Interesting Armory Park Statistics

Betts Putnam-Hidalgo left a comment regarding a recent article asking if the percentage of renters in Armory Park was really greater than of owner occupants. The answer is yes as I interpret this chart from City-Data.com. The statistics in this article are interesting to me but you can find even more on that site.

Owners and renters by unit type (%)

If you add all of the purple columns, the result is less than 30% owner occupancy. The census bureau reports that owners occupy 37% of residences in the area of zip code 85701 which is significantly larger than Armory Park.

The following information about Armory Park households won’t surprise most of you but may help to better understand our neighborhood.

Percentage of population below poverty levelCity-data.com crime indexHousehold Statistics

For me, the diversity of our community is among its attractive features. The two largest groups were no surprise but the mix of smaller groups is interesting

Ethnicity

We know that there are many historic homes in the community but you can see that a number have been constructed in more recent times.

Year house built

A convenient location is another attractive feature of Armory Park. Nevertheless, most people still get to work in a car. The bus and bicycle percentages are significant and I would expect these numbers to increase over time.

Mode of Transportation to Work

I hope you find these statistics informative. If you discover other sources of information on Armory Park, please let me know at ken@kmtaylor.com so I can include the information in future articles.

Useful Information at APNA Meeting

This was an especially uneventful meeting of our neighborhood association board. Board members attending were one less than the quorum (6) so no action could be taken. There was, however, discussion of items of community interest.

President Anne Cooper talked about board efforts to reach out to the community. Avenues she mentioned included the APNA website (ArmoryParkTucson.org), the listserv (Armorypark@yahoogroups.com), Facebook (facebook.com/armoryparkhistoricneighborhood) and NextDoor.com. I did a one month trial of NextDoor and found no neighborhood content but typically two commercial messages daily. Of course, AroundArmoryPark provides AP commentary and news.

John Burr reported on the accomplishments of the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment and revitalization district. Highlights were that with $30 million spent, nearly 3/4 billion dollars of projects have been moved forward. Nearly two billion dollars has been invested in the downtown area in the last seven years. Rio Nuevo started badly but has made major contributions under its current leadership. You can learn much more by going to their website (rionuevo.org/). He also informed us that the Broadway Blvd. expansion has reached the 90% design point. If you want to learn more about the project, go to its website broadwayboulevard.info/home). The site has a very useful video simulation of the 90% design.

John also gave an update on the sidewalk project. Parkwise, the parking management and enforcement organization has offered a community improvement matching grant. It will be used to partially fund repair and replacement of deteriorated sidewalks. APNA has prepaid its matching money and is still accepting contributions. The approximate cost of each sidewalk square is $100. If you wish to pay for sidewalk repairs in front of your property, your contribution will be earmarked for that purpose. You will not need to do a permit application or contract for the construction as the city will do all of that. Of course, contributions for the general benefit of our sidewalks will be appreciated. Timing of the project is controlled by the city’s transportation department and is not clear at this time.

Esthermarie Hillman announced a charitable fundraiser to be held at her home on the 10th of May (tomorrow) at 6:00 until 10:30.

Wings for Women will host Women Who Whiskey at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 10 at the  at 544 S. 6th Ave. Sip on whiskey and snack on gourmet appetizers to help support local homeless women and children this summer. Women Who Whiskey will be the main fundraiser for this year’s No Hungry Kids Tucson Project. All of the money benefits homeless women and children in Tucson and will specifically fund feeding approximately 300 kids over the summer.

Angel's Envy Whiskey at Union Public House (Credit: Jackie Tran)
CREDIT: JACKIE TRAN

The 21-and-up event will serve up samples of different whiskeys and spirits, with other alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Additionally, gourmet appetizers will be provided by Chef Chic, Charro Steak, Micha’s, and Mama Louisa’s. Live entertainment and a raffle will also be available. General admission is $45, VIP is $75 and includes a t-shirt, commemorative tasting glass, cigar, rare samplings, and access to the cigar lounge. A shirt and tie for gentlemen and cocktail dresses for ladies will be the standard attire. 

At the meeting’s end, a resident of many years in Armory Park expressed his frustration with deterioration of the neighborhood from commercial intrusion which seriously impacts parking, homeless people, drug users and deteriorating streets. Phyllis Factor pointed out that pushing back against some of these elements must be the obligation of each homeowner. A large percentage of AP residents are renters and bad ones can be influenced by firm pressure on landlords.

