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  #5181  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2013, 11:40 PM
rocksteady rocksteady is offline
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I just took a couple of east valley folks on a tour of downtown to scout out places for holiday work parties, and they were really impressed with all of the activity and changes taking place downtown since they were last down here at least 5 years ago. They said it actually felt "alive". Living down here myself I obviously have mixed feelings. Yes, there are a ton of great new things popping up, but I'm not seeing any cohesion and planning that ties everything together. Everything is a bit random, but I'm sure in time as things fill in that randomness will make for a great downtown.

The green planter boxes are interesting in that they add some color, but I hate how awkwardly they are placed. Almost as if they were unloaded straight from the truck and not put in ideal positions. I do like the added greenery, hopefully these plants can grow in to something more than what they currently look like.

Also loving all the repainted street signs at the intersections and the various colors painted in the dead zones. I hope they maintain these and not let them fade, chip, or get too dirty.

Driving down by ASU and Roosevelt as First Friday preparations were underway felt really great! I really hope this area continues to fill in. The open lot dirt murals look pretty cool at eye level as you can't tell what they are, but instantly notice all of the added color.
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  #5182  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2013, 5:42 AM
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Spitfiredude Spitfiredude is offline
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I've got to weigh in on The Pin development....IMO the thing is dead UGLY. It will make downtown look awful and everyone would hate the image of it in a few decades. Honestly, I feel if high rise development was spurring in downtown Phoenix right now, everyone would be against this observation tower (including the city council). Phoenix needs quality, not quantity. Last thing they need is a joke of development just to spur some sort of surge. I do not think it will be built - ever. Lacks solid funding sources.
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  #5183  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2013, 3:16 PM
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HooverDam HooverDam is offline
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Few small things:

I noticed this AM all the Palo Verdes on Washington, on the north side of the road (in front of the Renaissance towers) were cut down. At first I worried they were just removing trees w/ no plans for replacements. One of the workers assured me that they'd be planting some kind of oaks though- so that'll (eventually) be a shade improvement.

Though I wish the Palo's didn't have to be cut down and could've been moved to a park or empty lot. Ah well.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Mother Bunch Brewery will be opening probably Q1 2014 on 7th St, where the Cross Fit currently is. "Fresh Wata" event rentals had their grand opening last week and Mother Bunch was there giving out samples.

Even though I'm a teetotaler, I'm excited to see a brewery coming downtown. I wish 4 Peaks would open a location in Downtown PHX.
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  #5184  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2013, 7:07 PM
ASUSunDevil ASUSunDevil is offline
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Originally Posted by HooverDam View Post
I wish 4 Peaks would open a location in Downtown PHX.
Been saying this for years. 4 Peaks or even SanTan Brewery would keep A LOT of business people Downtown after dark, the younger crowd would obviously flock there as well. The more breweries Downtown, the better!
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  #5185  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 12:46 AM
Freeway Freeway is offline
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Originally Posted by dtnphx View Post
I hope this is just being moved to another day, but as I was looking through a Central Village Planning Committee meeting for 12/9, I saw that one this item was lined out:

5. Presentation and discussion regarding the Phoenix Tower proposed for the
Heritage and Science Park. Jay Thorne & Kerry O’Reilly, Novawest


Hope the deal is not dead...
Any update on this? Looking over the results of the village planning meeting, it doesn't look like this was even discussed.
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  #5186  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 1:33 AM
nickw252 nickw252 is offline
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Mayor Stanton was interviewed by The Atlantic Cities about what people tend to get wrong about Phoenix. It's a short interview but nice to see that misperceptions about Phoenix are being addressed.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/pol...our-city/7816/
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  #5187  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 1:49 AM
nickw252 nickw252 is offline
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Hance Park Upgrades Presented to Phoenix Council

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Margaret T. Hance Park, which covers 32 acres atop the tunnel where Interstate 10 crosses under Third Avenue through Third Street, would get an amphitheater, more shade, additional parking and other upgrades under a draft design presented recently to the City Council.

“The hope is that the park’s revisioning and redesign over the next several years will serve as a catalyst for the resurgence and development of downtown Phoenix,” said David Urbinato, a spokesman for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Among its existing offerings, Hance Park is home to a dog park, picnic area, playground and sand volleyball court as well as the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix and the Irish Cultural Center.

Design plans for the update, presented to the council in mid-November, also include water features, a splash pad, exercise track and establishments offering food and coffee.
http://azbex.com/hance-park-upgrades...oenix-council/

BTW - the new dog park is really nice and has been packed every time I've gone.
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  #5188  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 1:52 PM
R.C113 R.C113 is offline
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Random and off topic.. I know I know..

