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  #7801  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2015, 11:24 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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There's been some discussion here lately of Phoenix's struggles to attract companies. This is an interesting interview with the city's recently hired new head of economic development. I would normally be skeptical about someone who comes from Chandler rather than another city of Phoenix's size, but since some of Phoenix's keenest rivals are its own suburbs, maybe it takes someone who has worked for one of those suburbs to know how to compete with them. On the other hand, I'm disappointed with the statement that "more parking is the challenge we need to overcome first." No, it isn't. The perception of scarce parking may need to be overcome, and she mentions some efforts in that direction, but I hope I don't see her department proposing a lot of new parking garages. CED has done far too much of that in the past.

http://downtownphoenixjournal.com/20...enixs-economy/
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  #7802  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by airomero83 View Post
From Roosevelt Row CDC Facebook page
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  #7803  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 1:08 AM
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
On the other hand, I'm disappointed with the statement that "more parking is the challenge we need to overcome first." No, it isn't. The perception of scarce parking may need to be overcome, and she mentions some efforts in that direction, but I hope I don't see her department proposing a lot of new parking garages. CED has done far too much of that in the past.

http://downtownphoenixjournal.com/20...enixs-economy/
From the linked interview:
Quote:
But, today, even the financial institutions only have 170 square feet per person in their new model and you’ve got to be able to get five to seven per thousand in your parking to make it work. And, until the central city is the favored darling of urban development, we’re still competing with places like Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Places where they can surface park for free.
I have great difficulty squaring the different views. I've tried to stir the pot on the Denver page with examples, like Geico in Dallas/Richardson which was either 5 or 6 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet. Denver bloggers complain about too much parking with developers adding 1.5 spaces per 1,000 SF downtown. So in mentioning Denver she must mean just the suburbs. In any case Denver not the best comparison for several reasons. Austin as well, considering the pace of their downtown focused growth and traffic issues growing by the day also not the best example IMO.

Perhaps with Midtown needing to compete, finding more equal footing with the suburbs or Dallas etc. is relevant in the near term.
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  #7804  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 1:30 AM
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I'm a frequent viewer and seldom responder to this forum. I think Phoenix is a great city, and I love living here. However, I really wish it would take a few tips from other cities when it comes to shaded public areas, or public areas in general. I realize this is a desert city and water is scarce and expensive, but the lack of shade in such a hot city blows me away.
The notion that water is scarce is a bit of a fallacy IMO. Phoenix has more ample and secure water supplies than Denver, especially the metro Denver area. Admittedly snow melt has been fairly reliable but climate and weather patterns do vary.

In any case, Phoenix could do much more to encourage some amount of landscaping in public areas and along streets/sidewalks. Not only can landscaping provide shade but it's a psychological plus and any increase in humidity is cooling.
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  #7805  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 3:27 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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The notion that water is scarce is a bit of a fallacy IMO. Phoenix has more ample and secure water supplies than Denver, especially the metro Denver area. Admittedly snow melt has been fairly reliable but climate and weather patterns do vary.

In any case, Phoenix could do much more to encourage some amount of landscaping in public areas and along streets/sidewalks. Not only can landscaping provide shade but it's a psychological plus and any increase in humidity is cooling.
So true. We've got to stop using an arid climate as an excuse. The environmental positives of creating a shaded, cooler oasis in the core of the metro area greatly outweigh the small negatives associated with the modest water use needed to create such an oasis.
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  #7806  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 5:13 AM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
There's been some discussion here lately of Phoenix's struggles to attract companies. This is an interesting interview with the city's recently hired new head of economic development. I would normally be skeptical about someone who comes from Chandler rather than another city of Phoenix's size, but since some of Phoenix's keenest rivals are its own suburbs, maybe it takes someone who has worked for one of those suburbs to know how to compete with them. On the other hand, I'm disappointed with the statement that "more parking is the challenge we need to overcome first." No, it isn't. The perception of scarce parking may need to be overcome, and she mentions some efforts in that direction, but I hope I don't see her department proposing a lot of new parking garages. CED has done far too much of that in the past.

