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Jjs5056 Jun 14, 2014 10:19 PM

So sad that business owners were able to dictate the plans for our city's streets. Why do we pay for leadership in that area if they aren't confident in their own expertise? This isn't some innovative, new or controversial topic... we aren't talking about protected bike lanes... street parking's use as a buffer for pedestrians has been an urban panning principle forever.

And, the north side has many more of the destinations needed, as well as more of the incoming traffic from 7th street that would be like to see something and want to park: Nash, Carly's, etc. The south side is actually pretty bleak.

Anyway, regarding development, it's sad that 4 stories is now "a high rise" and that Kierland is getting 4x the amount of density downtown is.

Wiletta/2nd St:
This is a smart investment for an educated buyer, given the future Hance upgrades. The area isn't too sketchy, just plagued by empty lots where decent buildings stood just a few years ago. Hopefully, this will spur more infill near the park on both sides.


PHX31 - Someone posted that they/the Council saw a presentation for the lot next to the Spaghetti factory, but has never followed up with details. This was only 3-4 months ago.

As for this other development, it was talked about a few years back, so it's interesting to see it might actually move forward. It doesn't sound like the plans are finalized, so maybe it'll end up growing along the way, or at least have the commercial and parking spaces in a podium so it reaches 7-8 stories instead of 4. Aside from Portland on the Park, nothing has been proposed above 5 stories and that's really worrisome. These are pretty good locations, and in the case of McKinley/4th St, it's really the last location/opportunity for dense residential.

Have ANY of Metrowest's projects broken ground? And, are we ever going to get the story on the Lexington Hotel conversion or is just going to stay abandoned and rot indefinitely?

Lastly, they've paved a parking lot behind the fence on 4th St./Garfield, south of Bliss/East of Roosevelt Point... can they just do that? :shrug:

exit2lef Jun 16, 2014 3:38 PM

Construction has started on the Roosevelt Streetscape project. I saw barricades being erected as I pedaled through the intersection of First Street and Roosevelt this morning.

PHX31 Jun 16, 2014 4:15 PM


Originally Posted by Jjs5056 (Post 6618757)

Have ANY of Metrowest's projects broken ground? And, are we ever going to get the story on the Lexington Hotel conversion or is just going to stay abandoned and rot indefinitely?

Lastly, they've paved a parking lot behind the fence on 4th St./Garfield, south of Bliss/East of Roosevelt Point... can they just do that? :shrug:

Regarding the Metrowest projects, from the couple of articles I have read, you'd think people are busting their front door down trying to rent or buy condos and that they would be rushing to construction... but it seems like we'll have to continue to wait.

I don't know about the parking lot, but you know one thing that would be awesome is if that small brick duplex (or fourplex) walkup that is directly east of Bliss would be renovated and rented out for residential again. There are shockingly few remaining historic multi-family buildings left in Phoenix, and while this one is about as tiny as they come, it's exactly what Roosevelt Row needs. Years ago I remember the people that lived there would open up for First Friday (like everything else) and would be selling (errr, giving away) beer and wine (for donations). It contained low-rent artist units. It subsequently closed up and I thought they started to renovate, but it's sat vacant for years now collecting graffiti.
You can barely see it here behind the trees:

Jjs5056 Jun 17, 2014 11:16 AM

Yea, I just don't understand how they keep picking up projects - the RFP for the 2nd Street properties certainly could've waited until they started Union, which they've been hyping for years now- 2009, maybe? I think Postino or The Vig was supposed to be on the ground level.

It's crazy to see where something like Marina Heights is in the building process, while that lot and sign sit there with no movement. I think a lot of people- not just us, but developers and businesses, too- were banking on that project coming to fruition and it's been cited by people as high up as the mayor as transforming the area. They've changed city infrastructure and demolished property already... get going!

I have always wondered about that structure. I must've started going out in that area after the owners moved, because it always looked abandoned. I'd always yell at my roommate what a wasted opportunity it was sitting vacant among all those businesses as we'd stumble out of Bliss... didn't realize it was a duplex, which makes it way cooler. Cheap, historic living in the heart of our urban square mile? Sign me up.

