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pbenjamin Oct 14, 2011 5:58 AM


Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5443625)
Work is moving at the My Florist corner. They had taken out some windows last week or so. As of 5:45am today, they were tearing down the awning over the sidewalk on McDowell. They also appear to have gutted even more stores in the brick building (the fat bride store remains).

Hopefully they replace all the shading they have now removed (trees and now the awning). There's also a fair amount of equipment sitting on the vacant lot next door so hopefully they are starting to build on that/those lot(s). There was an approved site plan for the previous owner, and I assume that the new owner is doing all this work under that previous site plan. Can anyone access that to see what we may be getting? Any idea if they are planning on keeping some historic integrity to those buildings, or are they just planning on making it look like a typical suburban strip mall like they are doing in the old Tom Horne building?

In the Arizona Republic article quoted a page or so back it said


The developers intend to preserve the historical character of the complex while implementing improvements, according to Lawrence & Geyser co-owner Jeff Geyser. Plans include swapping out storefront glass and cracked tile, treating exterior bricks, bringing in "old-style" lamp posts, replacing the metal awning and adding landscaping to make the surrounding area more pedestrian-friendly.

N830MH Oct 14, 2011 6:52 AM


Originally Posted by gymratmanaz (Post 5442322)
and insanity!!!! Forums are for ideas and not grammatical learning. LOL!!!!

Hey! I can speak a English. You are kinda too funny, huh?

nickw252 Oct 14, 2011 2:11 PM


Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5443625)
There's also a fair amount of equipment sitting on the vacant lot next door so hopefully they are starting to build on that/those lot(s).

I'm guessing the lot to the east of the building will be surface parking. There isn't much parking for the building as it stands.

pbenjamin Oct 14, 2011 3:23 PM

A few years ago, Lawrence and Geyser produced a picture that showed the existing building extending eastward towards 5th Ave.

westbev93 Oct 14, 2011 5:47 PM


Originally Posted by pbenjamin (Post 5444495)
A few years ago, Lawrence and Geyser produced a picture that showed the existing building extending eastward towards 5th Ave.

That picture was produced a few years ago when they got the site plan approved through the City to build at least one (I remember maybe 2) small buildings on the vacant lot along with additional parking. The whole project is supposed to extend to 5th Avenue where the mariscos place used to be. I know there were stipulations about no outdoor music and no outside seating past 10pm to appease the neighbors in Willo. They were blading that lot this morning and there's a free dirt sign, so it looks like site prep is going on.

RichTempe Oct 15, 2011 4:56 AM


Originally Posted by nickw252 (Post 5444427)
I'm guessing the lot to the east of the building will be surface parking. There isn't much parking for the building as it stands.

I thought the exact same thing as I drove by there late this afternoon. Hopefully, I'm wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me if it is only a parking lot.

TakeFive Oct 15, 2011 10:37 PM


Originally Posted by KEVINphx (Post 5442103)
In addition, to the smilies I, would like to, add unnecessary commas to the irritation, list, thank, you!

I guess two makes a quorum

Just was trying to add some color to a thread that seemed to lack life at times, but after a couple lethargic days, my need to ad zip was as gone
as my own zip. Besides I decided that I had enough fun for at least this year.

Not to mention that my kid would remind how "not cool" it is to be "uncool." :D

combusean Oct 15, 2011 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by RichTempe (Post 5445340)
I thought the exact same thing as I drove by there late this afternoon. Hopefully, I'm wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me if it is only a parking lot.

If it were only a parking lot it would have to be zoned and approved as such. If the site plan is approved by the city as part of a rezoning, and the applicant starts construction, it's more or less guaranteed that if they finish it's going to look like what they're approved for. If they build a parking lot and they don't have the authority to do so, there are legal remedies citizens or the city can undertake to ensure compliance with the site zoning through I believe Neighborhood Services.

There are technicalities, like being in general or strict compliance with a submitted site plan, and parking lots can hang on under a temporary use permit that has to be re-approved every year.

pbenjamin Oct 15, 2011 10:55 PM

Here is the document that I was referring to:

westbev93 Oct 17, 2011 4:01 PM

Perhaps I missed an amendment that got approved, but that brochure depicts the site plan that was approved by the City a couple years back. So yes, there will be parking, but there is going to be a building too. The Willo people had stipulations included to prevent outdoor music at what is identified as "Italian Cuisine," which at one point was going to be a wine bar type place.

Combusean is right about parking lots hanging around under temporary permits, but I don't remember seeing that with respect to this property. Then again, I wasn't really looking either.

Classical in Phoenix Oct 21, 2011 4:54 PM

I drove by 3rd Street and Earl this morning and they were loading up the remnants of the old Qwest building on the SEC.

dtnphx Oct 21, 2011 10:16 PM

EPA seeks designer for Lower Grand Avenue streetscape in Phoenix
Jan Buchholz, Phoenix Business Journal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Latest from The Business Journals

Office Depot HQ gets Energy Star certification
Phoenix newcomer helped clean up BP oil spill
Canadian company pulls application for controversial Florence mine

Follow this company is soliciting price quotes from local design firms to come up with a plan for the Lower Grand Avenue streetscape near downtown Phoenix. It’s part of the EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals program.

Lower Grand Avenue has become an increasingly creative environment. It’s home to an annual art festival and several venues that are featured in the monthly First Fridays event.

According to the EPA, “the firm selected will produce designs to improve the Lower Grand Avenue streetscape, making it more environmentally, pedestrian and bicycle friendly, while maintaining the neighborhood’s aesthetic character. The design team will explore options that use green infrastructure techniques suitable for arid climates to capture and treat stormwater runoff. Options might also include improvements to pedestrian crossings, transit shelters and bicycle paths.”

