Why Downtown Phoenix's Warehouse District Is Expected To Transform

Why Downtown Phoenix's Warehouse District Is Expected To Transform

Valley Metro is planning an extension of the light rail that will bring attention to Phoenix's Warehouse District.

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The South Central Extension of the Valley Metro light rail may help develop Phoenix's Warehouse District in the area just south of the railroad tracks.

Existing businesses in the Warehouse District are anticipating a positive change as the light rail may bring more people to their location. Other residents and business owners are worried that the extension won't make a positive change at all.

The six-mile, 11-station expansion will be one of seven projects that aims to increase workforce volume, build business connections and rejuvenate transportation in south Phoenix.

The South Central Extension map of its future location in Downtown Phoenix.Valley Metro

According to public records, about 4.5 million annual linked trips are expected of the South Central Light Rail Extension in 2035.

Officials in Phoenix are expecting to expand downtown Phoenix's artsy vibe by implementing plans of improving the formerly forgotten area south of west Jefferson Street.

Community workshops were held March 24 and April 4 to give citizens the ability to vote on design elements for the South-Central Extension. Artwork will be included at stations, substations and Park-and-Ride locations. The artists have been selected through a competitive process, and the designs they create will represent Phoenix's culture with bright colors and intricate designs inspired by the nature and culture of Arizona.

Artwork design idea for the Central & Lincoln stop. Valley Metro

As well as creative sights, the light rail will provide better access to south Phoenix while bringing consumers along with it.

"The South Central Extension Project will allow for people to have a convenient option to discover all that South Phoenix has to offer," says Corrine Holliday, the public information specialist for Valley Metro.

According to Valley Metro, the light rail extension will boost development by making transportation easier to future businesses, restaurants and venues.

However, many located in south Phoenix are opposed to the plans to extend the light rail into their neighborhood and others have just recently become aware of the idea.

About 3,000 south Phoenix residents, business owners and frequenters of the area have signed a petition that disapproves the decision to the South Central Light Rail Extension. The group uses the phrase 'Four Lanes or No Train' to voice their concerns about the development.

Celia Contreras explains that the biggest issue is the design of the future light rail.

YouTube

When Valley Metro began construction of the 19th Avenue extension in 2013, similar complications surfaced then that are feared to reappear with the new plan.

Small business owner of Central Mart Shopping Center Siho Lee voiced his unease at a Phoenix City Council formal meeting on April 4, 2018.

Lee speaks of his business and explains the devastation of the light rail's 4-lane design.YouTube

"We would be devastated by a permanent reduction from four lanes to two lanes of traffic on Central Avenue," Lee said. "Small businesses like us absolutely rely on drive-by vehicle traffic for exposure to draw customers in. We can't afford to lose those customers."

Margot Bunten, owner of an Ace Hardware store on south Central Avenue, says she feels like the light rail will harm her business because the transit will not allow for the large delivery trucks to enter.

While Lee and Bunten do not want to extend the light rail for fear of a decline in their customers, not all business owners along Central Avenue feel this way.

John Levisee, one of the owners of Lane Award manufacturing, says he has been waiting 54 years for the light rail extension.

"The light rail is going to be awesome for our area and the city of Phoenix," Levisee said during the meeting. "Phoenix is experiencing growth, energy and a vibe like the city has never seen before."

Levisee thinks the light rail extension will help the city of Phoenix. YouTube

Many new tenants and businesses are expected to surface in the southern region of downtown Phoenix once construction is completed. Some of the first construction includes new offices and restaurants down South Central.

Director of Phoenix Communication and Economic Development Christine Mackay believes that the Warehouse District is in high demand today.

"The thing that makes this area so incredibly different is the historical warehouses," Mackay said. "They are some of the greatest cluster of buildings you'll find in the valley."

Renovations will be made to the original 36 warehouses that gave the location the title "Warehouse District."

historicphoenixdistricts.com

The unique looking buildings were built in the late 1800s at a time when South Phoenix was predominantly a farming area. The warehouses still remain accessible, and they will be renovated for businesses to occupy while preserving the historical buildings.

The Warehouse District may look like a "gritty" and "eerie" place according to The New York Times, but the semi-dormant area will soon be a vibrant location full of new restaurants, tenants and offices in the next 10 years, says Mackay.

Mackay is confident that the region will be a hub for upcoming businesses because it is "incredibly different," and it is evident that change has already taken place.

Public Information Specialist for Valley Metro Corinne Holliday suggests that the South Central Light Rail Extension will allow for people to commute to work, school and places of entertainment in coming years.

"The Valley Metro connects people throughout the region and is growing with the Valley. The future is very exciting," says Holliday.

Updates can be found on https://www.valleymetro.org/project/south-central-...

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5 Reasons Why I Love Being The Same Height As My Boyfriend

Height is just a number after all.
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I think it's safe to say that most girls' dream guy is someone taller than them. Our society has idealized the "perfect couple" as a short girl and a tall guy. It often makes couples who don't fit this standard feel their relationship is inadequate or unacceptable, but this certainly isn't the case. Just like any other physical feature, height shouldn't determine who we decide to date or become friends with.

I am a 5-foot-5-inch girl who is dating a 5-foot-4-inch boy. From personal experience, I can tell you that having a boyfriend (or girlfriend) your same height has so many benefits that typically aren't highlighted in mainstream media.

1. No uncomfortable neck-craning kisses.

Let's be honest -- photos of girls standing on their tippy-toes and boys bending down to kiss may be cute for Tumblr purposes, but who really wants to hold that uncomfortable pose forever? Being close in height means our lips are also about the same height, which is great for comfortable and accessible kissies and hugs every time.

2. No one feels looked down upon.

Whether it's a normal conversation (or an argument), our height creates a more even playing field. No one person towers over the other, making us feel like equals, as well as making it easy to maintain eye-contact.

3. Selfies are easy.

No matter where we are standing, it's quick and easy for both of our faces to fit in the frame. If your man is way taller than you, it can be awkward to get that Instagram-worthy selfie easily. However, no worrying about how to get the perfect angle in my relationship -- it comes easily.

4. Hand-holding feels natural.

Similar to accessible kisses, holding hands is easy because they are already at the same height. Neither one has to bend their arm nor reach up, so it's convenient and completely comfortable.

5. We both understand how truly unimportant height is in a relationship.

At the end of the day, we both know that what makes a relationship isn't the ease of hand-holding, talking, kissing, or selfie-taking. Although we are about the same height and acknowledge the often over-looked benefits, I wouldn't feel any less of a connection if he was two inches shorter and I was two inches taller. Relationships, no matter what kind or who with, are about so much more than height. In a society that values looks so much, it's essential that we all remember love comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders -- don't let the media fool you into believing love is confined solely to "tall boy + short girl = cute couple." Maybe it's time for our society to rewrite the equation.

Cover Image Credit: Ruth Nay

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

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Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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