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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2010, 7:19 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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A $10M renovation of NAU's 33-year old Walkup Skydome from December, 2010 until August, 2011 may include suite-level seating:



A selection of seats from varying vendors sit in a section of the Walkup Skydome.
The renovation of the athletic facility involves replacing all of the seating.
(photo: Jake Bacon)


Dome makeover
by DANIEL BERK
Arizona Daily Sun
April 18, 2010

Sitting in his office, which in less than a year won't exist, NAU athletic director Jim Fallis leans forward on his desk and explains the building that houses him on a daily basis, the Walkup Skydome. "The Dome is like a 90-year-old guy with a great muscular system, but all of his arteries are clogged," Fallis described. Soon, those arteries will be cleaned out. NAU will shut down the Skydome, which first opened in 1977, for at least six months starting in December of this year for numerous renovations. The Dome will close following the 2010 football season and fall commencement and won't re-open until August 2011.

The focus of the renovations will be on fire and life safety deficiencies such as handrails, wheelchair spaces, fire suppression and seating, in addition to electrical, mechanical and water issues. In order to accommodate those areas, NAU will tear down its existing press box, which hangs from the ceiling of the Dome, and replace it with a supported press box, which will have an elevator up to it to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act. The bathrooms will also be torn out and newer, bigger bathrooms will replace the older ones and will also be ADA compliant. The entrances and exits in and out of the Dome will also be renovated and the rest of the project will focus on cleaning those "arteries," replacing piping, and other electrical and mechanical issues. "I think there's always trepidation because there's an element of unknown," Fallis said about the upcoming renovations. "But, I've been a part of enough renovation projects. It's tough, but you know in the end, you're going to have something that's clearly enhanced from the way it was before. "I think when the construction dust settles on all of this, we'll be able to look at it and say 'wow...this is how you accommodate spectators.' It's going to enhance things greatly."

THE PLANS

The project is part of the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development, or SPEED, which is designed to provide funding for deferred maintenance projects. It will be funded 80 percent by the Arizona Lottery and 20 percent by NAU. Currently, the concourse level at the Dome features offices for nearly every head coach in the athletic department, other than football coach Jerome Souers, whose office is on the mezzanine level of the Dome. All of those coaches, along with the athletic department offices that are also on the concourses, will have to be totally evacuated and emptied before the renovation starts. Where those offices will be relocated during the renovations is still unknown at this point. "It's entirely possible some of us will be off campus," Fallis said. "There's certain locations that can house us on a temporary basis. We may have a lot of satellite locations and we'll be running around on a daily basis. There will be some challenges, but we can work through them."

When the renovations are complete and the coaches and athletic department personnel return to the Dome, their offices won't be in the same locations. The mezzanine level, which currently houses the football offices, will be expanded on both sides and hold more offices, with the concourses being dedicated for walkways, bathrooms and concession stands. On top of the mezzanine level will be the press box level. Fallis recently viewed drawings of the renovations, which are not yet available to the public, and was impressed with what he saw. "We just got a sneak preview of all of those things last week and they've shown us what they've drawn and designed and what it would look like," Fallis said. "It looked very nice. I would say there were very few things that the architects and university planners didn't take into consideration. It's certainly going to be a wonderful enhancement to the Dome."

PRESS BOX DETAILS AND POSSIBLE SUITES

Currently, the press box at the Dome isn't ADA compliant and requires not only climbing stairs to reach the top of the seats, but then also climbing up a narrow set of stairs to the structure. The new press box will be a more traditional one and will have multiple uses. On top of the uses by the media, the press box will include "multiple usable spaces," which will serve as meeting rooms, but can also be converted into club level seating for football games. That will create a more fan-friendly experience, especially for donors and alumni of the athletic department. That equals a newer, better facility for the football team, which has Souers excited. "When you look at the plans that are being made in the stadium, the seating and the offices, it is going to be a complete face lift," Souers said. "I think the Skydome is a wonderful facility. To have that kind of enhancement is going to be wonderful. It will make a difference in recruiting. It will make a difference in the viewing experience for the fans that are inside the Dome. It is going to be great."

There's also a chance that the Dome could add new suite-level seating on the other side of the press box if the athletic department can raise enough money. Fallis said he'd like to add suite level, but there's no way that could be funded with the SPEED money. Instead, the athletic department is trying to raise $1 million to build the suites, but it won't be an easy task because of the time frame of the renovations. "Clearly, if we do anything in the way of suites or boxes, it's going to be external money," Fallis said. "We got a figure from the architects that it would cost about $1 million to add another level to the other side of the Dome. Now, we're trying to see when the date would be that we would have to have the money raised by. We know it's going to be extremely tight because this project is going to move pretty quick."

