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

KevininPhx Dec 23, 2012 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freeway (Post 5948373)
The tower is hideous. Why do we need an observation tower? This "thing" is already being marketed as Phoenix's answer to the Space Needle. That's what it will forever be known as. That doesn't scream "uniquely" Phoenix to me. It screams of Phoenix trying to copy one of Seattle's claims to fame.

Phoenix does not have one of the best city-wide landscapes. We have a smoggy cityscape full of sprawl and small mountains as far as the eye can see.

We need to focus on densifying and not on ridiculous gimmicks like this.

Just guessing you're the least fun person in America to hang out with.

HooverDam Dec 23, 2012 5:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingofleos (Post 5948295)
I don't understand all the negative remarks about this observation tower. OK, so it doesn't represent anything in AZ. What should it be, then. A huge 500' cactus? A giant statue of Goldwater? No, and no. .

Obviously not, those would be tacky and rather 'on the nose.'

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingofleos (Post 5948295)
The point is, it's SOMETHING.

This is where we get into trouble in Phoenix a lot in the past 30 years or so. We so completely devastated our Central Core, we're thrilled to have ANYTHING, no matter how poorly designed or thought out.

I'm not against the Pin concept, I just think we should fully think things out, and demand quality.

I'm saying it would be nice if the design in some way reflected something about Phoenix/Arizona. As is, the Pin looks like it could be plopped down in Phoenix or Fayetteville really. I'd also like it to have some sort of commemorative significance, that would make it feel a bit more 'connected' to the City, which is important when you build a huge monument. Even something as simple as connecting the pin to PHXs 150th anniversary as a town settlement would be enough to make me happy.

Its too bad Toronto is already slated for the Pan Am Games in 2015. If PHX/Tempe were hosting them the same time the Pin opened, that would make more sense (in the same way the Eiffel Tower & Space Needle were associated with Worlds Fairs). But, having it open for the Super Bowl I suppose is OK too.

EDIT:

Also I think its worth noting that a project like the Pin worries me because I hope people don't look at it as the project that finally 'saves' Downtown or turns it around or whatever. The AZ Center was supposed to do that, so was America West Arena, so was Chase Field, so was CityScape, et cetera. Its obvious that our Downtown (though improving) is still a ways 'away' and one big project alone isn't going to do the trick. If they simply plop this thing down in the middle of Heritage Square, it'll obviously have a positive impact, but not as much if we had a more holistic, comprehensive plan.

We all know the Mercado's days are numbered, its set to be demolished and pat of the Bio-science campus at some point. I'd like to see 6th St re-introduced through the present Mercado site, creating 2 smaller blocks. Hopefully those two smaller blocks would be developed at a decent density, in a mixed use fashion, unlike the rest of the current Bio Med campus. Hopefully the City can be sold on that idea since that land is South of Van Buren (which is something of a dividing line) and thus should be as urban/mixed use as possible.

Re-introducing 6th St would also have the added benefit of creating a nice visual connection from the front entry of the old PHX Union HS Auditorium, in a straight line with the Pin and the AZ Science Center entrance. We have very few of these lovely planned vistas in Downtown PHX, we ought to make sure we capitalize on them when the potentially happen.

Like I said before the Heritage Square garage should obviously be demolished, it disconnects Heritage Square from the rest of Downtown and makes it feel "Downtown adjacent" not, in downtown. I'd also think this would be a good time to look at demolishing the "Garage Mahal", and again re-introducing 6th St in that area.

Also 5th Street (and 3rd too of course) ought to be reverted to two-way streets. Or at the VERY least, narrowed a great bit, have bike lanes added, etc.

We've got to start thinking about the WHOLE PICTURE in Downtown Phoenix. We've got lots of cool stuff, but none of its connected. Sure we can just keep adding cool stuff bit by bit over the years like we've been doing and eventually it'll all sorta be connected, but I'm not that patient. I want a great Downtown now.

kingofleos Dec 23, 2012 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevininPhx (Post 5948537)
Just guessing you're the least fun person in America to hang out with.

Agreed. And to say we don't have a beautiful cityscape here is ridiculous. Hikers from around the world come here to hike our mountains and enjoy our views. Between our buttes, mountains and sunsets name me another city that boasts that. And screw the smog comment. All big cities have it.

