North Central News

Three Roosevelt Row buildings saved

Three unique Roosevelt Row Arts District properties are going to be saved from demolition thanks to the sale of a conservation easement to the city. The private property owners agreed to the sale and promised to use the proceeds to complete adaptive reuse projects and preserve building exteriors for 30 years.

The three buildings include two bungalows, 401 E. Roosevelt St. and 909 N. 5th St., and a mid-century commercial structure, 501-515 E. Roosevelt St. None of the buildings are classified historic.

“As Roosevelt Row continues to develop, we have to protect the fun and funky character that has made it so special and transformed it into one of America’s great neighborhoods,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Protecting the Wurth House and other unique properties helps move Phoenix forward while preserving our past.”

The city of Phoenix uses downtown community reinvestment funds to acquire conservation easements from private property owners to preserve unique and unusual buildings. The city will pay a total of $210,000 for the three easements. The action passed the council by a 7 to 1 vote on July 6.

The Wurth House, built in 1912, was moved from its original location at 3rd and Roosevelt streets to the new location, 401 E. Roosevelt St. The Wurth House is to be converted into office space and Roosevelt Row Welcome Center, and will be completed in six to eigtht weeks. The other two properties are being adapted into restaurants and a market place called “The Blocks of Roosevelt Row.”

“As a property owner, I am committing to not further develop the corner (of 5th and Roosevelt streets) and maintaining the exterior of the building for 30 years,” said Kimber Lanning, owner, Lanning’s Modified Arts LLC. “This is a very exciting conclusion to protect the history of the arts district and a happy ending to quite a story.”

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