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plinko Apr 24, 2010 12:07 AM


Originally Posted by HooverDam (Post 4809470)
You're comparing Phoenix to its suburbs but Im not really sure thats the measuring stick thats necessary. Even if Phoenixs Development services Dept is easier than some other cities you've worked in, that doesn't make it great. When comparing one government agency to another its difficult, because generally they're all pretty glacial.

I've heard enough horror stories from small business people in Downtown to know some sort of system needs to be created to streamline the process. Verde which is set to open within the month was originally slated for a Fall 09 opening according to the New Times but has been pushed back b/c of City BS. Matts was the same deal.

Oh I have no doubt that the process can be streamlined, and incentive programs (fast-tracking) created for certain types of projects (green, urban infill, small business).

But I assure you, I'm not just comparing the process in Phoenix with that of its suburbs. I now practice in Santa Barbara, which makes the Phoenix process look like a 3rd grade spelling assignment in terms of getting permits. I've done work in a number of other jurisdictions as well.

My response was more directed at those who feel there isn't a need for permitting for home improvement projects (many of which constitute substantial construction and do indeed require compliance with current building codes).

HooverDam Apr 24, 2010 12:18 AM

^Let me axe you you know of any Cities who have some sort of special Ombudsman or whatever who acts as a resource for small business to help streamline the process? Specifically what I think would perhaps be beneficial to have some sort of CenPho ombudsman who can be a contact point for all projects between the 7's from Lincoln to Missouri (or wherever) who can help businesses get through all the red tape and hoops. Bigger companies of course can manage it quite well on their own, but its a shame seeing the little guys waste time and money on this and waiting around forever for them to open.

PhxPavilion Apr 24, 2010 1:49 AM


Originally Posted by plinko (Post 4809157)
Do some of the standards go WAY to far? Are some of them questionable? Are there people who violate them all the time? Absolutely. But in a general sense, it's a necessary evil...and mostly exists because of lawyers and people with too much time on their hands.

I'd also like to point out that typically a community development department is one of the few revenue producing departments in a municipal government. It's not like they are simply sucking on the public teet.

People violate them because they often go too far, delay the process too long and cost money for no real reason. Rest assured the biggest incentive for these permits is because they are revenue generating. If you plan on buying a house from a third party, especially if it's gone through heavy renovation or was completely built from the ground up by an individual it's your responsibility to get the building checked and make sure everything is fine before you buy. There is absolutely no reason to require a permit for replacing windows.

glynnjamin Apr 25, 2010 8:10 AM

its not about you buying the house that was put together by Pepe and his 4 cousins and 12 brothers...its about you buying the properly built house next door only to watch as your neighbor's home falls into disrepair from mounting bills. I have no way of making sure my neighbor's home was properly renovated if there are no permits. If Juan taps a gas line incorrectly, the whole damn neighborhood could go up. Sure, the process could be streamlined but downtown already has a special contact for small businesses in downtown to get the permits that they need. I'm not sure what else they can do. It doesn't take six weeks because they are trying to be mean or stifle development - it's because there is a backlog and the budget cuts mean fewer people to review. I, for one, find this city to be quite easy to deal with when it comes to renovations.

Leo the Dog Apr 28, 2010 8:48 PM



Phoenix FBI field office to be built near Deer Valley Airport
Apr. 28, 2010 10:20 AM
The Arizona Republic

Federal officials are planning to locate a field office for the Phoenix FBI on the southeastern corner of Deer Valley Road and Seventh Street, a vacant lot near the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport.

The General Services Administration awarded a $154.5 million contract to Ryan Companies U.S. Inc., of Phoenix, to build a 200,000-square-foot facility and then lease it for 20 years.

FBI personnel will move to the facility by March 2012, said Gene Gibson, a GSA spokesman....
Seems like this should be built in the CBD.

combusean Apr 28, 2010 8:53 PM

^ There has to be some reason it's not. 200ksqft is big. Perhaps training grounds or a warehouse that might preclude a CBD location...

mwadswor Apr 28, 2010 9:34 PM


Originally Posted by Leo the Dog (Post 4816638)

Seems like this should be built in the CBD.

Perhaps they need the convenience and privacy of a small airport nearby to fly aliens back to Area 51 when they escape :shrug:

Leo the Dog Apr 28, 2010 10:58 PM


Originally Posted by combusean (Post 4816647)
^ There has to be some reason it's not. 200ksqft is big. Perhaps training grounds or a warehouse that might preclude a CBD location...

I imagine it has to do with cheap land for surface parking vs. underground garage, but seems like they'd want to be located near the courts and other law enforcement headquarters downtown.

