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

Don B. Dec 19, 2009 2:08 PM

^ Corrections or additions always welcome. :)

--don

HX_Guy Dec 21, 2009 4:46 PM

:(


Downtown Phoenix landmark going out of business
Reported by: Tim Vetscher

PHOENIX -- A Valley landmark is going out of business after nearly four decades in downtown Phoenix.

The owners of Circles Discs and Tapes, at the corner of Central Avenue and McKinley, recently announced they're calling it quits.

"We have people come in all the time and say they've been coming here for 30 to 40 years," said Circles employee Zak Sofaly.

But on Sunday night, less than a week before Christmas, Circles only had one customer from 5 to 6 p.m.

Workers say they've had too many nights like that lately.

So after 38 years, the owners have decided to close the doors for good.

"For a lot of people who grew up here, it definitely has a special place in their hearts," added Sofaly, who is also a drummer in the band, Incite. "They're really sad to see it go."

It seems the popularity of digital downloads proved to be Circles' downfall.

CD sales are a fraction of what they used to be thanks to services like iTunes.

"It's sad," said Steve Zimmerman, owner of Revolver Records, just up the street from Circles. "They were one of the big stores for a long, long time."

Circles employees say the addition of light rail and an overall down economy was just too much to overcome.

"Being a resident, its really sad," said Jay Williams. "The economy has caused a lot of problems. I thought the light rail would bring people back but I haven't seen that."

Circles will remain open until sometime after January 1st. The exact closing date has yet to be determined.

Don B. Dec 21, 2009 4:55 PM

^ This goes to show that downtown Phoenix has a really long ways to go before it can be called "world-class" in any aspect. Too many Arizonans turn their backs on what could be a really special downtown area...and go to sterile but pretty places like Tempe Marketplace, which are jammed by comparison. I was at Tempe Marketplace Friday night and it was a bloody zoo. You would never know there was a recession going on there...

--don

PHX31 Dec 21, 2009 5:34 PM

/\ I don't think a CD store closing really says anything about downtown phoenix. CD/record stores are going the way of the dinosaur, for the reasons outlined in the article (digital media). I think the only ones that might last are the more vintage/vinyl stores... of which there is a new one open right down the street on Roosevelt across from Carly's (however, I don't know how it's doing).

Let's hope something cool goes into the old Circles building. It's definitely a unique building.

dtnphx Dec 21, 2009 6:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PHX31 (Post 4617067)
/\ I don't think a CD store closing really says anything about downtown phoenix. CD/record stores are going the way of the dinosaur, for the reasons outlined in the article (digital media). I think the only ones that might last are the more vintage/vinyl stores... of which there is a new one open right down the street on Roosevelt across from Carly's (however, I don't know how it's doing).

Let's hope something cool goes into the old Circles building. It's definitely a unique building.

That is my sentiment exactly! It's always sad when a long time business closes, but it creates an opportunity for new business to occupy that very cool space and make it a success. It says absolutely nothing about Phoenix as a city or downtown as a destination. If downtown was so bad, how come they survived for decades? Music sales have evolved from brick and mortar stores. I can't tell you the last time I bought a CD.

bwonger06 Dec 21, 2009 8:36 PM

The place just seemed so big with no niche market. Its hard to survive as a big box music store, especially with increasing rents and decreasing sales. Same thing happened to Virgin at AZ mills, why buy music at a store when you can buy it online or DL it from other sources?

Of course there is still a small niche market out there who like to buy actual CD's, but these are few and far inbetween and you have to compete against the stinkweeds of the world (advantage stinkweeds).

phxgreenfire Dec 21, 2009 9:33 PM

That story reminds me: I'm seriously considering opening my own business (a more upscale bar) and was interested in that general area (Central/McKinley), more specifically, one of those buildings across the street from that record shop on the east side of Central. Last I looked, two were vacant. Does anyone know the status of them (or a good alternative in that part of town)?

PHX31 Dec 21, 2009 9:43 PM

Not sure, but now that Circles will eventually be gone, how about pursuing the Circles building?? The circular SE corner of the building with the windows would make a nice seating area.

