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  #61  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2007, 3:06 AM
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Triple Post

Last edited by PhxSprawler; Jul 17, 2007 at 3:20 AM.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2007, 3:15 AM
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Triple Post - Crap!
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  #63  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2007, 3:19 AM
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Work about to start on Downtown Ocotillo project
Luci Scott
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 13, 2007 07:02 AM

Workers will break ground next week on the upscale 29-acre Downtown Ocotillo project south of Queen Creek between Price and Dobson roads.

"We're gearing up," said Spike Lawrence of the Tempe-based developer, Lawrence & Geyser.

Fencing has gone up around the site and a construction trailer has been moved into place. Heavy equipment is expected to arrive next week.

"It'll be nice to see earth movers get the weeds out of there and start moving dirt," Lawrence said.

His 29-acre project is one of two developments planned for the 103-acre site that wraps around a series of lakes and is one of the last prime pieces of real estate in Ocotillo.

When finished the area will include a 175-room Aloft hotel, a Starwood brand, and one of Arizona's first locations for a food store built by the British chain Tesco. There will be luxury condos with underground parking, Class A office space, sit-down restaurants and retail shops with Santa Barbara-style architecture.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2007, 3:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxSprawler View Post
Workers will break ground next week on the upscale 29-acre Downtown Ocotillo project south of Queen Creek between Price and Dobson roads.
That's really misleading. It should say "south of Queen Creek Road. I was trying to figure out how in the world something between Price and Dobson was south of Queen Creek.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2007, 5:35 PM
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More tidbits on the Fiesta Towers project:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl....html#comments

Condos project dumps Fiesta Towers name for Aqua Terra
Gary Nelson
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 18, 2007 09:03 AM

Even as Mesa ramps up efforts to revive the Fiesta Mall area, a key project there has abandoned the "Fiesta" brand.

The Fiesta Lofts condominiums, which in a more robust real estate market were to have been a high-rise project called Fiesta Towers, are now being called Aqua Terra.

The complex still will have more than 400 luxury condos, and it still will offer more than 45,000 square feet of retail space.

But it won't carry the Fiesta name, despite Mesa's efforts to set the area apart as a distinct place to live and work.

City Manager Chris Brady, while acknowledging companies may name their projects as they wish, said Mesa thinks the Fiesta moniker can pay off.

"We certainly think there's some great value to that Fiesta name," Brady said. "It's been many years since it's been there. We're going to do everything we can to build on that concept."

As for Aqua Terra, Brady said, "At the end of the day for us what will be successful is that they have significant occupancy and that that whole area is vibrant. . . . If they can be successful with that name, we'll be happy."

Tom Roszak, the Chicago-area architect who is developing Aqua Terra southeast of the Bank of America tower, could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Mesa is pressing ahead with a $250,000 marketing and branding program for the district, the next step of which takes place Tuesday.

The city and PMC Consulting will host what they're calling a community design workshop at the Dobson branch library. It will provide an update on recent developments in the area and allow people to weigh in on how it might eventually look.

City Council members and the consulting firm have agreed that businesses won't be forced to comply with whatever design standards emerge from the process.

Shelly Allen, the city's interim economic development director, said several more community workshops will follow.

The district, which runs from Dobson to Extension roads and the U.S.60 to Southern Avenue, has been an economic mixed bag of late. Its most famous negative prototype is the failed Fiesta Village strip mall at the northwestern corner of Alma School Road and Southern Avenue whose last tenant, K-Momo clothing, has now left the building.

On the bright side are projects such as Aqua Terra, a Children's Tower at Banner Desert Medical Center, planned renovations at Fiesta Mall, expansion of Mesa Community College and a $6 million overhaul of the Hilton hotel
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  #66  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 6:45 AM
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DT Chandler is getting a brewery!

