On Tuesday, the mayor and council are scheduled to decide the fate of the Fourth Avenue Business District. Are they going to protect it or are they going to start to implement the mechanisms of its destruction? Currently, three proposed new developments – of five, seven and 14 stories – are supported by the city. Tuesday starts debate on the proposed area development plan for a 14-story building at the site of Maloney’s Tavern.
The city has a choice. Fourth Avenue is one of the few remaining gems of its kind of localism in the United States. As a 38-year long merchant and property owner on Fourth Avenue I am terrified that the city’s decision regarding the new zoning to permit this housing structure will forever change the area’s unique, beloved historic character. It is out of scale. Gentrification destroys localism.
Fourth Avenue needs the promised parking infrastructure before any new development takes place. Businesses need customers. Customers need parking.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.