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  #41  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2014, 10:31 PM
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/\ Exactly. And it seems like historic buildings here always fall into disrepair.

Hopefully some news comes out after the meeting today.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2014, 10:52 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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The last thing Central Phoenix needs is another park; we already have acres of urban parkland that goes unused for a majority of the year, or has fallen into blight/camp for the homeless.

The Fairgrounds and its historic buildings need a plan of their own to ensure that they're preserved and used appropriately for the remainder of the year (or all year in the case of buildings that are no longer in use), in a way that benefits the city through sales taxes, improved land values, etc. and citizens by providing services that are actually needed in an area of town that has a long list of such services. "Park," "dog park," "co-working space" are all buzz words because they don't require time and money-consuming planning, but an underused park in an under-served neighborhood using historic structures will be regrettable in 10 years.

By plan, I don't mean a 0-5, 1-5, 5-10 chart that takes 1 year to complete; I mean, but the brakes on demolition, get the right people in the same room, come up with a rough vision, gain neighborhood support, and then hash out details for financing, etc.

Phoenix desperately needs another 4-year collegiate institution - Hoover, didn't you put something together for how a college could use each building, etc.? Those are the ideas we need to be exploring for the decaying parts of our city that have such great assets like location, history, historic building stock, revenue draws during off-season, future mass transit, etc.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2014, 11:04 PM
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^ The downtown grocery store obsession is bizarre. No one is not moving to downtown because there's not a grocery store. Retail follows roof tops, when enough people live downtown, magically, a grocery store will appear. Lets focus our energy on dramatically increase downtown residential density, everything else will follow.

I worry this grocery store obsession could lead to a company speculatively putting a grocery downtown, it failing, and then it being even longer before we get a stable grocery store. A lot of community members are pushing Lennar homes to work with Sprouts (who wants a Central Phx location) to put in a grocery at Central/McDowell. That could really hurt the chances of an actual "downtown" grocery store, as no one is putting one south of the I-10 with the Sprouts and Safeway so nearby until residential density is way, way higher than it currently is.
I think a grocery store is an easy concept for people to grab onto that signifies the legitimacy of downtown. Downtown is also not attracting residential at the rate of other urban areas in AZ, which leaves people questioning whether the reverse might need to happen in that submarket: rooftops following retail.

I agree with your analysis that any traditional grocer downtown will fail right now; the DeSoto Market opening this fall is basically what the public market should've been/could've evolved into had it opened years later, and I would hope that it receives full support from the community because it's not only a place for residents to buy local ingredients, but a place for local farmers/businesses to be seen, a place for citizens to bring friends from out of state, etc. A traditional grocer nearby would eat it alive, and within a year, we'd be back to square one.

The Lennar project needs something that brings the community together, a cafe or bar 'where everyone knows your name' and arts-related venue (theater or what not) are more compatible long-term. Build one in the lots of Park Central...
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 4:20 AM
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The last thing Central Phoenix needs is another park; we already have acres of urban parkland that goes unused for a majority of the year, or has fallen into blight/camp for the homeless.
I agree a lot of park land does go underutilized. In part because we're too low density and in part in because so many people are in single family homes and have their own yards. However, if we are serious about a pretty dramatic densification, we need to plan open space well in advance.

Further, Central Phoenix really has no large place for ball fields. I'd like to see Encanto 9 ditched (municipal golf courses are a real budget drain) and the park extended south of Encanto Blvd to encompass the fair grounds. That area could largely be for softball, baseball and soccer/football fields. The other good thing about that is that the area north of the Coliseum but south of Encanto could still be used for parking during the State Fair as people could park on the fields if they absolutely needed the space.

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Phoenix desperately needs another 4-year collegiate institution - Hoover, didn't you put something together for how a college could use each building, etc.? Those are the ideas we need to be exploring for the decaying parts of our city that have such great assets like location, history, historic building stock, revenue draws during off-season, future mass transit, etc.

I did have such an idea, however I know think its way too pie in the sky. A more realistic option is expanding Phoenix College into a 4 year school. Then expanding Downtown Phoenix College into a full on Community College to replace whats lost at PC. That would help downtown and Midtown.

As Phoenix College, the now 4 year version, grows, it will need to get rid of its athletic complex and boom- the Encanto Park/the State Fairgrounds works out perfectly. They can play indoor sports in the Coliseum and soccer and track can use the grand stand. Baseball and softball grand stands can be built taking up a fairly minimal footprint, near to the Grandstands and Coliseum with the fields protruding outward to the north.

