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nickw252 Sep 14, 2011 12:48 AM

7th Ave and McDowell
 
Work is progressing quickly on the building at 7th and McDowell. The gutting appears to be done and they have started putting a facade on the front. I'll get pictures as soon as I can.

TakeFive Sep 14, 2011 5:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vicelord John (Post 5408078)
Sean I'm going with logical thought, reasonable doubt, and rational expectations.


Don't be such wimp, Debbie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu3VTngm1F0

So much good stuff has happened to downtown over the last decade, but they do need one more good push/cycle to create more spillover demand.
At this point, they really, really need a couple of more office towers. Downtown Phoenix needs to and can become the financial center for the metro area.

I would assert that, if they broke ground tomorrow, there would be ample demand for CBD space. The question, admittedly, is whether that demand would be willing to pay CBD rates,
given the mishmash of empty space scattered around the valley.

Over time, and not that long, the ability to build to today's/tomorrow's class A standards is what will give downtown the edge. :D

:cool::cool::cool:

HX_Guy Sep 14, 2011 7:07 AM

Some good news on urban condos/apts...come on RED, make the apts above Palomar happen, the demand is there!

Quote:


Rebound for luxury condos in Valley

by Catherine Reagor - Sept. 14, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Upscale, condominium projects in coveted metro Phoenix locations were icons of the region's housing boom and then some of the most visible signs of the crash.

Dozens of condo towers and loft projects were planned or under construction just as the housing market started slowing. On prime lots across the Phoenix area, signs promoted the projects, sometimes noting prices well above $500,000.

An Arizona Republic analysis in 2006 found as many as 8,000 new condo units were planned.

Fewer than half of those condos were built, and several projects that started went into foreclosure or bankruptcy as the housing downturn worsened. Those projects, complete or half-built, sat boarded up or fenced off.

But now, five years after the housing crash started, several of the high-rise towers and other luxury-condo projects are filling up with buyers and renters.

- Almost 90 percent of the 146 condominiums at One Lexington, a converted 1974 bank building on Phoenix's Central Avenue, have sold. Only 14 of the condos were sold before the project's previous developer filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

- The 22-story Centerpoint Tower in downtown Tempe welcomed its first renters, mostly Arizona State University students, last month. Now, the tower is full.

- Developers of a high-rise in downtown Phoenix called 44 Monroe opted to turn the building's condos into apartments, which are now drawing tenants. The 34-story tower, Arizona's tallest residential building, is nearly 70 percent full. It has 196 apartments.

- In central Scottsdale, more than 20 condos out of 50 planned have sold at the once-stalled Sage project along the city's waterfront. The Safari development, not far from Sage, is also filling up.

- The brick minimansions known as Chateau on Central in Phoenix, once boarded up and stalled in foreclosure, are now open and selling.

Metro Phoenix urban-housing expert and broker Keith Mishkin estimates more than 120 new high-end condos in newer developments have sold so far this year, almost twice as many as last year.

"I wouldn't say the new-condo market has bounced back, but it has definitely started to stabilize," he said. "And it's not just investors buying now. People who want the urban lifestyle and Baby Boomers are now the biggest groups of high-rise condo buyers."

Of the 8,000 high-end units planned in 2006, real-estate analysts say about 3,000 have been built and bought or leased.

In most cases, the original developers went bankrupt or bailed out of the projects. The resurgence in the market has come as new investors have taken over the sites at a lower cost and offered units for less money.

While some of those units have become apartments, others are selling to the same kinds of residents developers originally targeted. The sales indicate that the Valley does have a market for upscale, urban condos for empty-nesters and move-up buyers - as long as the price is right.

Lower prices

Late last year, Phoenix architect Mike Hauer bought a one-bedroom condo on the 14th floor of One Lexington tower in midtown Phoenix.

"The price was right, and the location is great," said Hauer, who paid about $180,000 for his condo and doesn't have to pay homeowner-association fees for a year as part of the developer's incentives to draw buyers. "I had friends over for Fourth of July, and we could watch the fireworks from my balcony. There aren't a lot of Phoenix homes with views like mine."

The project has attracted notable residents including Phoenix City Council member and real-estate expert Tom Simplot, who bought a condo in the tower last summer.