Phoenix is joined by Montgomery, Ala.; Lincoln, Neb.; Washington; and Jackson, Miss., in participating in the program.

Greening America’s Capitals is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint effort of the EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. It’s designed to develop a “vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods. In addition to helping the selected state capitals build civic pride and a greener future, this assistance will help create models that many other cities can look to in creating their own sustainable designs.”

Design firms interested in applying can learn more at

nickw252 Oct 23, 2011 1:45 AM

Southeast Corner of 7th Ave and McDowell

nickw252 Oct 23, 2011 1:46 AM

Northeast Corner of 7th Ave and McDowell

nickw252 Oct 23, 2011 1:48 AM

Irish Cultural Center at Central and Portland

nickw252 Oct 23, 2011 1:51 AM

Lofts at McKinley

nickw252 Oct 23, 2011 3:10 AM

McDowell and 7th Ave infill
New article on AZ Central


From Metrocenter to central Phoenix to long-established areas of Scottsdale, a mini building boom is under way as retailers and restaurants scramble to take advantage of real-estate bargains that will enhance their visibility and expand their market presence.

Unlike previous retail-building spurts, focused in new-growth areas, the current flurry is occurring at infill locations in established areas.

The new retail activity is creating hundreds of new jobs and breathing new life into corners that have been largely ignored by retailers for years. In some areas, real-estate prices and lease rates are half what they were a few years ago, making revitalization affordable.

Retailers who got burned on the fringes when the housing bubble burst are insisting on established customer traffic and sales volume when considering a new location.

It's a redevelopment trend that has occurred in other metropolitan areas but has been slow to take hold in metro Phoenix. Now, as select intersections in older neighborhoods become development hot spots, many far-flung suburban retail properties continue to see high vacancy rates and little leasing activity.

With quality tenants in tow, developers are able to get financing to do the redevelopment work. In some cases, national retailers are buying purchasing land and building their own buildings.

While the infill projects extend beyond these locations, four sites, many of which were left underused for years, offer a glimpse into the trend.
Hip and historic

Seventh Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix has been a commercial destination since the 1920s, and the historic buildings offer the character that retailer developers look for in urban locations.

An old antique mall is being transformed by Vintage Partners into a hip center with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Jersey Mike's Subs restaurants.

Casey Treadwell, Vintage Partners' development manager, said the success of the project has prompted the group to look for other infill redevelopment opportunities in metro Phoenix.

Across the street, Lawrence & Geyser Development is starting to renovate a historic building that also was used as an antique mall.

NYPD Pizza has agreed to lease space in the building and Lawrence & Geyser principal Jeff Geyser said the group is getting considerable interest from other national retailers and restaurants.

"Infill is hot right now," he said.

The company owns the northern side of McDowell Road from Seventh Avenue to Fifth Avenue, including the site of the now-closed My Florist Cafe. Geyser said several other restaurants have expressed interest in the My Florist space.

The intersection is a few blocks from Interstate 10 and adjoins affluent historic neighborhoods such as Encanto-Palmcroft, Willo and Roosevelt. It also is a short drive from downtown and midtown business districts. A redevelopment project at the southwestern corner a few years ago drew Pei Wei Asian Diner and Starbucks, which have thrived at the location.


nickw252 Oct 23, 2011 3:14 AM

Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS renovating old Gannett building

The Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS is beginning renovations on a 50,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by Gannett Co. Inc.’s KPNX-TV Channel 12.

The property at 1101 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix will house the Southwest Center and its long-term community health partner, McDowell Healthcare Center, which is operated by Maricopa Integrated Health Services.

When it opens in fall 2012, it will be Arizona’s largest HIV/AIDs primary care and support services facility.

The project is being partially funded by a $3.6 million city of Phoenix bond approved by voters in 2006.

The Southwest Center is a nonprofit AIDS service organization serving a large percentage of Arizona’s at-risk population and more than 14,000 Maricopa County residents infected with HIV/AIDS. It provides a combination of prevention, education, research and development, and health and wellness support services.

Through its clinical trial research, the center has helped to bring 29 medications to market, contributing to worldwide research and supporting Arizona’s biosciences industry.

For more:
Phoenix Business Journal

Jimks Oct 23, 2011 6:51 AM

When I talk to friends/family about the development at 7th and McDowell, the first words out of many of their mouths are "oh, where My Florist is". That sign is iconic. I was bummed when the restaurant closed their doors. They always seemed to have a decent amount of customers when I ate there, so I was surprised to see them close their doors. On the other hand, I'm excited that they are renovating that corner. I think the buildings on the SW corner have shown them the light (pei wei, starbucks, side bar). Their parking lot is always full and sometimes even overflows into the adjacent building's lot.

TakeFive Oct 23, 2011 7:03 PM


Originally Posted by nickw252 (Post 5453658)
New article on AZ Central

That was a good article, all things considered. It's good to see at least some developers and lenders appreciate more urban opportunities.

For downtown this retail adds an important element of fill-in and activity to go with the new apartment construction, additional university buildings and other planned or current projects.

When you consider the current state of the Metro real estate market... yet there exists an aggressive posture for building yet more new apartment projects in many areas.

Similarly, I can envision more office/hotel construction in downtown making the radar screens before too long, given the longer lead times necessary. Probably need another three years
for more lease-up of uptown/midtown buildings but then things could start getting interesting again.

BTW, those are great pics. Always love to see visual updates. Thanks.

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