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE TEAMS

With the Dome under renovation, the university's teams will have to make backup plans while the Dome is shut down. The men's and women's basketball teams will play all of their games for the 2010-11 season at the Rolle Activity Center, where they currently play all of their pre-conference home games. The team that could be in the toughest spot is in the Lumberjacks' indoor track and field team. Fallis said it hasn't been decided yet whether the track and field team will be able to use the Dome at all while the renovations are taking place. "The only thing that is still under discussion is, would it be possible for track to practice in the evenings on the track during the indoor season?" Fallis said. "And, that hasn't been decided. Because, if that has any impact on the renovation of the Dome, then we will have to take a serious look at how we deal with that issue. But, we are already looking at what alternatives there are for our track team to go to indoor meets elsewhere."

If the team isn't able to practice at the Dome, Fallis said track and field coach Eric Heins has already started looking at empty warehouses and such throughout Flagstaff where the team could practice sprints, at the very least. Of course, all of the NAU teams will be affected because NAU will have to find a temporary home for the program's weight room and training facility, both located on the bottom floor of the Skydome. "We're looking at what we're going to do from December to August," Fallis said. "When things become finalized and we get a handle on what needs to be moved and how much space we need, we'll look at what type of space is available. Everybody knows to start looking. Everyone has their thinking hats on."

Last edited by kaneui; Apr 18, 2010 at 7:59 PM.
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2010, 11:57 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Dammit. This is good for the Skydome, but I've already voiced my own selfish complaint on the last page.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2010, 8:44 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Extended Campuses is housed in this 23,000-square-foot extension
off of the School of Communication.
(photo: NAU)


Extended Campuses building earns ‘Gold’ LEED rating
Inside NAU
April 13, 2010

The facility housing Northern Arizona University’s Extended Campuses has been awarded a “Gold” rating from the Leadership Energy and Environment Design building rating system from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 23,000-square-foot extension to the School of Communication houses classrooms, offices and production studios to support NAU’s Extended Campuses programs. It was designed by Tucson-based BWS Architects.

The building, clad in aluminum composite metal panels and northern Arizona sandstone, incorporates many resource-frugal technologies to achieve the advanced level of sustainability that the Gold certification represents. The building uses about 43 percent less energy than a typical building of the same size through passive ventilation, solar-preheating of outside heating air, an innovative HVAC system called “active chilled beams” and sophisticated lighting and environmental controls. Water use is reduced more than 60 percent through low-water use plumbing fixtures and irrigating with municipal reclaimed water. More than 30 percent of building materials have significant recycled content and were attained and manufactured locally.

“Our dedication to building ‘green’ buildings further demonstrates our climate mitigation commitment,” said NAU President John Haeger. “It is further proof of the institution’s stewardship of place.” The building is the fourth on the NAU Flagstaff campus to receive a LEED rating. The Applied Research and Development building remains one of the “greenest” buildings in higher education with a “Platinum” rating, the building that houses The W.A. Franke College of Business has a “Gold” rating and the Engineering building has a "Silver" rating.
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  #64  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2010, 4:37 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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With these accolades, the new Lumberyard Brewing Company Taproom & Grill should be a hit when it opens next month in a renovated historic warehouse on S. San Francisco St.:



Evan Hanseth, owner of Lumberyard Brewing Company on site of
construction of the brewery on Wednesday morning. The Lumberyard
Brewing Company Taproom and Grill is scheduled to open in about a month.
(photo: Stas Yamnitskiy)


Beaver Street wins world beer medals
by Joe Ferguson
Arizona Daily Sun
April 18, 2010

Beaver Street Brewery is continuing its tradition of producing award-winning, seasonal beers. The local brewery won three medals at the 2010 Brewers Association World Beer Cup -- the world's largest commercial beer competition.

A total of 642 breweries from 44 countries and 47 U.S. states competed for various awards, with more than 3,330 beers entered in 90 categories. Beaver Street won a silver medal in the Special Bitter category for its Lumberyard Red, a silver medal in the Imperial Red Ale category for its Lumberyard Imperial Red and a bronze medal in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category for its Lumberyard IPA.

Last edited by kaneui; Apr 25, 2010 at 8:23 AM.
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  #65  
Old Posted May 5, 2010, 10:30 AM
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Infrastructure work begins on Huntington Drive for Walmart Supercenter
Arizona Daily Sun
May 4, 2010

Infrastructure construction work starts this week for the Walmart Supercenter, which will be located on Huntington Drive. As a result, traffic control will be in place for two weeks and at times will limit the street to one lane of traffic with flaggers at both ends of the work zone. The first construction activities within the right of way include water and sewer services and taps to serve the new store and the new parcel to the west.

