//
you're reading...

Downtown Phoenix

The Downtown Phoenix Public Market is closing

[UPDATED with an author's note: for more thoughts on the closing of the indoor Downtown Phoenix Public Market, check out this post.]

The Urban Grocery at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market is closing next weekend.

For now, that’s all we know. The indoor grocery store, opened a couple years ago, is closing next Saturday 12 May. What is known is that the outdoor open-air markets will continue as well as Food Truck Friday.

Whatever the situation, this is sad news for downtown Phoenix. It’s hard to say why this is happening but I think part of it is a lack of density around the place and in downtown Phoenix. That an independent grocery store and hyperlocal market couldn’t survive is definitely troubling for downtown Phoenix’s renaissance.

It also confuses the downtown Phoenix conversation significantly.

Time will tell before we find out what’s happened. But we who fight the fight for downtown Phoenix just have been handed one of our most significant blows to date.

For more thoughts on the matter, I invite you to read “More thoughts on the Downtown Phoenix Public Market closure.”

  • http://raillife.com/blog Nick

    Dang, that really sucks. Another lost treasure.

    • Edward Jensen

      Nick,

      Absolutely, this is a lost opportunity for downtown Phoenix. I encourage you to read some follow-up observations that I had on the Public Market’s closure at http://dteddie.com/ILEvha. I bet there’s more to this story.

      Cheers,
      Edward Jensen

  • RGuillory

    I’m there so often – I take all of my friends there every chance I get – business lunches, everything. SO SAD! I know Cindy Gentry has poured her heart into that project. I’ll stay tuned for a Christmas-in-July miracle – and keep supporting local, downtown stuff.

    • Edward Jensen

      It is a sad moment for downtown Phoenix. The Market is always packed every time I’ve been there and this news is of such a shock.

      I encourage you to read some follow-up observations that I had on the Public Market’s closure at http://dteddie.com/ILEvha. I bet there’s more to this story.

      Cheers,
      Edward Jensen

  • Pingback: Final thoughts on the Urban Grocery's closing

  • Dustin

    **Steps on soapbox:**

    From what I’ve heard, this “downtown Renaissance” won’t happen until the city chooses to get involved and assist small businesses and the arts instead of huge, corporate multi-million dollar projects.

    I’m not saying multi-million dollar investments are bad, I’m just saying that culture and small businesses stay in touch with that certain something that embodies communities and holds them together.

    Yes, the City of Phoenix has tried, but until they place a priority on “culture” over big industry interests (i.e. construction firms), the kind of self-perpetuating growth they want will not happen.

    So many great places have sprung up in that area, but it’s an uphill battle that many places have fought and are still fighting.

    It’s not directly the city’s fault, but they aren’t helping, either. The Public Market was a cool place, but that area is not so cool; not that many people live right around there compared to other parts of the city (population density, like you said). Go out there in the middle of the day on a weekday; a good deal of the foot traffic is transients, people with mental illnesses, and the occasional downtown ASU student. That’s a tough market.

    **Steps off soapbox.**

    It’s too bad they’re closing.

  • Edward Jensen

    I agree with all you say. Density isn’t just lots of people, it’s lots of — and a variety, too! — of things to do. Until we push for that, then this downtown renaissance just won’t happen.

    [Ed. note: next time, use your full name in the comments box.]

  • http://tdhurst.com Tyler

    Few things…

    First, people are used to buying in bulk so they can save money. Phoenix Public Market (PPM) offers none of that.

    Second, people, most of them driving, don’t like to make more than one stop on a shopping trip. Because I can get toilet paper, cleaning supplies, veggies and meat at Safeway, it’s hard to justify one stop for supplies and one stop for food.

    Third, local food likely costs more. As Roger Williams said, that equates to most people thinking it’s overpriced when compared to chains.

    Fourth, and the biggest one, is that PPM did a poor job of convincing people to change their habits. They can go on and on about how their produce is fresher, how they support local businesses and how fun it is to shop where everyone knows your name, but most people are going to continue to do what they’ve always done. There was something along these lines about changing people from 2% to nonfat milk in a book I read. The benefits of nonfat milk were unimportant, but the grocery was successful because they encouraged habit change.

    Fifth, and my personal favorite, is that the people running the store weren’t all that nice. Yes, they smiled at the register sometimes, but they do little besides that. The chef always looked bored, the people stocking things never looked up and it was tough to find someone to ask questions.

    TL;DR – Phoenix Public Market failed because they acted entitled instead of putting effort into their real problem, which was changing consumer habits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Savewww.facebook.com/SaveDowntownPhoenixPublicMarket Dwayne Allen

    We’ll be at the market at 8AM tomorrow and we’re encouraging everyone to show up and shop INSIDE the store. Have breakfast if you”re hungry, but be sure to buy at least 2 items. Maybe a bottle of Arizona wine and a piece of cheese, their kale salad and a fresca, How about a pint of Sweet Republic ice cream and a pie from the case. Maybe you could even pick up you beer and chips for Cinco De Mayo. let’s clear the shelves! Show up, support!

  • Pingback: More thoughts on the Downtown Phoenix Public Market closure

  • RGuillory

    A bunch of friends are dropping in downtown for “Connect The Dots” (promoting renewable energy) at the Capitol. We’ll make a stop at Urban Grocery and do our shopping there – yes, inside, not just at the market. It’s funny, I’m there several times a week, during the work day, and it’s always busy. The lunch counter certainly seems to do great business. I always buy stuff when I’m there, as do colleagues and friends. It’s not really desolate in that area (to Dustin’s point), though of course, we’d like to see more foot traffic.

  • Edward Jensen

    Dwayne,

    Thank you for your petition and the Facebook page to Save the Market! It is a sad moment for downtown Phoenix. The Market is always packed every time I’ve been there and this news is of such a shock.

    I encourage you to read some follow-up observations that I had on the Public Market’s closure at http://dteddie.com/ILEvha. I bet there’s more to this story.

    Cheers,
    Edward Jensen

  • Edward Jensen

    Tyler,

    As usual, your observations are well-taken. The interesting observation in this moment is that every time I’ve been to the Urban Grocery, it’s been packed. What factors have gone on behind the scenes aren’t yet known but, as I contend, we’ll be learning more in the days and weeks to come.

    I encourage you to read some follow-up observations that I had on the Public Market’s closure at http://dteddie.com/ILEvha. I bet there’s more to this story.

    Cheers,
    Edward Jensen

%d bloggers like this: