In the November issue, we spotlighted 130 local shops where you can find clothing, candy, coffee and more. We did this with help from Local First Arizona, a nonprofit that advocates for neighborhood merchants and services.
Local First has been around for a few years now, and it shows in all the right ways. At the organization’s annual fall festival over the weekend, about 60 independent businesses – from rock-climbing venues to yoga studios to restaurants – showcased their wares in the parking lot of Duck & Decanter near 16th Street and Camelback Road. Our cover girl, Smeeks candy store owner Georganne Bryant, was there as well.
Last year, about 4,500 people attended the festival. We’ve just received word that about 5,000 people attended this year’s event. From independent business to another, we say congratulations to Local First Arizona!
Just when it seemed like everything was starting to click for Luci’s Healthy Marketplace in Phoenix’s Madison neighborhood, a destructive fire at Richardson’s next door buried the place in smoke, ash and water.
But Lucia Schnitzer is a survivor. She beat breast cancer and, during the healing process, came up with the market concept with her husband, Ken. When the fire struck, she told the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix that it was “a little hiccup in the road.”
Not surprisingly, she didn’t give up on the market after the July 17 fire, and now this much needed organic grocery/café is set to re-open next weekend. In a press release, Lucia says:
“We are very thankful for the courageous efforts of those firefighters that helped save our building…. We know that our re-opening will be a symbol of hope to many in these tough economic times.”
The market will celebrate it’s grand re-opening on Sunday, November 8, from noon to 4 p.m. It will offer music, food samplings, giveaways and more. Uniformed firefighters will get free house coffee, tea and a bagel for the following two weeks.
Today, The Arizona Republic is reporting that Gilbert real estate is experiencing a “mini boom” because the town – once the fastest growing municipality in the nation – has issued nearly 1,000 building permits for new homes so far this year.
The story goes on to cite more evidence from September, when Gilbert issued 116 new-home permits – more than any other Valley city except Phoenix, which logged 109.
That’s a difference of seven permits – hardly a “mini boom,” but then again, any kind of movement in this economy is a boom of some sort.
Still, we prefer to stand by our scoop this month about the influence the East Valley’s new Mormon temple has had on Gilbert real estate. The story by Jim Fickess, dubbed “The Temple Effect,” talks about how a new temple near the southeast corner of Greenfield and Pecos roads is propping up home sales and real estate values around it because prospective buyers view it as an amenity.
Check out this excerpt from a new buyer:
“We didn’t know about the temple when we first inquired about the house,” says Tim Penrod, a Mormon who moved to Gilbert with his family from Mesa after getting a deal on the 6-bedroom, 5-bath mansion with a 3-car garage and guest casita for “considerably less” than the $999,000 listing price. “But we learned about it as negotiations went on, and it was a plus.”
A multimillion-dollar Mormon temple project in a region with a large population of Mormon worshipers probably has some correlation to the “mini boom.”
Microsoft’s first ever retail store opened this morning in Scottsdale Fashion Square to much fanfare. National press gathered around the store on the second floor across from Pottery Barn, and the line of anxious shoppers stretched all the way to the escalators above the movie theaters. Many came for the highly anticipated launch of Windows 7, which is also happening today, though some were waiting to see High School Musical actress and singer Ashley Tisdale perform as part of the opening ceremony. Read More…
For Tempe Town Lake’s 10th birthday, city officials are allowing boat owners to sail the lake for free on November 7 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Why is this important? First, in a world of fewer and fewer giveaways, free stuff is the best stuff. The boating permits normally cost $5. Secondly, if you do not own a boat, this is a chance to kayak the lake for free as well. All vessels will be available for the public to play with, starting at 5 a.m. (There will be safety sessions included.) Check this out for more information.
But even more importantly, we’re bringing this to your attention because of an upcoming PHOENIX magazine story about Town Lake, its history and its 10th anniversary celebration. Watch for that story in the December edition.