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  #1261  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 7:54 PM
Downtown_resident Downtown_resident is offline
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Originally Posted by tempedude View Post
Despite all the criticism and teeth gnashing about what CityScape will or won't have, CityScape is pretty well thought out and could be far worse by the example I just gave, and I think you will agree. Ultimately its just one of the key elements that will revitalize downtown Phoenix. Now, hurry up and build the dang thing already.
CityScape should be better than an indoor mall or the Arizona Center, or Phoenix is incapable of learning from its mistakes, and we just wasted $90M. But can't we set the bar a little higher?

I don't know if I share the optimism for the project...the renderings all seem pretty inward-focused and the developer is being vague about too many of the details of the streetscape. I'll reserve judgment until we see more renderings or the real thing.

http://downtownphoenix.blogspot.com
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  #1262  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 8:43 PM
soleri soleri is offline
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Originally Posted by andrewkfromaz View Post
I agree about indoor shopping malls. This weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, and then some friends wanted to drop by Water Tower Place, a fairly massive 7-story indoor mall. Despite the frigid weather outdoors, the mall lacked the vitality of the open street, "managed" only by the city and the free market.
The one cool thing about the mall, that made the whole experience worth it for me, was visiting the bathroom and finding a Dyson Airblade in place of traditional hand dryers. Awesome.
I do wonder what the difference is between indoor malls and the newer outdoor malls. There's really nothing that sets them apart, other than the "newness" factor.
The main difference is simply that: one's outside, the other inside. As obvious as that is, we can still miss its significance. There's something about being outside that's freeing. The simple act of going inside and then going outside is really fundamental to our human experience.

Those vertical malls on Michigan Avenue are dead, too. The street itself is great, but imagine how much better it would be if all those stores were on the street instead of being inside some airy box. Many downtown Chicago streets are dead because of too little retail.

CityScape could possibly fill in some of the blanks by having great exterior spaces. The retail will probably be standard-issue corporate behemoths, but if there's ample shade and water, the chemistry could well make up for that. Good design could go a long way to making CityScape more than another bland mega-project.

BTW, it's arguable that Arizona Center probably failed because the 400 E Van Buren building blocks the sun for too much of the day. Shade is great, but it becomes oppressive when there isn't enough sunlight close by. The most salient feature of the project - the gardens and waterscape - feel too dark. There are all sorts of ways to mediate the harsh sun with landscaping and shade screens. What a pity Arizona Center wasn't more sensitive to that issue.
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  #1263  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 4:09 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewkfromaz View Post
I agree about indoor shopping malls. This weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, and then some friends wanted to drop by Water Tower Place, a fairly massive 7-story indoor mall. Despite the frigid weather outdoors, the mall lacked the vitality of the open street, "managed" only by the city and the free market.
The one cool thing about the mall, that made the whole experience worth it for me, was visiting the bathroom and finding a Dyson Airblade in place of traditional hand dryers. Awesome.
I do wonder what the difference is between indoor malls and the newer outdoor malls. There's really nothing that sets them apart, other than the "newness" factor.
Different city; same observation: I was in Philadelphia for a business trip just a few days ago. Fortunately, my hotel and my meetings were all in Center City (what Philadelphians call their downtown), so I got to walk around and explore. There were two indoor malls I saw downtown -- the Gallery and the Shops at Liberty Place. Both had their uses, but neither was as interesting or as vital as the regular city streets. By and large, national chains were in the downtown indoor malls while more unique and local merchants occupied storefronts. Based on my observations in several cities, I think that indoor malls in downtowns often represent a futile attempt to out-suburb the suburbs. A city core is much better off focusing on its street life and its unique character.
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  #1264  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 12:00 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is online now
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As regards pedestrian bridges, skywalks, etc. -- These are sometimes advocated as a means of insulating people from summer heat in Phoenix. Of course, the same thing could probably be done more effectively by investing in mature shade trees along pedestrian corridors. Doing so would cost no more than building skywalks, use less energy for cooling, and keep pedestrian traffic on the street where it belongs.
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  #1265  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 6:48 PM
CANUC CANUC is offline
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IMO I don’t like it. Consider that the image is from a panoramic view however if you zoom yourself into the human scale the space seems sparse and lacking significant shade. The setbacks also seem huge again almost like the buildings are running away from the street. There was talk of continuity like that seen along 1st Avenue between Van Buren and Washington on another thread but when you look close that this development I just don’t see that same flow. There is to much hardscape and not enough shade combined with the pedestrian bridge its almost as though the developer really just wants to draw people into the development and away from the street a la AZ Center style. I had the same impression of the redone ‘public space’ that is to replace PSP. In one of the renderings showing the public space there is an ironic image of an illustrated person squinting into the sun standing on a huge expanse of side walk with not a hint of cover, hell even the picture looked hot and sweaty.
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  #1266  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2008, 2:00 AM
Phxbyrd211 Phxbyrd211 is offline
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consider an alternative

