Dear Developer at Seventh Avenue and McDowell: The Historic District Called, and It Wants Its Historic District Back

The intersection of Seventh Avenue and McDowell Road -- an intersection that touches the F.Q. Story, Willo, and Encanto-Palmcroft historic districts -- has been neglected by developers ever since SideBar, Pei Wei, and Starbucks moved in a few years ago. Not anymore. Progress is back, baby, and it (still) doesn't seem to care for the whole preserve the past thing.

This week, the Republic reported a group of 60-year-old buildings on the southeast corner of the intersection (and former location of the Historic Antique Mall), soon will be the new home to a Five Guys, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jersey Mike's Subs, and Zoyo Neighborhood Yogurt.

Yay! Wait -- what?

Look, I'm no hotshot developer and I'm all for making Phoenix a thriving, kick-butt city, but, seriously, are a bunch of chain restaurants in a historic district the best solution? Do we really need another Chipotle or Five Guys? I would have liked to see the neighborhood go more the route of SideBar (go SideBar!) -- mom-and-pop joints that would have truly created something unique and interesting for the area.

According to the Republic, there's still room for more businesses in the buildings. Maybe there's still a flicker of hope for a few bits of local flair in a historic district that's starting to feel anything but.

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