Monday, March 2, 2009

SoHo in Peoria?

Can downtown Peoria become a vibrant center for art and artists, similar to the SoHo district in Manhattan?

Last summer the City of Peoria hired an arts consulting firm to develop an arts and culture plan.  Recently the firm unveiled their proposal, featuring plenty of live-work space.

I'm not convinced the plan will succeed, but I applaud Peoria for trying.  I can picture downtown Peoria being cool & hip - it's already a little bit quirky, urban, and walking-friendly, but it definitely needs some revitalization.

I'm concerned about the amount of competition from the Phoenix Arts District and Tempe's Mill Avenue, which are already connected to each other by the light rail.  And there are only so many artists out there; Peoria might find themselves on the outside looking in on this one.  On the other hand, being only a couple of miles from Glendale's stadium district, including Westgate and Park West, could be advantageous.

Your wishing the project great success Realtor,

Chris Butterworth