Likely you could even had some decent density residential along 19th Ave between the Grandstand and Encanto Blvd. Nothing too tall, but perhaps 4 over 1 construction (not exceeding in height the highest point of the Coliseum or Grandstand, whichever is higher) to give the park area more users.

I know the idea of growing PC into a 4 year college has been discussed. I've had VERY brief conversations w/ Dr. Anna Solley (President of PC) and Dr. Rufus Glasper (President of the whole CC system). I think its an idea Dr. Solley is more fond of than Dr Glasper unfortunately. He's more of the mind set of focusing on their 'core copetencies'* and making sure they don't anger ASU/NAU/UofA/ABOR and messing up their CC to 4 year transfer situation.


*corporate babble for "playing it safe"
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  #45  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 8:37 AM
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I wasn't thinking either/or in terms of a new, 4-year Institute and graduating Phoenix College to a 4-year program. The lack of options really is severe. My preference would be for the 4-year piece of PC to evolve more toward Central City South and help revitalize that area, but you've given the topic much more thought and research.

Given the politics you speak of regarding offending the 'big 2' in reshaping any existing colleges, do you really think it's more pie-in-the-sky to think there's a University out there that could use a satellite campus in a fast-growing metro, where sustainability has been page 1 news longer than anywhere else, where there's cheap construction, land and other costs, etc, etc.? I really don't know... but, I would hope that the growing entities created like Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and our own Mayor could talk about the benefits a Fairgrounds location would have for both them and Arizona based on some of those talking points, along with the unique urban issues/revitalization discussion that could be a further selling feature.

Anyway, I guess my point is that any solution is going to have to prove a future need for that building; creating a park in isolation doesn't achieve that. Positioning the park as a temporary placeholder until PC can break off, etc, etc. is how I imagine you'd have to approach those wanting to tear down the building (as you have). Otherwise, can it, and the piece of land it sits on, be 'transferred' to GAMA? Or, can the city quickly form a 3rd-party corporation (or whatever the legal jargon is for what they formed to build the Sheraton) and buy the building? I don't know what kind of time crunch there is, and it seems like no matter how good the idea, the wrecking ball drops regardless.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 4:52 PM
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Demolition of 1938 Arizona State Fair building halted

The bulldozers have been called off, at least for now, after preservation activists convinced a county judge to halt the demolition of a historic building at the Arizona state fairgrounds on Wednesday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David O. Cunanan granted a request for a temporary restraining order, blocking the State Fair from razing the structure. A hearing that could determine the fate of the building has been scheduled for next week.

Known as the State Fair Civic Building, the art deco facility dates to 1938 and was constructed as part of a federal public-works program designed to put people to work during the Great Depression. Over the years, it's been used as offices, a haunted house and a mineral and gem exhibit.

The Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board, a self-sustaining state agency, wants to remove the dilapidated building to make room for more paved vendor space. Fair officials estimate it would cost up to $1 million to make the building usable to the public again, a figure preservation advocates hotly dispute.

Jennifer Boucek, an attorney and director of Preserve Phoenix, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Betty Ann Moore, a nearby resident. Boucek has pleaded with the fair to delay the demolition so alternative options can be explored, calling the building one of the most significant on the complex.

Phoenix's Historic Preservation Commission was scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon to consider beginning the process to create a protective zoning overlay for all or part of the fairgrounds, a move that could further delay the demolition.

Historic state fair buildingJack Bell, assistant executive director of the Arizona State Fair, surveys an historic building at the Arizona State Fair Grounds that is scheduled to be razed on July 16, 2014, in Phoenix. The art deco building dates back to 1938 and was constructed by the federal government as part of a New Deal-era program to lower unemployment during the Great Depression. (Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic) Fullscreen
Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building Historic state fair building
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Advocates said losing one of the fairgrounds' more historic and architecturally significant buildings would be a travesty for a city that's saved so few of its historic structures. They took to social media and lobbied state and city leaders this week.

Kristi Walsh, assistant executive director of the State Fair, said the state agency wants to remove the building because it has fallen into disrepair, with a badly leaking roof, termite damage and a cracking foundation.

"We totally understand and appreciate the historic value of the building," Walsh said earlier this week. "Unfortunately, it's a financial viability decision. We have to fund ourselves to stay in business."

She said replacing the building with a paved lot for the Oct. 10-Nov. 2 fair would bring in an additional $80,000 to $100,000 in revenue. The agency may eventually use the space near McDowell Road and 19th Avenue to construct a more elaborate, welcoming entrance gate.

