Meanwhile, in Glendale, Westgate’s Future is in Limbo

Westgate fountain

It’s amazing to think how two adjacent cities can be moving in such different directions.

Of course, that has as much to do with risk as anything else. Peoria’s biggest gamble over the past 15 years has been Park West, the outdoor semi-mall at 91st Avenue and Peoria. Before that was the Peoria Sports Complex, which was heavily subsidized by the county, and the annexation of Lake Pleasant.

Glendale, meanwhile, bet big on the Phoenix Coyotes and the Westgate City Center and could lose even bigger if the city council makes the wrong decision next week.

As I wrote today at AllPhoenixRealEstate.com …

And as Jobing.Com goes, so does Westgate and all the rest of one of Glendale’s three primary economic centers (along with Arrowhead Towne Center and the Downtown Glendale District.)

Mayor Jerry Weiers and the rest of the council essentially have two choices … they can try and manage in the past, proclaiming what a rotten deal the city got back when the arena was built and attempting impossibly to reverse that decision, or they can look to the future and realize, as unpalatable as the current deal on the table may be (among other things, the buyers have little skin in the game, the team still could be moved somewhere down the line and the arena management deal is twice what the city budgeted), it’s a far better thing to keep Jobing.Com Arena alive than to let it and the entire Westgate area die.

It’s not about the Coyotes anymore. It’s about Westgate. It’s about Glendale.

For that matter, it’s also about Peoria as Park West enjoys spillover traffic from the Westgate area when there are events. The financial burden falls on Glendale but the financial impact spreads much farther.

Click over to the other website, take a read and let me know what you think.

Shopping in Peoria – The Big Box Conundrum

peorialocal

When I started putting this site together, it seemed natural to have a tab dedicated to shopping. What I envisioned was an area where I would feature businesses that are not just located in Peoria but also locally owned.

That, dear readers, has turned into one hell of a challenge.

You see, Arizona is the home of the so-called “big box” store. You want the national franchise, we’ve got it here and all over here. And in Peoria, between the power centers surrounding the Arrowhead Towne Center, Park West and the stores at Happy Valley Road and the Loop 303, we’ve got just about all of them covered.

What Peoria doesn’t seem to have in vast supply are the mom-and-pop kind of places, at least not other than nail salons and restaurants (which are covered on the dining tab). That sort of defeats the purpose of what I wanted to do here.

So, instead, here’s what I’ve got with help from the folks at Shop Peoria First. Click here for an interactive map of shopping in Peoria; look below for a static map so you can see where the main shopping areas are at a glance.

And lastly, this request … if you know of a locally-owned store in Peoria, mention it in the comments. I’d love nothing more than to feature it here so we can keep our dollars here in Arizona and Peoria where we need them.

peorialocalmap

Closer Look – Thrifty Joe’s Books

thrifty joes

I have to admit, I’ve got a severe weakness for books. It’s always been this way and not even the adoption of a Nook has been able to totally relieve the joy that comes from holding real, tangible, by God paper in my own hands.

There’s just one problem with that. New books are bloody expensive, even the electronic versions.

Enter Thrifty Joe’s Books, on the northwest corner of 59th Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale. This place has been in business for 20-odd years now, first in a smaller building just across the parking lot (where the Cavalry Church, once an AMC movie theater, now is located) and for seemingly forever in the new spot behind Macayo’s.

Since the demise of the Book Den, they’re about the only game on our side of town.

Want vinyl records? They’ve got them. Used video games? Yep. DVD’s? Of course.

And then there are books. Hundreds and hundreds of glorious books, from new releases to things your parents may have read back in the day.

There’s also a Post Office in the back, which is where I buy all of my stamps. These stamps turn out to be the most expensive in the Valley because, just to the left of the Port Office counter is the history section. And I’m a sucker for history, particularly Civil War, World War II and presidential biography. (Today’s flaming political “literature” from both sides of the aisle? Not so much. Give me some time, give me some perspective.)

You also can sell books here though, honestly, the amounts I’ve cleared have led me either to donate or leave the books on my shelf in hopes one of my kids (or grandkids) will be interested. As it is, my teenagers easily could complete a paper on most American history topics just using my own shelves, assuming I can pull them away from the Google or the Wikipedia on the interwebs.

For more information about Thrifty Joes, check out their website.