30 2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE businessLEFT: Live entertainment is offered at many events in downtown Phoenix. BELOW: METRO light rail train. town) and the historic Melrose District. " We are neighborhood people," said Carla Logan, co- owner of Carly's Bistro, located on Roosevelt Row. She and her husband are longtime downtown residents. Downtown's art museums, live music venues and locally owned restaurants offer everything they need. First and Third Friday events draw thousands of people downtown for pedestrian artwalks and to take in new artists and entertainment. Carly's Bistro regulars live and work in the neighborhood, just like its owners. This entrepreneurial commitment is no surprise. Local groups, Artlink and Local First Arizona, are powerful lobbies for independently owned businesses. They've helped First Friday art walk attendance grow exponentially. Some new arrivals, like the expanded Phoenix Convention Center and the 1,000- room Sheraton Hotel, are super-regional. But many businesses are culturally textured. The Melrose District's Copper Star Coffee is a former World War II era gas station. The historic San Carlos Hotel is a boutique standout for tourists. High rise mEets high ed The recent arrival of approximately 5,000 students at Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus and the University of Arizona medical school also has prompted a deluge of new development. " Phoenix is at an accelerated level for continued excellence and quality of life," said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Johnson. Salons, boutiques and up- and- coming bakeries have proliferated with the recent influx of students. " We are really starting to see more retail," Roderique said. Bunky Boutique, Spoken, Rowdy, Dragonfly and the Men's Apparel Club lead a burgeoning trend in downtown retail fashion. The new boutiques are popular with both students and corporate employees — anyone looking for a cutting edge. And with CityScape slated to open in 2009 and 15,000 students projected to enroll at ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus by 2015, downtown development will continue at an exciting pace. Moving forward As the Valley grows and gas prices continue to fluctuate, offering plenty of options for commuters is essential for any modern city. The highly anticipated METRO light rail started rolling late last year. The 20- mile starter line includes 28 stations as well as eight Park- and- Ride locations. " Light rail, along with buses — including Rapid and Express services — and DASH, the downtown's shuttle, provide a new way of engaging in transit," said Rick Simonetta, CEO of Valley Metro. The light rail development and downtown business boom have succeeded simultaneously through a unique public and private partnership — the city and its constituents share the same enterprising vision. A thriving business community. Culture, dining and entertainment. Residential and educational growth. Science and discovery. " Residents can go to the library, to the art museum, to the Heard Museum, go golfing, and go shopping," said Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. " Downtown Phoenix really is a wonderful place to work, live, learn and play." photos: The Arizona Republic
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