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PHX Arts District Getting Apartments

The view of the Phoenix Theater signage adjacent to the Quality Inn and Suites at McDowell and Alvarado as seen in Phoenix. Photo credit: John Samora/The Arizona Republic

By Brenna Goth for The Arizona Republic

An arts-inspired apartment complex coming to McDowell Road plans to turn a sluggish hotel surrounded by museums and theaters into a neighborhood destination.

Broadstone Arts District is slated for nearly five acres off McDowell and Alvarado Roads, east of the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Theatre. The two, four-story buildings will include 280 studio, one and two-bedroom apartments for about 400 residents.

Developer Alliance Residential Company had its first site plan approved by the city in 2009, when development remained slow in the wake of the Great Recession. The company returned recently to find a livelier downtown and more cohesive arts and cultural community near the site, said Tom Lewis, city partner for Alliance Residential Company.

Arts and connectivity became the focus of changes in the developer’s design to turn some of the approved apartment units into community space for the district. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

Outside, a 12KSF courtyard will be open to the public. The space could be used for farmers’ markets, movie nights or yoga classes and include sculptures and other artwork, according to development plans. A 2KSF indoor space will be designed for an art-exhibition room for rotating displays, temporary studios or events, Lewis said.

The developer will also widen sidewalks and plant trees along parts of McDowell and Alvarado Roads.

“We really tried to design a shaded, pedestrian-friendly area to hang out,” Lewis said.

The apartments will replace a 48-room Quality Inn and Suites and small office plaza on part of the site. The businesses have been struggling for years, said Billy Shields, an investment partner in the hotel and complex.

The apartments will be one of the more dense housing projects in the area but will offer access to light-rail transportation and local restaurants and businesses.

The developers are working on different looks and designs for the buildings that pull materials from the surrounding area, Lewis said. The company has other Broadstone developments throughout the Valley but the arts district vibe here will be unique, he said.

Read more at The Arizona Republic