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Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row continues growth with new development

PHOENIX — A longtime vacant lot in downtown Phoenix is undergoing a transformation.

MetroWest Development broke ground on the property at 1st Avenue and Roosevelt Street on Monday, marking the start of a new building there.

“What a great day for the city of Phoenix to celebrate the answer to the question, ‘What the heck is going to happen with that crazy triangle piece at First and Roosevelt,'” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said about seeing the vacant lot now being used.

The property on the southwest corner has been vacant for years, and it took a lot of work between the city of Phoenix, MetroWest Development, APS and other entities to turn the land into a mixed commercial and residential development, according to Shannon Scutari with the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, which helped back the project.

“This is going to be 80 units of apartments and it’s going to have retail and restaurant space,” she said.

The development will be called Union @ Roosevelt, and Scutari said it’s a prime location due to its proximity to the light rail and a bike-share space on the opposite corner, as well as being near the growing Phoenix’s arts district and Roosevelt Row.

Scutari said she’s excited to see the vitality the development can further bring to the area.

“A vacant lot drains all of those initiatives, so what this does is it actually adds a lot more energy,” she said. “It brings at least a couple hundred people who will actually be living in this area.”

The project is expected to take roughly 18 months to be complete, Scutari said.