But I wonder what downtown would look like "IF" it ever had a mixed-residential building, say, 30 or so stories, on the corner of 2nd Ave & Adams St.. that looked similar to Roosevelt Point & the new Palomar mixed, with a green, black, and gray facade to "Green up" the downtown area, off street level of course.. and get rid of 'one' too many of the many parking lots in DT. Also a new city tall commercial mix use building right across from the Chase Tower on-top of whatever building is currently using the SW corner of 1st & Monroe, that used black glass and topped of with an angle (diamond shaped) adorned with a crown that lit up at night.. It would certainly add a little density and identity to the skyline...

Ah the powers of imagination.

But I'm sure any Phoenician has fantasized about what he/she could do with the growth and image of DT Phoenix.. Being Americas MAIN desert urban sprawl 'n all we should be proud to give it identity and growth. NOT A Google looking pin drop.

Something Like this..

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  #5189  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 5:19 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Originally Posted by R.C113 View Post
Random and off topic.. I know I know..



Considering that 6 (including the crane) of those buildings have been built during the worst recession in 80 years..... I think we are doing pretty good!
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  #5190  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 7:08 PM
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combusean combusean is offline
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The six buildings that were built were all approved and funded during the boom economy, perhaps with the exception of the new courts tower that was funded with money saved by the county over the preceding several years. We heard nothing during the recession for new projects and even with the economy picking up nobody is so much as even proposing a new downtown tower, let alone announcing a funding agreement, rezoning, etc.
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  #5191  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2013, 11:48 PM
Leo the Dog Leo the Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUSunDevil View Post
Been saying this for years. 4 Peaks or even SanTan Brewery would keep A LOT of business people Downtown after dark, the younger crowd would obviously flock there as well. The more breweries Downtown, the better!
I'd go. I used to go to 4pks every Friday afternoon.
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  #5192  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2013, 3:24 AM
nickw252 nickw252 is offline
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Alliance residential developing central phoenix apartment community

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Phoenix - Alliance Residential Co. in Phoenix (Bruce Ward, Bob Hutt, Jay Hiemenz, partners) has formed a joint venture with AEW Capital Management L.P. in Boston, Mass. to develop a 192-unit apartment project in uptown Phoenix. The 4+ acre site is located at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Osborn Road. The property, which is close to a light rail station, is owned by a company formed by AEW Capital Management. The venture filed for zoning approval to develop a four-story residential building and a three-story parking structure. ORB Architecture in Phoenix is designing the multi-family complex, which is being called Broadstone Central. Upon approval from Phoenix, construction could start second quarter 2014, with opening to follow mid-2015. Alliance Residential Builders to serve as contractor. Development cost (land and buildings) estimated to be roughly $30 million to $40 million. Construction financing now being arranged. Studio, one- and two-bedroom units to range from about 630 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft. No word on projected rental rates. Prior to starting construction on the apartments, the venture will have to replace a parking garage that serves an adjacent 20-story office tower. In May 2012, BREW reported a AEW Capital Management venture paying $6.4 million ($22.11 per foot) to buy the 289,413-square-foot office building, which is located at 3550 N. Central Avenue. That purchase included a four-story attached annex and a parking structure. The 9.69-acre office project is bounded on the east by Central Avenue, on the west by Second Avenue, on the north by Whitton Avenue (Columbus) and on the south by Osborn Road. The acquisition included the office buildings, parking structure and a ground lease on a portion of the parcel. The 99-year ground lease, for a small parcel owned by the Doyle family, started in 1963 and expires in 2062. The office building, called the 3550 Tower, was built in 1959 and was renovated in 1986 and 1999. The existing two-story parking garage, which has 225 spaces, is located along Second Avenue on the south part of the property. That structure will be razed and a new, three-level parking garage with 474 spaces will be developed on the north portion of the project. That facility will serve the office users and the popular Alexis Grill, which is located on the ground floor of the 3550 Tower. The residential tenants will use subterranean parking with elevator access to the units. BREW has reported Alliance Residential and various partners buying, developing and selling numerous multi-family projects in the Phoenix area. The company is looking for more apartment investment and development opportunities in the Valley. Get more from Swiergol at (602) 778-2800. Talk to Eric Samek of AEW Capital Management at (213) 312-2631.
http://www.brewaz.com/content/index_...r%2013,%202013

