Infill Proposal in Phoenix Raises Gentrification Concerns

Bucking tradition amidst arguably the most thorough example of sprawl in the country, a Phoenix developer is investing in Grant Park—a Latino neighborhood adjacent to downtown.
January 21, 2014, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Developer Feliciano Vera wants to build 800 new apartments and townhouses, with a third of them set aside for low-income units, in addition to 300,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in the Phoenix neighborhood of Grant Park. Although the neighborhood’s median income is well below the poverty line, the neighborhood has a rich history in Latino culture, and locals are prepared to protect it.

Vera believes that the neighborhood is ripe for investment as part of the national trend of urbanization, reports Peter O’Dowd, but some in the neighborhood are concerned about the displacement of residents. O’Dowd quotes Earl Wilcox, who owns a Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood: “There’s really not an embracing of the Mexican-American culture…It’s more the cowboy stuff, the Old West stuff.”

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Published on Friday, January 17, 2014 in Marketplace
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