Downtown Phoenix is drawing droves of new residents on the daily, so we thought we’d launch a new blog series here at Urban Connection that connects citydwellers with their neighbors. To kick things off, we’re profiling two of our clients, Larry and Steve, who recently made the move from Kansas City to the Valley of the Sun.
Larry and Steve’s homebuying experience was a true whirlwind – they toured 32 houses in 48 hours! – but the effort was completely worth it because now they’re two of the city’s most passionate residents. We caught up with Larry and Steve to learn all about their favorite perks to living in Downtown Phoenix.
Thanks for agreeing to chat with us, guys! To kick things off, please tell our readers: Where did you move from and what brought you to Arizona?
We moved here in early March from Kansas City with the usual suspects to thank – multiple months of 20-degree days and gray skies were the primary incentive, plus we already had friends here. We also found people here to be quite friendly and outgoing.
You toured many homes before making your selection. What was it about Downtown Phoenix that drew you to purchase there?
We’re both former city-center people. Steve spent 35 years in downtown San Francisco and I lived in New York City for 12 years, then spent 8 years in San Francisco. We appreciate the faster pace and the restaurant scene here in Downtown Phoenix. The Metro Light Rail is on the corner (Kansas City argued about light rail for more than 25 years and finally built a system that goes from nowhere to nowhere, making it of little use except for tourists). We can take Phoenix’s Light Rail to the airport – something many cities like Washington D.C. and Los Angeles continue to argue about. It’s a really convenient place to live. We particularly appreciate walking the old Phoenix neighborhoods. The palm trees make Portland Street – and many others – dead ringers for Southern California.
So far, what’s been the biggest pleasant surprise about life in Downtown Phoenix?
…how welcoming and friendly the people in our building have been. Traveling rooftop art exhibits, birthday celebrations, book and political clubs, invitations to other residents’ homes, etc. We’ve met more friends and neighbors in two months than the past three years spent in Kansas City. And one more time – because we can’t say it enough – the restaurant scene.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who’s looking to move into Downtown Phoenix from out-of-state, what would it be?
Unlike us, I’d advise going slowly and looking into various areas such as Old Town Scottsdale, Willo, Encanto, Arcadia, etc. We had the advantage of friends here who had emailed specific zip codes and neighborhoods. We spent portions of a weekend in December touring various neighborhoods before contacting the team at Urban Connection/The Caniglia Group. There’s plenty of “suburbia” here if that’s what you want. But, we’ve found MANY of our new neighbors here sold homes in the suburbs to move to Downtown Phoenix.
Name three of your favorite neighborhood spots and tell us why you love them.
Just three? FEZ for sure, as well as Match at the FOUNDRE Hotel. The FOUNDRE is among the most interesting hotels I’ve stayed in…and as former airline crew and a corporate trainer, I’ve spent more than 1,500 nights in hotels almost everywhere – not many as interesting as The FOUNDRE. Again, it’s the friendly people as well as the food. We also love Barrio Cafe and El Chorro…too many restaurants to list. As bike riders, we appreciate bike lanes and the pocket park on 3rd Avenue as a rest stop, as well as walking to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings and sampling a bit of everything. The Musical Instrument Museum is world-class and so is the Phoenix Public Library.
Are you a resident of Downtown Phoenix? Tell us what you love about your neighborhood in the comments below and we could feature you in a future Meet Your Neighbors blog post!