Future construction activities include the following:

-- Placement of a new drainage box culvert under Huntington Drive;

-- Construction of water and sewer mains in Huntington Drive;

-- Construction of three right-hand turn lanes on Huntington Drive;

-- Construction of a new street light at the new intersection of Lucky Land and Huntington Drive;

-- Widening of Huntington Drive just east of the Butler and Enterprise intersection;

-- Construction of a "pork chop" shaped median at Lucky Lane and Butler Avenue. According to city spokeswoman Kim Ott, a good example of a "pork chop" is near the railroad overpass by City Hall, where westbound Route 66 traffic and Sitgreaves traffic come together at the stop sign and then merge. The median between the merging traffic is shaped like a pork chop. The work will be over the course of four to six months.
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  #66  
Old Posted May 12, 2010, 7:52 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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A proposed $50M Lone Tree Rd. overpass at Route 66 was voted down by the city council as too expensive, while the proposed Juniper Point mixed-use development will begin certain improvements with a groundbreaking set for next year:



Juniper Point neighborhood center and housing mix
(renders: Dover, Kohl & Partners)


Lone Tree overpass off ballot
by JOE FERGUSON
Arizona Daily Sun
May 12, 2010

A $50 million bridge over the railroad tracks connecting Lone Tree Road to East Route 66 is not in Flagstaff's immediate future. A majority of the Flagstaff City Council rejected asking voters this November to bond for a four-lane overpass. The rejection came despite support for the overpass from both Mayor Sara Presler and Councilmember Scott Overton. The pair felt that the bridge might convince state highway officials to jump-start plans to connect Interstate 40 to the southern end of Lone Tree Road with a new interchange.

Instead, the council leaned toward putting a total of five projects worth $72 million on this November's ballot.

-- $30 million for a new public works center

-- $23 million for a new city court

-- $12 million to complete various improvement projects in the Sunnyside neighborhood

-- $4.7 in improvements to the public safety radio system

-- $1 million for a water quality study of the Red Gap Ranch aquifer.

The eventual decision on what will go on the November ballot will rest with the new city council this June. Overton, who sits on a regional planning board that focuses solely on transportation issues, contended Tuesday night that the proposed Lone Tree Overpass could help sway the Arizona Department of Transportation to put a traffic interchange at the other side of Lone Tree along Interstate 40. A city study showed the main impact of an overpass would be to reduce traffic volume on Southside connector streets, not in the congested Milton Road corridor. After losing the vote, Overton said he wanted to see the overpass revisited in a few years as a possible bond question. Presler asked the council to consider another option: phasing the Lone Tree Overpass over a number of years.

NOT IN ADOT PLANS

Currently, ADOT is not including a highway interchange at Lone Tree as part of its five-year plan, said ADOT spokesperson, Rod Wigman. He did note that ADOT is in the midst of studying traffic patterns along I-40 between Bellemont and Winona for possible future construction projects. Overton believes the city has a possible carrot to dangle in front of ADOT: It can help pay for the highway interchange. As part of a development agreement with the city, the developers of Pine Canyon have set aside $1 million for direct access to I-40. The 15-year agreement will expire in a few years, with the funding reverting to the developers if construction of an interchange does not begin. The developers of Juniper Point is also expected to make improvements to the southern portion of Lone Tree as part of their development agreement with the city. The 1,600-unit, master-planned community is expected to break ground sometime next year.

The cost of building an interchange along I-40 at Lone Tree is estimated to be $25 million, said city staffers. Although a majority of the council said they would eventually like to see a second north-south corridor to alleviate congestion along Milton Road, the $50 million price tag became an obstacle. The city's bonding capacity would technically allow the municipality to bond for several hundred million dollars in projects. But in order to pay back that amount and also pay for the other projects on the list, the city would need to increase secondary property taxes on Flagstaff homeowners. To avoid raising taxes, the city needed to cap the amount it could bond for to $74 million. Vice Mayor Al White said he supports the overpass conceptually but does not want to bond for it right now. He said the city would be better served in a few years when ADOT is in a position to commit to the interchange at I-40.

MAIN IMPACTS IN SOUTHSIDE

The recently released Lone Tree overpass study suggested the proposed bridge over the railroad tracks would only have significant impact on traffic patterns downtown and in the Southside neighborhood. The overpass would primarily divert traffic along portions of San Francisco and Beaver streets near the tracks, according to the city staff-authored report. A 20-year projection of traffic patterns along Butler Avenue and outer Milton Avenue shows little difference, regardless of whether a Lone Tree overpass is built, although the study did not include a new Lone Tree interchange at I-40. The projects adopted by the council Tuesday night largely reflect the recommendations by a 14-member citizen bond advisory task force. The group narrowed down a list of 23 projects to five worth roughly $72 million and made a recommendation to the council earlier this month.
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  #67  
Old Posted May 13, 2010, 12:18 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Dammit, I really wish they'd create the Lone Tree overpass instead of having to either:

a) Wait at stoplights at San Francisco and Beaver streets (San Francisco Street is a mess right now)

or

b) Using Milton/66, which is almost always a parking lot.
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  #68  
Old Posted May 13, 2010, 2:32 AM
Cardsfan Cardsfan is offline
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The downtown area is one of my favorite places in the state. I wish they had more hotels downtown instead of having that drive from the area of South Milton because that drive does suck. It is nice to be able to walk around have some dinner and drinks and be able to walk back to a hotel.