The demolition had been scheduled to start at 6 a.m. Wednesday but was halted at the last minute after Phoenix leaders got involved.

Joan Gresch, a longtime resident of the F.Q. Story historic neighborhood southeast of the fairgrounds, urged the commission to support a historic designation. She lamented the loss of many of the central city's older buildings and the decline of the State Fair property, which she said was once an inviting site with trees, grass and a lagoon.

"It's been a great sadness that I have seen," Gresch said. "Razing this building is cutting off the nose to spite the face because this building could be a jewel. Please don't tear down any more of our history."

Walsh said the State Fair is committed to preserving other historic structures on its property but has determined it's not economical to save the Civic Building. The building has fallen into disrepair, with a badly leaking roof, termite damage and a cracking foundation.

"We have to put our limited resources into revenue-producing projects," she said. "That's the bottom line."

She said replacing the building with a paved lot for the Oct. 10-Nov. 2 fair would bring in an additional $80,000 to $100,000 in revenue. The agency may eventually use the space near McDowell Road and 19th Avenue to construct a more elaborate, welcoming entrance gate.

The Civic Building is one of several fairground structures built by the Works Progress Administration, a federal agency that led New Deal-era projects during the 1930s and '40s. It served as the WPA's headquarters in Arizona, a nucleus for the agency that provided work for numerous unemployed construction workers and craftsmen.

Preservationists say the building's construction method is also rare, consisting of a concrete frame and adobe-brick walls. Its fluted columns and chevrons are typical of the popular Art Deco style of the period.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 6:45 PM
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Of course it's for a paved parking lot, which is absolutely not needed. Ever taken a look at the parking within, north, and northwest of the fair grounds? Is this going to become some sort of VIP parking lot similar to the one Sarver made next to US Airways by demolishing those historic hotel structures?

Their estimate to renovate is ridiculous, and their plan for a parking lot is ludicrous. (really? you think you'd rake in $100,000 in one month with a 40 space parking area? 40 spaces, $10 parking, 30 days of a fair = $12,000. Are they going to charge $100 to park there? What fair-going demographic would fork that out?) Just cordon off a part of the existing fairgrounds asphalt for a new parking area and leave this building alone. I guarantee there is room, and it would cost a lot less and cause less headaches than going through this demolition.

The Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board, a self-sustaining state agency owns it--what exactly is this? Do they own everything, including the land and Veterans Memorial Coliseum?
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  #48  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 7:20 PM
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Of course it's for a paved parking lot, which is absolutely not needed. Ever taken a look at the parking within, north, and northwest of the fair grounds? Is this going to become some sort of VIP parking lot similar to the one Sarver made next to US Airways by demolishing those historic hotel structures?

Their estimate to renovate is ridiculous, and their plan for a parking lot is ludicrous. (really? you think you'd rake in $100,000 in one month with a 40 space parking area? 40 spaces, $10 parking, 30 days of a fair = $12,000. Are they going to charge $100 to park there? What fair-going demographic would fork that out?) Just cordon off a part of the existing fairgrounds asphalt for a new parking area and leave this building alone. I guarantee there is room, and it would cost a lot less and cause less headaches than going through this demolition.

The Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board, a self-sustaining state agency owns it--what exactly is this? Do they own everything, including the land and Veterans Memorial Coliseum?
Points of clarification:

Their intent was to tear it down not for parking, but rather for tented vendor space. Apparently they have much more luck renting tented space to vendors, because the vendors have more visibility, so thats where those revenue projections come from.

I can actually buy that, what I can't buy is that there's some kind of lack of room on the fair grounds. Ditch a few parking spaces, or lay things out more efficiently, the whole thing is poorly laid out in terms of maximizing their space.

The AESFB is a state agency that doesn't receive state funds. They own everything from 19th Ave to just east of the Coliseum, from Encanto to McDowell is my understanding. I'm not sure if they own those surface lots to the West of 19th Ave, but I assume the answer is yes.

It gets very confusing though because some of the buildings on the State fair site were involved in all of that sale-lease back stuff the state did a few years back.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2014, 9:12 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Regarding the delay of the Hotel Monroe conversion and it being a Garden Inn, as opposed to the original boutique plans:

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I walk by it every day, nothing seems to be happening, I never see anyone go in or out. No way itll be done by the Super Bowl like they said/hoped.
Yea, I think that pipe dream is long gone. It isn't in any way safe or realistic to finish and move tenants into the retail spaces first, right? I assume there's liability issues related to the construction, but it's not like tenants need to move out during construction on other structures? Though, those aren't complete remodels and who would want to sign a lease knowing their business would be impacted by scaffolding, etc. - unless heavily discounted?