This isn't new news but it's nice to see that things are moving along. More residential along the central corridor will be great.
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  #5193  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2013, 4:46 AM
R.C113 R.C113 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
Considering that 6 (including the crane) of those buildings have been built during the worst recession in 80 years..... I think we are doing pretty good!
Must agree! Just wish Phoenix had more density and urbanity planned into it, instead of thinking haphazardly and placing structures seemingly out the blue. I guess it makes sense that Phoenix is living up to it's name and potential slowly but surely. We will get there
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  #5194  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2013, 10:06 PM
soleri soleri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.C113 View Post
Must agree! Just wish Phoenix had more density and urbanity planned into it, instead of thinking haphazardly and placing structures seemingly out the blue. I guess it makes sense that Phoenix is living up to it's name and potential slowly but surely. We will get there
To look at almost any picture of Phoenix prior to 1950 is to realize what a wonderful small city it was. It had everything - density, good transit, handsome buildings, and - most importantly - a seamlessly integrated fabric of retail and residential near the core. In other words, all the stuff that planners love in the abstract but cannot force into actuality. That's the clue: you can't plan it any more than you can plan to be soulful on a blind date.

The high rises, the sports venues, the obligatory Rouse Company project, the Mercado, Heritage Square, the Convention Center, the Pin proposal, etc., all belong to the silver bullet school of urban design. That is, dazzle the rubes with something impressive and you'll revive the core. But it didn't work in Phoenix because it couldn't replace what people are really hungry for, which is the complexity of human social life in a fine-grained setting. There's nothing really urban about throngs of people marching a few blocks through a small downtown to a Suns' game. But we somehow got the notion that the "synergy" would manifest independent of the necessary ecology. Build it and they will come! 30 years into this expensive experiment, we're still hoping against all evidence that this strategy will work. Well, good luck with that. We created a fine-looking corpse downtown but it's not likely to get up and dance anytime soon.
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  #5195  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2013, 10:11 PM
nickw252 nickw252 is offline
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Grand Avenue between 15th Ave and 7th Ave was narrowed to 3 lanes with a bike lane and street parking on each side. It looks really nice, hopefully a streetscape can develop in all of the nice old buildings on Lower Grand.





I have no idea what's going on at the Arizona Center. The entire west side of the building is covered in tarps and scaffolding. Probably just painting but we can always hope that they decide to create some kind of a street presence.



Looked like contractors were putting finishing touches on the Native Connections building this afternoon (Sunday).


Last edited by nickw252; Dec 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM.
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  #5196  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2013, 4:38 PM
ASUSunDevil ASUSunDevil is offline
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Phoenix's Roosevelt Row to get better lighting, walkways

By Stacia Affelt
azcentral.com
Mon Dec 16, 2013

Phoenix will add more than 30 street lights along the Roosevelt Row arts district next year, a move business owners and community leaders say they have requested for years.

The restaurants, boutiques and art galleries from Central Avenue to Fourth Street will benefit from increased pedestrian safety and customer traffic, community leaders said.

The city estimates it will install seven new roadway lights and 28 new pedestrian lights beginning in April.

The city’s Street Transportation Department began planning the Roosevelt Row Pedestrian Project about eight years ago with the help of community members and business owners.

But the city could not devote the $750,000 needed to fund the project, which also includes street improvements, until now.

“This corridor has had a lot of activity over the years,” principal planner Mark Melnychenko said. “We know it needs to be upgraded, too, for our lighting standards.”

‘Funding is scarce’

Installing lighting on a single street in downtown Phoenix costs thousands of dollars and must meet city standards and use LED bulbs, according to the transportation department.

Phoenix maintains about 90,000 street lights, according to civil engineer Briiana Velez.

Velez said the city has an annual budget of about $2 million for maintenance costs and about $8.5 million for energy costs.

Melnychenko said the department has to be frugal and make decisions the community doesn’t always support, including postponing some projects.

That’s one reason there haven’t been improvements to Roosevelt Row, a district known for its cultural events and proximity to historical neighborhoods, Melnychenko said.

“Funding is very scarce right now,” Melnychenko said. “That’s why a lot of these improvements in the streets take so long.”

Generally, the city has developers decide if street lighting is needed and the developors pay for the lighting when they develop vacant lots, department spokesman Matthew Heil said.

But lighting standards were different when the Roosevelt Row area began its revitalization over a decade ago. The city might not have required as many lights or any lights at all, Velez said.

“So, if they were developed a long time ago, they obviously don’t meet our current standards,” Velez said.

One big difference for downtown now: The city requires the installation of pedestrian lighting, which illuminates the entire sidewalk, while street lighting covers the road.

Beyond downtown, the city generally doesn’t require pedestrian lighting because residents prefer darkness around their homes while they sleep, Velez said.

