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August 21, 2008

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Re: Mill Ave
Did you catch this - http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/2008/08/18/20080818millfuture0813.html

The Tempe Marketplace has been drawing much of the crowd away from Mill Ave and many of the retail spaces their have been sitting vacant for a long time. They have really screwed up the minor good thing they had going there when it went completely chain stores and "bar and grill" restaurants.

Jon,

FWIW, it's been very encouraging to see so much go up in downtown. When the rail starts running, large groups of people may actually enjoy the downtown area. I wouldn't call it vibrant, but compared to just 10 years ago -- and I know you know what I'm talking baout -- it's actually starting to look like a city. I remember moving from the old Republic building to the new one and still feeling like I worked in a ghost town. I drive down there every now and then and the place actually has pedestrians late into the night -- and I'm not talking about hookers and homeless.

Jon,

You know Phoenix will find a way to screw up any promising forward momentum. I arrived here from Ohio 15 years ago and the truism still holds: Until we get off of our addiction to tract homes; get serious about education and build a diverse (educated)economy; stop funding $400 million dollar playgrounds for a handful of investors; Phoenix and surrounding areas will remain one large strip mall.

"It's important to remind newcomers that Phoenix once had a real downtown"

This is debatable. I have been here 35 years and never remember downtown as being the place to be.

"The point is that a real downtown needs business investment."

As an owner of several businesses and an investor in new businessess, "downtown" is NOT business friendly and shows no sign of changing anytime soon.

"a lack of powerful businesspeople who want to invest downtown"

If the city stopped pouring money into shitty deals and actually was serious about helping business owners do business in "downtown" maybe people would be interested in investing them.

"ASU, light rail, the new convention center, the biomed campus (if they get moving) -- all these are important boosts to the central core"

All of these "things" are reasons why as a business owner Im turned off by "downtown". If a fraction of the money was actually spent investing in people passionate about downtown instead of this crap, people would be flocking to "downtown". Phoenix has a way of trying to "fix" everything overnight. Good things come to those that are patient.

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