Also, I'm having a hard time figuring out what's art and what's graffiti because to my eyes, it looks like there's a pretty big problem on hand - there's that building, one on Portland and 5th St completely covered, and the warehouse district has been hit pretty hard: the old Foundry, Chambers #1, and a few others.

dtnphx Jun 17, 2014 3:27 PM

$21M Boost for Phoenix Infill
By Kristian Seemeyer, Globe St. | Phoenix

PHOENIX—Watt Communities of Arizona has doubled its Phoenix project pipeline and brought its total local construction commitment to more than $21 million with the announcement of two new urban infill communities: The Enclave at 32nd Street and 16 Ocotillo. The move grows the company’s local presence and expands its product offerings to include single-family detached homes and urban townhomes in close-in suburban neighborhoods.

“We now have four flags on the map representing two concepts that we are extremely proud of and excited to bring to Phoenix,” says Steve Pritulsky, president and CEO of Watt. “They are all decidedly infill locations and will feature innovative indoor-outdoor living styles that today’s buyers are looking for.”

The Enclave at 32nd Street is located on 3.46 acres just south of the southwest corner of 32nd Street and Cactus Road, in the Paradise Valley Mall area of North Phoenix.

Scheduled to break ground in late 2014, The Enclave includes 31 two-story, single-family detached homes ranging from approximately 1,700 to 2,200 square feet.

“This development is based on a private drive design developed by our partners in California, and is a unique concept here in Arizona,” says Paul Timm, COO of Watt. “Having just one point of entry for the community adds a level of privacy and allows residents to own a small oasis within a bustling urban corridor. It is innovative housing in and active location, but also peaceful.”

The second community, 16 Ocotillo, sits on 2.8 acres at the southwest corner of 16th Street and Ocotillo Road, between Maryland and Glendale avenues in North Central Phoenix.

Pritulsky tells,"Infill projects provide exciting opportunities. Our mindset is: we're not in it because it's trendy. We're in it because we think it's a big part of housing's future."

Pritulsky says it's very challenging to find infill opportunities. "There are not a lot of sites. The more built out an area is, the harder it gets. Future opportunities for us may include repurposing or tear-down locations, or even looking at repurposing retail for a mixed-use project. There is a lot of price pressure on infill land."

In late 2013, Scottsdale-based New Leaf Communities and Watt Communities of Santa Monica announced their joint venture (Watt Communities of Arizona) and entered the Phoenix market with two inaugural projects: Dorsey Lane, a 51-unit townhome project located in central Tempe (just south of the southwest corner of Broadway Road and Dorsey Lane), and Biltmore Living, a 40-unit townhome project located in the Camelback Corridor (less than a mile south of 24th Street and Camelback Road).

Those communities will provide contemporary, three-story urban townhomes ranging in size from 1,400 to 1,800 square feet.

“These are urban locations within established employment cores,” says Pritulsky. “They match the quality and vibrancy of their neighborhoods, and will allow residents to move from renting to owning without giving up their urban lifestyle.”

HooverDam Jun 20, 2014 3:21 PM

Renderings of Lennars project on the NW corner of Central/McDowell. Its not great, but its WAY better than what they showed at their pre-app meeting which was a stucco, fenced, inward facing project that looked straight out of Surprise. At least the developer is listening to the community and perhaps they'll be open to continued tweaking:

Obadno Jun 20, 2014 4:54 PM

^^ Hey! Not bad, wish it was taller but... What the market will bare yadda yadda yadda.

Could be a lot worse Im happy

dtnphx Jun 20, 2014 5:10 PM

i was hoping it would be a lot more creative since the Art Museum and the Heard Museum are across the street. It should be held to a higher architectural standard since it's on such a visible corner.

CrestedSaguaro Jun 20, 2014 6:19 PM

Is there a link to these? Work be blocking them :-(


Originally Posted by HooverDam (Post 6626011)
Renderings of Lennars project on the NW corner of Central/McDowell. Its not great, but its WAY better than what they showed at their pre-app meeting which was a stucco, fenced, inward facing project that looked straight out of Surprise. At least the developer is listening to the community and perhaps they'll be open to continued tweaking:

Jjs5056 Jun 21, 2014 7:01 AM

I'll hold out complete judgment until I can understand the site plan better, but it does seem like another instance of a developer designing a project within the vacuum of that property's boundaries. McDowell has such a strong history in Phoenix, going from the Miracle Mile to complete blight to the revitalization that has occurred in frequent years.

