Getting the Drop

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Valley News Issue: December 2014
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Owing to monster 4-inch downpours in August and September, the Valley eclipsed its annual average rainfall by early fall this year. Typically, Phoenix gets about eight inches of rain a year. In 2014: more than 11 inches. That’s an average February day in New Orleans, but a deluge here.

Not that rainfall is even close to uniform across the Valley of the Sun. Consult this graph to find our wettest climes.

Average Yearly Rainfall Levels in the Valley

Apache Junction - 13.28

Queen Creek/Gilbert - 11.65

Carefree/Cave Creek - 10.76

Fountain Hills - 10.27

Tolleson - 9.46

Chandler - 9.33

Glendale/Peoria - 9.14

Phoenix/Scottsdale - 8.03




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Reporting on the bevy of intriguing reuse projects currently underway in Tempe (New Kids on the Block, October 2014) whetted our appetite for infill. Here are some other old spaces earmarked for urban coolness.

The Sail Inn
Farmer Avenue and First Street, Tempe
Beloved by some, feared by others, this grotty live music venue closed early in 2014. Celeb chef Aaron May will open a Tempe outpost of his Scottsdale tavern The Lodge in the reconditioned building early next year.

The Luhrs Tower
First Avenue and Jefferson Street, Phoenix
Opening shop in the 1920s-era  Luhrs Building worked out pretty well for Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour. Developers have similar tenant wish-lists for the adjacent, equally Art Deco-y Luhrs Tower.

Urban Farm Nursery
12th Street and Glendale Avenue, Phoenix
Lucia Schnitzer of Luci’s Healthy Marketplace will work her lifestyle magic on this one-time urban nursery. Expect a restaurant, a catering operation, an event space... and delicious, expensive coffee.

Uptown Plaza
Central and Camelback, Phoenix
Built by Del Webb in 1955, it was the Valley’s original strip mall. According to a spokesman, developer Vintage Partners will “peel back the layers” to restore its mid-century look, and remerchandise the shops to include local restaurants.

Unnamed ancient Glendale building
Glendale and 58th Avenues
Dating back to 1895, it’s one of the oldest extant structures in the Valley. And now, thanks to Chef Tom Harvey and noted redeveloper David Chang, it’s also a cool New American bistro called Cuff.


“We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of this failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident.”
– Orbital Science Corp. spokesman Frank Culbertson, following the spectacular explosion of an Orbital-made Antares rocket in Virginia. The doomed rocket was partly manufactured in Chandler. Orbital-designed rockets previously failed in 2009 and 2011, with losses totaling $694 million.


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Spicy Swine
We love bacon. We love the ubiquitous Asian condiment known as sriracha. So our love for a local Valley food company’s new Sriracha Bacon would seem a foregone conclusion. The credit for this fiendishly brilliant pairing goes to Go Lb. Salt owners Aaron and Liz Eckburg, whose previous experimentations with cured pork belly include black truffle and chocolate bacon varieties. “We are happy to be the only bacon producer in the country with a product like this,” Aaron says. “It’s got an incredible flavor profile and just the right amount of heat.” Find a half-pound package ($12) online at