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  #81  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 11:02 PM
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^ I've heard it straight from the horses mouth. I'm sure if someone wanted to buy/lease one of his buildings and do residential, he wouldn't turn away their money. When the Lofts on Buchanan (or whatever they're called) was starting to go through the process it was quite vocal about a distaste for residential in the area.

I think his vision is some kind of high tech employment hub with lots more stuff like WebPT and nightlife uses. Perhaps his fear is residential would complain about nightlife noise, though I'd like to imagine the people living in that area would be self selecting enough to not be worried about the noise. Though I suppose we have heard of residents complaining about noise in downtown Scottsdale, so anything is possible.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 8:27 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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^ I've heard it straight from the horses mouth. I'm sure if someone wanted to buy/lease one of his buildings and do residential, he wouldn't turn away their money. When the Lofts on Buchanan (or whatever they're called) was starting to go through the process it was quite vocal about a distaste for residential in the area.

I think his vision is some kind of high tech employment hub with lots more stuff like WebPT and nightlife uses. Perhaps his fear is residential would complain about nightlife noise, though I'd like to imagine the people living in that area would be self selecting enough to not be worried about the noise. Though I suppose we have heard of residents complaining about noise in downtown Scottsdale, so anything is possible.
Wow - how strange. I just figured he would mention hotel or office instead of residential for the added floors if he was so against it, but thanks for the confirmation.

Focusing on 1 industry is a mistake, even as broad as "high tech." There's nothing about the warehouse district that would give it an advantage over Scottsdale that Scottsdale couldn't address when it comes to attracting 'high tech' jobs. We're seeing it now with Bioscience; we cleared out half our downtown for those jobs and now our mayor is supporting a hub in North Phoenix and we're stuck in a position where it's even more obvious that the big-time companies just aren't coming to downtown.

As with any part of the central city, the warehouse district needs to offer something unique. Residential within historic building stock is something it has over any other competitor, but unfortunately, we bulldozed most of the warehouses that were suited for residential. Anyone who wants a successful warehouse district should be in favor of residential increases - that's a benefit ANYWHERE, but especially in a desolate area with abandoned old buildings. Residents will make the area feel safer, and bring income to the area >> retail and nightlife businesses. Out of the few gems that remain, the city has given long-term leases to Phoenix Job Corps, Telecom, OIC, and APS (who demolished a large portion), leaving buildings like Levine's warehouse where developers need to get creative and build additions to existing structures to make them compatible. Levine's warehouse on Buchanan/Central can fit about 3 more buildings on its site; time to give up the parking and loading bays - garages can be incorporated into the new construction.

I do agree that it needs to be planned carefully, to avoid NIMBYism (it's happening in other cities now that grew 'entertainment districts' with residential sectors), but that isn't difficult when starting from scratch essentially. Luxury high rises closest to the stadium and arena fill a niche in the market for the person you describe who knows exactly what they are getting into. Then, clustering residential with hotels and retail uses from Jackson-Grant, 5th-2nd streets makes sense to me, using offices/businesses as a noise buffer elsewhere. A few neighborhoods sports bars won't bother anyone, and even from 2nd westward, there are so many businesses and lighter uses that the chance of a cluster of bustling nightclubs developing on the same stretch is pretty slim. The days of a real 'district' are gone.

The warehouse district just needs a visionary leader because I think the potential is really incredible: cheap land, large buildings, affluence to attract from the north and neighborhoods to help make stronger to the south; they just need to think beyond the low hanging fruit. Instead of 1-use 'tech hubs,' why not take advantage of the cheap and oversized buildings to have campus-type working environments, where marketing is right next to design, which is right next to education, and you all convene at lunch, etc. and gain new perspectives/learnings? Or, given our work in the solar industry and with NRG in the area, along with Intertek - the makers of electric car chargers - why not really focus on sustainability, starting with a library, research center, high school academy, hands-on museum/learning center, and main offices where a group led by our sustainability director (or whatever he is), reps from ACA, GPEC, DPP, etc., continually recruit startup 'green' businesses. The research center will give findings into the infrastructure and environment conducive to helping these businesses thrive so we can offer the right incentives...