McDowell and Central is the gateway to Midtown - the first major intersection after the 10 gash - and has sat vacant throughout all of these changes to now be completely encompassed by artistic venues: Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Theater, and Arizona Opera/Ballet + artHAUS, with Burton Barr nearby. A revitalized Hance Park is once again being discussed and has gone further than previous attempts, and a new Arts District was formally created, increasing the likelihood that First Fridays will have a major presence in the area.

Phoenix lacks a sense of place because of projects like this, that could be put anywhere, anytime. The lack of height is also worrisome; the pipeline of single-use, 4-story apartments is growing quite large. I can't tell if the darker tan blocks represent retail space, or shaded sidewalk? I'm going to assume there's no retail as it isn't mentioned anywhere else. A Midtown of lowrise residential is just as anti-urban as a Midtown of suburban high rises. There doesn't seem to be any plan for bringing neighborhood retail to walkable locations, or bringing larger scale projects to redeveloped, older properties. A 5-minute SUV drive to Walgreens, followed by 10 minutes to the gym, and 15 to Fry's is 30 minutes regardless of whether the trips take place in Midtown or Cave Creek. We're at the point that setbacks are defining our projects as urban, TOD, acceptable; nothing else seems to matter.

I would've love to have seen the portion fronting 1st ave as 4-story townhomes, keeping a neighborhood feel with artHAUS. These would be attached to an 8-story L-shaped building with a palette of louvres that form images based on the sun's position. This part would be mixed income, allowing for upward social movement through McDowell's assets. The final 'chunk' would be at Central/McDowell, a 14-story tower with corner entrance, and a local designer would design a crown that symbolized revitalization/reemergence.

The eastern portion of the alley would combine with a slightly larger setback to form a square/plaza between the development and the Opera/Ballet; enough for generous landscaping, lighting and a stage large enough for preview performances. The 2 retail spots would be heavily lobbied to Miracle Mile Deli and for an Art Cafe/Wine Bar, where tabletop iPads would allow you to browse a directory of the arts district and see upcoming events, etc.

That's it! But, I'll take a couple more stories and 1 retail space and accept the generic, student housing design.

phoenixwillrise Jun 21, 2014 8:36 PM

This should have been

Originally Posted by RonnieFoos (Post 6626312)
Is there a link to these? Work be blocking them :-(

The site for MIM. Nice planning and coordinating Phoenix. Real major opportunity lost when someone didn't connect the dots on that one. You would have had a real museum district. With the Heard, PHX ART, and MIM. Hell the guy paid for the MIM himself the least the city could have done is have stepped up bought that land and given it to the MIM dude.

Jjs5056 Jun 23, 2014 5:15 PM

^ Not to mention that there are several museums that would be be interesting/worthy of investment that could've been incorporated into a mixed use project, least of which being the destroyed copper and mining museum. But, yes, considering the reviews of anyone who has gone, even an MIM branch would've been a great thing for downtown. Anyone know if that guy who was looking to open a TV Museum is still around? This was a couple years back... and the issue was lack of space and wanting the site donated, IIRC.

On a dev note, is there a new facade going up on 101 W Jefferson? Or, am I making a big deal out of window washers? Would be great if it's modernized; those justice buildings are some of the worst examples of bad AZ design- shades of brown, boxy, dated. I thought there were also plans to knock down the center building at some point to open up the plaza? That is 1 demolition I would be okay with... it looks like a trailer.

HooverDam Jun 23, 2014 7:31 PM


Originally Posted by Jjs5056 (Post 6628586)
Anyone know if that guy who was looking to open a TV Museum is still around? This was a couple years back... and the issue was lack of space and wanting the site donated, IIRC..

He doesn't seem to have any real money, a real plan, or real investors. He wanted the City or some other rube to give him space to warehouse all his (neat) stuff. I think that idea is long dead.

It would've been neat/interesting if the Pin (or something like it) happened and the Phoenix Museum of History was moved into it, thus opening up the history museums old space for something like the TV Museum. That would've made Heritage Square the real go-to destination for convention/other visitors I suspect and arguably more of a 'museum district' than Midtown.

Jjs5056 Jun 23, 2014 8:31 PM

Would've been cool for Michael Levine to have donated one of his warehouses. Or, considering the amount of money we've given out for projects like CityScape, I'm sure the city has a suitable building in their inventory.