Baffert Headlines APNA Agenda

The most important subject for the meeting was the Baffert Project at 6th Avenue and 18th Street. Both APNA and APHZAB (historic board) have sent letters to the zoning examiner for entry into the record of the hearing to happen at the Mayor & CouncilIMG_2607chambers Thursday (12 April) at 6:00 PM. Both boards will also make presentation of their concerns at the hearing. Neither board is pleased with the proposed building height of 48 feet, much taller than any structure nearby. However, the most important issue is retaining the property in the historic zone so that the APHZAB will have some voice in how the project proceeds and to avoid a newprecedent which could destroy our Historic Preservation Zone and others. The board asked for maximum resident attendance at the hearing to show that the community was very concerned about developments. There was consensus that if this rezoning is approved, there will be a succession of such actions going north along 6th Avenue (Wanslee Motors, Philbaum Gallery, Roy’s Market and more). Imagine what 6th Avenue will look like lined with buildings 48 feet tall or taller. The most public face of Armory Park will be disfigured and the western part isolated from the rest. Continue reading “Baffert Headlines APNA Agenda”

APNA Concerned About Baffert Project

The most important discussions of the meeting were regarding the proposed Baffert project at Five Points. While some have expressed concern about the height of the proposed building or its impact on the on-street parking situation, those are not the most important problems with this proposal.  The mechanism being used by the developer and the Tucson planning department is to remove the project’s lot from our Historic Preservation Zone. The precedent created is a threat to the historic character of our entire neighborhood and others across the city. Continue reading “APNA Concerned About Baffert Project”

A Busy Evening at APHZAB

The November APHZAB meeting was a little different than usual because it opened with a presentation by Michael Taku, lead planner in the PDSD historic office. A central message was that the board has a recommending role and is not a final decision maker. The PDSD director has the final say subject to appeal to Mayor and Council. He also asked for feedback from the board to streamline the review process. Streamlining will be easier said than done because of the many obstacles: a split building- historic permit process, shortage of staff, staff inexperience and a culture that does not seem to value customer service. I will remain a hopeful skeptic until I see concrete improvements. Continue reading “A Busy Evening at APHZAB”

Rezoning Closer to Home

Here is another rezoning issue much closer to home. Again, Steve K has done a great job breaking down the subject into understandable pieces. The key element here is the lack of flexibility of HPZ rules concerning maximum height of structures. There has been considerable discussion within our two boards, APNA and APHZAB. Various board members have different views on the matter, but most seem to feel that some form of compromise is needed. Please read through Steve’s piece carefully, then decide how you feel about the issue. Our boards need your input.  Continue reading “Rezoning Closer to Home”

Home Tour Recap

home-tour-logo-e1508457997230Home tour organizer, Anne Cooper, has published a summary of  the 2017 tour. There were 59 homeowners and supporting volunteers who made the tour possible. She estimates that there were 350 paid ticket sales but there are donations still coming in. If you would like to donate too, just go to https://ArmoryParkTucson.org/donate/. As of 11/15, total revenue amounted to $7,012. From that total, expenses (about $500) must be deducted. Of the final net amount, 75% will be donated to Neighbors Feeding Neighbors.

The revenue and support of a worthy cause are important but for me not the most important benefit of the tour. Bringing so many neighbors together to work for a common cause and reminding all of our historic heritage is the greatest reward. All of us who opened our homes, volunteered as supporters or spruced up our sidewalks were enriched by the experience of working with our neighbors.

Armory Park is such a great place to live.

 

City Elections

Here is what our Ward 6 councilmember, Steve Kozachik, had to say about the city election:

“I thanked people in the “Be Kind” section for calling out congratulatory comments as we pass on the street or out on the Loop. As I hope you know, last Tuesday we held citywide elections. Three council seats were up for grabs, plus a few ballot measures. I’ll share the final tallies here. Continue reading “City Elections”

Many Years of AP Home Tours

I’ve been browsing through the Arizona Daily Star archives trying to learn more of the early history of Armory Park. Since we are about to have another home tour, that is a subject I decided to research.

The oldest tour I found was in May of 1975. The Star Article had this to say, “Armory Park began its flourishing career in the 1880s with the arrival of the railroad. It is “a showplace” for the evolution of architect styles of that era, according to Robert Giebner University of Arizona associate professor of architecture.” Continue reading “Many Years of AP Home Tours”