New apartments and shops opening near Phoenix Art Museum

- It's a piece of land across from the Phoenix Art Museum that has sat empty for years. Now, it's home to a new luxury apartment development.

"The Muse" not only features apartments, but also restaurants and retail space, right in the heart of the Arts District. The mixed use development now occupy the corner of McDowell and Central, and officially opened Tuesday. A partial opening took place a couple of months ago.

"Our goal with Muse is to create the highest end community in the area," said Nate Stum, Development Manager with Lennar. Stum said while construction took about 26 months, planning for the long vacant lot took plce well before that

"This has been a very, very long time," said Stum. "For decades, the community has looked at this lot as basically a main and main location. We first started working on this property in 2013."

The land was bought from a private owner for just under $13 million. Now, 367 new apartment homes and 11,000 square feet of retail space grace the area.

The development's name is a hat tip to the art museum and opera nearby.

"The definition of the Muse is artistic inspiration," said Stum. "We looked at this property as fitting in the fabric of the central arts district."

Muse now adds to the rapid development of the area that hopes to put more feet on Downtown streets.

"Historically, there's been very few people that actually lived Downtown," said Stum. "It's always been a place where there's been plenty of jobs, but at 6 o'clock, the place emptied out."

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