A Museum District exit with 2 spread out museums, a Hance Park exit with no park in site, a Warehouse District with hardly any buildings in it, a Legends Entertainment District whose mission isn't to entertain or attract any form of development, but to gain ad revenue... I'd be confused as hell and probably was the first time I saw each.

westbev93 Jun 25, 2014 2:32 PM

I've been out of town for a bit so I'm not sure if anything has been posted recently on the Union project. I have it on good authority that the general is lining up all the trades and should be breaking ground soon.

Jjs5056 Jun 25, 2014 5:27 PM

1) All around, landscaping and lot improvements have really made a difference! Looks so much better, especially the vegetation. US Airways put up an iron gate on 1st street and landscaped all of their lots - looks like a similar treatment will be done for the lot in the center of Jefferson; paving is underway/complete surrounding St James. :( They've also painted the garage and I think it looks awfully dingy... and work was being done on the far west corner of the retail strip. Would be nice to get a real business/restaurant there.

2) Adams Street already looks so much better and hopefully, continued improvements will be made as more tenants will vacancies. The Hyatt in general made a nice effort to brighten up their facade.

3) The lot on Garfield/5th St looks like it will have a new ARTS exhibit soon. There's 'wire furniture' and shipping containers on site.

4) DeSoto looks incredible; love the patio and cute 'to go' stand at the corner of it and the alleyway.

Warehouse District
1) FYI, from what I can tell, Central and Buchanan-Lincoln is going to be a miniature golf course; not sure if it's permanent, an ARTS semi-permanent use, or just for an event/fundraiser/etc.

2) Just north across at 22 Buchanan, Angelic Grove Flourist+Croft Events have cleaned up the 4 blighted buildings on the site, but painted 2 walls of a brick warehouse, rather than clean them up. =/ Levine and property owners in the Central-1st st/Buchanan-Lincoln block have really straightened up that area.

3) Levine's massive warehouse on the corner looks better and better, and both sides had open doors. Vintage Industrial is closest to the corner and I'm so glad there will be signage soon. Watching him 'making the magic' be a good attraction considering where the pieces get sold off to. We had talked for a little while when it looked like he might've gotten him fired and mentioned the idea of a showroom; how many Historic home owners wouldn't love to purchase salvaged hardware, etc? He would apparently need a new permit/request a zoning amendment. Couldn't tell if there was a tenant on the west end- if no, it would also be cool to have dining in a vintage setting on First Fridays?

The rest of the land has been turned around 180 since the beginning of spring. They've done away with much of the garbage that was everywhere and, finally a Waehouse business willing to remove barbedwire fencing. They replaced there's with a simple metal fence, but it is sooo much more inviting'

A good developer could make some serious profit with that lot. I'm not sure if the brick shed is of any value; if not, and they get rid of the corrugated metal shed, they could create a small apartment and collect even more money than from the 2 retails.

4) A junkyard with a dilapidated historic home and RV used to take up the corner spot on 1st st/Lincoln, but they've improved their land as well - the house, while not restored, seems stable, and the the junk has been replaced by a makeshift thrift store.. 'we cycle.' Regardless, nice to see some pride.

5) OTOH, The Duce is hopefully in the midst of a new art campaign because theirs wasn't looking good at all; hopefully, things like wayfiding are going to be added back, but they installed gas over the majority of the windows. :( I had hoped that once people had become comfortable going there, that a streetside entrance. Their parking lot entrance doesn't do it justice.

6) Jacksons on 3rd seems to be open again, as well, so this is definitely the most momentum that District has had in forever. RR Advertising should be getting settled in their new digs in the Trombetta Warehouse, so 2nd-1st St is pretty much all leased/occupied... we just need Four Peaks to open a brewery in the 'Sporting Goods' warehouse!

gymratmanaz Jun 25, 2014 10:44 PM

Thanks Jjs5060. Nice upbeat update!!!!! - By the way, does your name here stand for anything?

combusean Jun 26, 2014 11:33 PM

Lafferty Electric, at 1209 E Washington St, is no more--what project was proposed for this site?

Courtesy of Michael Levine.

Sepstein Jun 27, 2014 6:12 AM

The Blue on Washington! 4 or 5 story apartments

Phxguy Jun 27, 2014 6:22 AM

Had to find this post from February but it goes more in depth of the apartments. Looking at a possible 4 story on another story of podium parking. Nice! Forgot about this one. Has anyone checked on the wedding plaza, where the Blue on Washington is supposed to be built?

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