Formerly known as Century Plaza, the high-rise was converted from offices to condos by Equus Realty in 2008. But it the housing market was crashing, and Equus couldn't sell the condos for a profit.

Hauer paid less than half of what his condo was originally priced at when Equus was developing the project in 2008.

Equus filed for bankruptcy, and its lender took over the project. In February 2010, after scouring the Phoenix market for the best high-rise condo deals, British Columbia-based Macdonald Development Corp. bought the tower from the lender for an undisclosed sum.

So far, Macdonald reports it has sold $30 million in condos at One Lexington. The tower was valued at $19 million in 2009.

"Some people thought we were nuts for buying One Lexington," said Rob Hubbard of Macdonald Development. "But we came into the market at the right time. It cost the last developer $340 a square foot to build it. We obviously didn't pay that much. Now, we are able to sell the condos for $225 a square foot and make a profit. Our buyers are seeing almost instant appreciation."

Crash aftermath

What crashed metro Phoenix's condo market is what took down the rest of the area's housing market: an oversupply of new units and too many buyers who were investors, expecting the homes to gain value, rather than homeowners, expecting them to serve as shelter.

The investors, who bought condos and penthouses when the first wave of high-rises started selling units in 2005-06, paid top dollar and then tried to sell as they saw the market slow in 2007. At the same time, metro Phoenix apartment owners were converting their projects to condominiums in record numbers.

According to Arizona housing analyst RL Brown, as many as 10,000 apartments were converted to condos in 2005-07, further adding to the supply of a kind of housing stock rarely seen in the Valley before the last decade.

One of the first downtown Phoenix luxury condo projects, the Orpheum Lofts on West Adams Street sold out quickly in 2004-05. But in 2006, more than one-third of the condos in the Orpheum Lofts were for sale, and then a year later, foreclosures in the historic tower started to soar.

The 17-story Landmark tower, an older apartment high-rise on Central Avenue in midtown was converted to condos right before the market started to slow. It drew many investors and buyers willing to pay as much as $200,000 for a studio.

The project sold out, but some of the investors and buyers walked away as prices in the tower fell with the housing market. Now, the tower is popular with young, single renters.

The 44 Monroe project downtown had its problems, too. The project's original lender went under and was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In 2010, Chicago-based ST Residential bought the property planning to sell its 196 unsold units at prices starting just under $200,000. There still wasn't the market for condos at that price. So, the developer turned the tower into apartments earlier this year.

ST Residential also bought the Scottsdale Safari condo project out of foreclosure. This year, condos at that project near Scottsdale Fashion Square have been selling for $400,000 and higher.

Market outlook

When Summit Properties started building a condo project in central Scottsdale in 2007, the least expensive unit was offered at $695,000 and the penthouse at $1.3 million.

But there were few buyers, and Summit lost the project to its construction lender iStar, which finished building it and lowered prices.

Jan Jumet and his wife, who live in Pennsylvania but have been visiting Scottsdale during the winter for several years, recently purchased a condo in the project now named Sage.

"We have wanted a second home in Scottsdale for a long time, but we were waiting for the bargains," Jumet said.

David Sotolov, senior vice president of iStar, said the company considered selling the project to another developer but the offers weren't attractive enough, so it held on and finished construction. Condos are now selling at Sage for $370,000 to $530,000.

Chateau on Central, the luxury brownstone homes, could be the next comeback project for metro Phoenix's urban housing market. The project, like several other stalled condo projects including Centerpoint, was financed by the now-defunct Mortgages Ltd., which left many private investors with big losses when it abruptly shut down in 2008 after the death of founder Scott Coles.

Construction of Chateau stopped when the lender was forced into bankruptcy. Originally, the five-story minimansions with copper turrets, elevators and rooftop terraces were supposed to sell for $2.8 million to $4.5 million.

But after they sat half-built and empty for more than a year, Wisconsin-based MSI West Investments paid $7 million for the 21 homes. The buyer finished the project and is now marketing the homes for $1.1 million. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is currently leasing a home at Chateau.

Not all the condo projects started during the boom struggled. Optima Camelview in Scottsdale, the lofts at Kierland Commons in north Phoenix and the Scottsdale Waterfront are a few that fared better with buyers, and condos at these projects are new reselling and some buyers are making profits on the deals.

