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Phoenix wants to add more housing, ‘basic amenities’ downtown

Phoenix leaders are looking for developers to add downtown housing and meet every day retail needs. Proposals are being accepted for city-owned parcels at the southwest and southeast corners of First and McKinley streets.

Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari, who represents the area, said the projects must include ground floor businesses available to everyone.

“Downtown still needs more basic amenities like a hardware store, a laundromat, a nail salon, a veterinarian’s office, just to give a few examples and we want to make sure that these needs can be met without getting in a car so that more of our downtown residents can opt out of owning one,” she said.

Currently, one portion is vacant and the other is leased to Arizona State University for parking.

The proposals must be at least 10 stories and set aside 10% of housing for low-income residents and 10% for moderate incomes.

“It’s critical that we provide more affordable housing options for our teachers, our retail and restaurant workers, artists and seniors who actually live and work in the downtown area,” Ansari said.

During Wednesday’s council meeting when leaders approved issuing a request for proposals, Mayor Kate Gallego said the vote showed the city is incorporating affordable in a variety of ways.

“The American Planning Association has called Roosevelt Row one of the top places in America,” she said. “We are hopeful as we move forward with this request for proposals it will align with Roosevelt Row’s success and community values.”

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