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  #81  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 3:56 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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I don't ever recall a proposal to demolish everything. Partial preservation has been on the table since the beginning, but now I think it's in doubt without the GPLET, which many are now screaming to have denied in light of the rapid demolition. I haven't been in on enough of the details to say who's right and who's wrong, but the situation for the city has now become like something out of a movie: Some hostages have already been killed and now those holding the remaining ones are making demands. The dilemma becomes whether to negotiate in order to save the remaining hostages, or refuse to negotiate knowing that any concessions may lead to more hostage taking in the future.
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  #82  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 4:04 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Here's some detail on the demolition and the circumstances surrounding it:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...ding/83094030/
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  #83  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 4:39 AM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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^ perfectly said.
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  #84  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 5:17 AM
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
I don't ever recall a proposal to demolish everything.
Assuming the easiest/most cost effective route for any developer/development is to start from a clean slate/empty lot.




Too bad Stewart motor company isn't still in business at this location and too bad they couldn't have kept their original white facade and beautiful signage. This whole discussion would be moot. Actually, i'm upset about the loss of the couple of beautiful single family mansion style homes that were demolished for the stewart motor company building in the first place. (Some of) You demonize the automobile on this site like it's the spawn of Satan, yet suddenly get a hard on for Phoenix's supposed "automobile row" (I've never even heard of that until this whole issue came about) that this building was a part of? What about the street cars and millionaires row of north central that were lost because of this building partly?

I think the HP dept and preservation community need to alter their game plan. Waiting and twiddling their (our) thumbs watching historic buildings they (we) supposedly love sit and rot in front of our faces, then getting up in arms when someone makes a move on a building and plans something deemed undesirable isn't working. They need to figure out a way to inventory what's out there, determine the ownership, raise funds, buy any and everything when it comes for sale, then let it continue to rot and simultaneously enjoy it, or dump more money into it to renovate it and do something worthwhile. Otherwise, you're (we're) just going to be let down over and over again and reduced to anger and tears.
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  #85  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 8:59 AM
RichTempe RichTempe is offline
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
Here's some detail on the demolition and the circumstances surrounding it:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...ding/83094030/
I have no idea what the HP people or the Roosevelt Action (Inaction?) Association have been doing since the 1980's when this building apparently became eligible for designation on the local and National Register of Historic Places, but I guess I can now understand why huge chunks of Phoenix history have vanished over the years if this is a typical example of how quickly they work. I certainly don't respect the developer for lying at the meeting (one that they requested) on the 12th and then doing exactly the opposite of what they said they would only 3 days later. However, 30 years is an AWFULLY long time to be asleep at the switch when it comes to preserving a supposedly beloved Roosevelt Row 'icon'. Seriously, you can hardly be called a 'preservation group' or an 'action committee' if you don't actually, you know, preserve or act Perhaps I'm just not familiar with the all successes they've had using the 'so upset, nearly in tears' tactic employed in the Circles/Stewart Motor building debacle.

Honestly though, I'm afraid that what happens now is what a few other members have said: the developer holds the rest of the building hostage for the GPLET and when they don't get it, that's the excuse to knock the rest of the building down and then have the lot sit vacant because good luck getting the city to quickly approve any additional plans or permits from this developer after the childish stunt they pulled. I'm even kind of doubting that there were/are any plans beyond the demolition and then hanging onto the lot for a profit down the road anyway. If there were, then why not just take a week or so, go forward with the rest of the community meetings and then claim they couldn't come to a mutual agreement? At least that way the developer looks like they acted in good faith, stays in the mayor's and the city's good graces while also avoiding the shitstorm they've unleashed and getting to build whatever they want. Since Aspirant didn't do that, I'm guessing they don't give a damn what the city or community think because there's nothing beyond knocking the building down and banking the parcel. I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I'm also not holding my breath.

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Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
People doing what they want with the land they own

The Horror!!! The Horror!!

you should be happy they even bother to get community input at all.
I think that's most peoples' point. Aspirant didn't really get community input. They gave some lip service to it, but then didn't even follow through with the sham they started in the first place. As you say, 'people doing what they want with the land they own'. Well, they own the land and already have the permit for complete demolition so why bother with the charade of public meetings and not finish that process? There's something else going on here and I doubt anyone's going to like it when all is said and done and that's regardless of whether you loved or hated the building.

Last edited by RichTempe; Apr 16, 2016 at 10:33 AM.
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  #86  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 12:29 PM
prairieman prairieman is offline
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This little bit of the story seems to have missed some folks:
"Demolition started Friday in part because of the Roosevelt Action Association letter, which showed the groups were no closer to a compromise, said Larry Lazarus, a land-use attorney representing Circle on Central.

The developer also had heard rumors of litigation to protect the building(emphasis mine), he said. Finally, the city's Historic Preservation Commission listed items related to the building on its Monday agenda, Lazarus said.

"We weren't sure what they were going to do, if anything," he said."


