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February 25, 2009


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T-Gen suspiciously announced a "strategic partnership" with Van Andel Research Institute of Grand Rapids. I suspect that means "VARI has money that we don't have." Dr. Jeff Trent will not split time between Phoenix and Grand Rapids, who now also holds title of President and Research Director for VARI.

At what point does VARI just swallow up T-Gen and move the whole thing to Grand Rapids? Two locations/facilities aren't better than one in the dollar-starved industry of research.

In retrospect, you see the failure to decide as part of a recognizable fabric of avoidance. Our attention wasn't concentrated on a hollowing-out economy so much as believing the good times would never end.

It's human nature to see the road ahead the same as the road behind. Even today, there's a forlorn but widespread idea among Arizonans that this collapse will heal itself, that even as we sift through the wreckage, new investments will miraculously emerge. But the main show? Done, gone, kaput.

All that real-estate hustle, the deals, frauds, and manias of the last 60 years, are finished. Hotels will close, far-flung subdivisions will gather tumbleweeds, and Phoenix itself will take on the haunted look of an aging starlet.

So, what does a major metropolitan area do when its raison d'etre has not only collapsed but cannot revive itself? I only know Phoenix one way, as a perpetually booming place, where even recessions were shrugged off. The difference this time is that the recent experience of central Phoenix - struggle and decay - will become even the suburbs' experience. I'm strapped in and ready to enjoy the descent.

Read the very last line of this article:


Well, I left Phoenix almost two years ago. Quit a rewarding job at a college, with okay pay and good benefits, a job that I'd probably still have if I'd stayed. Now I'm in Seattle, with a half time job at crappy pay and occasional free lance work.

But I was bored out of my mind in Phoenix.. I'm much happier here back with friends who have more to talk about than sports teams and real estate. Even if they've lost their jobs too-- at least they have a lot going on. Last month I volunteered and worked hard to help install a new temporary sculpture park in Burien. It seems like there's always something fascinating and cool going on.

Richard Florida is absolutely right.

I miss the college, but I don't miss telling my students they had to leave Phoenix if they wanted to have a career.

So you're saying it's a great time to buy? Sounds like that to me.

"No matter what, their character and atmosphere are likely to change radically."

This bust is the BEST THING that could happen to Phoenix. It will either force change and revive itself or it will become obsolete and die?

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