Real-estate analysts say there is a market for high-rise condos and lofts in metro Phoenix. The problem was too many developers and investors jumped into the market at once.

Condo owner Hauer believes he bought at the right time for the right price in a tough housing market.

"I think I could sell in five years for a profit if I wanted to, but I really like it here and don't see myself moving anytime soon," he said.

TakeFive Sep 14, 2011 7:11 AM

Make Me a Streetscape....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan (Post 5408759)
:tup: I've had similar ideas about the 7's; I got a lot of crap for writing as much on this forum...expect similar comments about your idea. I am for narrowing streets all over downtown. Especially if that means widening sidewalks and adding bike lanes. It would be great if the City found the funding to start narrowing Roosevelt soon after the design phase is completed...


I read through all of that, which was interesting. At the risk of being boring, I'll tell ya a story.

Denver has reached the "critical mass" in their urban core, that I was alluding to with my previous post. Walkability, streetscapes, bicycle right of ways, retail, the whole nine yards is a big focus.

They are currently in the middle of redoing one of the streets. You'd love it, removing one lane to widen the sidewalks, designated bike area, streetscape, bulbouts, great signage, etc.

But why choose 14th street?
Because in the previous decade the street had seen $1.5 billion in public and private investment. (Like Phoenix) they doubled their convention space and then added a 37 story, 1100 room Hyatt.
Then came Hilton Garden Inn of 12 stories, 220 rooms. Then an historical reclamation of a long vacant building into a 5-star boutique hotel. Then a 41 story tower with 500 condos. Then a 17 story,
403 room Embassy Suites. Finally a 45 story, 240 room Four Seasons (plus condos).

The challenge with this kind of makeover is that you end up moving utilities. With a complete street rebuild, while your at it, you upgrade drainage utilities etc. as needed. The twelve block redo is costing $14 million.

In Denver, when they do this, they have the property owners form an Improvement District which will be responsible for repairs and maintenance. You want you placeholders to "buy in." The property owners then
select/decide on the specific streetscape improvements, from basic to exotic. They are putting up $4 million of the $14 million. It took four years of effort to reach the necessary agreements.

Here's an excellent link to a construction update which also contains a link to an even better description than I gave. (Click on pics to embiggen)
http://denverurbanism.com/2011/08/do...-update-2.html

Here's a link to a 3D Animation which provides a bigger, better perspective.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVekBHpPOUM

I do agree that Phoenix could benefit from more streescaping. In fact, I've always though, what a terrible oversight to not provide for more shade in various forms. :D

:cool::cool::cool:

Vicelord John Sep 14, 2011 1:25 PM

Denver is a big city. Totally different animal than Phoenix.

westbev93 Sep 14, 2011 2:47 PM

Speaking of 7th Ave and McDowell, I noticed yesterday that all the trees in front of My Florist have been removed. So while one corner takes a step forward, the other takes a step back. And then we cha-cha.

As for new office space in CBD, every time they build something there (like Cityscape) they only seem to cannabalize from an existing building elsewhere in downtown or in midtown. Until somebody really leans on the corporate headquarters in Scottsdale and N. Phoenix, you are only reshuffling companies between buildings without adding much new.

HooverDam Sep 14, 2011 4:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5409026)
Truth = we actually don't have that much land to build on because we're semi-landlocked by historic neighborhoods, so yes, we need to maximize our land.

Well luckily (?!) the historic 'hoods to the South, West and East of Downtown are full of empty lots too! Garfield, Central and Grant Parks, Capitol Mall, Oakland, etc. are not exactly running out of developable land, and Garfield has already shown a willingness to accept moderately dense condo/apartment new construction in their hood.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5409026)
Like I said, 5 stories is fine as long as it's built w/ the ability to go higher. Or I'll add: or as long as it's wood-frame so we can easily replace it farther down the road.

Combusean or Plinko can maybe correct me on this, but I believe there's some construction restraints regarding density. That is, if you're building a structure of this size it can be "5 over 1" (maybe its 4 over 1?), a few levels of wood frame over concrete. But if you want to go any higher (like Alta) its got to be solid concrete construction which drives up the cost quite a bit and makes the project less likely to happen from a financial backing perspective.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxDowntowner (Post 5409057)
Callin' me Robert Moses. That's cold dawg.