Arquitect Dec 23, 2012 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooverDam (Post 5948601)

This is where we get into trouble in Phoenix a lot in the past 30 years or so. We so completely devastated our Central Core, we're thrilled to have ANYTHING, no matter how poorly designed or thought out.

I'm not against the Pin concept, I just think we should fully think things out, and demand quality.

Here is where I disagree, I do think that we have been way too ok taking whatever comes. But I don't think that this would be another poor design. Whether it reflects on Phoenix or holds greater significance is a different argument, but this would actually be a good design. Having Tenyck as part of the design team means that there probably would be some sort of landscape connection with the ground level (She is by far one of the best landscape architects we have in the valley). And so far, all of the work done by BIG has been of great quality. He does rely on iconic architecture a bit too much, but they still end up being nice projects.

MegaBass Dec 23, 2012 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooverDam (Post 5948601)

We all know the Mercado's days are numbered, its set to be demolished and pat of the Bio-science campus at some point. I'd like to see 6th St re-introduced through the present Mercado site, creating 2 smaller blocks. Hopefully those two smaller blocks would be developed at a decent density, in a mixed use fashion, unlike the rest of the current Bio Med campus. Hopefully the City can be sold on that idea since that land is South of Van Buren (which is something of a dividing line) and thus should be as urban/mixed use as possible.

It is? But wouldn't that hinder classroom spaces for ASU downtown campus growth? There's already limitations with available space at University Center and I wonder if The Y will alleviate it or even the Law School.

HooverDam Dec 24, 2012 1:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MegaBass (Post 5948696)
It is? But wouldn't that hinder classroom spaces for ASU downtown campus growth? There's already limitations with available space at University Center and I wonder if The Y will alleviate it or even the Law School.

They've got plenty of land downtown to build new classroom buildings on. What they need to start doing is building at a higher density/taller buildings.

But yah..if you look at any long term plan of the Bio Medical campus, the awful Mercado is gone. But its slated to be the last thing to go, obviously they'll build to the North first where they have empty lots. So it could be a lonngggg time.

nickw252 Dec 24, 2012 3:39 AM

Honest question - why is the Mercado so bad? I don't really know much about it and I've never walked through it. What is wrong with it? And what is the history of it (i.e. how long has it been there)?

nickw252 Dec 24, 2012 3:42 AM

Sheriff's Office Progress
 
http://i48.tinypic.com/2vcj4ep.jpg

http://i49.tinypic.com/16ifu35.jpg

nickw252 Dec 24, 2012 3:51 AM

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 
The Pin made it onto the front page of the CTBUH website.

Quote:

Developer Novawest has commissioned Bjarke Ingels Group to design a 420-foot observation tower, in an attempt to created an architectural symbol for the city of Phoenix. The tower is designed to resemble a pin marking a location on a map.

"This is the right place and the right time for a signature project for downtown Phoenix and we knew the design needed to be something extraordinary,” Brian Stowell of Novawest commented in the project’s press release. “BIG has delivered something exceptional, blending form and function in a way that will change the local skyline forever and will give visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The spiraling structure at the top of the tower contains exhibition, retail and recreational spaces which are accessed via three glass elevators.

“Walking downwards from the top through a continuous spiral promenade, the visitors of the observation tower experience all of the building’s programs in a constant motion, while enjoying dynamic 360 degree views of the city of Phoenix and the Arizonian landscape,” according to the project description.

The tower would be the city’s second tallest structure, surpassed by the 483-foot Chase Tower.
CTBUH

MegaBass Dec 24, 2012 6:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nickw252 (Post 5949037)
Honest question - why is the Mercado so bad? I don't really know much about it and I've never walked through it. What is wrong with it? And what is the history of it (i.e. how long has it been there)?


Mercado/Square One
Quote:

Downtown Phoenix was dying and the city was hoping to breathe new life into it through two projects that would allow people to take part in one of civilization’s most important tasks: shopping.

The first of the projects was the Mercado. It was supposed to be a Hispanic-themed, open-air shopping plaza, with a community center, offices, restaurants and a hotel.

The Mercado’s developer was Fife Symington, a man who later would run a successful campaign for governor, pledging to run Arizona like a business.