If there had been litigation, the project would have stopped, pure and simple. From a business point of view, better to get rid of the building and deal with any ensuing litigation later, while the new project is underway. I'm not condoning it, but for the developer, having a neighborhood group which has done nothing all these years to protect a building and suddenly act as if it were the Mona Lisa being defaced and stopping my project because they were not proactive years ago is reason enough to go ahead with the demo.
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  #87  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 2:27 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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More coverage, this time from the Downtown Devil: http://downtowndevil.com/2016/04/16/...unity-outrage/
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  #88  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 3:30 PM
RonnieFoos RonnieFoos is offline
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In regards to Circles. I get it. A lot of the people in their 60's and over probably have a lot of memories of the Stewarts Motor Co. But truthfully, the building is a very bland example of 40's postwar architecture and already has had extensive surgury done anyway. This is NOT the same building anymore. If you look at Circles closely, a lot of the facade is a mish-mash of original brick and a couple generations of newer brick patchwork over the many years. I walked by it several times per week. You can tell how much was repaired, remodeled, added on and not original. The glass and glass framing is not original and I'm sure the interior walls are probably a mess too.

Someone asked what the compromise was. I believe the compromise is they are not tearing the whole building down which is what everyone went up in flames about because of the full site demo that was pulled. There wasn't much flack from the Roosevelt community before that demo permit was pulled. The developer assured everyone that was not the case, even added on another 20 ' of building facade to be saved after the April 14th meeting. Also, the spinning sign is to be functional again. These were not in the original scope of work before April 14th and added these to offset criticism. This was still not enough for Roosevelt Action Committee.

Circles is not under preservation status and it can legally be taken down any time they choose too. Even so, they are STILL planning to keep the South most important section. Doing so from a design standpoint will cost them more money to build over and around Circles than just tearing it down and starting from a flat lot.

I'm from Cinicinnati....where there is much more history than Phoenix (sorry guys!) So, to me an old car dealership is not as important as a 15 story Art Deco hotel built in the 1920's that housed presidents of the United States or famous actors or was the first concrete framed building or whatever. Maybe, that's just me or just because I grew up with a lot of old buildings around me. I myself would like to see the South half of the building still saved because I know there is a little coolness there and obviously memories for some people. But I have seen far better history bite the dust with much less of a fight than this. Maybe this is just the Phoenix mentality. After all, I've read of highrise developments being fought because "it blocks the views of mountains".

This is just my 2 cents on this. But it's sad that so many people want a 1 story building chosen with a VERY limited history and no redevelopment potential over a 300 unit development that will add people, jobs, nightlife and bring much more money to the Roosevelt District which in turn will spur more development and success for Roosevelt. What is the problem with that? This city needs to get it's Downtown in gear to compete with the suburbs and be a successful core. Circles would have sat another 10 years with NOTHING preserved or developed keeping the block dead and the building would no longer be salvageable due to water damage, sun damage and vandalism. The preservationists would have sat on it and still done nothing and you all know this. As mentioned previously by another forumer, where was the movement to save the building before this development was proposed?

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  #89  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 4:10 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieFoos View Post
After all, I've read of highrise developments being fought because "it blocks the views of mountains".
On the issue of the Stewart Motor Company / Circles building, I have mixed feelings and not enough inside information to have a strong opinion in favor of one side over the other. I have been disappointed, though, to see the large number of knee-jerk anti-development, anti-density comments on Facebook in response to posts by Mayor Stanton and other community leaders about the partial demolition. As with last year's Save Roosevelt Row movement, a legitimate desire to preserve historical structures can be undermined when supporters engage in simplistic good vs. evil thinking that demonizes all developers, counterfactual claims that new apartment buildings are unoccupied, exaggerated notions of the city's ability to regulate private property, and a fantasy that real estate should be a charitable enterprise. Many community advocates, including those active on this board, display a sense of the necessary balance between transit-oriented development and historic preservation and look for ways to make both work together. Some of those jumping on the outrage bandwagon, however, seem to truly want Downtown Phoenix to remain exactly as it is today -- vacant lots, empty buildings, and all.
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  #90  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 4:11 PM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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I would even be happy if they tore it down and built the ground floor as a replica of the old building. To be honest from my point of view it's cool because it's unique and anything new will probably be very generic.
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  #91  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 7:00 PM
ASUSunDevil ASUSunDevil is offline
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I agree with everything RonnieFoos said.

No one gave enough of a shit to preserve Circles until a "dreaded developer" wanted to actually make use out of it's decrepit existence. Not only is this dreadful developer going to make use out of it, they'll incorporate adaptive re-use and add hundreds of residents Downtown while extending our underwhelming skyline to the north. Oh, what nerve he has!

The problem is that this developer was willing to hear everyone out, and with that comes the bored lunatics that continue to be unaccepting of any change, even when it's for the better.

I'm from Phoenix and want nothing more than to make this place as great as possible while preserving our past, but give me a fucking break with the Circles outcry.