Looks like a nice structure...too bad nobody will be able to admire it unless they happen to drive through that intersection.

HX_Guy Apr 29, 2010 1:53 AM

Gannett cuts force move of KPNX studio to Republic building
Phoenix Business Journal - by Chris Casacchia

Looking to cut expenses and streamline operations, Gannett Co. Inc. announced Wednesday it will consolidate KPNX-TV, NBC’s Phoenix affiliate, into its downtown office.

The ground floor of the Republic Media building at 200 E. Van Buren St. will be reconfigured for a main studio for newscasts, local programming, interviews, an outdoor studio, a cooking set and two outdoor camera positions.

The building also houses The Arizona Republic,, La Voz, and other print and digital publications.

Construction is expected to begin in July with the move complete by early 2011. KPNX has been at 1101 N. Central Ave. since 1956. The building will be put up for sale, said Anita Helt, vice president of marketing and programming.

McLean-based Gannett Inc. reported a 51 percent jump in first-quarter earnings as cost cutting and gains at its television stations offset a continued drop in newspaper advertising revenue.

The publishing giant had quarterly revenue of $1.32 billion, down 4.1 percent from the first quarter of 2009. Net income was $117 million, or 49 cents per share, compared to $77.4 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier.

Revenue declined in every business segment except broadcasting. Newspaper advertising revenue fell 7.9 percent, circulation revenue was down 5.1 percent and digital revenue was down 1.8 percent.

Gannett trimmed payroll expenses through a series of unpaid furloughs for employees in 2009 and the last quarter. It also cut 1,400 jobs.

Leo the Dog Apr 30, 2010 7:15 PM

Don is usually right and because of this he gets the most complaints on here. Jon Talton is usually spot on and everybody hates what he has to say about Phx. Just because they may make points that nobody likes to hear, doesn't mean people should bash them.

HooverDam May 3, 2010 10:39 PM


Seventh Avenue Merchants Association wants your vote for garden proposal

by Sadie Jo Smokey - May. 3, 2010 03:07 PM
The Arizona Republic
The Seventh Avenue Merchants Association's proposal for a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant is on the website ready for votes. The group envisions transforming a weed-choked lot at Seventh and Montecito avenues into a community garden. The project needs the most online votes in its category to get the grant.

"Everyone has the opportunity to vote 31 times for us this month," planner Darren McMahon said. "That should be plenty because I plan on winning, getting the cash by July 1st and breaking ground after returning directly from the bank."

THE PROJECT: After community input, students from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Arizona State University designed the garden space. Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns the lot, will install the necessary water infrastructure, maintain the garden site for two years, contribute $50,000 for the garden, and lease the property to the community.

THE TRADEOFF: At a neighborhood meeting last fall, Diane Veres of Clear Channel said the company would remove two 672-square-foot-billboards on Montecito and Glenrosa avenues. The company intends to replace the Montecito Avenue billboard with a smaller but higher 300-square-foot digital billboard. Operating hours would be daybreak to 11 p.m. Ads would change every eight seconds. Ads would not feature flashing or moving lights.

SUSTAINABLE PLAN: The SAMA group envisions using most of the $250,000 grant for garden site prep, materials, construction of shade structures, planters, fencing, sustainable watering plan, sustainable parking surface, two- dimensional and three-dimensional art platforms and security lighting. Pepsi plans to award more than $20 million to projects this year.

HOW TO VOTE: People age 13 or older can vote if they have an e-mail address or a Facebook page. Deadline is May 31. To vote for the Melrose/Seventh Avenue community garden project, go to

Read more:
Hey, go vote for this thing!

The M7 area has loads of potential and removing those billboards and getting a community garden to replace one of our many dirt lots would be terrific.

dtnphx May 3, 2010 11:26 PM

It got my vote, already!

Vicelord John May 4, 2010 12:29 AM

It's obvious that presentation was put together by an artist. Holy could have been way better presentation batman.

Leo the Dog May 9, 2010 2:33 PM


Data: Suburbs losing young Whites to cities

Hope Yen - May. 9, 2010 12:00 AM
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - White flight? In a reversal, America's suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as younger, educated Whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.

An analysis of 2000-08 census data by the Brookings Institution highlights the demographic "tipping points" seen in the past decade and the looming problems in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, which represent two-thirds of the U.S. population.

The findings could offer an important road map as political parties, including the tea party movement, seek to win support in suburban battlegrounds in the fall elections and beyond. In 2008, Barack Obama carried a substantial share of the suburbs, partly with the help of minorities and immigrants.

The analysis being released today provides the freshest detail on the nation's growing race and age divide, now feeding tensions in Arizona over its new immigration law.