The Monte Vista is nice but it definitely needs some updating while keeping its historic charm and also needs some sound proofing. You also have the Weatherford Hotel but that is it. I think it would be a gold mine to renovate the Monte Vista due to the lack of hotels directly in downtown. Fix it up and sound proof (or minimize) the train noise. Why would you want to stay anywhere else?
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  #69  
Old Posted May 13, 2010, 3:18 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Train noise has been non-existant since March. The Monte Vista was just renovated recently, IIRC.
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  #70  
Old Posted May 13, 2010, 3:24 AM
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That is great to hear. Those were my biggest gripes about that hotel but I still stayed there because of the location.
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  #71  
Old Posted May 13, 2010, 8:21 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardsfan View Post
The downtown area is one of my favorite places in the state. I wish they had more hotels downtown instead of having that drive from the area of South Milton because that drive does suck. It is nice to be able to walk around have some dinner and drinks and be able to walk back to a hotel.

The Monte Vista is nice but it definitely needs some updating while keeping its historic charm and also needs some sound proofing. You also have the Weatherford Hotel but that is it. I think it would be a gold mine to renovate the Monte Vista due to the lack of hotels directly in downtown. Fix it up and sound proof (or minimize) the train noise. Why would you want to stay anywhere else?
There probably aren't enough downtown business travelers to justify major upgrades to the Monte Vista and Weatherford, and so will remain as fairly inexpensive, historic, and rather spartan accommodations (in contrast to the newer chain hotels around town with their modern amenities). If you don't mind paying a bit more, there are some nice B&B's within a few blocks of downtown, or the Drury Inn next to the High Country Conference Center, where you can avoid most of the traffic on Milton.
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  #72  
Old Posted May 15, 2010, 7:28 PM
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Walmart is nothing if not persistent--after basically funding a 2005 election that narrowly overturned the local big box ordinance, the last three years have been spent making multiple redesigns required by city planners to secure approval for a Supercenter only half its normal size:



Earth-moving equipment clears dirt for drainage outside of the new Walmart Supercenter
that is being built on East Huntington Drive.
(photo: Josh Biggs)


Supercenter on the rise
by JOE FERGUSON
Arizona Daily Sun
May 15, 2010

Plans to open the 114,000 square-foot Walmart Supercenter on Huntington Drive in Flagstaff before the end of the year are on track. A spokesperson for the retail giant, Delia Garcia, said construction on the 15.6 acres adjacent to the Outback Steakhouse will be finished in time for the holiday shopping season. Currently, the construction crews are busy working on the foundation and putting up the frame of the new store. Over the years, the floor plans for the supercenter have been scaled back from an initial 212,000 square feet to 114,000 square feet -- barely larger than the Walmart retail store in west Flagstaff. General contractor HBI Construction, Garcia said, has hired several Arizona-based contractors to help build the new store. She said HBI has contractors from Flagstaff, Bullhead City, Sierra Vista and the Phoenix metropolitan area currently working on site.

Garcia said Walmart has no plans to close the westside store after the new supercenter opens. The world's largest retailer is also planning to sink nearly $1 million into a major renovation of Sam's Club, its wholesale outlet on Butler Avenue in Flagstaff. Planned changes include upgrading the café, pharmacy, bakery, tire showroom and digital photo center, as well as modernizing most areas of the warehouse to reflect the company's new logo and branding.
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  #73  
Old Posted May 16, 2010, 1:58 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Yeah, I can't wait for the Woodlands Village Wal-Mart to sit vacant once the Supercenter opens, especially after they spent most of last year renovating it.
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  #74  
Old Posted May 16, 2010, 8:05 PM
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The Ridge at Clear Creek--a new 360-unit apartment complex in 21 buildings near NAU--aims to address the need for more affordable housing in Flagstaff:



A crew works near the three jacuzzis on the construction site of the Ridge at Clear Creek Friday afternoon.
The apartment complex will have 360 units, including some set aside for affordable housing.
(photo: Jake Bacon)


Good jobs, affordable rents
by JOE FERGUSON
Arizona Daily Sun
May 16, 2010

One of the largest construction projects in northern Arizona is largely going unnoticed, despite employing hundreds of construction workers and pouring millions of dollars into the local economy. The 360-unit apartment complex known as The Ridge at Clear Creek is just off Lone Tree Road in Flagstaff, adjacent to the Rio Homes subdivision. But hidden behind the rolling hills each day are up to 200 workers from roughly a dozen different construction companies putting up the first three buildings of a 21-building project.