But the Mercado was never a success, and Symington declared bankruptcy. Symington was later convicted in federal court of several financial crimes. Symington’s convictions were tossed on appeal, and he was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

The Mercado was taken over by Arizona State University, which holds some classes and seminars there. After 2024, it’s expected to be given back to the city of Phoenix.

The second project was called Square One. It was supposed to another open-air market at the corner of Central Avenue and Washington Street. Plans were drawn up in the early 1980s, but it never got off the ground. By 1992, after the city had sunk $10 million into it, the project was killed.

Embarrassed that crowds would be coming to the new basketball arena across the street, the city ordered the boarded-up and run-down buildings demolished. The planned “superblock” is still a parking lot.

exit2lef Dec 24, 2012 1:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nickw252 (Post 5949037)
Honest question - why is the Mercado so bad? I don't really know much about it and I've never walked through it. What is wrong with it? And what is the history of it (i.e. how long has it been there)?

The Mercado opened in 1989. I remember eating a few meals at restaurants there. It was hardly the worst development in town, but a combination of mediocre design and poor timing led to its failure. The Mercado, like so many Downtown Phoenix "big projects," had its retail and restaurants mostly on the inside and presented only offices to the street. That inside-out design, combined with the nearly simultaneous opening of the more popular (back then) Arizona Center, doomed it to obscurity. By the early '90s, there was no retail left and ASU came in a few years later. I'd choose the Mercado over a vacant lot or more unnecessary parking, but if ASU or anyone else wants to build something better at the site, I wouldn't shed a tear over its demolition.

nickw252 Jan 1, 2013 11:10 PM

Phoenix parking meters to start taking cards
 
Quote:

Parking in downtown Phoenix may get a little easier in the next few weeks as workers begin installing new meters. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports you won’t need a pocket full of change anymore.

Starting in mid-January, about 500 parking meters will be installed in downtown Phoenix. The new meters will accept coins, credit or debit cards.  There will also be card-friendly pay stations that will handle ten meters each. 

Phoenix has about 2,400 meters city wide, most in the downtown area. An hour of parking costs $1.50. The city says it will not be raising fees even though it will cost the city money to install the new machines and there is a usage fee when motorists swipe their plastic at the meter.

The first phase of meters should be installed by the end of the month. The next batch will be installed near Phoenix College in west central Phoenix and midtown along the business corridor.
http://kjzz.org/content/1212/phoenix...t-taking-cards

gymratmanaz Jan 2, 2013 11:38 PM

Drove by 16th St and Jefferson. It is all fenced in with a green screen. Is this the apartment development I recall from a year ago being announced?

HooverDam Jan 3, 2013 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gymratmanaz (Post 5956920)
Drove by 16th St and Jefferson. It is all fenced in with a green screen. Is this the apartment development I recall from a year ago being announced?

I would assume so.

Freeway Jan 3, 2013 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevininPhx (Post 5948537)
Just guessing you're the least fun person in America to hang out with.

This is a terrible proposal and will do nothing for the city. Did the tower in Knoxville put it on a national stage? No. It's just some random observation tower in some city that most people still know next to nothing about.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingofleos (Post 5948612)
Agreed. And to say we don't have a beautiful cityscape here is ridiculous. Hikers from around the world come here to hike our mountains and enjoy our views. Between our buttes, mountains and sunsets name me another city that boasts that. And screw the smog comment. All big cities have it.

A cityscape that is marred in smog and dust most days is not beautiful. San Diego? That's a beautiful cityscape. San Francisco? Same. Seattle. Yes. Phoenix. No. Phoenix has a lot of natural beauty. Our built environment is uninspiring and dull. It's just the way it is.

Jjs5056 Jan 3, 2013 3:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gymratmanaz (Post 5956920)
Drove by 16th St and Jefferson. It is all fenced in with a green screen. Is this the apartment development I recall from a year ago being announced?

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this has actually turned into low-rise senior apartments. The original proposal was for market rate apartments and much higher- around 5/6 stories?

Here is the article: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/p....html?page=all

I haven't been around there, so perhaps there are multiple projects?