http://downtownphoenixjournal.com/20...enixs-economy/
It's probably hard for any city to attract a big company when Dallas is giving away the farm (no pun intended) and everyone is moving there.
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  #7807  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 5:13 AM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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From Roosevelt Row CDC Facebook page
I am truly jealous of that man's bicycle.
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  #7808  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 5:30 AM
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LOL; the attitude of the people with decision-making authority or faux-political influence (aka idiot business owners like Rainey) with regards to parking is, quite frankly, insane. I walked around downtown for the first time in forever - no real destination in mind, just walking... and, the continued catering to making parking as easy and convenient as possible kills what really is turning out to be a decent place. But, it's obvious that these people never experience downtown from outside of their car and their destination, and don't understand that having people park away from their restaurant and having to walk past stores and businesses along the way is actually beneficial. It's sad that the urban 'champions' of downtown can't grasp these simple concepts and continue to chip away at the positive impacts light rail and other non-auto investment has had. The fact that there is concrete research showing that there is a surplus of parking downtown AND a general attitude that parking is scarce should be a cue to SOMEONE that the focus should be on fixing/changing these attitudes through education, resources, etc. and not through additional parking expenditures. If they build a parking lot next to Roosevelt Row, what about the Chandler family who wants to go see a ball game? It's an endless game trying to turn downtown into a place where you can park adjacent to your destination - and, it's scary how that seems to be the ideal being sought.

Anyway, I can't believe people are bitching about The Oscar container project. Especially with the parking lots set to be paved all along 2nd Street, do you really think there is a high demand for better quality projects for that parcel? 4-story, single-use stucco boxes are being built all over the place on prime lots - I'll definitely take a funky, mixed use, live-work container project on what has been a set of abandoned foundations for 8 years. Lining 2nd Street with live-work/commercial infrastructure will make for a much better connection to Hance Park than another Barron POS.

Oh, and here are some updates though nobody will read them [since I posted the details about The Oscar and St. Ambrose 2 months ago]:

1. The former office building on McKinley/2nd-3rd Street has almost finished construction, or destruction in this case. It will house an arcade bar, Antique Sugar (opened already), and an architecture firm. It's cool to see something Antique Sugar open since so much of the retail in the area is F&B-focused. I don't quite understand why the developer bothered with the renovations they did - they stripped the buildings to its bones, which aren't anything impressive, and had it had to cost more than it would have to knock the building down and build something new? In this case, a new building built up to the street (instead of the surface lot facing McKinley) with these retail stores on the bottom, offices on the 2nd level, and 2-3 stories of lofts would have been cool. But, whatever - it's definitely a good addition and is an upgrade from what it once was.











A door for what I assume will be a patio fronting 2nd Street:



2. Probably way behind on this, but I was happy to see Angels Trumpet had installed some signage. Signage is definitely important in this area south of Roosevelt:

3. Is this a joke? This used to be an entrance to the building on 2nd Street/Garfield - tell me this is a joke? Either way, this building needs a new tenant who has a clue:



4. I'm all for mental hygiene, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the crisis center in the warehouse on 2nd Street/Garfield is moving. Roosevelt - Garfield is such a deadzone that separates Roosevelt from all the cool stuff going on near McKinley, so replacing tenants like this one with more active, public uses will really help connect the dots. A Buffalo Exchange would be great here:



5. The Velo is cool as shit, and it's too bad that all of the apartments aren't open yet because I can't see it lasting long enough to take advantage of more nearby residents:



6. The infamous Roosevelt streetscape. First time I've walked it during the day and it's pretty 50/50. A summer day exacerbates the issue of designing a road for 1 night of the month - the 20' sidewalks were barren, the potted 'trees' on the south side eat up half of the sidewalk and have no function or form, nor does the Shady Whatever at the 3rd St triangle... but, the area looks cleaner and more inviting, the crosswalk treatment is nice, and if there's no parallel parking buffer, then I'm glad 20' of sidewalk was there to buffer me from the speeding cars.







Not much to add about the triangle that hasn't been said. The structures offered no shade whatsoever, the landscaping is a joke, and there's nothing there to make people want to congregate (a directory maybe? art?). But, I was happy to have touched the seats and find that they don't absorb heat, which I was doubtful of from their looks. Still, I felt completely uncomfortable lingering there and exposed to so much traffic on every side. A wall of landscaping to buffer some of that would help a little bit, but ultimately, it feels like exactly what it is - a very temporary pedestrian refuge while crossing 3rd Street.







The other shade structures are a nice tough from a thematic standpoint, but I would have spent the money on benches or signage.



Carly's patio is nice; would be nice to see more make use of the wasted space.