The development is expected to address a critical shortage of rental units that are considered affordable. In a a complicated agreement between the city and the developer of the project, locally owned Consolidated Investment Co., will make 61 of the apartments affordable to the those earning up to 80 percent of the area median income through lowered rents. Currently, 80 percent of the median for a family of four would be $48,700. In exchange for the affordable units, the city has agreed to several concessions, including expedited permit processing and the easing of city requirements for parking and landscaping.

LOW-INTEREST LOAN

The deal also helped Consolidated secure a loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the $35 million apartment complex. The government-backed HUD loan came with interest rates below what would be commercially available for a project this size. In return, the 61 units must remain low-income housing for the next 50 years. But the managing member of The Ridge at Clear Creek LLC said she believes the units will essentially be permanently affordable. Karen Nackard said the affordable units (which will be identical to the market-rate units) provide a dependable revenue source as the units are unlikely to be vacant for very long. She said it makes sound business sense to continue to make the units "affordable" even past the life of the agreement with the city. As part of the development agreement with the city, Consolidated Investment also agreed to never convert the apartments into condos. In 2006, the city saw three large apartment complexes converted into condos.

For many in Flagstaff, renting is the only housing option. According to recent sales figures from the Northern Arizona Association of Realtors, the median price of a single-family detached house is approximately $270,000 -- half sell for more, half less. With 10 percent down and a 30-year mortgage at 6 percent, that translates into a $1,500 monthly payment. A family of four making roughly $49,000 and spending a third of their income on housing could afford no more than $1,300 a month.

RENTS BETWEEN $800 AND $1,100

Pricing for the affordable units was not immediately available from the developer, but the city of Flagstaff says it expects the one to three-bedroom apartments to be priced between $800 and $1,100. Those interested in applying for the first 11 affordable units when the first three buildings become available in August to rent will deal directly with the apartment complex, not an outside agency like the Flagstaff Housing Authority. In addition to the 11 affordable apartments, 43 market-rate units will be available to rent when the complex partially opens this fall.

Nackard also believes the new market-rate units will be popular with college students. She points to the neighboring Clear Creek Village apartment complex, which Consolidated Investments also owns. There is currently a waiting list, primarily NAU students, who walk along Pine Knoll and cross Lone Tree to get to the university's campus. A clubhouse at The Ridge at Clear Creek is expected to offer students various amenities, including racquetball courts, an exercise room, a computer room, tie ins to the Flagstaff Urban Trail System and an area set aside to play Frisbee golf. But working with the federal government comes with some strings attached, which Nackard says means a return on investment is many years away. The company is required to hold a percentage of cash in a bank account in order to replace fixtures, carpeting and furnishings as they break over time. "The cash profit is way in the future because the government requires so much to be held in reserve," Nackard said.

LABOR MOSTLY LOCAL

A representative with general contractor Weeps Construction said that 83 percent of the labor pool is from northern Arizona, with most of the subcontractors from Flagstaff. Tyler Mark, the project manager for Wescap, said established relationships helped to keep most of the labor pool local, noting the firm has worked with many of the companies on other local projects, including homes in Pine Canyon and the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in west Flagstaff. He said the insistence on using as many local contractors as possible came from the owner of Consolidated Investment, George Nackard.

Mark tried to recruit as many local companies as possible for the $35 million project. But when he needed to order hundred of cabinets, it made more sense to use a specific vendor who not only installs the cabinets, but also makes them. "I bid it out to a local cabinet company and there was just no way. They have never made those type cabinets before - they were going to have to buy if from wherever and then put them together," he said. He said the 17 percent of non-local construction were primarily businesses like the cabinet company that were geared toward multi-housing developments.
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  #75  
Old Posted May 16, 2010, 9:04 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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I don't know about other NAU students, but I personally thought Clear Creek Village was ridiculously expensive. Gorgeous complex, but a little too-far out of my price range.
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  #76  
Old Posted May 22, 2010, 8:00 PM
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More political wrangling over the source of water for proposed snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl:


Panel tables Snowbowl vote
by CYNDY COLE
Arizona Daily Sun
May 21, 2010

A city water commission unanimously sent an idea to sell underground water to Arizona Snowbowl back for more consideration on Thursday night, after the public and tribal members opposed the idea and said they hadn't had enough time to consider it. This was contrary to City Manager Kevin Burke's recommendation, with Burke stating the U.S. Department of Agriculture was soon likely to approve snowmaking at the ski area with one water source or another and that the city should choose one less offensive to the tribes. The Flagstaff City Council signed a contract to sell reclaimed wastewater to Snowbowl in 2002. "We come to you today not to debate whether snowmaking should occur or should not occur. That was decided eight years ago," Burke later told the city's water commission on Thursday evening. Burke said attorneys for the Hopi and Navajo tribes approached him in support of the proposal, and that approval of snowmaking from the U.S. Department of Agriculture appeared to be coming in the near future.