With all of the cheap land and buildings, why not actively recruit a 4-year college to the area to try and educate the suffering populations of the Parks neighborhoods? Use these programs to provide services that are lacking or that could benefit the neighborhood: the child education seniors can run a free/heavily discounted daycare as part of their required curriculum for graduation, allowing mothers a way to go to school and not worry about the cost of childcare. Criminal justice students can lead the new 24-hour neighborhood watch and patrol. Fashion students can collaborate with the community of event planners in the area to put on classy fashion shows that bring people to the district for a night out. Culinary arts students can provide the service at organic restaurants for an affordable price... you get the point. The district is flooded with businesses like OIC, American Legion, Job Corps, Change Management, etc. - these need to be consolidated and people evaluated before entering so that they are placed into the best facility for their needs. OR, as more and more students graduate, the less we'll need from these great programs (but if the Job Corps takes up one more damn building, I'll lose it!).

Summed up: warehouse district is like any other city or district, just in need of even more attention than most given the surrounding areas, and we need leaders who come up with long term drivers for continued success, not flavors of the month like Levine and his tech crap. My ideas probably suck, but that's how progress is made. Not by holding onto 'nightlife' when bars continue to close, no new establishment has opened since the boom, and a fully equipped brewery will likely be demolished for its land value if it sells at all.

If anyone was bored enough to make it to this point, do they happen to know how and why the former warehouse on Lincoln and Central was demolished in 2007? Using the time feature on Google Maps, you're able to see it in the midst of being torn down and it's one of the most amazing warehouses we have or had. It took up almost a full block, had some kind of 'citrus' label on it I think. The lot is currently empty.

Last edited by Jjs5056; Jul 26, 2014 at 9:35 AM.
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  #83  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by HooverDam View Post
^ My understanding was its the whole block, parking lots and all.



He doesn't have residential experience. He also actively DOES NOT want people living in/near the warehouse district. Though I don't know if he'd consider Barrister within the area he's trying to keep people out of. Its very odd, I don't know why he thinks the warehouse district can ever be vibrant without a strong residential component.

I think he's done tons of good things for Downtown, but unless he has way more $$ than we know about, I don't think he'll win that bid.
He does have Will Bruder as part of the proposal. Who has plenty of residential experience. But also for what is worth, is really well connected. I think both of them joining up definitely gives the proposal a lot more backbone. Still a long-shot considering the big names they have to face.
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  #84  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 9:33 PM
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Sorry for so many posts. I'll stop after this one.

Looking at the list, the Sunbelt/Hansji/SmithGroup combination looks like our Council's wet dream. Also, seeing that generating revenue for the city is a criteria of the RFP... and those future earnings should potentially impact the city's budget and, thus, our level of service, shouldn't we be allowed access to these proposals as indirect stakeholders? I know, I know... I just want to know MORE!

• Red Development LLC: NO! We need another entity managing the development of a major property to ensure RED keeps CityScape and Colliers up to market. They've also shown they can't develop a true urban space, and I feel as though they'll leave the remaining property untouched as they have with the remaining CityScape pad; focus on making Colliers a worthwhile destination, please.
• Michael Levine/ Levine Machine LLC: I trust Levine more than anyone to develop something that is 'right' for the Barrister building, but does he have that much experience developing empty parcels? I question his ability to integrate his Barrister ideas into a larger project.
• Ventra Group LLC. - Not seeing any urban designs in their portfolio.
• Equus Group Inc. - My preliminary vote; really impressive resume of urban residential projects, mixed use projects, sustainable projects, etc.
• Crescent Bay Development Services/Crescent Bay Holdings; Sunbelt Holdings; HHLuhrs, LLC/Hansji Corp.; SmithGroupJJR. - NO! Hansji has been a complete disappointment in their development of the Luhrs property; yes, the economy tanked, but restoration aside, they weren't able to attract any big tenants for the office portions, had only a Subway as a retail tenant for 5+ years, and have struggled to get even one of their original 3 towers off the ground - a hotel in an in-demand market; SmithGroupJR turned out a terrible design for Central Station that met the bare minimum requirements of the RFP and I think this site deserves more creativity. A shame Sunbelt couldn't partner with another team.
• PB Bell/Davis Enterprises Collaboration. - I'll let others comment on DAVIS; from what I have read, for example: his attitude and proposal for The Row, I'm not a fan. And PB Bell sounds like a suburban designer and an urban, master plan is needed here.
• Desco Arizona LLC. - unsure who this is?
And yet, you've posted War & Peace-length postings after this on this very subject. Go figure!
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  #85  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2014, 2:03 AM
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/\So? What does it matter? No one is making you read it.

