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-   -   Phoenix Development News (3) (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=173764)

pbenjamin Aug 26, 2011 5:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan (Post 5391841)
Hance Park isn't all bad, it is especially accessible off of 3rd Ave and that should be the template for Central Ave. I run through the park almost daily and use 3rd Ave as my way in as you can see the greenest areas from this point. It is also the busiest area of the park due to the play area and large grassy pocket but beyond the third Ave section the park isn't used much. Density along the southern end of the park is possible as there are vacant lots dotting this stretch and they should get rid of the parking lots and make it a real green space for downtown.

There is a full page AT&T ad that has been running occasionally in the Republic that shows that grassy area with downtown behind it, looks great.

westbev93 Aug 26, 2011 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan (Post 5391841)
Hance Park isn't all bad, it is especially accessible off of 3rd Ave and that should be the template for Central Ave.

I agree that the area off 3rd Ave is the most accessible, but that doesn't mean it should be the template for Central, which should be the primary focal point for pedestrian traffic coming into the park. Shouldn't we hope for something a bit more grand than a simple sidewalk going into the park?

phxSUNSfan Aug 26, 2011 6:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5392000)
I agree that the area off 3rd Ave is the most accessible, but that doesn't mean it should be the template for Central, which should be the primary focal point for pedestrian traffic coming into the park. Shouldn't we hope for something a bit more grand than a simple sidewalk going into the park?

That's what a template is, a basis for change, a starting-off point. Basically templates are improved upon. They can start by adding some interest to the Central Ave Bridge over the park, adding some architectural interest to the structure.

dtnphx Aug 26, 2011 6:58 PM

Cigna Medical Group building Phoenix office at old Qwest infill site

Jan Buchholz, Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal

An infill site that had been littered with debris from the implosion of the former Qwest building at 3131 N. Third St. in Phoenix will become a medical specialty building for Cigna.

The location had previously been slated for three 21-story towers that would make up a retirement community. In 2009, the development group demolished that building, which had been designed by noted Phoenix architect Al Beadle. When the economy tanked, that project fell through, leaving behind a huge pile of rubble that was the bane of neighbors and city officials.

The new project is being developed for Cigna by Chicago-based Clarius Partners LLC, which also has an office in Tempe. Clarius also is developing the SkyWay 202 Professional Park at the southwest corner of Loop 202 and 40th Street in Phoenix.

The Cigna project will include a three-story, 95,000-square-foot facility on the eight-acre site.

“We’re full speed ahead,” said Steve Duncan, managing principal of Clarius Partners.

Much of the debris will be ground up and used for aggregate for the building’s foundation, Duncan said.

The project is projected to be a silver level, LEED certified building. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a measurement of the sustainability of a building.

Cleanup of the site will begin in October and take about six to eight weeks. Construction will begin after that with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter 2012. Cigna will be moving from its current location at 755 E. McDowell Road.

Duncan said it will be a highly fast-tracked process. Duncan would not reveal the total cost of the project.

The PrivateBank in Chicago is providing construction financing. Orcutt/Winslow in Phoenix is the architect. Layton Construction in Phoenix is the general contractor, and Kimley-Horn in Phoenix is the civil engineering company.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said he is pleased about the new plans.

“We are happy to have assisted Clarius Partners in gaining control of the property, and excited to know that this highly visible site will now be cleaned up and redeveloped into a modern facility that will service the community’s needs for excellent medical services,” Gordon said.

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2011/08/25/cigna-medical-group-building-phoenix.html


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Guess it's better than rubble, but a dissapointing, generic building rises again!

PHX31 Aug 26, 2011 7:01 PM

what a waste of space. hopefully they leave a big portion of the lot open for future development.

nickw252 Aug 26, 2011 8:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PHX31 (Post 5392077)
what a waste of space. hopefully they leave a big portion of the lot open for future development.

Don't kid yourself, that's where the parking lot will go.

PhxDowntowner Aug 26, 2011 9:02 PM

I'm confused what role an architect really plays in designing a building like that. I have a Lego set too...

PhxDowntowner Aug 26, 2011 9:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5392000)
I agree that the area off 3rd Ave is the most accessible, but that doesn't mean it should be the template for Central, which should be the primary focal point for pedestrian traffic coming into the park. Shouldn't we hope for something a bit more grand than a simple sidewalk going into the park?