7. I think DeSoto has gotten undeserved bad press. I don't know what people expected, but an urban food court is exactly what I pictured and I think it's pretty great that Phoenix has something like this downtown. Would I rather all of the interior establishments be spread along the actual street? Sure. But, that doesn't mean this place sucks. Yes, the price levels are unfortunate. Yes, it will be much better when the amenities like the butcher, florist, etc. are added. But, they had to start somewhere and anchor restaurants are a better bet then a no-name florist. The building and entire corner are gorgeous and I hope it lasts because it's one of the few examples of someone gambling on a big idea in Phoenix.





I just realized what a jerk I must have looked like taking this photo!!!



8. The future site of Sutra, though it doesn't look like they'e made much progress. I'm also doubtful that Lux is still planning to build on the lot adjacent to it... but, it would be really nice if they did.





9. The City RFP for the firehouse on 1st Street has closed, and was a bust from what I read. Will be interesting to see what's chosen... another project that would most definitely benefit from the completion of nearby residential projects, since right now, it is surrounded by dirt and hoards of homeless people.



10. This would make for a cool (MCM?) student housing or artist live/work housing, which means it will be probably be demo'd next month.



11. The owners of this home should be ashamed. Such a gorgeous house that has sat boarded up for so long. I don't know what it's best use would be, but even a restored SFH would be an improvement.





12. The Knipe House, soon to be engulfed by parking lots on both sides of 2nd Street and left to rot indefinitely. Thank GOD those developers who proposed housing for rickety old seniors never received funding - asphalt and abandoned buildings are much more urban than senior citizens and a brewery. /sarcasm



13. And, the future parking lots sponsored by MonOrchid.



14. Future home of The Oscar. EnHance also looked like it is about ready to break ground.



15. Barron is ready to break ground on Linear; they are waiting for the City to award them the fake RFP for construction + parking lots along 2nd Street.



16. Looks like MonOrchid is still trying to find a tenant. I bet if there was more PARKING nearby, this wouldn't be an issue.



17. So, about The Dressing Room? Phase 1 was supposed to open in May and Phase 2 in June... and, it looks abandoned. I'd be pissed if I contributed to the 35K they raised on Kickstarter for this. And, honestly, this stretch of Roosevelt is pretty lame and with Canvas being demo'd, it's going to get even more lame. A cool restaurant concept would have been a great addition.



18. The Wurth house is on stilts. Apparently, they are going to start a crowdfunding campaign to get it settled. Hope that's more fruitful than The Dressing Room's efforts. A nice, sit-down restaurant or music lounge or something would be cool... if it's another 'only open my doors 1 night a month' gallery, I... will just bitch about it?



19. The two buildings between the Wurth House and Bliss are for rent. The bungalow closer to Bliss has so much potential, and I'd love to see this entire stretch turn into a restaurant/nightlife cluster. Again, preemptive bitching about potential galleries opening instead. Also, the salon at Roosevelt Point hasn't opened...





20. Future rubble courtesy of the Phoenix Biomedical Sprawl.





21. I'll eat my hat since it looks like the PBC garage has indeed built commercial space on the ground level. If you squint, you can see the 3-4 glass doors that have been installed... I'm extremely surprised, and confused why that component was never mentioned in any of the press releases? While I'm glad it isn't a mono-use parking garage, it's still kind of annoying because there's 0% chance of these being leased. 1) It's surrounded by dirt and the butt of the AZ Center. 2) It doesn't even front an actual street (or does 4th cut through? IDR). 3) What could even possibly open in such shallow space, with no back of house area? A hat store? These will obviously sit vacant indefinitely and be used as an example of why retail in more sensible locations should be abandoned. WAAH.





22. I can't wait for more buildings like the Cancer Center to go up all along 4th-7th St, McKinley-Fillmore. A perfect example of how downtown is still being built for the car... it's actually a really nice looking building. But, it does absolutely nothing for the ground level or its surroundings. It has 3 blank faces, and the 4th just has the entrance. An entire corner is dedicated to a walked-in garden that is set behind a locked (yes I tried to get in) gate. Why are buildings being proposed for other lots when an entire city block was just wasted on a low-rise with an ENTIRE CORNER dedicated to a... safe zone for mesquite trees?







[/url]

23. Skyline is still one of my favorites architecturally. After walking past the filthy Roosevelt Point, it was nice to look up at its simplicity. Sad that at 8 stories, this is almost twice as tall as any residential project currently under construction. Also, the restaurant that was supposed to go on Fillmore doesn't look to be going anywhere...?