In the past year, Velez said the city required a move to LED lights. Heil said LED lights are about $300 more per light compared with standard lights, but the city saves more on energy in the long run.

Business owners want lights

Greg Esser, vice president of Roosevelt Row Community Development Corp. board, said it is important pedestrians feel safewalking in the Roosevelt Row district.

The corporation board is made up of activists, business owners and entrepreneurs.

In a recent community planning meeting, Esser said a survey conducted over the past year indicated that better lighting, sidewalks and right-of-way improvements were the main concerns.

“Our mission is to foster a dense, diverse, walkable and sustainable community,” Esser said. “Every pedestrian enhancement or every lighting and safety improvement that we can make helps lead towards realizing our mission.”

Joshua Hahn, co-owner of GROWop Handmade and Found clothing store, on Sixth Street, said the street lighting would make the street more welcoming and inviting for people to shop.

Hahn said the lack of lighting has kept people from walking toward his street or even noticing the building.

“That’s why we’ve gone ahead and hung our own lighting, just to brighten up our corner,” Hahn said. “It would be nice to have the whole street lit up the same way.”

He said he would consider keeping his store open later once there is more pedestrian traffic. Now, shoppers head back to the suburbs once the sun goes down, Hahn said.

Erin Carroll, owner of Songbird Coffee and Tea House, on Roosevelt Street, said her major concern with the current lighting is for employees who walk to their cars or homes after the business closes at 10 p.m.

She said taking out the trash is also troubling because the alleyway is so dark.

Songbird has a bus stop in front of the building, which Carroll said would bring more customers in if not for poor lighting and seating.

“It’s not a friendly place,” Carroll said.

Roosevelt pedestrian project

The city project will include improvements to sidewalks, parking and landscaping, according to the transportation department.

The city plans to narrow the road to create wider sidewalks and make room for pedestrian amenities, such as shade trees, benches and bike racks.

“We’ve been working very diligently in working with the community and getting their input on these improvements,” Melnychenko said.

Melnychenko said department employees went out to observe the area.

People have strong opinions about whether the city should have more lighting or less lighting. They also have opinions about the different kinds of lighting the city should install, Heil said.

“Downtown lighting is a sensitive subject,” Heil said. “We’re often trying to balance community opinion.”

Esser said Roosevelt Row is working with the city to ensure the improvements allow for more “district identity.” Right now, he said the community lacks cohesion because there are different lights on either side of each street.
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  #5197  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2013, 11:25 PM
dtnphx dtnphx is offline
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I just hope they don't over-stylize the lighting and streetscape by creating an environment we've all seen before that sanitizes the area with faux-urbanity. Nothing like an old planning dude who puts his baby-boomer (I'm one, btw) tastes and overlays it over an organic area like Roosevelt Row.
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  #5198  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2013, 7:22 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Ugh, can't believe this streetscspe disaster is finally upon us. They've destroyed streets like 1st, why not move onto the final thread of a community main street?

20' sidewalks causing empty and uninviting stretches of concrete, trees planted 5' in preventing shade to bicyclists, or trees not planted at all given the horrible overhead utility lines, and last, but not least- the removal off all on street parking.

Nothing about the plan will create an identity or truly improve the real problems of this street. Intersections will includes pavers and the 3rd St triangle will be landscaped....other than that, what a waste.
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  #5199  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2013, 7:04 PM
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Classical in Phoenix Classical in Phoenix is offline
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While I agree 20' sidewalks might be excessive, I work at Central and Osborn and try to walk as much as possible, the very narrow sidewalks in this part of town make passing people difficult at times.
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  #5200  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2013, 11:01 PM
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HooverDam HooverDam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
Ugh, can't believe this streetscspe disaster is finally upon us. They've destroyed streets like 1st, why not move onto the final thread of a community main street?

20' sidewalks causing empty and uninviting stretches of concrete, trees planted 5' in preventing shade to bicyclists, or trees not planted at all given the horrible overhead utility lines, and last, but not least- the removal off all on street parking.

Nothing about the plan will create an identity or truly improve the real problems of this street. Intersections will includes pavers and the 3rd St triangle will be landscaped....other than that, what a waste.
We tried to stop it, but were shouted down by local business owners. They didn't want on street parking, they wanted "a pedestrian friendly area."

The fact that the City lets non experts decide this sort of thing is a major issue. Both the City Streets Dept (mostly traffic engineers) and the community (owners of shops and restaurants) have no clue or training on how to design a good urban street. When those are the 2 main bodies in a room discussing this thing, its no wonder we get garbage project after garbage project.
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