SanTan Brewing Company - I read that the owner used to be a brewer at 4Peaks. The website isn't fully functional yet (none of the links work), but it does offer a glimpse of the building's exterior. Projected opening date: Some sources say July, another said "Fall."

http://www.santanbrewing.com/

It appears the door is being left wide open for me to open a brewery in DT Phoenix. Give me a few years to a) figure out how to actually make beer b) accumulate capital, and c) wait out the development of the Jackson Street Entertainment District.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 2:24 PM
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^ Yes, he was a brewer at 4 Peaks. He's a friend of a friend. It won't open in July (that may have been his original plan) but it is coming. I will see if I can find out a little more if I talk to my buddy tonight. It should be a pretty good brewery. The guy who's opening it definitely knows what he's doing... at least as far as beer goes.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2007, 2:12 PM
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^^ I talked to my friend last night. He said his friend (the owner of San Tan Brewery) was having some problems with the contractors he hired for the place. They told him it would be 4-6 weeks (this is from last weekend when my friend last spoke with him), so, based on his experience with them so far, he figures it will be 8-12 weeks before the contractors are done. He wants to open by September 21 so the "Summer 07" opening would technically still be correct, but he's not sure if he'll make it by then. So "Fall" is probably about right.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 1:28 AM
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Thanks for the update! I'm looking forward to its opening. I read that they are going to have an outdoor patio and the beer lineup will include a West Coast IPA. Phoenix needs more beer diversity and Santan Brewing will help offset the fairly recent losses of local brewers such as Rio Salado (Tempe) and The Cowboy (Scottsdale).
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  #70  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 5:17 PM
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Chandler is getting more class A office space to compete with surrounding areas. This should help the area speed up its light rail bid. Unfortunately, the city allowed a Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Supercenter between this development and downtown Chandler. It could have been planned to be a regional destination.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...oject0803.html

Big project get planning OK at Santan, Arizona Ave.
Luci Scott
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 3, 2007 09:31 AM

The Chandler Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a proposal for a 45-acre mixed-use project on the northwestern corner of Arizona Avenue and the Santan Freeway, the southern gateway to downtown.

The project, called AZ202, would include two Class A office buildings, one four stories high and the other six floors. Plans also call for 12 pads for restaurants, banks or other retail uses.

It's an important location.





"We think it's going to set the standard for a mixed-use project at this key freeway interchange that leads to downtown Chandler," said Mike Withey, an attorney whose firm represents the developer, Chicago-based Meridian West.

"The city challenged the developer to come up with a true mixed-use project including employment uses rather than a traditional shopping center. We certainly think we've delivered that."

The office buildings will total 361,414 square feet, and the retail and restaurant space will cover 82,758 square feet.

Two other large buildings may go on the site as well, including one as high as eight stories and possibly a hotel. The developer will need to go back through the site-plan approval process with the city on those.

"I don't know what's going on those other two sites," Withey said. "It could be additional office or hotel uses."

The current plan is scheduled to go before the City Council on Aug. 23.

The site of the project would cover the entire area between Pecos Road and the Santan Freeway.

"The area goes all the way to the apartments; there's not leftover vacant space," city planner Bill Dermody said.

"We're very excited about the concept of a mixed-use development here," he added. "It had previously been suggested for a retail power center, and we're very happy to see it come forward as more of an office-oriented development."

Construction is expected to start early next year.

The architect is Butler Design Group, and a contractor has yet to be chosen.

"The architecture is gorgeous," Withey said. "They've done a magnificent job."
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  #71  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 12:09 AM
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Downtown Chandler

Since I was in Chandler today, I stopped by the downtown area to check in on the SanTan Brewery's construction progress. Based on what I saw, ForAteOh's estimate for a fall opening seems about right. Enjoy.

The SanTan Brewery


My thoughts exactly....


The back door was open so I walked in




Where I'm guessing the patio area might be



Other pics from historic Downtown Chandler




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  #72  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroney View Post
Since I was in Chandler today, I stopped by the downtown area to check in on the SanTan Brewery's construction progress. Based on what I saw, ForAteOh's estimate for a fall opening seems about right. Enjoy.
Thanks for the pics! The area looks much better in pictures than in person. (For now anyway)
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  #73  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 6:29 PM
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Nice pictures... I'm a native of Phoenix, but i've never been to, nor seen, downtown Chandler.
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  #74  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 10:06 PM
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Great pictures, You got any of downtown Gilbert (My future Home)
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  #75  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2007, 3:08 PM
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This article was the page one headline in the East Valley Tribune on Saturday.

Mesa trying to redefine Main St. image
Lindsay Butler, Tribune, Saturday, August 25

Can Mesa's West Main Street, long known for shabby buildings and crime, be transformed into turf for the hip and urbane? Residents and city planners throwing their support behind a new development plan for the struggling area believe it's possible. Especially with commuter rail lines coming to link Mesa's downtown with hot spots across the Valley. But it's a long road to success, and requires the support of top decision-makers and residents who are resistant to change. And it's going to take a mix of private investment and public money to make it happen, both of which are in short supply in Mesa.

