In recent years, "dismal" would have described the architectural landscape at the northwest corner of Baxter and Broadway fairly well. And now that the Phoenix Hill Tavern has closed its doors for good, "lifeless" is another word that comes to mind.
The old Phoenix Hill complex has always been visually lacking. And many of the homes along Broadway are in serious disrepair.
Now comes word that a major developer has plans to replace those highly visible properties with a new development that would provide 200-300 new apartments and street-level retail space.
So far, there are no blueprints, but we're already hearing a few voices complaining about the "historical structures" that could be lost in the process, and that's unfortunate.
First, "old" is not necessarily synonymous with "historic." And second, the developers have already stated their belief that any project "needs to be congruous with the neighborhood" and their desire to work with the neighborhood in shaping the project.
Sounds like they understand their responsibility, and I think they deserve the chance to make their case before assuming the worst.
If we're lucky, neighborhood leaders will give this project an honest assessment before taking a knee-jerk obstructionist stance. This is a key parcel of land in this city, and I'd hate for us to scare off yet another developer before determining if what we're preserving is really worth saving in the first place.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.