Culture News

The Row and Knipe House Development Project Terminated in Phoenix

An agreement to develop the empty lot at Roosevelt and Second streets along and revamp the historic Leighton G. Knipe House has been terminated, according to a report from the Downtown Phoenix Journal.

The development was highly contested by the Roosevelt Row arts community. Several Roosevelt business owners spoke out against the Phoenix City Council's January 2014 approval of Roosevelt Housing Associates' mixed-used development proposal that was to include age- and income-restricted housing.

However, now that the agreement between the city and the developer has fallen through, it looks like the proposal's opponents will get their way after all.

See also: 2 Roosevelt Row Properties Slated for Demolition; Petition Seeks Adaptive Reuse and Mural Preservation

The development agreement stipulated that RHA begin work before 2015 on the Knipe House, which was to be preserved and revamped into a craft brewery and restaurant, but the developer hit roadblocks when it found out that it would not receive tax credits for the residential portion of its project, according to the DPJ article, which includes a complete e-mail on the matter from Scott Sumners, Phoenix's deputy economic development director .

Despite looking into alternate options for continuing the development, the article continues, the city of Phoenix and RHA recently came to a mutual agreement to terminate the project.

It's now unclear what will happen with the lot and the vulnerable Knipe House, which has been subject to vandalism in recent years.

Although this project won't go forward, the Roosevelt Row area is rife with development projects, including one whose plans include the demolition of the building that currently houses GreenHAUS and the former home of the Church of Scientology in Arizona.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski