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HX_Guy May 19, 2010 10:32 PM

New owner moves to complete Chateau on Central
Phoenix Business Journal - by Jan Buchholz
Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal

The Wisconsin company that purchased the imposing Chateaux on Central project in March has hired general contractor Rowland Luxury Homes to complete the project.

MSI West Investors LLC selected the Phoenix-based luxury home builder, which will handle interiors and modifications for the 21 opulent five-story brownstones. The structures have been sitting vacant for nearly four years after ongoing financial problems prevented the project from being completed.

The development was featured in the New York Times magazine as an example of the recession’s impact on the “gilded age” of luxury development in Phoenix. Chateaux on Central features copper patina turrets and wrought iron with a distinct Old World flavor. Each residence comes equipped with an elevator.

“We’re incredibly happy to have been chosen as the general contractor amid our well-accomplished competitors,” said Guy Loisi, managing partner of Rowland Luxury Homes.

Read more: New owner moves to complete Chateau on Central - Phoenix Business Journal

DowntownDweller May 20, 2010 6:14 AM

I've been wondering what would ever happen with COC. Great news. If only I could afford one.

Leo the Dog May 20, 2010 11:59 AM


Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 4846301)
New owner moves to complete Chateau on Central
Phoenix Business Journal - by Jan Buchholz

I think that the demand for urban housing is bouncing back a bit. Last weekend I went to San Marcos Commons in DT Chandler.

Phase I is 100% sold, and they just resumed Phase II with strong sales already. The prices are high 225k-250k. Very lively area, numerous bars and restaurants are within a 2-5 minute walk, directly across the street from the historic San Marcos Hotel. At completion the whole area looks to be one of the better urban developments in all of metro Phx. I was pleasantly surprised and gives me hope that these projects will once again dot the Phx landscape.

Phxguy May 20, 2010 11:50 PM


Originally Posted by Leo the Dog (Post 4846968)
I think that the demand for urban housing is bouncing back a bit. Last weekend I went to San Marcos Commons in DT Chandler.

Phase I is 100% sold, and they just resumed Phase II with strong sales already. The prices are high 225k-250k. Very lively area, numerous bars and restaurants are within a 2-5 minute walk, directly across the street from the historic San Marcos Hotel. At completion the whole area looks to be one of the better urban developments in all of metro Phx. I was pleasantly surprised and gives me hope that these projects will once again dot the Phx landscape.

Have you seen Summit at Copper square yet? These past times that I pass by it I see windows open and people standing on their balconies enjoying the view. Last I heard it was 85% sold out. It's good news to see and hear of the apartments and condo projects that are becoming more popular.

HX_Guy May 21, 2010 12:04 AM


Originally Posted by Phxguy (Post 4847816)
Have you seen Summit at Copper square yet? These past times that I pass by it I see windows open and people standing on their balconies enjoying the view. Last I heard it was 85% sold out. It's good news to see and hear of the apartments and condo projects that are becoming more popular.

Last I looked, about a week ago, there was a short sale 1019 sq ft condo on the 8th floor with a NW view FOR $109,000! Fuck me shit I wish I had the money!

Leo the Dog May 21, 2010 12:25 AM


Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 4847831)
Last I looked, about a week ago, there was a short sale 1019 sq ft condo on the 8th floor with a NW view FOR $109,000! Fuck me shit I wish I had the money!

Wow! NW view is the best view too of the skyline.

Phxguy May 21, 2010 12:30 AM


Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 4847831)
Last I looked, about a week ago, there was a short sale 1019 sq ft condo on the 8th floor with a NW view FOR $109,000! Fuck me shit I wish I had the money!

I have Summit at Copper Square and 44 Monroe still in mind. That is once I get enough money. Is 44 Monroe still selling?

Leo the Dog May 22, 2010 12:30 AM

This is interesting: Not only is Phx overlooked as a big city, it is also overlooked from these cities: Houston, Pittsburgh, Sacramento beat us on this list. Ouch.


