Cities, like the people who occupy them, are living things. They grow, they evolve. In the case of Phoenix, this could not be more true.
Although communities change, one need rings true throughout all of the phases or forms it might take on: the need for public safety.
Communities all over Phoenix undergo change, one of the most well-known of these is Roosevelt Row.
Mayor Greg Stanton has made a considerable effort during his term to revitalize Downtown Phoenix. Programs such as “Love Your Block,” a $30,000 grant to launch a series pf revival projects, have been proposed or are being implemented throughout the Downtown Phoenix area.
Although both the Stanton administration and police departments are significantly concerned with the safety of their neighborhoods small businesses can also be credited for increased safety in their surrounding communities.
Alex Ruiz, 31, has served the Phoenix Police force for 10 years and says that although one business cannot completely change the safety of one neighborhood it can have an impact.
“Some restaurants are very community-oriented and love getting involved with their surrounding neighborhoods. If you bring a family oriented restaurant into a community it can grow to become a part of the culture to the neighborhood,” said Ruiz.
Connections like these between local businesses, like restaurants, and their surrounding neighborhoods makes both the business and community invested in the growth and safety of one another.
In the Roosevelt Row District there are an array of types of businesses who find their home within its bounds. As the community grew in size so did its need for safety.
Restaurants in the area realized their customers had a reasonable expectation of safety when dining with them and looked for ways to provide it.
A Fry’s Food Store is also expected in the area by early 2017. The grocer would provide local residents with access to healthy and affordable foods.
As with any new business one would wonder how it would affect the quality of life for its neighbors. JoEllen Lynn, of Fry’s Food Stores, thinks it would only complement revitalization efforts that have already been underway in downtown Phoenix.
“Our [deliveries] will be timed so that they do not interfere with main traffic points,” said Lynn.
She ensures that Fry’s will not negatively affect the safety of residents. If anything, the proximity of a grocer increases the safety of customers who do not have to travel huge distances for healthy and affordable foods.
However, there are other areas of Phoenix that are undergoing this change as well. Neighborhoods in Camelback have been revitalized in part by a surge of businesses being established there.
Upward Projects, a company that prides itself on creating restaurants with strong ties to the communities which they inhabit, settled a string of its restaurants in the redeveloped Uptown Plaza.
The Upward Projects concepts in the area include Postino, Windsor, Joyride Taco House, Federal Pizza and Churn. All of which are within walking distance of their neighboring communities.
The restaurants strive to build strong relationships with neighboring businesses and residents alike.
For AJ Jolley, general manager of Postino Annex, says that building these relationships with their customers are key to the culture of Upward Projects restaurants.
“Genuinely caring about people is our core value,” said Jolley.
Lauren Bailey, one of the mastermind’s behind the Upward Projects concepts, said businesses have to do more for the community.
“Creating connections with our guests is how we do our part in being a great place for the community,” said Bailey.
Not only do the restaurants provide their customers quality food but they extend their hospitality to try to ensure their customers comfort beyond the restaurant.
“People need to feel safe in order to relax and it’s our job to provide that to hundreds of people who come in each day,” Bailey said.
The businesses in the community got together to ask the city for a crosswalk on Camelback and Colter to better ensure the safety of walking pedestrians. The crosswalk was finally installed in 2015.