I don't mean in the, 'you'll drive a freeway through the heart of the city' way, I just meant in a top City planning kinda way :)

dtnphx Sep 14, 2011 4:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TakeFive (Post 5410558)
Don't be such wimp, Debbie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu3VTngm1F0

So much good stuff has happened to downtown over the last decade, but they do need one more good push/cycle to create more spillover demand.
At this point, they really, really need a couple of more office towers. Downtown Phoenix needs to and can become the financial center for the metro area.

I would assert that, if they broke ground tomorrow, there would be ample demand for CBD space. The question, admittedly, is whether that demand would be willing to pay CBD rates,
given the mishmash of empty space scattered around the valley.

Over time, and not that long, the ability to build to today's/tomorrow's class A standards is what will give downtown the edge. :D


:cool::cool::cool:

There is demand downtown currently for large floorplan space in A to A+ buildings, so that's not an issue and in the three years from design to occupancy, they'll be even more demand, the problem is financing. No one can satisfy a bank's current requirement for lending on such a big project when vacancy rates throughout the Valley hover near 20 percent. It'll turn, but not soon.

gymratmanaz Sep 14, 2011 10:17 PM

I really think this will help to get this area really moving! Places like Bliss will be.......filled with......bliss (Customers)!!!

TakeFive Sep 15, 2011 12:10 AM

It takes animal instincts
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vicelord John (Post 5410709)
Denver is a big city. Totally different animal than Phoenix.

It is a different animal, I agree.
They've worked really, really hard for over four decades. Their big break or benefit resulted from the impact of Regionalism as the metro area 'decided ' that Denver could be the heart/focus of culture and sports.

But just comparing City of Phoenix to City of Denver, Phoenix is 2 1/2 times the size by population. Comparing metro areas, this area has 70% more population.

Phoenix/downtown will have to find it's own unique way and niche, but it has awesome potential. It has acquired some good stuff and momentum over the last decade.

The big benefit that will accrue to Phoenix is the ever-increasing cost of gas.
Fortunately for you Mr. Vicelord, you should be around long enough to see it happen. :D

:cool::cool::cool:

Vicelord John Sep 15, 2011 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TakeFive (Post 5411477)
It is a different animal, I agree.
They've worked really, really hard for over four decades. Their big break or benefit resulted from the impact of Regionalism as the metro area 'decided ' that Denver could be the heart/focus of culture and sports.

But just comparing City of Phoenix to City of Denver, Phoenix is 2 1/2 times the size by population. Comparing metro areas, this area has 70% more population.

Phoenix/downtown will have to find it's own unique way and niche, but it has awesome potential. It has acquired some good stuff and momentum over the last decade.

The big benefit that will accrue to Phoenix is the ever-increasing cost of gas.
Fortunately for you Mr. Vicelord, you should be around long enough to see it happen. :D

:cool::cool::cool:

Well, that's just the thing about phoenix having 70% more population... it's a ridiculous sprawling suburb. Denver is more geographically limited by many mountain ranges, and is also an older city, thus the density is ten-fold.

I hope I'm around long enough to see that happen, but I'm not as young as you think.

pbenjamin Sep 15, 2011 5:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westbev93 (Post 5410801)
Speaking of 7th Ave and McDowell, I noticed yesterday that all the trees in front of My Florist have been removed. So while one corner takes a step forward, the other takes a step back. And then we cha-cha.

I am not sure these were worth worrying about.

http://i.azcentral.com/i/sized/A/C/9...652DBB09CA.jpg

(Cori Takemoto Williams/Arizona Republic http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/...its-doors.html)

Meanwhile, in the September issue of Inside Willo, Brad Brauer reports "We're seeing new development along McDowell at 7th Avenue and McDowell with at least two new restaurants slated to go in on the Southeast corner and hopefully some new activity on the Northeast corner as that property has found the right financing to proceed."

plinko Sep 15, 2011 6:13 PM

You aren't making an apples to apples comparison here between streets. The discussion was about the 7's, which are major thoroughfares into and out of downtown. 14th Street in Denver isn't and never was anything similar. The 7's or more like Speer Blvd, Colfax, or Broadway. Last time I was in Denver, none of those streets were any less car-oriented than the 7's. The story of 14th Street would be much more applicable to say...Washington Street or even Van Buren.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TakeFive (Post 5411477)
It is a different animal, I agree.
They've worked really, really hard for over four decades. Their big break or benefit resulted from the impact of Regionalism as the metro area 'decided ' that Denver could be the heart/focus of culture and sports.

