Colangelo Eats Crow

ASU President Michael Crow's emergence provides Phoenix a preferable alternative to Jerry

The city's elected officials have a huge challenge ahead.

Phoenix's sorry excuse for a downtown is dead after dark and pitiful, compared to almost any other big American city, during the day.

Leaders at City Hall must overcome the sins of their predecessors, who sat back and let things go to hell in the proverbial handbasket.

Michael Crow: Downtown's savior?
Emily Piraino
Michael Crow: Downtown's savior?

City planners have ignored the fact that Phoenix is one of the hottest towns on the planet. Rather than utilizing simple building designs that have been around for decades to provide shade, Phoenix has built massive heat-seeking concrete plazas and installed metal bus benches.

There are no beautiful and accessible public gathering spaces.

What we do have are monolithic office buildings and a multitude of parking garages along with huge sports stadiums.

It's up to Mayor Gordon and the city council to make sure this changes. They should embrace ASU's concept for a vibrant downtown. Even though Colangelo and his partners are making some right noises, they cannot be trusted to do much more than, first and foremost, line their own pockets with cash.

They are merely mimicking the ideas of others, with little idea of how to make downtown cool (I'm not talking about just beating the summer heat here). For Christ's sake, one of their big ideas is to put a massive Target store in the middle of it all!

Where we're at today is largely City Hall's making, because it has allowed Colangelo & Co. to run roughshod over small entrepreneurs and the rest of us.

"The decisions in the next six months that the city will make are the most important in the last 20 years," says Fred Unger, a historic-property renovator who owns a 1931 art deco high-rise at the southeast corner of Central and Monroe.

If City Hall puts Michael Crow on a higher pedestal than Jerry Colangelo, it could be time for a new celebration around this time next year -- the Cuatro y Cinco de Mayo Festival.

E-mail, or call 602-229-8445.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Phoenix Concert Tickets