These attorneys were not the same tribal representatives who appeared at City Hall on Thursday evening, however. The chairman of the Hopi Tribe, Le Roy Shingoitewa, said Hopi elders felt strongly that no water of any kind should be used to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks, called "Nuvatukyaovi" in Hopi, and that the Hopi Tribe did not approve it, despite a letter signaling otherwise from one tribal committee. "This has not come to the Tribal Council yet. Nor has it come to the people as a whole," Shingoitewa told the commission. Another person followed with the same comments. "The use of any water for stored water for snowmaking just doesn't sit right with the Hopi people. It never has and it never will," said Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, of the Hopi Tribe's cultural preservation office. Spokesmen for the Navajo Nation's president and its speaker did not comment on the tribe's opinion of the proposal when phoned earlier this week.

Attorney Howard Shanker, who has represented the Navajo Nation in the case opposing snowmaking, said he was speaking on behalf of Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. in urging the commission to table the decision amid another lawsuit. "This (source of water) is not more culturally sensitive. The Navajo Nation has always taken the position that they oppose the use of any water for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks," Shanker said. Further, the City Council wouldn't be bound to its legal agreement if it were to be found the federal agency approving snowmaking was in the wrong, he said. The case he is arguing now, which heads to court next month, asserts that the federal government did not adequately consider whether reclaimed water was safe for snowmaking if the snow is ingested. A vice chairman for the Havasupai Tribe said his tribe was not consulted. Havasupai Tribal Council Member Carletta Tilousi told the commission her tribe would not support snowmaking from any water source. The new proposal would use potable water downstream of the wastewater treatment plant. That same water is now pulled up from about 1,500 feet underground, screened for large debris, chlorinated at the well sites, and sent to Foxglenn homes.

Planning and Zoning Commission member Jim McCarthy, who sits in on the water commission as a non-voting member, said he would have difficulty in subsidizing Snowbowl using federal, taxpayer money to the tune of $11 million, unless tribes said the new water source was an improvement in their views. "I'll admit, that would sway me to say 'OK, we go with this,' but I haven't seen that yet," McCarthy said. He later asked what it would cost the city to default on the contract, and whether the federal government might also be willing to pay that bill to settle the issue. Incoming Councilman Art Babbott said the public hadn't had enough notice to attend the meeting and asked the commission to table any vote, stating that would be the most transparent action in a City Hall that had been lacking transparency. Flagstaff would pump less water from underground per winter for snowmaking than the aquifer receives from wastewater under this scenario.

But this proposal also comes as the city is meanwhile seeking new drinking water sources, raising concerns for some on the city's water commission. "We're committing to providing potable water for snowmaking?" asked commission member Hanna Cortner, later adding that this didn't seem to make sense while the city also sought drinking water supplies. If Snowbowl were to make all of the snow allowed every day, snowmaking would use the equivalent of 13.5 percent of all of the reclaimed water produced in Flagstaff in a year, which normally sinks into the aquifer. The city manager's decision to propose a different source of water to supply 1.5 million gallons daily of underground water for four winter months a year was a political one. The Department of Agriculture has been pressing tribes, Arizona Snowbowl, and the city of Flagstaff to agree on a new water source, and promising help to find unspecified funds to cover increased costs of pumping water from underground. U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., have opposed the idea and its links to other tribal issues, saying they will not support the use of taxpayer money to fund an extra $11 million for different water for snowmaking at the ski area. They support the use of reclaimed water.

There is another reason for the city to strongly consider the Agriculture Department's request. The city of Flagstaff hopes to someday build a pipeline to Red Gap Ranch east of Flagstaff, and to do that it would need permission to cross Hopi lands and Coconino National Forest land ultimately controlled by the Agriculture Department. "The USDA has been very clear that they want an alternative water supply rather than the direct-delivered reclaimed water," Burke said to reporters. At the same time, he also later told the public at the water commission meeting that there was not any direct statement from the Agriculture Department that the city wouldn't get needed permission for a pipeline unless the city complied. Some opponents of snowmaking asked whether the Forest Service would need to start over with a new and possibly years-long environmental analysis for snowmaking if a new water source were chosen. A spokesman for the Coconino National Forest referred all questions to the Agriculture Department on Thursday, where there was no immediate answer as of 6 p.m.
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  #77  
Old Posted May 31, 2010, 7:43 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Commercial foreclosures are now hitting Flagstaff, with the unbuilt residential half of the 40-acre Aspen Place at the Sawmill now back in the city's hands, and the developer hoping to sell the partially-built commercial portion:



Empty residential lots sit in the financially troubled midtown development known
as Aspen Place at The Sawmill. The city will consider selling the property to repay
an $8.5 million bond obligation.
(photo: Jake Bacon)


