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  #2021  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2008, 2:45 AM
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Good pics Seth, thanks. Nice to see Tempe! I like that old house as well.
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  #2022  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2008, 5:49 AM
PHXguyinOKC PHXguyinOKC is offline
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wow, 5th and mill turned out really nice
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  #2023  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2008, 4:08 PM
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I love the pic looking east on 6th Street.
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  #2024  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2008, 9:44 PM
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combusean combusean is online now
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Very nice Seth! I especially like the shot down 6th St with the brownstone walkups--it looks very East Coast.

Tempe has 3 tower cranes up now, with Apache and Rural seeing a lot of construction It's unfortunate that the continuing ASU stuff will be very much turned in on itself, but i have higher hopes for the project going up on the east side of Rural.

The smaller modernist projects seem to leave a lot to be desired.
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  #2025  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2008, 4:38 PM
ciweiss ciweiss is offline
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SethAZ - great pics. Where is that Thirstydog? Behind the post office on Mill?

I am seeing more digging at the Onyx site...
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  #2026  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2008, 5:17 PM
SethAZ SethAZ is offline
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Quote:
Where is that Thirstydog? Behind the post office on Mill?
Yup, it sure is. I think it's the coolest place.

Quote:
It's unfortunate that the continuing ASU stuff will be very much turned in on itself, but i have higher hopes for the project going up on the east side of Rural.
I agree. I'm waiting until the ASU project is finished before I decide how much I dislike it. Maybe it will turn out better than we think. The project just across Rural on Apache is the Vue and from what I can tell, it seems that it is being built correctly: ground floor retail and built up to the street with a light rail stop close by. I don't even recognize parts of Apache anymore. I'll try to get some pics of that part of town this weekend.
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  #2027  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2008, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciweiss View Post
SethAZ - great pics. Where is that Thirstydog? Behind the post office on Mill?
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
Yup, it sure is. I think it's the coolest place.
Is that the same location that used to have a cigar shop? There was a cigar shop next to a bar I used to go to all the time in college because they had cheap coronas (aside from dos). This was like 2002, anyone remember the name of that bar? Is that where thirstydog is now?
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  #2028  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2008, 7:20 PM
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PhxSprawler PhxSprawler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHX31 View Post
Is that the same location that used to have a cigar shop? There was a cigar shop next to a bar I used to go to all the time in college because they had cheap coronas (aside from dos). This was like 2002, anyone remember the name of that bar? Is that where thirstydog is now?
If we are thinking of the same place, the cigar shop is on the south side 6th street just west of Mill, and the bar there used to have penny beer nights on Wednesdays with a $5 cover. I have been racking my brain trying to remember the name of that bar...

Thirsty Dog, if behind the post office, would be between 5th and 6th streets?
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  #2029  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2008, 2:21 AM
burg72 burg72 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHX31 View Post
Is that the same location that used to have a cigar shop? There was a cigar shop next to a bar I used to go to all the time in college because they had cheap coronas (aside from dos). This was like 2002, anyone remember the name of that bar? Is that where thirstydog is now?
Palapas
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  #2030  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2008, 8:07 PM
burg72 burg72 is offline
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Thirsty Dog, if behind the post office, would be between 5th and 6th streets?
They built it onto the existing stucture of the post office on the West side.
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  #2031  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2008, 8:38 PM
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Palapas

ding ding ding!

That place was small (you could play pool on their one pool table, but then later they'd move the pool table for more room) and pretty crappy, but fun.
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  #2032  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2008, 5:27 AM
SunDevil SunDevil is offline
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Heard about this on the local news today.

Mill Ave was named one of the top 10 streets in the country today, wahtever that's worth.
http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/s...6/daily36.html
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  #2033  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2008, 8:15 PM
ciweiss ciweiss is offline
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They are going to open up a Dunkin Donuts next to Starbucks on Mill. Its going in (or next to) the new bank building (NE Corner). Didn't see an ETA on it. New Dunkin and new Chipotle. Gonna need new pants...

I'm glad the steet made it on the top ten. I hope they fill the vacancies. Especially in this economy.
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  #2034  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ciweiss View Post
They are going to open up a Dunkin Donuts next to Starbucks on Mill. Its going in (or next to) the new bank building (NE Corner). Didn't see an ETA on it. New Dunkin and new Chipotle. Gonna need new pants...

