especially important in an older neighborhood providing availability to our low income and elderly homeowners who after being in a home for many years simply cannot afford the necessary repairs to an older home without such guidance and assistance. The Coronado Neighborhood Association and the Fight Back program may be able to work with the City Council and the Historic Preservation office in coming up with a funding solution to place this expansion back on track for completion in a timely manner. Co-ordination, communication, understanding, and combination of available funding from multiple resources as well as community support are not only important but a necessity for success. (top)
SOLUTIONS THROUGH CORONADO FIGHT BACK SOUTHWEST
In 2005 the Coronado Neighborhood was awarded $54,000 in fight-back money to be spent on neighborhood improvement as the neighborhood residents determined. After a series of meetings, a budget was developed. As this process moved forward during 2006, community residents were less and less informed and involved in the budgeting and funding process. As of this artile, today the latest information posted is dated November 3rd 2007 and the majority of the funds, while allocated and budgeted for have not yet been spent. In August of 2007 a neighbor resident petition was filed with the Phoenix City Council for the review of the budget process and a request for reassessment of funding with a greater participation and informed involvement from the community. We are now in June of 2008, and their have been no solutions or answers and a comprehensive review is still needed as to the budget, the past process, and the development of a new process that would properly address the concerns of the petitioners and any residents whom wish to become involved in the determination of the fight back funding. This review should to be open and involve new members of the community. Fight back money can be used to greatly benefit and make significant changes in the community. With a limited city budget and a downturn in the economy, these monies are extremely valuable and important in maintaining the sustainability and stability of the community. We need more involvement opportunity for participation in the process, most importantly an open, honest approach. A correction of the past problems with the process and a move forward at this time is needed. There remain outstanding traffic issues that have been ignored (and later petitioned for), and the possibility of the Expansion of the Historic District to be placed back on track with the use of these fight back monies. Recognition of the petitioners’ requests and an open meeting with District 7 office staff would be the logical beginning of this process. (top)
Now let’s revisit the images that we saw in the photos. Interstate 10 and not McDowell road is the southern border of the Greater Coronado Neighborhood; as well as four blocks south of McDowell Road. McDowell is an arterial street that runs east-west through our neighborhood in the southern sections. 16th Street, another arterial street and 12th Street, a collector, run through the neighborhood north and south cutting through the middle of our major residential areas. These vehicular arteries reflect to the public an image and identity of our area. Few venture beyond these arteries to really get to know what lies beyond these streets, this is the public image of Coronado, and what does it presently say about us?
12th Street with its Traffic Circle and the anticipated renovation to the Coronado Park; Virginia Avenue and the Virginia Traffic Mitigation plan is the new home to one of Phoenix’s newest public art projects reflect change improvement and a positive image, what do 16th Street and McDowell say? How can this current image be improved? In 1991 the City of Phoenix placed one of the first public art projects on McDowell Road at 17th Street the Gateway Arch, it was to launch of the widening of McDowell and a special improvement district. It was initially a brilliant success, what happened? There was extensive renovation and planning done to McDowell Road in a re-birthing process, here are some interesting articles that capture that moment in time along McDowell and the City's commitment to improvement. I would propose that we bring back that spirit of “Gateway” on McDowell Road, reinitiate that effort by having the businesses organize and do self improvement with co-operation from the City with special overlays that encourage and facilitate the improvement of the area with private investment. Bring in resident friendly businesses, not predatory businesses, such as pawn shops, liquor stores, topless bars, and payday/title loans companies.
We are very fortunate that the new District 7 City council member, Michael Nowakowski, is bilingual and as the former radio station manager for Radio Campesina, he and his chief of Staff Ruben Gallego are able to creating such a business association that could begin to self organize to improve the existing business flavor of the street by inviting these stakeholders to mobilize. Perhaps we should be celebrating the diversity of the Greater Coronado Neighborhood by uniting the east side which is predominately Hispanic. with the west of 16th area, which is predominantly those living in the Historic district. This would make 16th Street the seam that binds the residential areas on either side.
