By: Matt Schrauth
After years of work by the city and involved citizens, some major changes are coming to the intersection of 32nd St. and Shea Boulevard in NE Phoenix, AZ. In April of 2012 the 32nd St. Working Group was formed by the city and the neighborhood. The Working Group had over 24 meetings to develop plans to help revitalize the 32nd St. Corridor North of the 51 Freeway. There were three committees, the Branding and Events Committee, the Transportation and Street Improvements Committee, and the Land Use and Regulations (planning, zoning, design) Committee. I was the Chairman of the Land Use Regulations Committee and wrote the report that was submitted to the city for that committee.
The Urban Land Institute also got involved and convened an ULI Technical Assistance Panel in late 2012. I participated on the panel along with Marty DeRito, Randy Heller, Lorenzo Perez, Buzz Gosnell and many others. The ULI sent its report to the city in February of 2013. Based upon the input from these two groups, city planners and staff as well as, the city Planning and Development Department came out with a new vision for the 32nd St. corridor in early 2015. This vision strove to preserve the uniqueness of the area with its proximity to the Mountain Preserve while encouraging redevelopment and repurposing of the commercial properties in the study area.
Now all of that work is starting to pay off. A new Town Home project at the intersection of Cheryl and 31st St. is going through planning and Bosa Donuts just opened north of Shea. I sold the 35 year old, 15,000 sq. ft. retail center located on a 3.6 acre parcel North of the NEC of the intersection of 32nd St. and Shea. It will be torn down and redeveloped as the View 32 Apartment complex, a four story 135 unit upscale development. The city received federal funds to help pay for a road resurfacing and restriping on 32nd St. starting at the 51 Freeway and extending north to Union Hills. That work has begun on the south end is moving north with completion scheduled early next year. I was able to sell the approximately 90,000 sq. ft. 50 year old shopping center on the NWC of 32nd St. and Shea in 2013. The new owner of the center has done renovations on the property, is building a new Walgreens on the corner, and new landscaping of the property is being installed. Ace Hardware has leased approximately 10,000 sq. ft. in this center and should be opening early 2016.
Look for more renovation on older commercial buildings in the future, but this area is off to a good start.