Design Your Day Downtown with New Website

August 26, 2011

Welcome to our new website that puts everything Downtown at your fingertips.

Parking, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, parking, maps, maps, maps, theaters, museums, parking, schools, churches, neighborhood descriptions, even available residential properties, all of it can be found here.

This site is as much a one-stop shop for the pleasure seeker as it is for someone who may want to live Downtown or even build his or her own nine-story structure to match the new UniSource headquarters. Volumes of economic development information are tucked under the Invest tab.

“The overall philosophy was to create a comprehensive one-stop website that would provide all the information you would ever need about Downtown Tucson,” said Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership, which is the master of this site.

Front and center is “Design Your Day Downtown.”

Pick an event or anything else and a map will pop up with everything else nearby, where to park, nearby dinner options and shopping options. You can map out a full itinerary.

“The concept was to create a website that would be pitched to 20-to-35-year-old who are beginning to populate urban centers across the country and in Tucson and are the driving force behind downtown revitalizations nationwide,” Keith said.

Two women who precisely fit that demographic are at the heart of what you see on this website. Caitlin Jensen, the Partnership’s Economic Development Consultant , wrote the text, basing all her words on her daily observations.

“I live Downtown and work Downtown and love the Downtown lifestyle,” Jensen said. “I can do everything here. I have days where I don’t leave the ZIP code.”

Brandi Haga, the Partnership’s Administrative Coordinator, compiled the mountains of information and photos you see here. Think “mountains” is an overstatement?  For starters, she had to get all the details for more than 35 restaurants with a separate designation for food trucks, and you will notice that our school listings are broken up to TUSD, charter and magnet schools.

“They cared about every detail that has gone into this effort and it really shows,” Keith said. “Brandi would get information in the five minutes between a phone call and writing a report. If she had a couple minutes, she’d squeeze in more information. This Web site was put together in the ‘spare’ time of all the other activities the Partnership was doing. It was the effort of staff that worked on it in their spare time, at nights and on weekend.”

The calendar of events is the brainchild of Jamie Manser, editor of Zocalo magazine and coordinator of 2nd Saturdays.

“She singlehandedly put the community calendar together,” Keith said. “This was such a collaborative effort.”

The site’s design, visual and technical, are the product of  Ian Johnson and Monte Workman at Moia Group, whose offices are Downtown in the Museum of Contemporary Art. They also designed the new DT logo for the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

“They have been enormously patient with us,” Keith said. “They gave us a huge amount of counseling on how to input enormous amounts of information. We were lucky to find website designers Downtown. If we would have gotten a designer from the East Coast, a lot of the detail and soul would have been lost.”

The new Downtown website emerges from the incredible Downtown renaissance in the past two years that has seen more than $130 million in private investment bring several new business and a cadre of new restaurants.

“We have had a new, hip, urban scene spring up around that,” Keith said.

And that hip, urban scene is showcased on this website, the authoritative voice for Downtown.