I'm glad the steet made it on the top ten. I hope they fill the vacancies. Especially in this economy.
I noticed the line from Chipotle backing up to about University on Wednesday night. There must have been free burritos or something, unless people are really that desperate for a local Chipotle.

On to Starbucks.. how did they score the 420 S Mill address being on the corner of 5th and Mill? That must have been negotiated by the previous owners.
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  #2035  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2008, 4:21 AM
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It could be the old address was counted by 2s (instead of 4s) on 25' lots.
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  #2036  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 7:33 AM
Azndragon837 Azndragon837 is offline
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An article on Downtown Tempe from the Arizona Republic and its move to becoming a New Urbanist city.

Link:
Tempe's vibrant residential core may serve as new city model

Quote:
Tempe's vibrant residential core may serve as new city model

by William Hermann - Oct. 13, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

One of the biggest high-rise and condominium building booms in Valley history is transforming Tempe into a retail, residential and entertainment center some are calling a model for "the new American city."

City officials and many developers believe that Tempe will evolve over the next few years into a city with a mixed-use core where residents live, ride to work on bicycles or on public transportation, and walk to restaurants, museums, sporting events and schools.

And, experts say, as Tempe's core becomes more populated, the city will become one of the nation's best examples of "New Urbanism," a planning movement that began in the 1980s in reaction to the post-World War II phenomenon of sprawling American cities.

Sprawl pushed homes into housing developments, jobs into business parks and most shopping and entertainment into malls. Many believe that sprawl, and its connecting freeways, destroyed urban centers from Atlantic City to Los Angeles and crippled America's community life.

"After World War II, there was an abandonment of the city, but now there is a return to the norm and embrace of urbanism," said John Norquist, president of the Congress for the New Urbanism. "It's partly because of the rising price of gasoline, but many people no longer want to have to drive everywhere. People want to go to the corner on foot and get a quart of milk. They want to have social life in walking distance of where they live."

Mayor Hugh Hallman said the urban life being created in Tempe appeals to universal needs.

"We want a place to live life and have the things we enjoy close by, and that means being with other people in comfortable environments that are interesting," he said. "You walk out of where you live and pass a bakery and smell the bread, and you pass the Italian restaurant next door, pass a theater. . . . We want a city with all the things nearby that create a rich life."

During the past 30 years, attempts have been made nationwide to create, from the ground up, New Urbanist communities with housing, businesses and entertainment built alongside one another. But most city planners and architects who advocate the movement say it really is about rebuilding existing city centers, such as Tempe's Mill Avenue District, into something like they were 50 years ago.

David Feehan, director of the Washington D.C.-based International Downtown Association, said he believes New Urbanism is a good direction for cities to go.

"Is there New Urbanism in Tempe? Yes . . . at least as much as anywhere in Arizona," he said. "And as places like Tempe pursue these New Urbanist principles, they will flourish and become a more and more desirable place to live."

Feehan said Tempe's transformation puts it alongside such cities as Memphis, St. Louis and Denver, where revitalized downtowns are becoming centers of culture, commerce and desirable living.

"Tempe has done a lot of things right, and that is evidenced by the amount of development going on now," said Feehan, who has visited the city several times.

Close to home

Real-estate agent Sander Streeter, 46, works out of his new condo in the Brownstones, about three blocks west of downtown Tempe.

He and his girlfriend jump onto their bikes or his Vespa to catch a football game at Arizona State University or see a show at the new Tempe Center for the Arts. They walk to the House of Tricks or Caffe Boa to grab a meal.

"Everything is here," said Streeter, who spent part of his life in New York City. "I just won't spend hours driving to work on a freeway - won't do it. We like the feeling in downtown Tempe."

Tempe's version of New Urbanism mixes older neighborhoods surrounding ASU and Mill Avenue with several thousand new condominium units. Within an 8-square-mile area of central Tempe near Town Lake and downtown, and despite increasingly tough economic conditions, more than 35 building projects recently have been completed, are soon to be finished, are breaking ground this year or are likely to break ground by 2010. The projects total more than $4 billion in development.

"Tempe is a relatively bright spot in a down market," said Chris Salomone, the city's development director. "The financial community and the development community are treating Tempe as a different market than the general region. There are some obvious reasons: Tempe's proximity to the airport, the university, the coming of the light rail, the Town Lake, and we are right in the center of the freeway network."

