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Updated Nov 19, 2013 - 5:00 am

Phoenix erects arch near Melrose District

PHOENIX — One of the busiest streets in Phoenix now features 24-foot columns supporting more than 40,000 pounds of steel.

Along Seventh Avenue, just north of Indian School Road, stands a new gateway arch welcoming people to the Melrose District.

“Business owners and community members are ecstatic about the arch,” Seventh Avenue Merchants Association President Teresa Stickler said in a news release. “We really see it as aiding our mission of building and beautifying our community.”

The Melrose District features coffee shops, antique and vintage stores and restaurants. Chai Siriswangporn and his wife, Martha Mendoza, opened Melrose Kitchen earlier this year.

“I like the place and I like the neighborhood,” Mendoza said.

They also like seeing younger people moving in and supporting local businesses.

They can see the 80-foot steel struss structure stretching across Seventh Avenue from the front door of their restaurant.

“It’s beautiful,” said Siriswangporn. “A lot of people, they are very jealous, even people, I have customers here from the Willo (Historic District). They say, ‘Why don’t they put one in the Willo District?'”

A city spokesman said the Melrose arch cost $498,000. Residents and business owners will join Councilman Tom Simplot to celebrate the installation during a ceremony at the arch Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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