But, I am forgetting we aren't getting wine cellars and nightclubs that would've been great for the Superbowl anymore... Atlanta's mixed use Garden Inn at Centennial Park contains a Legal Sea Foods (east coast chain; there's one in the mall near by home in NJ), Johnny Rockets and several empty spaces. =/ And, that's with an Embassy Suites and other mixed use projects nearby.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2014, 6:39 PM
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Phoenix receives seven bids to redevelop 'Psycho' building downtown

The city of Phoenix has received seven proposals for the redevelopment of the Barrister Place Building and adjacent land parcels in downtown Phoenix.
The Barrister building sits at Central Avenue and Jefferson Street. It has been vacant for several years and is best known for being featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” movie in 1960.
The city owns the building and put out a request for proposals for redevelopment of the 99-year-old building, as well as neighboring parking lot parcels.
RFP bids were due July 7 and the city received seven development plans, according Isis Sanchez, a project manager for the city’s Community and Economic Development Department.
Sanchez said the city could not disclose who put the bids in, and an evaluation team was scheduled to meet next month to consider the plans.
The Barrister property sits just west of US Airways Center. It is across the street from RED Development’s popular CityScape project to the south and the Luhrs buildings to the west. There have been plans for an $80 million Marriott hotel on the Luhrs site.
That planned hotel comes as other downtown hotels face challenges in filling rooms when there are not big conventions in town. Phoenix is still feeling some of the effects of bad publicity from the Senate bills 1070 and 1062 controversies.
Downtown, however, is expected to get a boost from Super Bowl XLIX in February with a number of major events scheduled for the central business district.
There have also been a number of apartment complexes proposed in downtown and other parts of central Phoenix, including near 12th and Washington streets and Central Ave. and McDowell Road.

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/n...op-psycho.html
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  #51  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2014, 6:41 PM
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I wonder what the proposals are? Wonder if any residential? Would be cool to have another historic residential options downtown, maybe as apartments (the only other is Orpheum Lofts right? Though those are condos).
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  #52  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2014, 6:54 PM
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I wonder what the proposals are? Wonder if any residential? Would be cool to have another historic residential options downtown, maybe as apartments (the only other is Orpheum Lofts right? Though those are condos).
It would be cool, we definitely need more residential density downtown. Unfortunately, in the 90s the city gutted the interior of that building and it's all just like white drywall and drop ceilings---bleck! Not a lot of cool historic touches on the inside are left.

Though I suppose you could strip all of that and do exposed brick walls/ductwork and go for that loft kind of vibe, we don't have much of that in PHX and don't have many opportunities for it either.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2014, 7:10 PM
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Yeah that could be a good thing...do exposed brick but mix with modern touches, something different.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2014, 9:28 PM
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Wasn't there plans about a year, or so, ago to use the building for a medical network of some kind?
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  #55  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2014, 9:45 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Yep, guess that fell through. Probably...and hopefully...for the better.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2014, 5:46 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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It would be cool, we definitely need more residential density downtown. Unfortunately, in the 90s the city gutted the interior of that building and it's all just like white drywall and drop ceilings---bleck! Not a lot of cool historic touches on the inside are left.

Though I suppose you could strip all of that and do exposed brick walls/ductwork and go for that loft kind of vibe, we don't have much of that in PHX and don't have many opportunities for it either.
+HX_Guy, I'm totally in agreement on just stripping down the interiors; as soon as I took a look at the existing floor plans and tried squeezing in rooms, I realized it isn't worth that much effort. The fire escape still needs to be accessible by all occupants of a floor, correct? That makes for some challenges/wasted square footage, but I'd just take the main floors and create one floor of open 1-bedrooms, and the rest 1-bedrooms with either movable wall track installed for a 2nd, or just give enough square footage and maybe spend some good money on staging models/photos showing how easily the space could be transformed. I believe the "Art Stable" project was similarly simple in its floor plans, and I love that building.

Flexible Lofts+Building with history and beautiful facade+heart of downtown? I'm sold.