Ponder this idea with me. The Central Ave bridge over Hance:
  • Its width serves to chop the park in half.
  • Its dark nooks & crannies are the "scariest" thing about the park because it's where all of the transients shack up.
  • The park there is below grade putting you out of sight of street activity and other people, amping up the scary factor.
  • Cars driving over the bridge have NO idea they're driving through a park because of the barriers to either side.
  • Light Rail passengers riding over the bridge only get a faint glimpse of the park, again because of those barriers to either side.
  • Pedestrians across that bridge feel trapped and unsafe because they have cars wisking away at 40mph just feet away to one side and a cement wall to their other side, and they don't really get to enjoy walking through a park even though they're right there!!!
  • People from either light rail station (Roos or McD) can't see into the park at all, furthering its invisibility.

What would fix ALL of those problems:

Tear down the automobile portion of the bridge, and bring those lanes of Central down into and through the park, pinching & cobblestoning them, and putting a stop sign midway through, to keep the speeds under 30pm.

That one change, while not as cheap as "water fountains" or other stupid ideas, will completely fix Hance from a design standpoint.

(Beyond that, just adopt zoning and policies that dictate dense residential, properly oriented, along the south side of the park.)

phxSUNSfan Aug 26, 2011 9:36 PM

Part of the problem with "at grade" restructuring of Central Ave is load-bearing limitations at the center of the tunnel structure.

Bridges over parks work well, they just need to be beautiful and connect in a pleasing way. The Bethesda Terrace Arch Bridge in Central Park is a perfect example of a real entrance into a park from a bridge.

PhxDowntowner Aug 26, 2011 9:40 PM

bridges over at-grade parks can work, but below-grade parks don't. One of the biggest failings of Phoenix architects & designers is that they use multiple grades in their designs to add flare to a design without caring or realizing that grade changes are major deterrents to pedestrian vibrancy in the majority of projects.

westbev93 Aug 26, 2011 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5392272)
Tear down the automobile portion of the bridge, and bring those lanes of Central down into and through the park, pinching & cobblestoning them, and putting a stop sign midway through, to keep the speeds under 30pm.

This is the solution. Unfortunately, it will never happen.

I have absolutely no understanding of engineering, but if the problem is load-bearing limitations, why couldn't they build a bridge that was curb height rather than 20 feet?

phxSUNSfan Aug 26, 2011 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5392287)
bridges over at-grade parks can work, but below-grade parks don't. One of the biggest failings of Phoenix architects & designers is that they use multiple grades in their designs to add flare to a design without caring or realizing that grade changes are major deterrents to pedestrian vibrancy in the majority of projects.

I agree. The park should have been built on a level deck and if a bridge was necessary for some reason rather than a design aesthetic, it should have been smaller and narrower and not have a gaping hole separating N/S bound lanes.

Since that isn't what was done the problem now is making what we have work because it is impossible to rebuilt i-10 to fix the grading. Since the park starts off at-grade on both W/E ends, it should now be treated as a "hill" and thus the bridge must work to connect both ends in an elegant way. The concrete pit under the bridge isn't a good use of the space.

Good use of space under bridge:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterdeb/3194366850/

We have a close example of a modern passage in Phoenix
http://www.desertlivingtoday.com/wp-...backTunnel.jpg

westbev93 Aug 26, 2011 10:12 PM

This has always been my favorite use of under-bridge space. Like Hance, it was formerly a good place to find society's undesirables. I suspect that any hope of this left when Dyrdek's money went to Cesar Chavez Park.

http://www.dreamlandskateparks.com/burnside/index.html

PhxDowntowner Aug 26, 2011 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5392314)
This has always been my favorite use of under-bridge space. Like Hance, it was formerly a good place to find society's undesirables. I suspect that any hope of this left when Dyrdek's money went to Cesar Chavez Park.

http://www.dreamlandskateparks.com/burnside/index.html

Unfortunately I've heard that a skate park won't work there because of the weight. Their original plan for the Hance skatepark was actually to be on terra firma on the southeast edge of the park.

PhxDowntowner Aug 26, 2011 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan (Post 5392282)
Part of the problem with "at grade" restructuring of Central Ave is load-bearing limitations at the center of the tunnel structure.