America's Top 10 Underrated Cities
These overlooked and underrated cities are ready to emerge from the shadows into the limelight
By Sherman's Travel Editorial Staff

Everyone knows cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago are among the best in the U.S., but there are many other fabulous – albeit smaller – American cities that just don't get their fair share of the spotlight. Whether their proximity to a larger metropolis steals their thunder or a recent city makeover remains undiscovered by the masses, the cities on our list are oft overlooked by even the savviest of travelers. If you're looking to broaden the scope of your trips to include some less-talked-about places with great art scenes, friendly locals, delectable cuisine, and/or rich history, then add one of our 10 most underrated U.S. cities to your "must-see" list today!

The "Creative Capital" of Providence, R.I., has indeed been reborn in the last decade, as residents have reclaimed derelict buildings and two of the city's three rivers, created waterside walkways, and welcomed brand-name shopping. Today, visitors can take a gondola ride through downtown or, on select dates between June and October, enjoy the light of 100 bonfires along Providence's three rivers as part the WaterFires events – an evening fire sculpture festival set to music. When you add in a burgeoning dining scene, rich New England history, the new Chace Center at the Museum of Art – Rhode Island School of Design (it displays twice as much art as before), a monthly gallery night, and a renowned performing arts scene, this underrated city seems tailor-made for a quick and fulfilling getaway.

It's a fantastic jumping-off point for a Pacific Northwest vacation – with proximity to the Oregon coast, Mount Hood, and Willamette Valley wine country – but there's much to see in the city limits too, as the "City of Roses" boasts beauty and culture aplenty. A stop at the Portland Art Museum is a must for art enthusiasts, as is the monthly First Thursdays tour, when downtown galleries stay open late. The promise of tax-free shopping, plus the bustling Saturday outdoor food and arts market (from late March to December), means plenty of retail therapy in this underrated city, too.

Native blue crabs seasoned with Old Bay are reason enough to visit Baltimore, but there's much more to experience in this waterfront town. Take, for example, this underrated city's revitalized Inner Harbor area, where you'll find where you’ll find Kimpton’s new Hotel Monaco (opened in July 2009); the upscale neighborhood of Mount Vernon, home to the nation's first large-scale Washington Monument and the 29-room boutique Hotel Brexton (opened in March 2010); and Harbor East, where a number of hotels and restaurants are opening their doors. Its new, contemporary look aside, you can still discover some 300 years of American history along Baltimore's cobblestone streets (not only was the "Star Spangled Banner" written here, but abolitionist Frederick Douglass lived and worked in the historic waterfront community of Fells Point in the 1830s) and track down the settings for John Waters's films (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Female Trouble, among many others, were all shot here). Sports fans will also find no shortage of outlets, since Baltimore is also home to the Orioles baseball team, Ravens football team, and the Preakness (the second leg of the Triple Crown).

Fort Lauderdale
Say goodbye to its days as a raucous spring break spot – today's Fort Lauderdale is all about upscale beach chic, as confirmed by the string of swanky new hotels on the block that have been developed over the last 5 years, like the Ritz-Carlton (formerly the St. Regis, opened in August 2008) and W Hotel (opened in May 2009). Stroll the stunning seaside promenade and comb a strand of sand that rivals Miami Beach, then set out for some irresistible shopping, and finally cap off your day with a culinary feast at one of the underrated city's stellar international restaurants. Combined with a surprisingly sophisticated arts and museum scene, an extensive yachting and golfing network, and one of America's top gay and lesbian scenes, Fort Lauderdale's status as Florida's fashionable destination du jour is long overdue.