This might be pretty obvious Phoenix history, but did everyone know that the buildings that houses Circles was originally a Studebaker dealership? It's a cool building, but downtown car dealerships likely did a ton of indirect harm to the area.

phxgreenfire Dec 21, 2009 9:59 PM

I thought about that reading that article. I'd be all for it... if there's some way to get a fenced smoking area. Places that allow you to take your drinks outside so you can smoke seem to do the best. If there's a way (physically, city ordinances, etc.) to do it, I'd definitely consider that place. I'm in the early planning stages now, so I'm accumulating every bit of info I can before going for grants or loans.

trigirdbers Dec 21, 2009 10:32 PM

-

Leo the Dog Dec 21, 2009 10:56 PM

I'd be in favor of turning Circles into a bar/club/lounge/restaurant whatever. One that caters to all kinds of business unlike the other bars on the block. This area could well become the DT Phx bar/restaurant district.

scottkag Dec 21, 2009 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PHX31 (Post 4617439)
Not sure, but now that Circles will eventually be gone, how about pursuing the Circles building?? The circular SE corner of the building with the windows would make a nice seating area.

This might be pretty obvious Phoenix history, but did everyone know that the buildings that houses Circles was originally a Studebaker dealership? It's a cool building, but downtown car dealerships likely did a ton of indirect harm to the area.

Rumor is there is still a motorized turntable that once spun Studebakers under the floor in the circular part of the building...

Don B: tell us how many CD stores there are at Tempe Marketplace.

PHX31 Dec 21, 2009 11:32 PM

/\ That would be a pretty cool quirk to a bar/restaurant. A revolving seating area or bar. Your view would change from the skyline out the window to the other patrons at the bar. Like a mini compass room.

phxgreenfire Dec 22, 2009 12:04 AM

Thank you, for the input. I was at work and it was fairly busy, so I didn't get a chance to give more details. The buildings I originally considered were these two:

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a59...fire/006-6.jpg

and

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a59...fire/007-6.jpg

The red one is definitely vacant, but I'm not so sure about the orange. Looking through the windows I could tell the red would need a lot of costly investment, including dry wall, bathrooms, a back fridge, etc. A confusing thing is that both buildings have doors leading out to the same patio. I guess the question of which building gets it is a question for the agent. In my experience, a smoking area seems to be a must for bars to thrive now that the smoking ban is in effect.

Anyway, the concept of the bar would be eco/urban. I'd want to get some greenery in there, as well as a display area with aquariums/terrariums. I would love to have usual drinks available as well as some others unique to this place. Luckily I've been able to travel around the world and saw some interesting (and delicious) drinks that really aren't common in America. My idea was that these sorts of drinks could appear in this bar. In Brazil I saw several varieties of caipirinha, including lime, pineapple, strawberry and passion fruit. I tried these coffee cocktails in Buenos Aires that were really good... sort of like Starbuck's having a liquor license. Raspberry wine and soju cocktails in Korea, candied and beer cocktails in Germany, yadda, yadda, yadda. I wanted to have a more unique house menu, sort of like Wild Thaiger has. Furthermore, I'd love to have a Phoenix/Arizona selection of beers, wines and spirits; for example Cruz Tequila, San Tan Brewery, Arizona Stronghold, etc.

Anyway, that's a rough concept of it. I'm in the early planning phase, but hope to move this forward in the next couple months or so. I'd love to make it an addition to downtown Phoenix. The scariest things are the financial risk and the ultimate question: will it work?

Don B. Dec 22, 2009 1:02 AM

^ Do you need financing to make this happen? I ask because I can see that as being your biggest potential issue. Lenders are loathe to invest in this market in this economy.

You need the advice of a competent commercial realtor, if you don't have one already. Preferably one with good familiarity with downtown.