But just comparing City of Phoenix to City of Denver, Phoenix is 2 1/2 times the size by population. Comparing metro areas, this area has 70% more population.

Phoenix/downtown will have to find it's own unique way and niche, but it has awesome potential. It has acquired some good stuff and momentum over the last decade.

The big benefit that will accrue to Phoenix is the ever-increasing cost of gas.
Fortunately for you Mr. Vicelord, you should be around long enough to see it happen. :D

:cool::cool::cool:


hrivas Sep 15, 2011 7:00 PM

these trees are missing.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6158/...595c415d_b.jpg

HX_Guy Sep 15, 2011 7:05 PM

WTF...why would they do that?

TakeFive Sep 15, 2011 8:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plinko (Post 5412259)
You aren't making an apples to apples comparison here between streets. The discussion was about the 7's, which are major thoroughfares into and out of downtown. 14th Street in Denver isn't and never was anything similar. The 7's or more like Speer Blvd, Colfax, or Broadway. Last time I was in Denver, none of those streets were any less car-oriented than the 7's. The story of 14th Street would be much more applicable to say...Washington Street or even Van Buren.


Well you're right, to a point. Actually the discussion had been both about the 7's and downtown streets in general, shade, retail, being pedestrian friendly, etc. My response was to indicate,
the significant complexities, expense and time involved, so 14th Street worked fine for that purpose.

As to Colfax Avenue, they're finishing up an Environmental Impact study as they intend to run a streetcar down this street. After many years er decades of wishing and hoping to improve the street,
there are finally many signs of fresh businesses. The hookers and other forms of city gritty are getting competition for their space.


As to the 7's, South Broadway is a very good example, and I agree it is not practical to do much with such a car centric corridors. However....

While South Broadway does have more distance, maybe three times as much, before it crosses the equivalent of I-10, so that by the time it crosses I-25, a lot of the commuter traffic has fed onto other arterials....
On what would be the north side of I-10, for 7th street (where in Denver South Broadway becomes two-way traffic), they are in process of a complete rebuild, that installs a median, parallel parking, bike lane, some bulbouts,
and nice streetscape. It is a much appreciated improvement for the iconic, funky, antique, local businesses that thrive along this corridor.

I certainly do appreciate the goal of phxSUNSfan and given I-17 and the 51, as well as many good east/west streets, it would seem that 7th street could become more neighborhood friendly. :D

:cool::cool::cool:

westbev93 Sep 15, 2011 8:22 PM

hrivas-thank you for confirming that I am not insane. I was pretty sure I remembered a pretty decent canopy of trees through there. While not perfect because they were set pretty far back from the sidewalk, it certainly was better than what is there now-concrete, asphalt, and brick.

I wouldn't hold out too much hope for the NE corner turning around any time soon. There have been lots of grand plans floating around for several years. All that has resulted is tearing down everything between My Florist and 5th Ave so we could have yet another unutilized vacant lot. I have also heard that many in Willo are opposed to efforts to redevelop that corner based, in no small part, upon the fact that the owner is not a pleasant person.

pbenjamin Sep 15, 2011 11:26 PM

Sorry, guess I hadn't been past there in a while, I usually go through there north-south on 7th Ave. Looks like they grow fast, though, maybe removed in preparation for construction? You're right that there has been some conflict with the neighborhood, I have heard a bit of grousing about traffic and noise in the alley. Still, the bit I put in about the financing being in place came from the Willo association president.

nickw252 Sep 16, 2011 12:54 AM

Thanks for the pictures - My wife and I noticed all of the sudden that you could see the second floor but we didn't specifically recall the trees. On the up side - the second floor windows really look nice. Hopefully the place will be utilized soon.

dtnphx Sep 16, 2011 5:22 PM

The NE corner (including My Florist and the lot all the way to 5th) was in bankruptcy and emerged from it last month. That's why it was inactive for so long. What I've heard is that now that is out of the way, they're weighing options on moving forward. Maybe that's why they removed the trees. Maybe some tree-hating asshole tenant said I'll move in if it can be clearly seen from the street. Win some, lose some, I guess.


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