24. And, to end on a positive note, the project that can no wrong- Proxy 333. Can't wait to see 4th Street and McKinley lined with live-work spaces, and for another classy looking building to take attention away from RP. Really sucks that such a great project will be across the street from a future lowrise medical blob with an ASU logo at the crown of its HIGH RISE 4th floor.





More angles and such: https://www.flickr.com/gp/132035648@N03/nLT7F2
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  #7809  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 5:46 AM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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Wow, man, that's one heck of a post. Thanks for all the updates and pictures. As for The Velo, it better work, and it will work, the shop is doing very well and I encourage you all to check it out some day. There's a bit of everything from neighborhood cruiser bikes to top end road bikes and everything in between. If anyone ever needs something from the shop just tell me and I'll make sure you're well taken care of. There's also a coffee bar open 8-2 daily serving a custom house blend roasted by Press Roasters.

Sorry for the sales pitch, I don't have a vested interest in the shop, but I do represent it in the manner that I run (and race for) the shop's racing team, and the owner Jason is a friend of mine.
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  #7810  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 6:39 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Originally Posted by biggus diggus View Post
Wow, man, that's one heck of a post. Thanks for all the updates and pictures. As for The Velo, it better work, and it will work, the shop is doing very well and I encourage you all to check it out some day. There's a bit of everything from neighborhood cruiser bikes to top end road bikes and everything in between. If anyone ever needs something from the shop just tell me and I'll make sure you're well taken care of. There's also a coffee bar open 8-2 daily serving a custom house blend roasted by Press Roasters.

Sorry for the sales pitch, I don't have a vested interest in the shop, but I do represent it in the manner that I run (and race for) the shop's racing team, and the owner Jason is a friend of mine.
Just clarifying that I hope you're right - but, it was dead (though, so was every other place I passed), permanent residents are still a year+ away, and there is little emphasis placed on things like signage and marketing for places separated from Roosevelt by the Roosevelt-Garfield deadzone. But, I hope it makes it through all of that...and, I take back my comment that DeSoto is the only big idea because I think this was pretty ambitious, too.

Forgot to add that I started off at Songbird, and I love their new-ish location and staff. The owner is also totally cool and cares about downtown and is open to learning instead of pushing an agenda. Was sad to walk in past the old tavern, though, knowing it's being used as a storage unit.
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  #7811  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 7:16 AM
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Yeah ! who out there can take a jaunt around downtown and give us a good old fashioned photo update??
Apparently you got Jjs5056 so riled up he walked around half of downtown.

Jjs5056... Great post and photos. Thanks
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  #7812  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 3:41 PM
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I can't wait until that arcade bar opens.

Thanks for the photo update jjs. I think it's pretty clear there's a long way to go, however, I think the ball is definitely starting to roll.

I feel bad for all of the business owners that have taken the chance down there. I hope they all can stick it out and see their investments pay off.

...

Speaking of the Bliss/re-bar strip, do you or anyone know what the deal is with that little brick two story walk-up apartment building around the corner behind bar on Garfield? It's covered in graffiti and street art, but at least it's still standing. I feel like at one point there was work starting on it a long time ago. Do the bliss people own it? Do they have plans for it? I remember back about 10 years ago going to First Friday and it was still in use as cheaper artists apartments. That was the first place I remember "donating" money for a beer. There are so few places like that left downtown I hope it gets brought back to life as lower cost apartments. There might be 4 units in the building.
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  #7813  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 4:38 PM
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LOL; the attitude of the people with decision-making authority or faux-political influence (aka idiot business owners like Rainey) .... https://www.flickr.com/gp/132035648@N03/nLT7F2
The grumpy old man of the forum but if you keep us with regular updates ill be happy!
To be honest though we are complaining about these projects when we used to go months and months with no news and no projects of any kind.

Considering most of this occurred during the Recession I think we are doing pretty good! hopefully if the economy continues to improve we will only see more and more in Downtown :up:
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  #7814  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 5:39 PM
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New Third Avenue Town Homes in Downtown PHX

Pics not inserted as expected so new thread post was created.

Last edited by sky51; Jul 10, 2015 at 5:49 PM. Reason: Images not inserted into thread as expected.
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  #7815  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 5:44 PM
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New Third Avenue Town Homes in Downtown PHX

Pictures of the awesome new town homes in downtown Phoenix taken on July 10 2015.