In the face of current economic conditions, sales at some of the new housing developments in central Tempe have been slow.

Developer Patrick Logue, however, is taking the long view. He said that although it may take him a while to sell the luxury condos he has just completed on Farmer Avenue, two blocks west of downtown, he believes the area is ready for such projects.

"I built here for people who don't want to commute an hour and a half," he said.

Efficient transit

Tony Hartshorn and his wife, Vickie Bakker, both researchers at ASU, live near Broadway and Rural roads with their 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. They own cars, but they use their bikes and Tempe's free neighborhood-circulator Orbit buses for most of their of transportation.

"I can ride to ASU in six or seven minutes on my bike, and I have a little trailer on the back for a child," Tony said.

The New Urbanist lifestyle involves walking or riding bikes and public transit to many activities and destinations. For years, Tempe has worked to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown and a robust transit system.

The city's $143 million segment of the light-rail line opens in December. Its bus system will mesh with light rail to create what city transportation manager Carlos de Leon calls "the most accessible public-transportation system in the Valley."

A city transit tax that Tempe voters passed in 1996 generates about $35 million a year and funds three free shuttle routes that serve Mill Avenue and ASU, and 36 neighborhood-circulator Orbit buses. The number of passengers riding buses in Tempe has increased from 1.2 million in 1996 to 8.2 million in 2007.

Tempe also has about 160 miles of bike paths, more per capita than any city in the Valley. According to the last census, about 4 percent of Tempe commuters, excluding students, get to work on a bicycle. The national average is less than 1 percent.

Close to work

For Jen Lohan, 38, one of the great pleasures of her life is living near enough to work so that she almost never has to drive there. Lohan, her husband and their 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter live in west-central Tempe. It takes her about 10 minutes to ride her bike to work at the US Airways building at Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway.

"Faster than driving," she said. "I have more time with my family; I'm not sitting on some freeway. I'm saving money."

Because a New Urbanist city offers jobs near housing, Tempe officials are trying to create a city core dense with employment.

Mayor Hallman loves to tell business groups that Tempe is "the best job generator in the Valley."

"Phoenix has a net import of 100,000 jobs a day and Tempe has a net import of 60,000 jobs a day, but we are one-tenth the population of Phoenix," Hallman said. "So when we ask ourselves, 'How do you create something that will sustain this community?' the answer is that you have jobs."

Developer Ken Losch believes that people will flock to his two Centerpoint Condominiums towers, the first of which is expected to open in a few months. A major reason, he said, is that, according to his research, there are 11,000 jobs within a 1-mile radius of Mill Avenue, 20,000 jobs within 2 miles and 60,000 jobs within 3 miles.

"With gasoline up so high, where are people moving?" Losch asked. "Not out in the sticks but downtown."

In addition to jobs drawing new residents to central Tempe, he points to homes priced for most budgets. Starting prices for his condos are approximately $300,000. Other nearby condos also are affordable for middle-income folks.

"We want younger people, people buying their first home, to be part of this," Losch said. "It's important that we don't price most people out of our market."

Peter Wolff is another developer who has decided that Tempe will be a center for work and residential life. He is vice president of Scottsdale-based Wolff Co., which is developing the $2 billion mixed-use South Bank project, under construction on Tempe Town Lake.

"Tempe is particularly well-positioned to take a unique place in the Valley," he said, "especially given the pressure on gas prices and energy costs, and the move toward a more-urban living model - the end of sprawl and a flight back to the cities."


Tempe is on the right track to truly becoming a dense, urban city. Look at all of the development booming on Mill Avenue, and Apache Boulevard is becoming a transit-oriented street with the addition of new condos, shops, and ASU student housing thanks to light rail. What was once a run-down ghost of US 60 is now becoming a street that will become a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use boulevard.

-Andrew
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  #2037  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 10:45 AM
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combusean combusean is online now
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The republic has been doing a lot of fluff pieces on new urbanism and downtowns lately. They need to be taken with a grain of salt, perhaps a larger one given the implications on the overall effect of what they're blindly heralding in.

Apache was very lucky in its transformation. It ended up having the right mix of new construction with an existing stock of buildings that was assisted greatly by bringing the street in closer with light rail. Most of Apache's parking lots were converted into something contiguous and working, but I'm not impressed.