--don

phxgreenfire Dec 22, 2009 1:26 AM

Thank you... and yeah, that's not going to be fun to get. I'm looking at all my options right now to see what kind of money I can get. I'd hate to get super invested in this, then find out I can't get funding for it. I know someone who's opened a bar (albeit out in Gilbert), so I'm getting as many tips as possible to make this happen.

bwonger06 Dec 22, 2009 4:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don B. (Post 4617743)
^ Do you need financing to make this happen? I ask because I can see that as being your biggest potential issue. Lenders are loathe to invest in this market in this economy.

You need the advice of a competent commercial realtor, if you don't have one already. Preferably one with good familiarity with downtown.

--don

I would also look at talking with the Broker. Many times, the landlord will allow a certain amount of tenant improvement and will be more then willing to roll it into a lease (sometimes up to $5 per square feet per year). It will not cover all expense, but can definitely help.

glynnjamin Dec 22, 2009 6:52 AM

1st off - I'd really rather see Circles turned into the bookstore that downtown so desperately needs...

2ndly - an eco-urban bar that allows smoking? Talk about hypocritical.

Finally - Tempe Marketplace has Best Buy, Target, and Barns & Noble that all sell CDs

plinko Dec 22, 2009 9:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don B. (Post 4613981)
Revised skyscraper table for Phoenix:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...kyscrapers.jpg

--don

Just a few corrections or adds...

You have lots of Emporis heights which were converted to meters then back to feet, and thus usually 1 foot off:

Wells Fargo Center: 371'
Bank of America Tower: 361' (actual built height is 360'-8")
Phoenix Plaza I: 330'
Phoenix Plaza II: 330'
1 North Central (Phelps Dodge Tower): 289'

Also, I'm not sure why you are showing a 'Proposed' year for completed buildings. Many of the dates you've listed are incorrect. For instance, Phoenix Plaza I & II + Phoenix Center were all proposed as one complex in 1985. So were the two towers at the Arizona Center (1985) and One & Two Renaissance Square (1985). My point is though that you seem to be assuming that the proposed date is just two years before the completed date. Not necessarily the case at all. Anyway...

The 'Wachovia' Tower at Cityscape is 368', comes from Urban Rising, a forumer who's some form of contractor and has given us specific info from drawings for both this and OCPE (which is 341'-8").

2600 North Central (listed on your list as the Phelps Dodge Center) is only 249' tall. I got this height directly from the City of Phoenix Planning Department. Look at pictures, it isn't that tall. It's wrong on emporis, it's wrong on the diagrams...ad infinitum...

Missing completed buildings over 250':
Sky Harbor Control Tower: 326'
2800 North Central: 258', 20fl, 1987
Executive Tower (207 W Clarendon): 255', 22fl, 1963

Missing dead proposals over 250':
Dial Corporate Center Tower II: 374', 24fl, 1988
Three Collier Center: 361', 24fl, 1998
Four Collier Center: 361', 24fl, 1998
Collier Center Marriott Hotel: 345', 31fl, 1998
Crosby Financial Center (4352 N Central): 725', 50fl, 1999
First Interstate Tower II: ~400', 34fl, 1985 (was to be a fraternal twin to 3550 North Central, now the Valley Bank Tower)
Arizona Center Doubletree Hotel: ~350', 27fl, 1999 (a later iteration in 2003 was 20 floors and was to be an Embassy Suites)

Lastly, the twin Cielo Towers in midtown was to be exactly 399' (I've seen the approved drawings).

I have a fairly complete list of all of the buildings in metro Phoenix over 10 floors (well, it was complete in 2002), but I'm missing a few buildings around the Biltmore and in Scottsdale. I even have the architects and square footages on most of them.

Also, there were a whole bunch of towers in the 350'-400' range (at least 5) that were proposed for midtown in a few locations in the late 1990's by the Cole Companies. Unfortunately I don't have the information anymore. It's availabe in the Arizona Room at the main City of Phoenix Library.

HooverDam Dec 22, 2009 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4618207)
Finally - Tempe Marketplace has Best Buy, Target, and Barns & Noble that all sell CDs

None of which are CD/record stores. Theyre likely subsidizing or will be soon the CD portion of the stores.


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