Developer gives up house lots
by JOE FERGUSON
Arizona Daily Sun
May 31, 2010

Roughly 20 acres containing hundreds of developed building lots were taken over by the city of Flagstaff last week after a Phoenix-based developer defaulted on a bond payment agreement with the city. That means the city is on the hook for $8.5 million in bond payments over the next 25 years unless it can find buyers for the 15 parcels zoned for 321 residential units. The city has already given up $9 million in future sales taxes from the commercial half of the project as an incentive to the developer to clean up the former sawmill property. The lots now owned by the city are in the southern portion of the Aspen Place at The Sawmill project off Lone Tree Road. The Flagstaff City Council had set a June 1 deadline for the Valley-based Aspen Group to come up with more capital, but the developer was unable to find a new round of investors as called for in its agreement with the city. Unlike most privately backed retail projects in Flagstaff, Sawmill's internal infrastructure -- streets, sewers and water -- was financed with city-backed bonds that the developers were to repay over 25 years out of proceeds from the project.

LAND AUCTION THIS SUMMER?

Mark Landsiedel, the city's community development director, said it would be a council decision on what the city should do with the newly acquired land. It is likely the city will attempt to sell the land at an auction this summer to help pay off the bond obligations, Landsiedel said. But with the local real estate market still depressed by the recession, it is unclear whether buyers will be willing to pay the assessed values. A recent informal appraisal, according to city officials, suggests the entire 40-acre project -- including the developed commercial lots containing Pita Jungle, Wildflower Bread and New Frontiers Natural Marketplace -- could be worth as little as $12 million in the current market. But Landsiedel said the lots in the city-controlled section that are zoned for 130 single-family homes have garnered considerable attention from developers. "There is a lot of interest from local builders," he said. "My phone has been very, very busy for the last few months."

10 LOTS FOR $250K

Depending on how the city council structures the sale, builders might be able to purchase an individual parcel with 10 buildable lots less than a half-mile from NAU for as little as $250,000 per parcel. And if the city allows the bidders to assume the bond obligation -- roughly $250,000 for some parcels, according to city documents -- rather than paying it up front, builders would owe as little as $10,000 a year in payments. A single finished lot in other developments in the city easily can cost more than $100,000. If the city allows bidders to buy parcels and assume the bond payments, it is likely to require them to pre-pay next year's amount. But there has been considerably less interest in the largest parcel in the southern parcel, zoned for apartments or condos. This portion represents roughly 40 percent of the total outstanding bond obligation, Landsiedel said.

COMMERCIAL HALF TO BE SOLD

Landsiedel is optimistic that the northern commercial half of the project, currently controlled by the Aspen Group, will be sold to another developer. He said he has seen a "letter of intent" between the Aspen Group and the third party. However, he refused to disclose the name of the bidder but called them a "real quality" developer. He said the Aspen Group lacks the ability to finance tenant improvements at the empty commercial units between Pita Jungle and Wildflower Bread, making it difficult to lease the retail spaces. With a new developer, Landsiedel believes, the commercial side can begin to assume new tenants. The Aspen Group sold the parcel containing the New Frontiers store to a third party earlier this year.

Last edited by kaneui; Jun 3, 2010 at 2:09 AM.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2010, 7:04 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Last new fire station groundbreaking Monday
ARIZONA DAILY SUN
June 5, 2010

The city will break ground on construction on the last of four new fire stations Monday. According to information from the Flagstaff Fire Department, the groundbreaking for Fire Station No. 2 will be 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the intersection of East Route 66 and Enterprise Boulevard behind Jiffy Lube.

The relocation of four of the city's six fire stations was made in response to the city's anticipated growth in the future and to improve response times for emergency calls. The station relocations were made possible through a bond initiative approved by voters in 2004. The stations, along with classrooms and a training center, will cost $19.6 million. Three of the relocated stations have already been built and are located on Thompson Street off West Route 66, Fort Valley Road near Sechrist Elementary School and Country Club Drive near the Purina plant.

For more information, call the fire department at 779-7688.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2010, 9:43 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Occupying a renovated 1890 structure, the new Lumberyard Brewing Company Taproom & Grill on S. San Francisco St. will distribute its beer to other restaurants and retail stores:



Patrons of the Lumberyard Brewing Company Tap Room and Grill
eat lunch on the patio.
(photo: Alexis Ward)


Ready for a different crowd
by ARLENE HITTLE
Arizona Daily Sun
June 7, 2010

A blurb on the front of the menu at the new Lumberyard Brewing Company concludes with the following statement: "At the 'Yard' it's not just about the attitude, it's all about the altitude." Both attitude and altitude are good to go at the lumberyard-turned-restaurant and bar, the new venture from Beaver Street Brewery owners Winnie and Evan Hanseth. It opened on May 17. "It was fun to see the building come to life," Winnie Hanseth said. She explained the work, done by Loven Contracting, reused as much material as possible from the lumberyard. The booths were made of timber; the front of the bar reused the corrugated tin roof; the bartop is made of recycled glass. "It was a pretty amazing undertaking," she said.