There are engineering ways to get around this limitation, but I wonder if it would even be an issue for the northbound lanes because I believe the bridge(s) in that area (Hance Park is built on a series of 19 bridges) was built extra strong because Burton Barr is built partially ON the deck.

phxSUNSfan Aug 26, 2011 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5392347)
There are engineering ways to get around this limitation, but I wonder if it would even be an issue for the northbound lanes because I believe the bridge(s) in that area (Hance Park is built on a series of 19 bridges) was built extra strong because Burton Barr is built partially ON the deck.

A skate park is too heavy but a road that will carry tons of traffic (literally) isn't? I'm not so sure. Added to the issue is that the park itself dips, meaning they would need to add weight in the form of concrete to level the park and road.

The City needs to figure out a way to add the historic elements on corner of Central and Culver into a grand entrance, one of at least four accessible from Central Ave.

PhxDowntowner Aug 26, 2011 11:26 PM

why can't the cars just dip with the park?

phxSUNSfan Aug 26, 2011 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5392366)
why can't the cars just dip with the park?

The City would need to pour concrete for ramps to create a bowl; and that would add a tremendous amount of weight on the tunnel span/deck.

Something that would be more feasible would be to raze the old Channel 12 building; someone mentioned that on another site.

PhxDowntowner Aug 27, 2011 12:47 AM

Someone would have to double check me, but I think the bulk of the sloping concrete would be on solid ground. This should probably be further addressed by a creative and quality engineer rather than more speculation one way or the other.

I really love the "demo Channel 12 bldg" idea.

There was also an idea floated in the Hance mtg, which has enough merit to stew on a bit, of connecting first street through the park for peds & bikes. I haven't fully conceptualized the transportation dynamics that would create so I can't speak for or against it yet.

HooverDam Aug 27, 2011 1:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5391745)
Residential density on the perimeter would do wonders for that park. However, is that really feasible? Almost the entire north end of the park is abutted by Roosevelt historic district (at least on the west end). How easy would it be to even tear those houses down and replace them with multifamily given the historic overlay and accompanying protections?

Whoooaaaa don't get the idea of knocking down any historic houses. I'm all for more density, but thats not the way to do it, we've knocked over enough history in this City.

The West half of the park will always be more of a neighborhood park due to the nature of the single family homes on the North end. However on the South side of the West half there is the Portland Place Condos. Remember, thats theoretically just Phase 1 of those Condos and Phases 2 and 3 would be much taller and denser.

The East half of the park is abutted on the South by acres of empty lots that could be filled with higher density stuff. Even if the East half of Hance was only ringed by residential on the scale of Alta Phoenix I think it could work, it doesn't have to be super talls or anything. On the North edge of the East side the City owns a lot of land and there are other empty or underutilized parcels as well. Buildings don't have to be directly facing the park either to help feed into it, people will walk 3-5 blocks or so if the paths leading to the park are shady, clearly defined and safe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5392340)
Unfortunately I've heard that a skate park won't work there because of the weight. Their original plan for the Hance skatepark was actually to be on terra firma on the southeast edge of the park.

Id love to see some actually data on what the I-10 tunnel can and can't support. Whenever someone has a good idea about the park the immediate response is "Can't do that, too heavy" or "can't plant trees, the trey isn't deep enough" or some such other thing.

Yet on the other hand I've heard talks about putting up a 2 story parking garage on the far East end of the park b/c apparently it can support that weight.

If there's any way that a Skate Park/Plaza could go just West of the bridge, that would be good. That area is already hardscape and likely can't have big trees planted there due to tunnel design. Any place thats actual earth needs to have the tallest, shadiest trees possible planted there to cast shade into the park.

Quote:

Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan (Post 5392374)

Something that would be more feasible would be to raze the old Channel 12 building; someone mentioned that on another site.

Thats my big rallying cry. You should be able to stand at the Roosevelt Station and see a GRAND entrance into the park. The park itself should extend outward onto the land the Ch 12 building is on. Thats on actual earth and it could be where small kiosks, a restaurant, etc are built that feed into the park.

Unfortunately the building is already in the process of being converted to use by another group. Like I said on Downtown Devil I seem to recall its an AIDS Clinic or something like that. It seems like the type of use much more appropriate to our BioMedical campus, but perhaps that makes too much sense.


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