Tom Simplot, the District 4 Council member has some of the Greater Coronado Neighborhood in his district and could work with Michael and the businesses to achieve a success like he did for Melrose on 7th Avenue. In a recent opinion article in the Republic Tom says regarding "Melrose of 7th" "The Melrose District has become so popular that more than 10,000 people attended the 7th Avenue Street Fair last March! Could that be re-created in other neighborhoods? I say yes, and Maryvale would be an excellent area to explore the possibility of a 'Latino Quarter.' Imagine a center with specialty shops, galleries, boutiques and resturants; a plaza celebrating the beauty of the Hispanic culture that we seek when we travel south of the boarder." I agree with that statement but wouldn't McDowell and 16th Street be a better location and choice. Tom Simplot and his staff have a working knowledge at City Council level, a blueprint, which just may work in our area also. The vacant and available properties on McDowell Road and 16th Streets are yearning for business. Wouldn’t it be great if these streets were to become the long awaited diverse restaurant area for the downtown area? Coronado’s arteries could become the destination for those looking for a great local place to eat. It provides close proximity to downtown civic events, cultural events, sports events, along with business lunches, meetings after work waiting for the traffic to subside, and a gathering place prior to groups of friends splitting up going their separate ways after attending an event nearby or the workplace. A place where one would say “let’s go back to The Coronado” and try that place that we noticed last time we enjoyed a good meal in the area. This would require the city to work with businesses on renovations and conversions, and the press to get the word out about what changes are occurring, on a step by step basis. We could bring focus and attention by having a street fair, narrowing 16th and having the existing restaurants and businesses take a step into the street in a festive atmosphere. Michael Nowakowski once again could use his connections to motivate sponsorship of the event, have live bands and perhaps even moving the Day of the Dead Event and celebration from 17th Street and Oak to along 16th Street. What an exciting day that could be for the City and for the Community. It is my belief that the pride of the businesses will be contagious, and encourage new development. Again publicity and private motivation would encourage further and deeper capital investment, a key factor in success the City being a catalyst for such movement.
The City recently enacted a "reuse zoning proposal" Jeff Williamson says it best "the ordinance would streamline the redevelopment process for existing buildings, making it easier for entreprenurs and small business owners to set up shop in older, unoccupied structures" ARTICLE. Let us move forward in a creative way in this area of Coronado. Kimber Lanning's article "Arts, Culture and Small Business Overlay District" in the March issue of THE MIDTOWN MESSENGER details the finder points of how this kind of City action can inspires a change area wide.
Recently, the City Council oked a special oaverlay district for Sunnyslope's Hatcher Road Area. Joel McCabe, who leads the effort says that "destination shopping districts in older neighborhoods can be sucessful." read more
Perhaps modifing the zoning to provide an incentive for renovation to private developers would be a way of bringing interest to the area, as well as a greater residential feel and stakeholder interest.
As gas prices rise through the roof, the desire for downtown, close to work, living space will be an ever increasing demand. There are only so many locations suitable for major high rise projects and only so much vacant land that would be available for high density new development, the rest is historic in nature and should be preserved as such. Couldn’t we encourage the development of residential living in combination with the renovation of some of the historic structures on McDowell Road, making it affordable and economically sensible to invest in renovation and preservation. If you walk down McDowell Road you will find that the past Gateway Renovation was a beautiful project, placing the parking in the rear and on lots between structures, while allowing for a wide pedestrian friendly walkway at a distance from the roadway itself. If you look closely you will notice that many of the store fronts have shade incorporated into the design. As a matter of fact, I found that I could walk long stretches of the road actually in the shade all the time. Please look once again at the photos of McDowell with this kind of vision for the future and feel the excitement of what can possibly become a part of historic preservation for this very unique one of a kind area where many of the fine architectural features are still intact. The structure is there and exists, and the roadway is there in great design along with the gateway. All it needs is a little polish and pride. I believe we can do that without the great expense of City money and with little effort. Much of what needs to be done is just coordination and getting the word out. I am encouraged that businesses and property owners will realize the financial benefits of organization and investment. The people will follow and support this fine culturally diverse, vibrant area. (top)
FOR MORE INTERESTING READING ON THE GREATER CORONADO NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE COMMUNITY VISIT THE WEB SITE A WWW.CORONAODNEIGHBORHOOD.COM
If you would like to participate and join in making connection to impove the community in this manner please contact us for infomation.
The volunteers at e-hood appoligize as we are in the process of changing the exisiting website to this new and exciting format and easier reading and navigation.....lots of content lots of volunteer time.