As we are all aware, with the current economic conditions in the state and the nation, 2008 clearly is not the year to take a bond proposal to the voters. But we can position ourselves for the future.
Tonight I propose that we begin the planning to identify specific projects and needs in our community. They range from tourism venues and events as I just mentioned, the Desert Discovery Center, the Museum of the West, additional theatres, public safety, transportation and other infrastructure issues to be considered in a bond election to be held in 2009 or 2010. We must continue our community investment or risk falling behind. By taking these initial planning steps we will be poised to move ahead when the economy does improve.
LINKING REVITALIZATION TO SUSTAINABILITY
Let’s turn now to our traditions and our vision for neighborhoods, especially in the mature parts of our city.
When we opened the Granite Reef Senior Center, the facility received a lot of attention because it was the first municipal building to meet the city’s new green building requirements. The design is remarkable. But I wonder how many of us recall that the Granite Reef Center was a revitalization project, constructed on the site of a closed grocery store?
When most of us think about revitalization in Scottsdale, we probably picture this Downtown and probably this very spot on the canal. With good reason. Scottsdale’s revitalization program has been a spectacular success.
An all-time record $3.3 billion has been reinvested south of Chaparral Road in the last five years.
It’s had a truly wonderful impact on our community.
But what happened on the site of that old Smitty’s store on Granite Reef is also very important for the future of revitalization in the southern area, and as a model for the rest of the city. The site became a mixed-use development, with new senior apartments, some neighborhood retail space and the senior center next door. While we were striving to make the center environmentally sustainable as a building, we were also looking to make the site economically sustainable and offer needed social services to our community at the same time.
This represents the deeper challenge facing our community as we look toward an updated General Plan that will go to the voters in 2011.