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Native American group opens affordable apartment complex in downtown Phoenix

The Urban Living on Second apartments in downtown Phoenix. (KTAR photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held Tuesday for a new affordable living apartment complex in downtown Phoenix.

The Urban Living on Second complex near 2nd Avenue and Roosevelt Street is offering 70 units to families who have an income that qualifies.

"Those are families earning from about $17,000 a year to about $45,000 a year," said Diana Yazzie Devine, who is the CEO of a group called Native American Connections, which built the complex.

Rents are based on the tenant's income. Even though the organization's goal is to help Native Americans, you do not have to be Native American to live in the complex.

Devine said the complex offers several luxury amenities.

"It has a 24-seat movie theater, a coffee bar, a fitness center and several different conference rooms," said Devine.

The complex is located near the light rail and within walking distance of several major downtown hotels. Devine said she thinks many of the complex's tenants will become hotel employees.

The city of Phoenix, the Arizona Department of Housing and several banks all invested money to build the property.

Mayor Greg Stanton said that Urban Living on Second complex is just the first of many that could bring as many as 5,000 more residents in the downtown area.

"In the next few years in downtown Phoenix, you're going to see thousands and thousands of new residences," the Mayor said. "It's going to become a neighborhood, and it's going to change the face of our city."

About half of the complex's 70 units have already been claimed. If you would like to find out how to rent one, you can email Native American Connections at or call 602-648-9757.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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