Almost as amazing is how two restaurants with the same owners not even two blocks apart can be so completely different. The difference is purposeful. "It has a different feel," Winnie Hanseth said, adding the Lumberyard is more modern and has a more visible patio. "It's fun to sit out there just because you see everything." It caters to a slightly younger crowd than Beaver Street Brewery, with lower prices and lots of TVs tuned to various sports channels. "You can sit anywhere in the restaurant and watch a sports channel," she said. They're also trying theme nights: Wednesday is "Blues and Brews;" Thursday is country western night; and there'll be a DJ on Fridays and Saturdays.

The menu is also completely different. You won't find the burgers Beaver Street is known for. "We didn't want to compete." What you will find: Nachos and wings that range from mild to very hot. The "Silent Scream" wings come with a disclaimer (order at your own risk, waiver required) and would give "Man vs. Food" host Adam Richman a valiant fight. So far, only two people have managed to finish an order, she said. The menu also includes fries (smothered in gravy and cheese, just cheese or chili and cheese), chili, tortilla soup, an Atomic burrito, catfish and chips, salads and a host of sandwiches. The Yard's signature sandwich is the California Tri Tip Sandwich, served on a toasted roll with barbecue or smokin' barbecue sauce. The menu was built around the Tri Tip Sandwich, Winnie Hanseth said. Her daughter went to college in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and it's patterned after a similar sandwich at Firestone Grill. Other popular offerings are the BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich (slow-roasted pork smothered in barbecue sauce, topped with red pepper cole slaw and served on an onion Kaiser roll), Italian Beef (roast sirloin on a toaste roll, served with au jus, grilled red and green peppers or spicy giardeniera) and Winnie's favorite, the Hummus Reuben. It features black bean hummus, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, grilled on Rye bread. The black bean hummus is part of one of the popular appetizers, the Yin Yang Hummus. Two types of hummus -- black bean and edamame -- are served up side by side, with crunchy wonton and corn tortilla chips for dipping.

Another popular appetizer is the Irish Egg Rolls, described as a twist on the Reuben sandwich. Corned beef, sauerkraut, carrots and Swiss cheese are rolled in an egg roll wrap and fried, then dished up with both Russian dressing and mustard sauce for dipping. All sandwiches are served a la carte. A side of fries, potato salad, tortilla chips, red pepper cole slaw or a salad can be added for an additional charge. There are even gluten-free menu options. For dessert, choose from the Brownie Sundae (a sea-salt brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and stout caramel sauce) or Banana Pudding (a Mason jar filled to the brim with decadent pudding, bananas, vanilla wafers and whipped cream). And, of course, there's a selection of wine and beers. One reason for opening the new restaurant was to enable the Hanseths to begin distributing beer. They plan to start canning their Lumberyard Red Ale for distribution to other restaurants and, eventually, small liquor stores, Winnie said.


For more info.: http://www.lumberyardbrewingcompany.com/
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  #80  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2010, 5:05 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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The city will use part of a forest service land purchase near the airport for a new 90-acre Lake Mary Regional Park:



(map: city of Flagstaff)


Park buffer for airport
by JOE FERGUSON
Arizona Daily Sun
June 16, 2010

The city of Flagstaff will spend up to $6.7 million over the next three years to purchase 168 acres adjacent to Pulliam Airport. Land owned by the U.S. Forest Service would be purchased in two phases, with a grant designed to protect airports from private encroachment and voter-approved bonds for the creation of a regional park paying for the first 111 acres. A second phase, covering roughly 57 acres including a large portion of the Lake Mary Water Treatment Plant, did not have an identified funding source as of Tuesday night. City officials were confident they would find a way to raise the $3.4 million necessary to buy the second parcel by 2013. Currently, the city has a long-term lease with the Forest Service for land associated with the water treatment plant.

The 168 acres has long been associated with the Yavapai Ranch Land Exchange, but city officials used a lesser-known clause in federal legislation to allow the city to directly purchase land within the proposed land swap. The elaborate land swap would trade roughly 15,000 acres of forest and range land on the private Yavapai Ranch to the Prescott National Forest in exchange for federally held lands in Flagstaff, Williams, Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Cottonwood. At least several hundred acres of Forest Service land identified in the land exchange near the airport still could be traded if the land swap takes place.

A $2.2 million grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division for the establishment of a "runway protection zone" was set to expire at the end of the month, prompting city of Flagstaff officials to move forward on the purchase. The city also will use at least $1.1 million from a voter-approved 2004 bond to create the Lake Mary Regional Park. Newly elected Art Babbott said he was concerned that the city had promised voters it would buy more than 200 acres for the regional park but current plans call for only 90 acres. The Flagstaff City Council unanimously approved the purchase on Tuesday night, with city officials set to enter into purchase agreements with the Forest Service in the coming weeks.
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