PHX Renews: Coming Soon To A Vacant Lot Near You?

New Downtown Phoenix project a prototype for other areas

PHOENIX – Mayor Greg Stanton along with Keep Phoenix Beautiful, Barron Collier Companies and community leaders yesterday opened PHX Renews – a major project that’s transforming a 15-acre vacant lot in Central Phoenix into a sustainable public space.
PHX Renews is the largest transformation of vacant land happening in the country and sits in the heart of Phoenix on the northeast corner of Indian School Road and Central Avenue, at the historic Steele Indian School Park. The initiative is partnership between Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a nonprofit, and Barron Collier Companies, owners of the property.
“When I became mayor, I recognized the negative impact vacant lots have on our community and businesses. So, we got to work to bring businesses, community members and non-profits together to transform these lots into new opportunities,” Stanton says. “This is the first step to creating a vibrant urban core for Phoenix. I want this project to serve as a prototype of a living, learning laboratory of how other vacant properties can be transformed into great public spaces.”
As a creative partnership, this project brings no additional cost to the City since the land is on loan from Barron Collier Companies and all design and building services are provided by Smith Group/JJR Design Firm. The project will be managed by Keep Phoenix Beautiful.
“Barron Collier Companies is pleased to provide this opportunity to the citizens of Phoenix, and we have enjoyed working with the mayor and City officials to make this a reality,” says Gary DuBrock of Barron Collier Companies.
This is just the start and over the next 18 months, PHX Renews will evolve as a community driven effort showing how citizens, nonprofits and organizations can work together to shape the future of their community. Mayor Stanton also wants to make it easier to get City approval for more projects like this in Downtown Phoenix and in light rail areas.

These are the projects happening right now at PHX Renews:

  • Urban community farming supporting local non-profits, communities and Valley refugees
  • Sustainable technology to improve energy, water and food cultivation
  • Outdoor education space for local schools focusing on environmental science programs with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Office
  • Educational opportunities for nearby schools and community members teaching everything from small urban gardening, recycling, wise energy and water use to alternative transportation
  • Large community art displays and cultural projects
  • Creative use of play and social spaces

All of these sustainable projects and outdoor displays will be temporary since the end goal is to attract redevelopment in the years ahead. However, the idea is for the partnerships between community and business leaders to continue to grow and bring real solutions for the vacant lot problem.

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