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Phoenix Wants To Turn Firehouse Into Restaurant As Part Of Hance Park Project

Phoenix is looking for someone to turn a former firehouse into a restaurant.

During a recent council subcommittee meeting, Parks Director Inger Erickson provided an update on the Hance Park revitalization plan.

“We’re really pushing hard to activate the firehouse,” she said.

In the next several weeks, Erickson said the city will solicit for people to turn the city-owned structure into a full-service restaurant. Near the Central Avenue bridge and Burton Barr Library, the firehouse will be key to the project’s first phase — so will fundraising.

MORE:  Details About The Full Hance Park Project

“Phoenix Community Alliance's job is to try to raise money from the private sector to make this a reality,” Larry Lazarus told the subcommittee. “The past several months we’ve been meeting with major philanthropic organizations, major corporations, just to get a feel for what the acceptability is and participation opportunities are.”

He said a fundraising campaign will begin in March. The three-phase project is expected to cost around $100 million. So far, the city has committed $15 million, mostly to support design efforts for the 32-acre Hance Park.

The first phase will include the firehouse turned restaurant and development of the park’s core, which include the areas around the Central Avenue bridge and Burton Barr Central Library.

“We’ve had the opportunity to have all the big rocks put into the jar,” said Tim Sprague, president of the Hance Park Conservancy. “We have entertainment, we have sports and we have education. And there is one here’s one last big rock that hadn’t been put into the jar to make our great city a great city and that’s a great park.”

He told subcommittee members the population within a square mile of Hance Park has increased from 5,900 in 2014 to 12,000 in late 2018.

“Bottom line is this area’s grown so much,” Sprague said. “We’ve had $350 million worth of development in the last three years.”

News Business
As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.