Ten states, led by Arizona, surpass the nation in a "cultural generation gap" in which the senior populations are disproportionately White and children are mostly minority.

This gap is pronounced in suburbs of fast-growing areas in the Southwest, including those in Florida, California, Nevada, and Texas.

"A new metro map is emerging in the U.S. that challenges conventional thinking about where we live and work," said Alan Berube, research director with the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a nonpartisan think-tank based in Washington. "The old concepts of suburbia, Sun Belt and Rust Belt are outdated and at odds with effective governance."

Suburbs still tilt White. But, for the first time, a majority of all racial and ethnic groups in large metro areas live outside the city. Suburban Asians and Hispanics already had topped 50 percent in 2000, and Blacks joined them by 2008, rising from 43 percent in those eight years.

The suburbs now have the largest poor population in the country. They are home to the vast majority of baby boomers age 55 to 64, a fast-growing group that will strain social services after the first wave of boomers turns 65 next year.

Analysts attribute the racial shift to suburbs in many cases to substantial shares of minorities leaving cities, such as Blacks from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Whites, too, are driving the trend by returning or staying put in larger cities.

Washington, D.C., and Atlanta posted the largest increases in White share since 2000, each up 5 percentage points, to 44 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Other White gains were seen in New York, San Francisco, Boston and cities in another seven of the nation's 100 largest metro areas.

"A new image of urban America is in the making," said William Frey, a demographer at Brookings who co-wrote the report. "What used to be White flight to the suburbs is turning into 'bright flight' to cities that have become magnets for aspiring young adults who see access to knowledge-based jobs, public transportation and a new city ambience as an attraction."

"This will not be the future for all cities, but this pattern in front-runners like Atlanta, Portland, Oregon, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas, shows that the old urban stereotypes no longer apply," he said.

The findings are part of Brookings' broad demographic portrait of America since 2000, when the country experienced the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a historic boom in housing prices and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Calling 2010 the "decade of reckoning," the report urges policymakers to shed outdated notions of America's cities and suburbs and work quickly to address the coming problems caused by the dramatic shifts in population.

Among its recommendations: affordable housing and social services for older people in the suburbs; better transit systems to link cities and suburbs; and a new federal Office of New Americans to serve the education and citizenship needs of the rapidly growing immigrant community.

Other findings:

• About 83 percent of the U.S. population growth since 2000 was minority, part of a trend that will see minorities become the majority by mid-century. Across all large metro areas, the majority of the child population is now non-White.

• The suburban poor grew by 25 percent between 1999 and 2008 - five times the growth rate of the poor in cities. City residents are more likely to live in "deep" poverty, while a higher share of suburban residents have incomes just below the poverty line.
Not a surprise, but interesting to see the data.

Sorry. This probably should've been posted in 2010 census thread...

phxbyrd May 10, 2010 7:39 AM

You know with the sale of the channel 12 building there's a real good chance to FILL THE GAP!:)

Vicelord John May 10, 2010 5:38 PM

does anyone know what they were filming in front of Luhr's on 5.9.10?

There were a few dozen people there and filming crews. There was a lot of police presence and Jefferson was closed as well. It didn't seem like big time filming because of the equipment (one guy with reflector screens, and a few nice looking but handheld video cameras, no fixed crane things like they usually use) but maybe a commerical spot for the tower or an indie movie?

glynnjamin May 10, 2010 6:05 PM

They've been taking pictures and filming over in that park thing on 2nd Ave (by City Hall/Orpheum) for the past week. I've yet to figure out what they are doing. Saw them there last night with a bigger operation. I think it's just that Phx11 Building Phx show but I'm not sure.

combusean May 10, 2010 6:54 PM


Originally Posted by phxbyrd (Post 4832758)
You know with the sale of the channel 12 building there's a real good chance to FILL THE GAP!:)

I'd rather see the building used for a large retail use in the meantime. While its presence is awful, there simply aren't many large buildings like it downtown with plenty of parking. The only one that's like it is the 1960s wasteland on Van Buren and 2nd Ave which is a lost cause anyway.

We have to be realistic. Neither office nor residential is going to get built anytime soon. I think the harsh reality is even that CityScape is completely stalled on its hotel and doesnt want to admit it because that would nearly kill their leases.

If One Phoenix (remember that one on central and mcdowell?) can't get off the ground with its location, lot size, and international connections, I don't think anything on the old Channel 12 building would either.

glynnjamin May 10, 2010 10:18 PM

On the bright side, we waste less time waiting for elevators.
Image from IBM Study

dtnphx May 11, 2010 3:00 AM


Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4833692)
On the bright side, we waste less time waiting for elevators.


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