with all this talk of pedestrian bridges and sky bridges I'm reminded of what they came up with in Toronto although it may not be possible in Phoenix. There they have underground tunnels that connect buildings, transit and major attractions throughout downtown. The are various shopping arcades in the tunnels. They did this because obviously it gets cold in the winter there but also because it creates a pedestrian mass-transit option downtown which they considered important. Imagine if you could walk as the crow flies to Chase from a bar on Roosevelt Row and how much fast it would be. Just a thought but could a smaller version of this work from the middle of Cityscape to the heart of JSED? It could keep people cool in the heat of the day and unavoidably link the two projects for pedestrians and visitors.
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  #1267  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2008, 2:20 AM
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HooverDam HooverDam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phxbyrd211 View Post
with all this talk of pedestrian bridges and sky bridges I'm reminded of what they came up with in Toronto although it may not be possible in Phoenix. There they have underground tunnels that connect buildings, transit and major attractions throughout downtown. The are various shopping arcades in the tunnels. They did this because obviously it gets cold in the winter there but also because it creates a pedestrian mass-transit option downtown which they considered important. Imagine if you could walk as the crow flies to Chase from a bar on Roosevelt Row and how much fast it would be. Just a thought but could a smaller version of this work from the middle of Cityscape to the heart of JSED? It could keep people cool in the heat of the day and unavoidably link the two projects for pedestrians and visitors.
People are complaining about the bridges because it takes people off the street and kills the 'feel' of vitality. Your 'solution' has the exact same problems, and would be extremely expensive to implement.

I'll take trees and well thought out shade structures on the street, thanks.
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  #1268  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2008, 2:27 AM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is online now
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Ditto
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  #1269  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2008, 4:24 AM
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Viperlord Viperlord is online now
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Originally Posted by tempedude View Post
Overall, I am pretty pleased with how Cityscape will look. It is far better than what Columbus,Ohio attempted with their major downtown urban revival('savior') project in the early 90's.

Know what Columbus did? They planted a huge enclosed 3 level suburban style mall smack in the heart of downtown. Yep, with JcPenny, Macys, Sears etc., just like you would find here, something like Arrowhead Mall. Whats worse is they built two 6 level parking garages with zero wrap around street level retail; and those garages were built on both sides of the mall, completely isolating it from the street. Yep the mall is surrounded by the garages on two sides. I could go on and on about the poor design and concept of putting this type of mall in the heart of any city, but I think you get my drift. I should add, the Columbus plan included zero new office space or condos with CityCenter.

Guess what...ding ding....the mall didn't revitalize downtown Columbus. The people that came to visit the mall drove downtown, parked their cars inside the parking structures, and went into the mall never to be seen or heard from again. End of story. My point here is that Columbus CityCenter (thats the name of the mall) never created pedestrian traffic in other areas of downtown as the city fathers were hoping. The explanation is pretty obvious.

Anyway, back to my main point. Despite all the criticism and teeth gnashing about what CityScape will or won't have, CityScape is pretty well thought out and could be far worse by the example I just gave, and I think you will agree. Ultimately its just one of the key elements that will revitalize downtown Phoenix. Now, hurry up and build the dang thing already.