Houston is proof that everything is indeed bigger in Texas. While better known for its big business and energy interests, this sprawling underrated city also hosts top-notch orchestra, opera, and ballet companies, a dynamic theater scene, great museums, and the world-renowned NASA Space Center. Shopping reigns supreme here – you'll find a huge concentration of shops and above-par outlet malls – and its cosmopolitan restaurant scene expands upon the state's traditional Tex-Mex offerings. Bold and impressive architecture helps define the cityscape, too (including the mammoth Astrodome) making this fourth-largest U.S, city a true star in the Lone Star State.

Kansas City
With downtown's multi-billion dollar face-lift, pedestrian-friendly boulevards, and claim to having the most fountains of any city outside of Rome, Kansas City is definitely deserving of buzz. Plus, history buffs can learn about the underrated city's pioneer roots at the Arabia Steamboat Museum, while sports fans can visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a tribute to the excellent athletes forced to play in segregated leagues. Blues and jazz clubs also abound in this city where musicians like Count Basie and Charlie Parker got their start, particularly in the historic 18th and Vine District, where the American Jazz Museum is located. For some summertime family fun, head to mega-water park Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, which debuted in July 2009 as the brand’s first venture outside of Texas. Once you've worked up an appetite, you're also in for a treat, as this Midwestern city also boasts some of the country's best barbecue.

The Kentucky Derby may be its claim to fame, but the famous horse race isn't all Louisville has to offer. Nestled on the banks of the Ohio River, this Southern underrated city has loads of small-town charm, a cosmopolitan riverfront district, a diverse art scene – thanks to the Kentucky Center for the Arts – and a growing foodie market with its own Restaurant Row. Sports lovers should make a stop at the Louisville Slugger Museum, while history lovers can sip mint juleps on a river cruise aboard the Belle of Louisville, a National Historic Landmark.

When you think "Midwest architectural mecca" the first city that springs to mind is probably Chicago. But a burst of new buildings from the world's top architects – Herzog & de Meuron's Walker Art Center expansion, Jean Nouvel's Guthrie Theater, Michael Graves' addition to the Institute of Arts, and Frank Gehry’s add-on to the Weisman Museum (scheduled to open in fall 2011) – reinforces the fact that Minneapolis's cultural cachet doesn't entirely depend upon Prince (the city's most notorious native son). The underrated city's revitalization has spread to banks of the Mississippi, where the booming Mill District has shops, restaurants, and boutique hotels catering to style-savvy travelers, many of whom come for the tax-free shopping. Finally, even baseball fans can find reason to like the town: The brand-new Target Field opened for the 2010 season to replace the indoor (and much ridiculed) Metrodome as the Twins’ ballpark.

Forget Pittsburgh's reputation for smokestacks and steel, because today this underrated city is sparkling with pristine parks, architectural assets, and three rivers flowing into downtown's "Golden Triangle." Several museums – the Carnegie Museum of Art among them – are worth hitting, but don't miss the Andy Warhol Museum, featuring over 12,000 of his works. A treasure trove of used books is found on the city's South Side, while nightlife is suddenly sizzling in neighborhoods like Oakland and the Strip District, thanks to thousands of college students from Carnegie Mellon (among others) and young professionals dancing and mingling in the bars and clubs.

Governor Schwarzenegger's much-ballyhooed magnetism aside, California's underrated capital has never had the same allure as say, San Francisco or Los Angeles. But with an increasingly sophisticated food scene – think farm-fresh Bolognese cuisine at Biba or maple-glazed pork chops at the clubby Esquire Grill, one of Ahnold's favorite restaurant – this agricultural hub appeals to even the snobbiest city slicker. Between bites, take in the Gold Rush-era charms of Old Sacramento, which are livelier than ever. This summer, the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation launches both a living history street theater program (catch reenactments of the Pony Express days) and Old Sacramento Underground tours, which delve into the alleyways that disappeared when Sacramento raised its streets in the 1870s. Later, bike along the banks of the Sacramento and American Rivers, and stroll amid downtown's stately Victorian homes and tall evergreens. You may even catch a glimpse of the "Governator" himself at the impressive capitol building. Wash it all down with a visit to the Sierra Foothill wineries ( in the Shenandoah Valley – a mere 45-minute drive to the east.

