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The City of Phoenix is seeking innovative and unique restaurant operators for the historic firehouse adjacent to Margaret T. Hance Park.
Not to be confused with The Firehouse – a former art gallery and music venue on Roosevelt Row — the long-vacant firehouse is located at First and Moreland streets just south of Burton Barr Central Library.
With the revitalization of Hance Park in full swing, the City of Phoenix is putting the only restaurant site with direct access to the park up for lease. The goal is to redevelop the building as a full-service restaurant, and create “downtown’s newest culinary destination,” according to the City’s Community and Economic Development Department. In the coming months, a request for proposals (RFP) will be issued.
But ahead of the request, the City is hosting a Firehouse FastPITCH event on Tuesday, Sept. 14, where local businesses and entrepreneurs can submit their idea.
At the FastPITCH event, all sorts of businesses (not just restaurant owners) can put their name in the ring — from small artisan bakers to local produce purveyors, architects, creative services and more. Basically any small business that can provide goods or services to support an adaptive-reuse restaurant project.
The idea is to connect with other small businesses, vendors and entrepreneurs to create an innovative and truly local restaurant concept.
The format of the pitch event is similar to the TV show “Shark Tank,” where businesses are allotted a three-minute time slot, and an additional two minutes to answer questions. Participants can team up with other pitchers ahead of the formal RFP, and submit a proposal together.
The City is planning to release the formal RFP in the late summer or early fall. The City is requiring proposing teams (proposers) to have experience with at least one adaptive reuse development project in the last five years, and five years experience operating a full-service restaurant.