"As light rail inches into our borders, the question is, 'How do we want to define ourselves?" said Gabe Saia, managing member of Integrated Real Estate Services and a member of the advisory committee for the plan.

THE PLAN

The plan for West Main Street, from the Mesa-Tempe border to Country Club Drive, has been in the works for more than a year.

"The high point is having a vision for our community," said Carmen Guerrero, of Mesa Comite de Familias en Accion and a member of the planning committee. "It's about coming together as neighbors from different walks of life, property owners, residents, coming together to develop a vision."

It touches the industrial area along Broadway Road and the mature neighborhoods between Main and University, but is fueled primarily by the impending arrival of the light rail tracks, currently planned to go as far east as Sycamore Street. The segment of light rail is expected to be finished by December 2008.

An extension being considered could stretch light rail farther east to Mesa Drive, but the city has not figured out a way to pay for the project, which is estimated to cost $30 million. Broadway Road is expected to remain an industrial area, and homes and free-standing retail would be discouraged, according to the plan. Instead, more employment hubs and business parks would likely move in.

The neighborhood areas between University Drive and Main Street would be preserved, with sensitivity to changing families. The plan calls for changes to the city's zoning ordinance to make it easier for homeowners to remodel or add structures like "granny flats," or small detached homes. The West Main Street plan will be presented in a public meeting on Sept. 11, then go before the planning and zoning board and eventually to the City Council.

THE MAIN DRAG

In the 1930s and 1940s, Main Street was a major corridor for westward travelers, marked by lodges, motels and RV parks. Now, with more freeways to speed travel, Main Street has fallen into ill repute, a poster for the Broken Window Theory, which purports that a broken window left unrepaired leads to more broken windows.

"We do see prostitution up on West Main, drug activity, property crimes and person crimes, assault, things of that nature," said Mesa Detective Chris Arvayo. "One place gets run down, it could be a hotel it could be a number of things, that place increases in crime, then the place next door loses business and gets run down. The whole area is just not the safest."

This is the place city planners and residents are hoping to transform. The first step would be to create special zoning that will allow new kinds of developments near the light rail stations. The developments would be taller, denser and used as a mix of residential units and retail shops. That would create more pedestrian-friendly areas linked to the light rail stops.

"The reality is that market forces are not letting developers come in and buy all the land," said city planner John Wesley. "Maybe light rail will make them more attractive."

Guerrero said she hates to see empty lots and wants to see more small shops, with places for people to live on top.

"I want Mesa to be this really hip place, an artisan village," she said. "The (light rail) station is the first thing. Then we can have all these hip places to live and work and walk to promenades, and little plazas for people to come together with lots of greens and parks."

Main Street does not lend itself to a traditional neighborhood park, which are usually 3 to 15 acres. However, the plan calls for pocket parks and unconventional alternatives like plazas, arcades and private parks to work around the constraints. Saia said Main Street has a lot of under-used property, such as old mobile home parks, that clearly are not the highest and best use and would be ripe for redevelopment.

THE CHALLENGE

Most of these improvements, including a plan to redo the streets, will require public dollars. Mesa does not currently have a facade improvement program to help businesses on Main Street pay for remodeling. Instead, the city refers businesses to the West Mesa Community Development Corporation, headed by Dave Richins. Richins has secured more than $100,000 in grants from sources like State Farm Insurance and has started working with eight businesses.

"We're not a long way off from making this a neat community," Richins said.

Saia said there are a handful of funding mechanisms, including a bond measure, to pay for the public improvements.

"The taxpayers will have to pony up to see the evolution of our city," Saia said.

Arvayo said the Riverview development already has increased the number of service calls to the police, and light rail will only bring more.

"More officers come into play, and funding for certain programs come into play," he said. "Those are considerations that have to be dealt with now."

Vice Mayor Claudia Walters said the revenue sources to pay for the improvements are not identifiable right now, but that changes could be made as money frees up.

"You are not going to see the plan shelved, but it's one of those things that's going to happen incrementally," she said.

One of the biggest challenges is that Mesa lacks an "It" factor, Saia said.

