By Andy Wei and Hailey Mensik
One of the largest housing developers in the nation, Alliance Residential, is constructing two new luxury apartment communities downtown: one on Roosevelt Row and the other in Midtown.
The Broadstone Roosevelt complex, currently under construction, will replace the former Paz Cantina site across from Roosevelt Point. The Broadstone Arts District, only several blocks away at Third Street and McDowell Road, will be adjacent to the Phoenix Theater and Phoenix Arts Museum.
These developments come at a “time of huge demand for new housing,” Dan Klocke, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, said.
The average cost to rent downtown is $1,565 per month, a 2.1 percent increase from the prior year according to data collected by Yardi Systems, a real estate software company. This is vastly different from the $889 average monthly rate for the city as a whole.
Though an infusion of newcomers is desirable from a residential standpoint, some feel the developments may pose a threat to the integrity of the local culture of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Klocke said the market for housing in downtown Phoenix has not necessarily been neglected, but demand is simply growing at an extraordinary rate.
Maricopa County is the fastest growing county in the nation, adding 222 new citizens on average per day from July 2015 to the same time the following year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to Klocke, 645 housing units were constructed in downtown Phoenix last year. So far this year, 446 units have been completed, another approximated 1,600 are under construction and an approximated 3,400 are under development.
“Any good downtown is crowded with people on the sidewalk, in the bars and restaurants,” Klocke said.
Building these communities would help diversify the people in downtown from a residential standpoint, Klocke said, specifically by bringing in more young adults other than Arizona State University students, who already make up a large portion of renters in the area.
“The more people the better,” Klocke said, saying that housing of all sorts must be constructed: affordable options, mid-range and luxury units alike.
The Broadstone Roosevelt Row at Third and Roosevelt streets is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, according to Alliance Residential website.
The Broadstone Arts District on McDowell Road is offering studio, one bedroom or two bedroom units for prelease. Monthly rental rates vary between floor plans but range from $1,220 to $2,961.
These two new residential developments will add to the over 1,300 new units slated to come to the Valley, 596 units of which will be housed in Midtown and the Roosevelt Row arts districts.
But for Roosevelt Row, a nationally acclaimed arts district that has already seen substantial change from new developments coming into the area, questions of its future abound.
“(Residents’) questions are focused on ‘Can the community sustain this?’” Catrina Kahler, editor of the Downtown Phoenix Journal, said. Kahler also serves as President of Artlink Phoenix, the nonprofit that helps coordinate First Friday art walks.
“That particular stretch along Roosevelt Row is becoming one of the most dense intersections in the entire Valley,” Kahler said.
Kahler said developers have the option of acknowledging that they are expanding into an existing arts community and embracing that aspect of the area as they bring in more residents.
The ultimate goal is to do this “without the exclusion of the artists and the arts in the area,” Kahler said.
Alliance Residential and the Encanto Village Homeowners Association were both unavailable for comment.