Last edited by ASUSunDevil; Apr 16, 2016 at 8:01 PM.
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  #92  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 7:12 PM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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"they'll incorporate adaptive re-use and add hundreds of residents Downtown while extending our underwhelming skyline to the north. Oh, what nerve he has!"

That's the part I can't wrap my head around why these people think the building is better used as an art gallery used a couple times a month or even as nothing and just falling apart.
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  #93  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2016, 8:21 PM
Red Robot Red Robot is offline
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No one gave enough of a shit to preserve Circles until a "dreaded developer" wanted to actually make use out of it's decrepit existence.
This isn't a fair statement by any stretch of the imagination, efforts to encourage the preservation of the building have been ongoing since at least 1984 when the building was identified as a significant historic commercial property by the Phoenix Junior League. The Arizona Opera explored buying and renovating the building years back, but didn't find it financially viable. The former owners of the building were encouraged by numerous organizations to get the building listed under state and federal historic preservation, but they refused to do so because it would lower the value of the property. The current outcome is what they were holding out for, because their asking price wouldn't have allowed for anything other than a massive development. $2,650,000 is what it sold for.

The former owners had every right to do what they did with the property, but to say no one tried to save the building until now is disingenuous.

It's crazy to imagine that efforts to have more of the building preserved might ultimately cause the entire building to go. Personally I was content with the original proposed design, it's better than nothing and it adds a little character to otherwise ho-hum modern construction and keeps the street level less monotonous. This whole situation shows the pitfalls of rallying the community behind a preservation issue without that community understanding just how little leverage the city has to demand preservation of private property. All it did was push the developer to act before any more creative ideas came along to slow them down, and it got everyone pissed off with the city for issuing a demolition permit, because they don't actually understand how these things work.

What a mess!
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  #94  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 12:21 AM
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Another win for a fucking developer. "Oh we heard they were gonna litigate so we had to do what we did." That's the same argument in gay bashing. They felt threatened so they acted in perceived self-defense. Total, unmitigated bullshit. Some of you don't give a shit about the building, lie about how no one tried to preserve it, and care only if a big, shitty building is put up in it's place. Remember this: some building or project t hatyou love will get get fucked over at some point and when it does, I'm going to rub your short-sighted faces in it.
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  #95  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 12:46 AM
azliam azliam is offline
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Another win for a fucking developer. "Oh we heard they were gonna litigate so we had to do what we did." That's the same argument in gay bashing. They felt threatened so they acted in perceived self-defense. Total, unmitigated bullshit. Some of you don't give a shit about the building, lie about how no one tried to preserve it, and care only if a big, shitty building is put up in it's place. Remember this: some building or project t hatyou love will get get fucked over at some point and when it does, I'm going to rub your short-sighted faces in it.
Are you freaking 12 years old? Oh...and your comments about gay bashing are way out of line.
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  #96  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 1:38 AM
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Are you freaking 12 years old? Oh...and your comments about gay bashing are way out of line.
Actually, I am a 38-year-old gay man who happened to point out, had you paid attention, to how their statement regarding preemptive action was a similar argument used by people who harm gays out of fear. It was meant to draw a comparison, not equate importance. Most adults could figure that out.
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  #97  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 1:55 AM
azliam azliam is offline
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Actually, I am a 38-year-old gay man who happened to point out, had you paid attention, to how their statement regarding preemptive action was a similar argument used by people who harm gays out of fear. It was meant to draw a comparison, not equate importance. Most adults could figure that out.
Well, congrats. I was definitely paying attention. Furthermore, I am a 44-year-old man who happens to be gay; however, I certainly would not come to that same dramatic conclusion. In fact, I found your comparison to be insulting considering you likely have no clue what is happening behind the scenes. Perhaps you should start acting like an adult yourself instead of throwing your revenge tantrums because you didn't get your way.
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  #98  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 2:19 AM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is offline
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What does one's sexual preference have to do with any of this?
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  #99  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 3:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mdpx View Post
Another win for a fucking developer. "Oh we heard they were gonna litigate so we had to do what we did." That's the same argument in gay bashing. They felt threatened so they acted in perceived self-defense. Total, unmitigated bullshit. Some of you don't give a shit about the building, lie about how no one tried to preserve it, and care only if a big, shitty building is put up in it's place. Remember this: some building or project t hatyou love will get get fucked over at some point and when it does, I'm going to rub your short-sighted faces in it.
What the hell are you talking about? they're running a business. The Roosevelt people (and other unreasonable preservationists) are/were threatening litigation in the name of self interest and basically their hobby. I have no clue what you do for a job, but let's assume on Monday some outside influence gets up in your business and threatens you with a lawsuit (thereby wasting your time and a bunch of your money and in essence you and your livelihood), what will you do?
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  #100  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2016, 4:46 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Seriously...I'm with PHX31 on this one. I get the preservation and all that but at the end of the day, if I buy a piece of land downtown and it has a building on it, it's my business what I do with it. If you wanted something different for it, then you should have bought it.
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