A Little History
Little Cholla is a joyous weekly gathering space and night market at Culdesac Tempe. Neighbors and visitors across the Valley attend to enjoy beloved local small business vendors, food trucks, community programming, public art, music, and more.
We started Little Cholla before we stuccoed a single building.
At first, Little Cholla took place on a sandy dirt lot onsite, built from covered temporary scaffolding, twinkly lights, picnic tables, DJ equipment, two beloved giraffe sculptures, and a whole lot of love and elbow grease.
Since its launch, Little Cholla has blossomed and found a permanent home in our beautiful main plaza, right across from our Light Rail stop and the newly opened Cocina Chiwas. Artist Matthew Salenger's masterful, multi-functioning art canopy and shade structure now crowns Little Cholla.
Why Little Cholla?
Culdesac began Little Cholla before we constructed a single building because we wanted to catalyze community around mobility and open space from day one. Culdesac believes that the transformative power of community, mobility, and open space are essential to delivering life outside your front door for residents, neighbors, and visitors alike.
Why wait to activate an ample site until you have finished buildings? We want to do real estate development differently – and part of that means using what we have to create a positive impact right now. In addition to a site, we had a band of dedicated, passionate team members, small business owners, and local champions ready to make this dream a reality!
What does Little Cholla stand for?
Little Cholla delivers and embodies Culdesac's dearest neighborhood beliefs and values through its intentional programming, including cultivating community through free events. In just over a year, Little Cholla has already featured fun community offerings ranging from country line dancing, yoga, and virtual golf to donation-based paint nights, the Culdesac Artist-in-residence exhibition, Picker's Playground, and Phoenix's "Really, Really Free Market" with donated items. Our market champions local small business vendors by providing a low-barrier platform, connecting micro-retailers to local customers. Little Cholla empowers mobility choice through its location right on the light rail and by offering $5 rebate tokens for anyone arriving via alternative mobility. In fact, Culdesac Tempe is able to utilize open space for neighborhood amenities like Little Cholla because alternative mobility opens up land for better uses. Where there would be an empty parking lot, there will instead be a lively plaza. Little Cholla celebrates open space by showing what's possible onsite from Day 1.
We're just getting started and always looking for passionate local partners eager to bring life, magic, and positive impact to our broader neighborhood.
What's next for Little Cholla?
Little Cholla will get even more magical as Culdesac Tempe residents move in and more local businesses open their doors.
But we're not stopping there.
As Culdesac comes to neighborhoods across the US, we will continue to champion early site activation built around small local businesses, community, mobility, and open space. While there's no one-size-fits-all program, Little Cholla embodies Culdesac's vision of someplace better through life at your front door.
Drumroll, please…Little Cholla's 2023 Season!
Learn about Little Cholla's dates and special programming here. Our first market kicks off next Thursday, February 16th, from 6-9 pm at 2001 E. Apache Blvd, Tempe.
Learn more about Little Cholla in the words of our teammates and small business partners or by reading about some of our amazing small business vendors.