Vicelord John May 22, 2010 12:39 AM

That's because everyone who isn't a resident fanboy knows Phoenix blows donkey cocks.

Phxguy May 25, 2010 11:30 PM

So anymore good developements in the valley or downtown? Something that doesn't blow donkey cocks.

HX_Guy Jun 4, 2010 6:30 AM

New restaurant coming to 101 North
Sarah Macdonald/The Business Journal

Gary and Denise Bismore are planning to open a new restaurant in this space in the 101 North building in downtown Phoenix.

The arrival of a group of new restaurants at CityScape in downtown Phoenix is a few months off, but we here at the 101 North building just a few blocks away are excited about some construction on the first floor.

Our building used to house Bistro 101, a tasty and popular Mediterranean spot, but that suddenly closed about two years ago. Its departure came about the same time as a neighboring little sushi place, Rolli Deli, closed in the building as well.

But word now is Gary and Denise Bismore, the operators of the former Silver Spoon Cafe, a salad and sandwich shop formerly located at The San Carlos Hotel, are going to open a new place in our building.

The shop will open under a new name and combine the Silver Spoon menu and the couple’s coffee and beverage menu from The Daily Grind, which closed at the Phelps Dodge Building in January.

Sarah Macdonald/The Business Journal

A view of the restaurant space from Adams St.

Denise says they are working on a name and the decor for their new eatery, all while continuing to do private catering and manage the catering and food services for the Archdiocese of Phoenix. The hope is to open sometime in August.

It’s great to see this downtown energy and I know my office mates will be happy that the talents of the Bismores - no matter what name they operate under - will soon be serving up their great food once again.

dtnphx Jun 4, 2010 4:35 PM

Projects sprucing up downtown Phoenix

Phoenix Business Journal - by Lynn Ducey

From new signage to new exteriors and fancy balconies, downtown Phoenix is getting a face-lift as several projects totaling more than $29 million aim to spruce up the city’s core.

The Downtown Phoenix Partnership is beginning an $800,000 way-finding project this month to direct pedestrians and visitors to key venues throughout the city’s core. More than $12 million in upgrades are going into the 31-story Chase Tower, and $16 million in renovations are under way at the Herberger Theater Center.

DPP’s installation of purple signs all over downtown will last throughout the summer. The uniquely colored markers will are meant to pre-sent a uniform experience for pedestrians and drivers alike.

“This is basically an entire directional signage system for all of downtown. This will stand out and be a very strong visual key,” said David Roderique, president and CEO of DPP.

As the partnership begins the project, funded through a 2006 voter-approved bond fund, the organization also is working on streetscape improvements. Those will include new landscaping, repairs and additions to existing drip watering systems; new benches and trash cans; nighttime lighting; and new Phoenix banners.

“We are replacing trees. We also are putting in new electrical and irrigation systems, and we are going to be putting in new LED lighting,” Roderique said. “Not only will this be more efficient, it will also be much brighter.”

A move to create a uniform newspaper box system downtown also is gaining steam. Roderique said the intent is to replace the variously sized and colored boxes with a “condo” system. Similar systems can be found in other cities across the country.

Discussions are ongoing with publishers and printers, with the goal of presenting a proposal to Phoenix City Council for consideration later this summer, Roderique said.

Changes at Chase Tower
As the Downtown Phoenix Partnership begins its summer projects, work at the Herberger Theater and Chase Bank also is visible as crews renovate those exteriors. While work on the streetscape surrounding the Chase Bank building started almost two years ago, the changes finally can be seen on the outside.

“The building is almost 40 years old, and we have two stories of underground office, so we started by making sure everything was watertight and could sustain aboveground improvements,” said Chase spokeswoman Mary Jane Rogers.

