As we start the second month of 2021, we thought it would be uplifting to once again share our annual “DTPHX things to look forward to.” This list isn’t going to be like previous years’ with mega-events on the roster, but we still have plenty of exciting news that signifies a downtown that is still growing and becoming even more sustainable, bike-friendly, and adaptable.
From new sustainable residential towers to restaurants, bars, and public art, here are 13 things you can look forward to in Downtown Phoenix in 2021:
New Things to Do on Grand Avenue
If you haven’t been to Grand Avenue in a while, you have a bit to catch up on. Events-wise they have a fun, socially-distanced Valentine’s market coming up that’s free to attend and includes lots of handmade items great for gifts.
And, there are several new businesses coming including Palabras Bilingual Bookstore moving from its McDowell location to a historic duplex at 906 W. Roosevelt Street that will also house Wasted Ink Zine Distro, Pachanga Press, and Abalone Mountain Press.
Art Detour | Feb. 27 to March 31
Artlink’s annual art walk event will be returning for its 33rd year as a 33-day celebration of the arts and culture community. The event will run from Feb. 27 to March 31, giving art patrons, collectors, and art lovers a broader range of ways in which to engage with Arizona artists.
Explore new places, discover local businesses, and appreciate some cool, Mexican-inspired art by playing DTPHX Lotería.
In celebration of Art Detour 33 Feb. 27 to March 31, DTPHX Lotería is part art walk, part game, part scavenger hunt. To play, pick up a “tabla” (bingo-like playing card) at any participating downtown business, or from a DTPHX Ambassador. Each tabla will feature 16 downtown businesses depicted Loteria style – a colorfully-illustrated card symbolizing the location. Once you find the card that corresponds with the business, go inside and get your tabla stamped. Once you fill your card, that’s Loteria! A list of prizes, participating businesses, and artists coming soon.
Urban Wine Walk | April 2021
Downtown’s annual Urban Wine Walk is returning in April, and this time, Downtown Phoenix Inc. is extending the festivities to an entire week. The goal is to give you more time – and more space – to safely celebrate local bars and restaurants, and taste some great wine in the process.
Long celebrated as a foodie paradise, Downtown Phoenix boasts one of the most extensive and diverse culinary scenes in Arizona. Wine Walk is a great way to support local businesses and try new ones. Each location will offer a food and wine sample pairing for dine-in or takeout.
The Yard | Spring 2021
Based out of Alabama and featured on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank,’ The Yard Milkshake Bar will bring extreme milkshakes, ice cream, waffle sundaes, and edible cookie dough to CityScape Phoenix.
Bike Commuter Space | Summer 2021
Downtown’s first-ever bike commuter space is projected to open in summer 2021. Operated by a popular bike retailer familiar to DTPHX, the facility will offer various amenities such as changing rooms, lockers, secure storage, bicycles for sale and gear. The goal is to make commuting to, from and around downtown easy and convenient for cyclists of all abilities.
Located at 1 E. Washington Street, the project is a partnership between Downtown Phoenix Inc., Valley Metro, RED Development and the City of Phoenix.
From the developer behind Urban Yoga and The Lexington in midtown, the historic Ellis Building located at 135 N. Second Avenue will have a focus on healthy living and lifestyle concepts, according to Douglas Edgelow, president of Equus Development Corp.
Renovations include restoring the interior and exterior to its former Art Deco glory and adding a coworking space, a basement speakeasy, restaurants, retail, and a ground-floor daycare. The seven-floor, mixed-use building is expected to open later this year.
ECO PHX | Mid-Summer
70 sustainable apartments are coming to Roosevelt Row on the southwest corner of Third Avenue and Roosevelt Street. The completed five-story project from developers Habitat Metro will feature 3,300 square feet of retail space, solar energy usage, a car share program, greywater recycling, and other traditional residential amenities.
Buy & Fly
Shop at any participating Downtown Phoenix small business now through March 31, 2021 and get a free DTPHX Bird Mask, Pint Glass, Tote, Hat or Shirt.
And, starting in early February you can submit your receipts for free coffee beans from local roasters like Fillmore Coffee, Dapper & Stout Coffee Company, and Hidden Track Cafe. Keep up with us on our Instagram (@downtownphoenix) to make sure you take advantage of this limited-time caffeinated edition of Buy & Fly.
Home2 Suites by Hilton | Fall 2021
The Phoenix Warehouse District — once the economic core of Phoenix and the first stop for goods and produce coming into the Valley —is continuing its incredible growth into 2021.
Home2 Suites by Hilton will bring 149 hotel rooms to DTPHX, and their lobby will be housed in a historic building that dates back to 1929 as the Fuller Paint Company Warehouse.
Also in the works in the Warehouse District: The Battery, a 276-unit, mixed-use project that will include for-rent apartments and commercial space.
Arena renovations are ahead of schedule, with some big goals for the 2021-2022 NBA season: more bars, local restaurants, and plenty of places to socialize. The $230-million Project 201: PHX Reimagined project is designed to convert the arena into a state-of-the-art venue for concert goers and sports fans. While some of the upgrades are more behind-the-scenes (air-conditioning, rigging grid, etc.), some things will definitely be more apparent.
The Pavilion, located just inside the entryway, is being billed as the largest sports bar in Arizona, and a country-western-themed bar on the northside (think saddles for barstools), is a totally new concept. Both are open to all ticket holders. More openings were added between the arena bowl and the concourse, and there are plenty of new clubs and VIP spaces for the exclusive clientele – as well as a family-friendly food court on the upper concourse. Fans may be allowed back as early as this fall.
More Public Art
Art tells stories of the past, comment on social issues, and more importantly — inspire us to explore our city.
In the works: Hugo Medina and DTPHX have teamed up with Ace Uniforms on McDowell Road to create a mural honoring frontline workers.
And, over on Roosevelt Row, keep up with the UNCONTAINED mural project in the next few months to see the work of emerging Latinx and Indigenous artists.
The murals will debut along Roosevelt Street between First and Second Streets on pop-up gallery shipping containers by Xico and the Roosevelt Row Welcome Center.
Back in the downtown core, we’re excited to announce that a large mural by El Mac and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus is coming later this year to the 111 W. Monroe building (near where Ramen Kagawa is located).
A Cleaner, Greener Downtown
In 2021, you can expect to see lots more trees and landscaping going into downtown tree wells and planters – courtesy of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership Clean & Green Team. And, the team has been sanitizing high-touch places in downtown since the beginning of the pandemic. Rain or shine, they’re committed to making our city beautiful.
Written By: Taylor Bishop