It’s no secret that Downtown Phoenix is home to sporting events, trendy restaurants, entertainment venues, schools and art. A little further south of the train tracks, the once uneventful Phoenix Warehouse District is now a burgeoning neighborhood with businesses and attractions.
“It’s attracting an eclectic collection of office spaces, restaurants, galleries, and one-of-a-kind venues for music and events,” as stated by the Phoenix Warehouse District website.
One of the neighborhood’s more conspicuous businesses is Galvanize, a learning community for technology that is both a school and a coworking space. Galvanize General Manager Diana Vowels explained that Galvanize brings “industry and education together” by supporting entrepreneurship and business innovation.
The school has about 100 students and the coworking space caters to 120 companies, with about 450 employees across those companies.
Vowels said the Phoenix Warehouse District is an ideal spot because “the Galvanize model is typically going into areas that are in urban renewal, so that’s part of our model. We like the rebirth and we also believe the central core of a city is powerful in building the tech density.”
She also noted that the development of Galvanize in Phoenix “took three or four years to happen. But it was the cooperation of the city, it was the cost of doing business in Phoenix compared to some other markets, and it was the way the city and the state and the county and all the economic development folks worked together to help us land in the Warehouse District. We wanted a central location and we saw this as a good opportunity bring life to a very cool neighborhood.”
The Phoenix Warehouse District is also home to The Duce, an entertainment warehouse that features a restaurant, bar and event space.
Steven Rosenstein, The Duce cofounder, said it opened for business in 2010 when the area was still in the early stages of development.
“There was nobody really working down there, there was nobody living in the Warehouse District,” Rosenstein said. “Now it’s really probably the hippest, coolest up-and-coming part of the whole city.”
Rosenstein said The Duce has played a large part in the Warehouse District’s entertainment and nightlife success. He explained that its entertainment scene, coupled with more business activity, is likely to draw in more residential development.
“Nobody wants to live in an area where they can’t shop, eat, play- do all that stuff,” Rosenstein said.
“I think we’re going to start to see over the next few years that a lot more is going to happen between now and then, than it did between 11 years ago (when The Duce opened) and now,” said Rosenstein.