I'd rather read someone's thoughts about development in our city no matter how long, than someone's nonsense complaining post.
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  #86  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2014, 2:27 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Agreed, I enjoy Jjs5056's well though out and lengthy posts.
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  #87  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2014, 7:51 PM
azsunsurfer azsunsurfer is offline
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My only complaint about Jj's post(s) is when he reports/ falsifies information (no one is perfect). Other than that he is free just as anyone to give his opinion on development in the city. Lengthy or not.
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  #88  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2014, 4:05 AM
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Agreed, I enjoy Jjs5056's well though out and lengthy posts.
I enjoy them also even if I don't always agree with him. I appreciate that the posts are well thought out and enthusiastic.
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  #89  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2014, 10:03 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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^ Thanks.

As many have told me via private message, there is an 'ignore' feature for those who find long posts so terrible to skim for things they find interesting, and skip if not. I'm not sure why response to development news/factors, in an effort to promote discussion and debate, is seen as a bad thing on a discussion forum. Forums were around before the days of social media, and have always had more of a blog-like format than anything else. There are plenty of news sources on Twitter if you want character-limited news with no commentary.

Lastly, I was promising for that to be my last comment of the day; not for good.

Barrister Development
Back to Barrister, this is my amateur attempt at coming up with a site plan and uses that encourages making the Barrister residential and placing office elsewhere, which is what I hope the market can support/the developers chosen try to accomplish:



^ Details each piece, but to summarize:
- Take advantage of the last chance at a historic conversion and turn the building into lofts.
- Maximize retail space: 4 big blocks of solid retail between 1st-1st, Washington-Madison isn't available or possible anywhere else downtown, whenever Luhrs is able to attract ground level tenants.
- Tenant amenities/leasing office would go in the basement to save space, along with a public Yoga Studio (mostly done on the ground or outside), and a niche Mystery Novel/Movies/etc. Bookstore in homage to the Hitchcock connection (any lack of light/low ceiling would add to the ambience). Access to the basement is easily accessible from the existing courtyard, so newer/bigger doors just need to be added, and the courtyard would be landscaped and become a great place to read a book, take outdoor Yoga classes, etc.



The lobby would be divided in half to offer residents a private entrance on the east side (there are 2 elevators). The west entrance would lead to 1 of 2 retail spaces and an elevator to the penthouse Barrister Lounge.



To the east, 'The Jefferson' would contain an office and two residential towers over a 3-story retail podium (to encourage bigger stores, but obviously divisible to accommodate small businesses) which would ideally house an upscale clothing store not found anywhere else or at least an outlet in demand as an anchor. Included would also be a Legends Museum for famous AZ celebrities with monuments and an info kiosk outside to give context to the terribly nonexistent "Legends Entertainment District."

The residential could be built later if demand can't support it, but Class A office seems to be needed in the submarket with no plans right now of building.



Finally, the last piece of land to the south of Luhrs would be two residential complexes that blended more modern design to transition into the warehouse district: the first a mixed use, mixed income (including a percentage of affordable housing) rental building with a taller piece on its south side with a speakeasy Jazz Club to complement Bitter & Twister and The Barrister Lounge as a late-night dance option directly across the Marriotts.


^ If I wasn't over it, I'd make the ground floor black painted brick, or replace the white stucco to make the design have more traditional elements, but hopefully the point is made.

The second component would be live/work units facing Madison, all opening up to the interior green space that connects all the developments to each other and to Jefferson.



The alley off Central has also been abandoned east of these lots, so essentially a massive super-building could go up - thus, the staggering of the office building and the continuous green space that creates a slightly inward-facing element without turning against any of the streets.
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  #90  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2014, 5:57 PM
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That is awesome! Nice work, I like almost all of your ideas. I like that the buildings aren't giant but are appropriately tall (except the office buidling looks taller than 19 stories in your rendering, would need to make sure it's not too tall per the FAA height limits in that part of southern downtown).

My only major critique would be to nix the opening between the buildings that has the greenspace and put in an arcade similar to Luhrs. Then there really would be continuous street facing buildings from 1st to 1st.

