RadiatePHX event reboots to bring community together, address downtown projects

Photos by Austin Miller

Hundreds of Phoenicians gathered Tuesday evening at the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium in the University of Arizona College of Medicine for the first RadiatePHX event since 2011.

RadiatePHX bills itself as a continued effort to rethink the standard American downtown and form a tight-knit downtown community.

“This is exactly what we had envisioned to bring life back into the heart of the city,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said.

The Downtown Phoenix Journal and Downtown Phoenix Inc., the organizers of RadiatePHX, are hoping to restart RadiatePHX as a monthly staple of the downtown community and have scheduled three more events, with the first starting on Sept. 16.

“Through these events, we bring different groups together,” Downtown Phoenix Inc. CEO David Krietor said.

The audience consisted of many of Phoenix’s premier businesspeople and multiple small-business owners within Phoenix. Additionally, the event drew residents with a vested interest in the community who were not affiliated with any businesses.

Many attendees were anticipating the new Grid Bike Share booth.

Grid Bikes Share is scheduled to scatter stations throughout downtown Phoenix this fall. The program is designed to enhance transportation in the Valley by giving the public access to a thousand “smart” bikes. In addition, the Grid program aims to improve the local economy and help riders keep a healthy lifestyle.

A crucial point of the evening was the presentation given on Phoenix’s plans for hosting Super Bowl 2015.

Devney Preuss, senior director of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, plans on creating a 12-block “Super Bowl Central” similar to what took place in New York during the 2014 Super Bowl.

The 12-block setup will include multiple concert stages as well as a wide variety of local cuisine. Phoenix is expecting more than one million visitors during the Super Bowl, all of whom will receive a warm welcome courtesy of Spike, Phoenix’s Super Bowl mascot.

“I want to support the growth and spirit of Phoenix being unique,” said Jim Nissen, owner of biking magazine Momentum Mag. “This puts the people with their hands on the lever together.”

Nissen, who also has a house in Venice Beach, California, said he considered himself a Phoenix native at heart simply because he loves the growing community.

RadiatePHX last took place in November 2011. Krietor credits this partly to the recession and the lack of a youthful population within downtown. Most attendees, including Stanton, hope to continue the tradition of RadiatePHX without interruption every month for years to come.

“One of the first things I wanted to do (as mayor) was to break down silos in Phoenix,” Stanton said. “This is precisely why hundreds of Phoenix residents came together, to improve our downtown community.”

Contact the reporter at bpcorwin@asu.edu