Jjs5056 Jan 3, 2013 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freeway (Post 5957100)
This is a terrible proposal and will do nothing for the city. Did the tower in Knoxville put it on a national stage? No. It's just some random observation tower in some city that most people still know next to nothing about.

For starters, why does a project need to put Phoenix on the national stage to be supported and/or successful? The Pin would accomplish several things that should be viewed as positives:

1) Adding a structure to our skyline that is unique and distinctive; it would be the 2nd-highest in our city and given that our only other tower under construction is the heinous blue jail known as CityScape, I'm quite excited to see something aside from a box. The Summit, City Hall, The Pin- these are the kinds of buildings we need to break up the monotony.
2) Creating a destination/"something to do" downtown; I'll always remember the article from a few years back where hotel employees were sending their guests to Tempe and Scottsdale for entertainment. The Pin will give an option for downtown guests, convention visitors, and so on. Is it the most exciting? No. But, downtown Phoenix in general lacks "photo opps" - monuments, murals, etc. At least now, visitors can head to the top and take pictures of the things that DO bring people to Arizona - the mountains and desert landscape - against an urban backdrop. That WILL attract guests. Even if it isn't as successful as, say, the Space Needle, if it keeps people and money in our downtown and moves them closer to other destinations like CityScape, Science Center, Heritage Square, and so on, and encourages exploration of these places, that can only be a good thing.
3) Encouraging "buzz" about downtown; someone posted an article that The Pin was featured on an architectural website... If this strcutures gets people talking about our downtown, who cares that the vista might be smoggy every once in a while? Again, will this buzz equal that of other great cities? Likely not. But, it will get our name out there, show that WE are investing in and believe in our central city, and perhaps spark conversation amongst others to make similar investments through more attractions, residential, office, etc.
4) More retail downtown will be great. Shopping is one of the top activities travelers engage in and our downtown sorely lacks shopping opportunities. Who knows what kind if retail will end up within The Pin, but it'll be something for shoppers to check out and, once again, move them closer to other shopping centers like CityScape, adding vitality to the streets.

The point? This won't be the Space Needle, and it won't bring Phoenix into a category of world class cities. But, the addition of retail, a destination/attraction, unique architecture and so on is a great thing. There's some prime lots in the area awaiting development, and if this kind of investment or buzz gets the ball rolling, even better.

This city will never be NYC or Seattle. But, if you can't even appreciate our vistas, then why bother? Everyone I know who visits enjoys the beautiful desert landscape and mountains. At the very least, let's not shit on something that will leverage what could be one of our few assets.

savphili Jan 3, 2013 7:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingofleos (Post 5948295)
I don't understand all the negative remarks about this observation tower. OK, so it doesn't represent anything in AZ. What should it be, then. A huge 500' cactus? A giant statue of Goldwater? No, and no. The point is, it's SOMETHING. We're leaving a huge part of this discussion out. Think of the spectacular views from all vantage points. Phoenix has arguably one of the best city-wide landscapes in the country. And if it were there, people would make a point to get to downtown to check it out. Point, blank, period.

I think the tower is stupid and a waste of $50M and totally seems like a marketing ploy. If anything They should put it in a different city with better views. The only view I think this city has going for it is the sunsets.

Also, that thing is going to suck in the summer time and don't think it would see much use. Just my two cents.

ASUSunDevil Jan 3, 2013 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by savphili (Post 5957309)
I think the tower is stupid and a waste of $50M and totally seems like a marketing ploy. If anything They should put it in a different city with better views. The only view I think this city has going for it is the sunsets.

Also, that thing is going to suck in the summer time and don't think it would see much use. Just my two cents.

Some of you guys are a bunch of Negative Nancy's.

If The Pin happens, it will create awesome views of our one of a kind landscape and will almost certainly spur more interest in developing the empty lots Downtown.

If you want to rip on Phoenix get out of this thread because you sound like dipshit's.

Arquitect Jan 3, 2013 4:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jjs5056 (Post 5957144)
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this has actually turned into low-rise senior apartments. The original proposal was for market rate apartments and much higher- around 5/6 stories?

Here is the article: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/p....html?page=all

I haven't been around there, so perhaps there are multiple projects?

It was mentioned briefly about a month ago, but it is a shorter version of what was proposed before. It is now a 3 story building that will be called Washington Pointe.


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