It is funny that you mention malls in the middle of downtown areas. They age rather quickly. Downtown Salt Lake had two large malls right across the street from eachother with parking garages and all on two large (10 acre blocks)

This is what Salt Lake is doing to them now...


crossroads block.


zcmi block


City Creek Center,the new development that it taking place will have open air malls with a retractable glass roof, made by the same people who do the big stadium roofs. One of the options that they are looking at is going with a skybridge on the second floor to connect the two blocks. There has been major fights and arguments from people about the bridge. So, if Phoenix decides to ever add a bridge downtown it could turn into a long drawn out procedure.
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  #1270  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2008, 8:50 PM
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combusean combusean is online now
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^ Nah, not really. I don't even think getting a revocable lease from Streets warrants a hearing, tho I'm sure those issues are covered in site plan review which is open to the public. I don't think I've seen the issue come up really.
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  #1271  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2008, 11:39 PM
soleri soleri is offline
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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
It is funny that you mention malls in the middle of downtown areas. They age rather quickly. Downtown Salt Lake had two large malls right across the street from eachother with parking garages and all on two large (10 acre blocks)

City Creek Center,the new development that it taking place will have open air malls with a retractable glass roof, made by the same people who do the big stadium roofs. One of the options that they are looking at is going with a skybridge on the second floor to connect the two blocks. There has been major fights and arguments from people about the bridge. So, if Phoenix decides to ever add a bridge downtown it could turn into a long drawn out procedure.
Exactly what are the issues with the "skybridge"? Downtown SLC is very interesting because it's really the business center of Utah, along with being its cultural and religious hub. That said, the downtown blocks are too long and the streets are too wide. It's a challenge to create a pedestrian ambiance for that reason. It may well be that the new downtown mall is really the best solution for those reasons. Still, SLC will pay a price in having less-than-exciting streetscapes.
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  #1272  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 1:04 AM
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The skybridge will be built across main street. Trax (lightrail) will run below it. The developer is saying that it is needed because the development is two floors. And it will help the second floor shops to be more profitable.

This new development isnt really a mall so to say...its a mixed use development. It will take the large Salt Lake Blocks and divide them down into smaller blocks with pedestrian access through the center, and stores and restaurants. along the walkways.

Downtown Salt Lake's blocks are 660' x 660' and the streets are over 100' wide. The wide streets make it easy to run lightrail down. And the long blocks make it so that the trax stations can accomodate longer trains during peak hours. SLC is now going through and encouraging midblock accessways for pedestrians in most development. plus the wide streets provide a lot of on street parking, which helps adjacent businesses. So, there are some ups and downs to the large blocks.








anyways.........

back to city scape discussion...
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  #1273  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 1:30 AM
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Seriously, when are the going to tear down PSP!
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  #1274  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 2:05 AM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is online now
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Did Cityscape move to SLC??????
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  #1275  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 2:10 AM
Phxbyrd211 Phxbyrd211 is offline
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not so simple

Quote:
People are complaining about the bridges because it takes people off the street and kills the 'feel' of vitality. Your 'solution' has the exact same problems, and would be extremely expensive to implement.
I disagree somewhat. I admitted that the idea was unlikely because of the cost but the point was for Phoenix to think of some alternative solutions to the problems of access and movement of pedestrians. Yes, technically a tunnel would take people off the street but I don't believe that it would kill the feel of vitality and in fact it might increase that feeling downtown. Cities that have either subways or significant amount of underground establishments feel very alive and exciting. The sight of people going into and coming out of the ground is very alluring to a tourist or suburban resident. Also the main time of year for this to be used would be the summer when you really don't expect many people to be on the street in the first place. your main objective is to get people outside to do anything away from their home or work. The shade and potential air conditioning of an underground tunnel and shopping/dinning arcade would be attractive on a hot day or cold winter night. This is a place, unlike CS where small independent local shops could open with lower rents and cool hip wine bars and jazz clubs could flourish. Imagine climbing out of the tunnel to a misted view of JSED at 1st ave. and Jackson? Probably not going to happen but a unique solution none the less.
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  #1276  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 4:27 AM
PHXguyinOKC PHXguyinOKC is offline
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so, is there any work being done at the CS site?? I drove by there 2 Jan when i was in town and there was some heavy equipment there.
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  #1277  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 4:30 AM
Tfom Tfom is offline
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Seriously, when are the going to tear down PSP!
I was trying to get together a crew (or posse if you will) over a month ago, any takers yet?
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  #1278  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 4:40 AM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is online now
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Count me in....I'll get my pitchfork and a torch!
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  #1279  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 5:03 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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A new renderings from CBRE's website showing the office tower with the condo tower behind. It's similar to the one we previously saw, except for some subtle changes to the design and of course, the condo tower now appearing.
The condo/hotel tower seems to be around 38 +/- floors.

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  #1280  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2008, 5:14 AM
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loftlovr loftlovr is offline
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Westward Ho antannae is missing? Or is that different building?

Salt Lake sure has an impressive backdrop of snowy Mountains!
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