September 29, 2014
The Arizona Republic
Phoenix City Councilmen Bill Gates and Jim Waring are hosting a citizen-input meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Shea Middle School cafeteria, 2728 E. Shea Blvd., to hear comments from area residents over a draft North 32nd Street plan.
Once approved, the plan will help guide future development along North 32nd Street in northeast Phoenix in terms of land use, transportation, infrastructure, amenities and branding the corridor.
The corridor has experienced a major decline since the installation of Arizona 51 beyond Shea Boulevard in 1999. Traffic took northeast Phoenix residents to newer, trendier shopping spots like Kierland Commons and Desert Ridge Marketplace.
The result was from 19 to 20 percent vacancies along the 32nd Street corridor, and a drop in street traffic from 40,000 vehicles per day to between 15,000 to 18,000 vehicles, city officials said.
But Gates sees the vacant areas as opportunities for innovative and collaborative projects, and he said he wants to revitalize the proud history of the once-heavy retail area.
Boundaries include the Phoenix Mountains Preserve on the south, Loop 101 on the north, 28th Street on the west and 36th Street and State Route 51 on the east.