The $5.5 million renovation project will create a new outdoor atmosphere around the downtown building. That project includes new outdoor seating, landscaping and significant nighttime lighting upgrades. A $1 million project will reseal all the building’s windows to make them more energy-efficient, and a yearlong $6 million elevator renovation project will begin soon.

Chase will unveil its complete new outdoor look in October, with a plaza rededication ceremony honoring former Valley National Bank Chairman Walter Bimson. Valley National was acquired in the early 1990s by Bank One, which subsequently was acquired by Chase.

“We are really excited about being part of the continued improvements in downtown Phoenix. We know this will be used by more people than our Chase employees. Ours is a very important pedestrian intersection,” Rogers said.

Herberger upgrades
Crews also can be found at the Herberger Theater Center, where the second phase of a $16 million project is under way. The theater will be closed through September.

Laurene Austin, director of development and marketing for the theater, said the project is in its third week. Crews are working on the entire front of the theater, which is mostly open air. The doors and windows are gone, and all of the theater seats have been taken out to be refurbished off-site.

The renovation will include creation of a second-story balcony and an upscale area called the Gallery Lounge, which will serve drinks to theater audiences and can be used for private events.

“We really want people to spend time at the theater before and after the shows. The whole project is so exciting — we are going to keep the feel of the theater, but it will also be modernized and updated all around,” Austin said.

“If you haven’t been here in a while, it will all look very different,” said Jason Harris, deputy director of Phoenix’s Downtown Redevelopment Office. “Prior to all of this current activity, light rail was a major effort (and) CityScape has been under construction for over two years, and so all of this is going to make a very big difference.”

glynnjamin Jun 4, 2010 6:10 PM

Oh god. The Bismores are absolutely terrible people who have no idea how to run anything. My wife used to work for them at the Daily Grind and the stories she would tell about how they would save money by re-using old moldy food. Ugh. She finally quit because she was afraid she would kill someone.

Tito714 Jun 4, 2010 6:38 PM

lol. "31-story Chase Tower"

Phxguy Jun 4, 2010 10:25 PM


Originally Posted by Tito714 (Post 4865764)
lol. "31-story Chase Tower"

I laughed at that. Supposedly they are the Downtown Partnership and they don't even know how many floors it is. Maybe....40.

Don B. Jun 4, 2010 11:02 PM

^ Maybe we should issue a press release and claim 50.



HX_Guy Jun 8, 2010 9:06 PM

Saw this online...

Shanghai in 1990 vs 2010...think what Phoenix could look like in 20 years. ;)

Vicelord John Jun 8, 2010 9:08 PM

that's unbelievable

HooverDam Jun 8, 2010 9:29 PM


Phoenix trying to redevelop 19th Avenue Landfill site
by Jahna Berry - Jun. 8, 2010 09:46 AM
The Arizona Republic
For those who pass by, it's a 213-acre, dirt mound near the Salt River, with a filthy history. City leaders, however, want to transform 19th Avenue Landfill into a community asset.

Phoenix official are seeking proposals from firms that can redevelop the landfill, which closed more than 30 years ago.

Phoenix is drafting guidelines for the city's request for ideas, which is called a request for proposals. The city could start getting submissions as early as this summer.

Phoenix needs to review ideas as soon as possible, said Councilman Michael Nowakowski at a recent meeting on the issue. Part of the landfill is in his district and part is in Councilman Michael Johnson's district.

"We want to get this area revitalized," Nowakowski said.

History: The area began as a gravel mining operation in 1957. That, records show, includes 200 acres north of the Salt River and 13 acres south of the river. In time, 1701 W. Lower Buckeye Road became a city landfill. The area was filled with trash by 1972. Floods in the 1960s washed garbage into the Salt River, and the state ordered that the city close the landfill in 1979.

Safety upgrades: The city capped the landfill with soil, installed wells to monitor the groundwater, installed a methane gas collection system. In 2005, the landfill was de-listed from the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities list of Superfund hazardous waste sites.

