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Roosevelt Row: Phoenix paying to preserve city's 'cultural heritage'

Posted at 5:31 AM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 09:43:41-04

Phoenix is paying property owners to breathe new life into buildings that would otherwise be demolished along Roosevelt Row. 

"There’s so much character in these properties that if we can figure out how to save them, we’ll make the city and the Valley better as a result,” said Niels Kreipke, a developer who owns the so-called “Flowers Building” and nearby bungalows off Fifth Street. 

The 5,000-square-foot building is a local landmark – featuring colorful murals painted by artists – but in need of repair. 

“It would be cheaper, more economical, to tear all these things down and start from scratch,” Kreipke said.

Instead, the city is paying more than $130,000 through a conservation easement to help maintain the building. Kreipke is planning for restaurants, shops and art galleries to move in.

"The reason people want to live on Roosevelt Row are the older buildings and the uses in them," Councilwoman Kate Gallego told ABC15. She said these purchases, known as the "Phoenix Heritage Preservation", are meant to save buildings that are not deemed historical (but still important) from being demolished.

Another conservation easement was purchased for a home, known as The Wurth House, built in 1912. It is being converted into an office and tourism center off Roosevelt Row.