Being "new urban" depends on architecture that's really friendly to people, with entrances to buildings spaced more frequently. Essential for Arizona, the elements such as the blazing hot sun need to be considered. Everything ASU has built/is building recently ignores this. There was a chance for ASU to break the mold of traditional walled-in university campuses--it was even on their long term plans--but it didn't end up happening. The CVS and the residential complex on the south side of Apache by the IHOP don't seem much more pedestrian-friendly than their predecessors. The design of what's been built so far is anywhere and generic, with few local touches. The overall experience will be better as its reinforced with density and mass, but it's a different kind of better. Maybe it's something new with the street I'd been on hundreds of times that I can't get used to, something not jiving right about the scale, but there's an empty feeling that's left that worsens when you think what could have existed. Still, it's very much under construction still, and the Gray Development site on McClintock and the Vue (?) on Rural can set better examples.

Mill, on the other hand, doesn't look as good. The rest of it really had its zenith a while ago and I don't have high hopes for its refill because there's no good precedent for high-rise entitlements en masse actually producing anything worthwhile here. Demolition of Gentle Strength, Long Wongs, and soon a good chunk of the Centerpoint complex leaves significant holes in what Mill once had.



The article shouldn't stray from the true tenets of Tempe's success. The jobs perspective is a red-herring. 11,000 jobs in a mile's radius compares to something like 50,000+ for downtown Phoenix. Even if the 100,000 vs 60,000 jobs figure is true--I've heard Phoenix's daytime population is 2 million--importing more jobs is still pretty good considering how Phoenix sprawls. Tempe thrives because people have been going to Tempe on their own for a while. That begets an easier infill with smaller britches to fill--towers aren't expected everywhere. It has a denser, better-off residential and student ring surrounding it.

But it's absolutely not on the ranks of Denver. If you took Tempe's vitality and its core's building stock with everything in downtown Phoenix, you'd get something approaching Denver but neither are close on their own.

Tempe needs to stop BSing itself. It's pricing its most valuable commodity out (students and other younger middle class types) with higher and higher end developments. It's cemented with Losch's comment on pricing people out. Who are they kidding? Virtually every one of Tempe's new developments, including Losch's, depend on a much more luxurious market than downtown Tempe has traditionally seen. If it's not in the mid 100's, it's not gonna be affordable for any first-time buyer. The rest of its building stock faces new threats.

The article paints this too-rosy perfect vision of new urbanism; like you can just stand back, let things take care of themselves, and enjoy the benefit. Nothing can be farther from the truth. You can't expect pedestrians when the buildings ignore them. You can't have new urban stuff when everything being built points old suburban. You can't price out the people on the street or there's no point to the density with a narrower range of customers. Most importantly, while this is new urbanism, you can't expect the forces that change commercial neighborhoods to be any different. They are the same forces that created the problem that new urbanism may fix--carrying the right density of people, addressing the design towards all means of access.

Being wrong on new urbanism and any other mode of growth means tearing it down, wrecking what it's become since, and waiting decades. That's how downtown Phoenix has "grown." I don't want Tempe to go through the same curse.
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  #2038  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 4:50 PM
Urban Rising Urban Rising is offline
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Don't get to excited about Onyx. I talked to the builder and the dirt being moved is for the water main and not Onyx.

Sales are still needed until they can get the financing to build the project.

Additionally, Weststone Communities (The Developer of Onyx) currently has a mechanics lien filed against them for $102,768 on their Vantage Condominium development in Ahwatukee. This was posted in the business journal.
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  #2039  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 5:10 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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As I commented on AZ Central, the article seems naive and doesn't really mention how many projects are on hold or cancelled due to the real-estate meltdown. The article also fails to mention how the City of Tempe, in true Jekyll & Hyde fashion, has undermined its own urban core by providing incentives to Tempe Marketplace, which now appears to be draining business away from Mill.

I like Mill Avenue a great deal and hope to see it prosper, but this article went too far with one-dimensional cheerleading.
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  #2040  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 5:13 PM
Urban Rising Urban Rising is offline
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The lien on Vantage doesn't necessarily mean anything for Onyx typically funds come from different pools for each project.

I personally think you will see one of the first towers at Southbank or the 3rd tower at Hayden Ferry be the next residential tower to go up.

Last edited by Urban Rising; Oct 13, 2008 at 5:18 PM. Reason: Duplicate post - Server error
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