What would you do with the penthouse? I'd either restore the heck out of it - if even possible - or create a "Hitchcock Chophouse" or something similar that references Psycho without getting too cheesy overlooking the building's pool/outdoor space. Leasing office, fitness center and clubhouse would go in the basement (assuming ceiling height isn't prohibitive). I'd really like to leave the ground level open to the lobby and retail stores to build off CityScape; an H&M, or American Apparrel + Shoe Store would be great and keep building this area into a prime shopping district.

---

Of course, there's still the lot to the south and east part of the RFP! Quite simply, Class A seems to be filling up; 220' of Class A office on top of more space for retail - I'm even okay dedicated 2-3 stories to retail in the hopes of securing an anchor tenant like Bloomingdales (even the outlet) - it's definitely farfetched, I know. Finally, space for a small "Legends Square" park with stars of Arizona's greatest sports and entertainment stars, with a small museum dedicated to them to give the stupid Legends District a retroactive meaning beyond a marking scheme.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2014, 4:11 AM
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State Fair board shelves plan to demolish 1938 building


After facing a gantlet of criticism over its attempt to raze a historic Depression-era building, the Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board voted Tuesday to shelve the demolition plans for now.

State Fair Deputy Director Wanell Costello said the agency, which had rebuffed previous efforts to save the structure, is now "looking for creative solutions not to tear it down." State Fair officials will meet with city and state leaders to examine alternative uses.

RELATED: Lawmakers: State Fair hid plans to demolish building

Board members overseeing the agency voted unanimously to halt demolition plans "until further notice." But no guarantees about the building's future were made, and preservation advocates said they will continue to seek a more-binding commitment.

The reprieve is the latest twist in a contentious fight over the fate of the Civic Building, also known as the WPA Administration Building, on the fairgrounds near McDowell Road and 19th Avenue. The structure was built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, a federal agency that led projects to put people back to work during the Great Depression.

Bulldozers were prepared to raze the Art Deco structure last week, until preservationists filed a last-minute lawsuit. The State Fair had wanted to remove the dilapidated building to make room for more asphalt vendor space.

Arizona Preservation Foundation President Jim McPherson compared the whirlwind effort to save the building to the successful 2012 fight to preserve an Arcadia home designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. However, the Wright-house battle took place over many months. This process has played out over less than two weeks.

"It was nice to see the outpouring of support," he said after the meeting. "We've got to look at this facility as part of the community. How can we look at it as a resource, as an asset?"

The decision by the State Fair board comes after Arizona lawmakers blasted the agency for not informing them of the planned demolition, especially given that fair officials recently asked a legislative committee to approve an asphalt-paving project that encompasses the building site.

State Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said fair officials had violated "the spirit of the law" and threatened to withhold funding if they immediately razed the structure.

But the talks apparently took a more conciliatory turn Tuesday morning, when Costello met with Kavanagh, state legislators and preservationists. McPherson, who was in the room, said the focus was on potential partnerships that could help the State Fair preserve its building.

"We're willing to listen," Costello said after the meeting. "The community is saying that they can find an alternative. We can't have a building that's not safe and not usable."

The Civic Building has fallen into disrepair, with a badly leaking roof, termite damage and a cracking foundation. State Fair officials estimate it would cost up to $1 million to make the structure usable again, but preservationists contend it could be done for a fraction of that amount.

Despite Tuesday's announcement, it appears the State Fair will continue to resist the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission's attempt to create a protective zoning overlay for the entire fairgrounds, a move that could delay future demolitions.

There is disagreement about whether Phoenix has jurisdiction over the property, which is controlled by the state. A fair spokeswoman said the agency will leave the issue to the courts.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...ding/13029483/
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  #58  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2014, 4:57 PM
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That's good news in the short term. I'm surprised they're so adamant about tearing it down. It seems like a rouge agency determined things will be their way or the highway. I hope we wake up one day and find this building demolished. Because at this point, they're really free to do it. They're looking for the controversy to die down. I hope I'm wrong on this.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2014, 10:38 PM
ASUSunDevil ASUSunDevil is offline
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Went Downtown today before the baseball game, tried to get a beer at Angel Trumpet House and realized they don't open until 3:00 PM. It's an absolute shame that there aren't more breweries Downtown - Someone is missing out on a fortune. While it may seem novel, I think breweries would really motivate more people to actually want to live Downtown. Today was disappointing and made me think that we are still far away from giving non-ASU students a reason to live Downtown.

Last edited by ASUSunDevil; Jul 24, 2014 at 6:29 PM.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2014, 11:25 PM
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Did that Mother bunch brewery in that nice old building on 7th Street ever open?

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bel...wn_phoenix.php
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