Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan
I am probably the only one who likes the Hanover project. I think the brick adds some understated quality with simple lines juxtaposed to the ultra modern glass and steel of the W6. It isn't too busy which often makes a new structure unappealing. Although the W6 towers offer a great "peak" to the Tempe skyline, I don't think this small city needs many more high-rises of that size. 30+ floors is overkill for the small area; especially one that lacks the land to build a skyline like downtown or midtown Phoenix.
More 10-15 floor mid-rises would work perfectly in a dense setting like Tempe. Building many shorter (4-10 floor) apartment buildings like Hanover works extremely well in walkable residential areas. It works for European cities and for areas of Seattle and even New York; especially residential neighborhoods and near universities like NYU, Columbia, and UW (Washington). This is the area round Columiba University in NYC:
Furthermore, since vacancies exist on Mill and more retail can be built on that street, I do not believe that every new residential structure needs ground level retail. It would be nice to incorporate residential only buildings into this area of Tempe. Think of some of the entrances and elevations of Roosevelt Square on Portland nearer 3rd Ave in Phoenix.
Don't get me wrong, I am not asking for another 30 story glass tower in that lot. But as you mendioned, something around 10 to 15 stories would be ideal. The W6 should remain our talest building, but right now it looks extremly out of place, having other tall buildings around it would really help aliviate that issue.
I also like the idea of a brick building, since it would connect to the brick theme in Mill Ave. The problem is that this won't be a beutiful brick building like the one in your picture. The difference is that the photo shows real brick buildings. The brick we see here is just a veneer, covering up cheap stud frame construction. It never looks as nice. If you don't believe me go to the Regatta point appartments on 1st street, and see their veneers. Also, from the renderings, there is just as much stucco finnishes as brick. But that isn't the reason I dislike this project. I do believe that Tempe should be diverse, not only in the people and type of jobs that it has, but also in its architecture. Not everything should be one material or look a certain way.
The true reason why I dislike this project is that it doesn't take anything about its site into account. It is extremely lazy design. It is just a box, where almost every side looks the same. They found a module and repeated it, just changing the material when the facade is pushed in or out. How is the side facing 5th different from the side facing the hotel, it isn't. The only side that is not a copy and paste of the other is the side facing W6, where the have an exposed parking garage. The box itself just goes up to its property limits, as if it was taking up an entire block in the middle of anywhere. This could be in Peoria, or Oklahoma City, or Mesa; there is nothing about this building that tells me that it was designed for this place. If it going to be purely residential, something better could have been done on the side facing 5th street. It is going to be extremly noisy on the weekends when the drunks are walking back from Mill, the people on the first floor would probably have liked a little bit more of a buffer. That is why retail makes a lot of sense. Or at least like the apartments next to Architekton, a live/work space which separates them from the noise.
It is just a cheap and quick design. I'd be extremly happy if this was going up by McClintock, or on Broadway. But this is the heart our downtown. On a site that has a lot more to offer. And it is just an ugly wasted opportunity.