Local First Arizona Launches New Program: LFA For(u)m

downtown Tempe Local First Arizona has launched a new program targeted at smart development in the Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa areas. The LFA For(u)m is a membership based program dedicated to furthering diverse, context-sensitive and responsible development through infill, adaptive reuse, preservation, and redevelopment. The program will serve as an information exchange that organizes and informs development professionals focused on urban infill projects, advocating for a balanced dialog between residents, city government, and business stakeholders.

“We are launching LFA For(u)m to better develop an attractive, healthy, vibrant, and sustainable city that is socially, economically, and culturally diverse, and environmentally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond,” said Local First Arizona Director Kimber Lanning. “The information exchange serves to inform, educate, organize and motivate the responsible development community and to promote accountable, thoughtful development that is creative and legacy-minded. Phoenix For(u)m fits nicely into Local First Arizona’s portfolio of community and economic development initiatives that work together to create a favorable environment for local businesses.

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Local First Arizona has brought together some key individuals in the development industry for the founding advisory council for the LFA For(u)m. The advisory council includes:

  • Buzz Gosnell, DWG Phoenix
  • Lorenzo Perez, Venue Projects
  • David Wetta, Wetta Ventures
  • John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings
  • Michael Rumpeltin, Brick & West Design
  • Niels Kreipke, Desert Viking Companies

As all eyes have turned to central Phoenix and light rail corridors of Tempe and Mesa for new development opportunities, For(u)m members have come together to help ensure that future development will serve generations to come. "The For(u)m presents a unique opportunity for Phoenix to formalize its newfound interest in place, honoring Phoenix’s history, and creating new, unique destinations in walkable communities for residents of all backgrounds," said Lorenzo Perez, Principal at Venue Projects.

The Newton Front

Arizona-owned companies in any aspect of the development industry are invited to become a member through the LFA For(u)m. Members must be actively engaged in urban infill-oriented projects that are context-sensitive and community-minded, exhibiting high quality design, and architectural character. Benefits of membership include connection to values-aligned professionals; access to a supportive constituency that includes fast responders who create a more balanced dialogue with city officials; access to monthly talks focused on the topics outlined above, as well as ideas, information, strategies and current opportunities in development; access to information gleaned with daily monitoring of issues and projects relevant to the local development profession; and shared industry insights on topics such as TOD, historic preservation, tax credits and alternative financing strategies.

LFA For(u)m will launch with an event called Financing Creative Development on Wednesday, April 13, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at The Newton (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix). Featuring representatives from LISC Phoenix, Gateway Bank, Sunbelt Holdings, Wetta Ventures, and Venue Projects, this discussion lays out the foundation of For(u)m's devotion to tackling the specific issues which underlie the creation of unique adaptive reuse and infill projects. The event will bring together developers and financiers to discuss the many means--private finance, CDFI's, tenant equity, bank financing--developers are utilizing to produce their projects. For more information and registration, visit https://xg112.infusionsoft.com/app/page/forum-creative-finance.

For more details on Phoenix For(u)m including how to become a member and upcoming events, visit http://localfirstaz.com/forum/ or contact Community Outreach Coordinator Connor Descheemaker at [email protected] or 602-956-0909 ext. 1.