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  #7816  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 6:04 PM
ASU Diablo ASU Diablo is online now
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Gorgeous units, nice additions to downtown!! Can't wait for McKinley Row to go up just a street back.
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  #7817  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 7:01 PM
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^ This might be one of the best looking new projects downtown. Not a huge fan of the corbels, tho (the L-bracket thingies that connect the soffit (underside of the roof) to the outer wall) however.
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  #7818  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 7:36 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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The grumpy old man of the forum but if you keep us with regular updates ill be happy!
To be honest though we are complaining about these projects when we used to go months and months with no news and no projects of any kind.

Considering most of this occurred during the Recession I think we are doing pretty good! hopefully if the economy continues to improve we will only see more and more in Downtown :up:
Yes, I was hoping the photos would be buy a free month of guilt-free complaints about shitty projects? Kidding...kind of. The bad projects are almost more frustrating now that so many good ones are actually mixed in.

I keep harping on the PBC, but it doesn't look like anyone has posted the news of ASU being given the land between 4th-6th Street/Garfield-Fillmore. There is so much good stuff on the west side of 4th Street...and between Roosevelt Point, Proxxy, and Skyline, there is potential for contiguous retail from Roosevelt - Fillmore. It's really, really shitty that this momentum is being stunted by the terrible planning of this Biomedical campus. Some sort of transition zone should have been established, and the sheer size of the campus allowed for it to be built in a series of low-rise, anti-urban buildings with terrible site plans. There's no reason for two entire city blocks to be used for cancer treatment and research purposes, for example.

And, yes, the Townhomes on 3rd are very attractive. I'm confident Union and McKinley Row will be just as impressive, as MetroWest seems to really 'get it' and is actually invested in making downtown happen.
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  #7819  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 7:51 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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I can't wait until that arcade bar opens.

Thanks for the photo update jjs. I think it's pretty clear there's a long way to go, however, I think the ball is definitely starting to roll.

I feel bad for all of the business owners that have taken the chance down there. I hope they all can stick it out and see their investments pay off.

...

Speaking of the Bliss/re-bar strip, do you or anyone know what the deal is with that little brick two story walk-up apartment building around the corner behind bar on Garfield? It's covered in graffiti and street art, but at least it's still standing. I feel like at one point there was work starting on it a long time ago. Do the bliss people own it? Do they have plans for it? I remember back about 10 years ago going to First Friday and it was still in use as cheaper artists apartments. That was the first place I remember "donating" money for a beer. There are so few places like that left downtown I hope it gets brought back to life as lower cost apartments. There might be 4 units in the building.
Yes, whoever owns the two houses that make up Bliss also own the brick duplex behind it along Garfield. Unfortunately, I don't know what it's future will be as the south side of Garfield will likely be back-of-house service entries for ASU's Biomedical buildings. I'm surprised nothing was ever done with it; I would think even renting it out for studio space would be more lucrative than letting it sit vandalized?

There's so many houses and similar duplexes spread throughout downtown; it's too bad moving them isn't a feasible option, because they're much less likely to be invested in when they are isolated as they are now (that historic home on 2nd Street/Moreland, the white brick duplexes on 7th Street/McKinley, the two historic homes on 4th St/Fillmore, this duplex, the random houses on 7th Street/Fillmore, etc.) - it would be great if they were all situated like this duplex is. Garfield, McKinley, etc. have a lot of dead space due to buildings being oriented toward the # streets... I like how this duplex fills the space between the back of Bliss and the alley, and is oriented toward Garfield.
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  #7820  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 10:22 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
Yes, whoever owns the two houses that make up Bliss also own the brick duplex behind it along Garfield. Unfortunately, I don't know what it's future will be as the south side of Garfield will likely be back-of-house service entries for ASU's Biomedical buildings. I'm surprised nothing was ever done with it; I would think even renting it out for studio space would be more lucrative than letting it sit vandalized?
A little more than five years ago, there was a plan to make those buildings into additional restaurants under the same ownership as Nine 05, Bliss's predecessor. The whole plan collapsed when Nine 05 went out of business, and I've yet to hear of any plans for the houses along Garfield.

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/resta...corner-6524657

As for your long photo post, it's good news that the psychiatric crisis center is moving. It diminishes the walk appeal of the area between Roosevelt per se and small businesses to the south such as Angel's Trumpet, the Velo, and Filmbar. Unfortunately, the electrical substation or whatever it is remains on the northwest corner.

Last edited by exit2lef; Jul 10, 2015 at 10:47 PM.
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