Choosing a neighborhood is one of the most important decisions for people to make. When you move, you vote with your feet, considering a variety of factors along the way. No one understands the importance of strong neighborhoods and tight knit communities more than Supervisor Bill Gates.
In 2014, then Phoenix City Councilman Gates embarked on a project to revitalize the 32nd Street corridor. After the completion of State Route 51, 32nd Street was no longer a major traffic corridor, and with the Great Recession in-tow, the once booming retail corridor saw shuttered shops and loss of economic vitality. Gates knew something had to be done. He knew the 32nd St. corridor was a strong community. He knew they just needed a forum for the work to start.
It started like many stories involving Mr. Gates, by making the most out of public dollars. With a shoestring budget, North 32nd was able to redo street lanes, add bike lanes, and clean up the street scape. With that small investment complete, businesses started returning.
Slowly but surely, the community took notice. Hundreds of community members would turnout for meetings held by Councilman Gates to discuss the future of the community. Mr. Gates’ commitment to community involvement turned a small revitalization project into an economic boon for the corridor.
Now the North 32nd brand is visible up and down 32nd Street. Local restaurant owners have invested. New homes and apartments are planned and finished. A community that was once thought to be lost to a new freeway was able to reinvent itself, all because the neighborhood had an elected official who listened. Gates continues to be active in the North 32nd revitalization.