"Mesa has an image problem. If you want to change that image, there's going to have to be more aggressive zoning laws, building forms and accepting that you have to pony up to it," he said. "We demand to have a little lifestyle."


SUGGESTIONS:

Main Street
Taller buildings, at least three stories high - Dense mix of commercial and residential buildings - Pocket parks and public squares - Pedestrian and bike-friendly paths - Awnings and shade - Parking off the streetscape, behind buildings - Date palm trees.

Broadway Road
Keeps its industrial character - Discourages new neighborhoods or freestanding retail - Business parks encouraged.

Neighborhoods
Make it easier to remodel - Accommodate more family structures by encouraging detached "granny flats" - Enhance passageways from the light-rail stations."

My wife attended ASU in the late 60s-early 70s, and says she and her friends were afraid of Mill Avenue and she visited it only once because of its run-down condition, totally different than today. If Tempe could do it to Mill, can Mesa do it to Main?

Last edited by JAHOPL; Aug 27, 2007 at 3:31 PM.
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  #76  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 6:47 AM
Azndragon837 Azndragon837 is offline
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DOWNTOWN CHANDLER PHOTOS:
Kroney, nice photos of such a cozy downtown. Very charming, didn't know so many nice historic structures are tucked away from Arizona Avenue.

GILBERT:
Their downtown, or "Hertiage District," is a piece of 1/2 mile crap. The rare occasions I pass by that part of town, I shake my head. Reflects how much a suburban wasteland cares about it's "heritage." (No offense, but Gilbert is my least favorite of all Valley cities).

MAIN STREET:
It's a charming mile of buildings, old and new. I remember Downtown Mesa back in the early 2000s when I used to attend the many all-night rave parties at the Nile Theater, now a Christian Bookstore (how ironic), I miss that venue.....sigh. Anyways, if Mesa's broke city government can figure out how to finance light rail (and figure out which street the tracks will go on), I think being at the end-of-the-line will greatly benefit Downtown Mesa.

-Andrew
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  #77  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 6:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Azndragon837 View Post
I remember Downtown Mesa back in the early 2000s when I used to attend the many all-night rave parties at the Nile Theater, now a Christian Bookstore (how ironic), I miss that venue.....sigh.
I loved the Nile. I remember seeing Ska shows in the basement when a rave was upstairs, it was weird when the shows would let out, lots of bizarre rave/candy kids and rude boys all on the street together.
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  #78  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2007, 12:37 AM
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Downtown Gilbert is actually trying to preserve some historic heritage, and to that end they have mercifully allowed Joe's Real BBQ to stay in business. Now I have family in TX, and my grandma has family in both AL and SC, so I'm not going to make any claims about this place's authenticity, but it's quite good, considering we live in Arizona, rather than the true South. Other than Joe's Gilbert pretty much fails to have any particularly attractive features in its downtown. I have little doubt that this will change as people in the town become less satisfied with the bland shopping centers and other options being constructed in and near Gilbert.

I have hopes that Mesa will be able to raise itself from its current state to a higher, better plane, but without public funds, I see that process being fairly slow. If Mesa can leverage long-time residents with private improvement capital (from State Farm and others), I could see it being a success. There's certainly room for success in both west and east Mesa (GM proving grounds development), as truly successful development will also draw Tempe residents looking for something different.
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  #79  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2007, 3:46 PM
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While I generally avoid downtown Gilbert at all costs (only because the speed limit through the Heritage District creates a major bottleneck), Joe's BBQ and the Hale Center Theater are both great features of a downtown, and although Oregano's is a chain and is new construction, it's a popular place and is drawing more people downtown.

I'd love to see West Main Street in Mesa be redeveloped. I think there are already a few projects in the planning stages for the far west end where the light rail is currently being constructed. If these projects come to fruition and are successful, it will really help spur the city to fast track the extension of the rail into downtown and create a catalyst for additional redevelopment.
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  #80  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
It's a charming mile of buildings, old and new. I remember Downtown Mesa back in the early 2000s when I used to attend the many all-night rave parties at the Nile Theater, now a Christian Bookstore (how ironic), I miss that venue.....sigh.
The Nile was the only real reason to go to Mesa IMO, I also have fond memories, not only of raves before its conversion to Christ, but moreover the old Goth-nights in the mid-90's. I've dated myself now, need to go spill some booze on the ground for my dead homies.
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