The city of Phoenix is looking at ways to encourage the revitalization of the many vacant storefronts in the city, including expanding uses of properties to allow multifamily development at shuttered retail, encouraging redevelopment and other ideas.
Phoenix has about 40.5 square feet of retail per capita, much higher than the national average of 28 square feet, making the city “over-retailed," Alan Stephenson, planning and development director for the city, said. The imbalance has created an abundance of retail space that can no longer be supported.
The city has held a series of meetings and listening sessions with different stakeholders in the community and will continue to seek input from neighborhood groups, private companies and other organizations, Stephenson said at a city council policy session Tuesday afternoon. So far, city staff has come up with a series of ideas that the council can choose to explore, which can be divided into development process issues, planning and zoning issues and marketing, funding and other considerations.
“Vacant commercial spaces can lead to poorly maintained shopping centers,” Stephenson said, which can become an unsightly problem for nearby neighborhoods as well.