Proposals: Since Phoenix plans to put a solar power plant on a city-owned West Valley landfill, several firms want to do the same at 19th Avenue, including Chevron Energy Solutions. Some city leaders don't want a big solar field, since Phoenix has invested millions to make the nearby Salt River area a recreation area, Councilman Johnson has said. Instead, they prefer a cultural or entertainment project.

What's next: On May 19, City Council authorized the Public Works Department to seek proposals and to negotiate with developers, said deputy Public Works Director Joe Giudice. City Council would review the final plan. The request for proposals could be made public by Julyand a deal could go before City Council as early as the fall.

Any project would be reviewed by state and federal regulators, Giudice said.

Welp glad there's talk of developing that site. Unfortunately knowing our civic leaders we'll not see anyone propose anything as bold as a Worlds Fair or Olympic site, we'll be lucky to get a poorly designed park and some HUD housing.

Leo the Dog Jun 10, 2010 4:25 AM

Changes at the AZ Center


Arizona Center's Pizzeria Uno shutters after 16 years

10 comments by Megan Neighbor - Jun. 9, 2010 03:55 PM
The Arizona Republic

Pizzeria Uno, a popular restaurant at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix, has served its loyal customers for the last time.

The Italian bistro had been at its 455 N. 3rd St. location for 16 years but called it quits last week after the owners were told the Brick, a Sedona-based Italian restaurant, would be moving in.

Pizzeria Uno's lease expired at the close of 2009, but the owners continued to rent the space on a month-to-month basis, said Chris Bilotto, general manager for the Arizona Center.

Thirty-five employees were laid off as a result of the restaurant's closure, owner Jan Nicpon said.

The center's marketing manager, Jean Ahsmuhs, would not comment on the specifics of Pizzeria Uno's closure or its leasing agreement with the Brick. But she described the new tenant as a hip eatery that will fit in nicely with the center's goal to help attract more patrons to downtown.

"The Brick is a great fit for us," Ahsmuhs said. "It's really going to fit the mold of the new downtown Phoenix."

Pizzeria Uno's downtown closure marks the third and final closure of the Nicpon family's restaurants.

Their Tempe university-area restaurant went out of business in 2009, and another in Mesa shuttered and is in the process of being sold, Nicpon said.

Nicpon said the lagging economy hurt her businesses, but Pizzeria Uno's downtown location was "the most stable."

She points to the restaurant's final two weeks as proof of the business' enduring success.

"There was a national volleyball tournament in town, and business was record-breaking," Nicpon said. "Some of the groups came here every night for dinner."

The Arizona Center currently has three vacancies, one that is "pretty much unusable" because of reconstruction by former tenant AT&T, Ahsmuhs said.

Another recent vacancy is Hurry 4 Curry, an Indian restaurant that closed its doors in May after a one-year stint in the complex.

The management firm is negotiating with a company, whose name it would not disclose, to fill the center's third vacancy in 2011, Ahsmuhs said.

The vacancies are not terribly surprising to Phoenix resident Eva Shivers, who recalled the Arizona Center's grand opening two decades ago.

"This place was an attraction in and of itself. It was a destination. Now look at it," said Shivers, pointing to a nearly empty square in the plaza's center.

Still, Shivers, who frequented the now-defunct Tempe Uno restaurant during her college days, expressed disbelief when she heard of the downtown location's closure.

"They (management-company officials) are struggling to fill these spaces," Shivers said. "It seems like they would be thrilled to keep a popular longtime tenant here."

Sid Ismail, owner of the center's Flag World and Sport's World, said he is hopeful the new tenant will attract more business.

"Of course, I'm sad to see them (Pizzeria Uno) close," Ismail said. "But now, we have some good news - the opening of the Brick."

As for the Nicpons, "We are unsure of where we're going. We are without a job," Nicpon said.

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