The greenspace idea could just be tucked back behind everything, almost like a private retreat. Even if cities tend to like green spaces open to the public, who cares. I imagine it would be like the private courtyards of the typical urban European block-sized building.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 5:42 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Wow fantastic work man! Do you do this for a living? Because if you don't, you should.
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  #92  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
GCU putting Mesa campus on hold to focus on main Phoenix expansion
Angela Gonzales
Senior Reporter-
Grand Canyon Education Inc. is putting its plans for a Mesa campus on a temporary hold to focus on growing its main Phoenix campus — which includes nearly tripling its size to 270 acres.
Brian Mueller, president and CEO of the Phoenix-based company that operatesGrand Canyon University, told investors in its second-quarter analyst conference call that student demand continues to grow at the Phoenix campus.
The goal for 7,500 new students next year remains the same, except those students will be on the Phoenix campus, he said.
"Our total (capital expenditure) remains the same, it's just shifted to a single campus," Mueller told analysts.
He said he is still committed to opening an East Valley campus, but pushing that date back to the fall of 2016.
With the 2014 fall semester only three weeks away, builders are furiously building four new six-story dormitories. Roughly 3,000 additional beds will be added before the 2015-16 school year, he said.
GCU ended up turning away "a couple hundred" students, mainly from California, because there just wasn't enough bed space on the Phoenix campus. As a result, the company has acquired three apartment complex units next to the Phoenix campus to make room for another student housing project and surface parking this fall.
It is still undetermined how that third property will be used.
Plans call for buying more acreage to accommodate the influx of students who want to live on campus, Mueller said. Within less than 12 months GCU has nearly doubled its acreage from 100 to 180.
The goal is to eventually have 25,000 students on the Phoenix campus.
"We're going to expand within the next 12 months to 240 acres," Mueller said. "That will give us the capacity for greater than 25,000 students on our main campus."
That acreage doesn't include a 30-acre parcel two blocks east of the campus, Mueller said.
"That puts us closer to 270 acres," he said.
Once again, GCU reported increased revenue, net income and enrollment in its second-quarter earnings released today.
Enrollment is 57,707, up from 51,200 during this time last year.
For the three months ended June 30, net income was $23.1 million on net revenue in $158.6 million. That's up from $19.1 million in net income on $141.5 million in net revenue during the same period in 2013.
GCU's stock closed at $43 a share, halfway between its 52-week high of $51.12 and low of $32.39.
I think this is a good thing. GCU is better off concentrating on making one campus the best it can be rather than over extending itself.

My predictions, based mostly on hunches for GCU over the next few years:

*The GCU in Mesa campus never happens. Or if it does, its something very small scale.

*GCU & the City of Phoenix work out a deal for GCU to manage the Maryvale golf course, similar to how ASU is going to be taking over Papago.

*The Milwaukee Brewers leave Maryvale Ballpark in the near future, Phoenix and GCU work out a deal to make that the Antelopes sports complex for baseball/softball/track/soccer.

*GCU is then able to use the land on their current campus that’s ball fields for more campus space.

*Despite community outcry, Little Canyon Park (just north of GCU) is eventually given to the college and GCU builds a subpar park on currently vacant land somewhere else on the West side to make up for it.

*GCU cashes out its for profit model and becomes a somewhat more traditional institution.
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  #93  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 11:30 PM
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The last one would be nice. And I wouldn't blame the Brewers for opting out of Maryvale.
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  #94  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 2:30 AM
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Add to Hoover's predictions: A light rail route to Downtown Glendale is chosen that passes through the Alhambra section of Phoenix and right in front of GCU's existing campus.

At this point, the exact route has not been chosen, but it's pretty clear the selection process is heading in this direction.
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  #95  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 3:38 PM
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
Add to Hoover's predictions: A light rail route to Downtown Glendale is chosen that passes through the Alhambra section of Phoenix and right in front of GCU's existing campus.

At this point, the exact route has not been chosen, but it's pretty clear the selection process is heading in this direction.
Oh yes agreed. I think its pretty clear the route will be (unless something odd happens):

Continuing west on Camelback from 19th Ave. Turning north on 43rd Ave to Glendale, then west on Glendale to Downtown Glendale.

Turning on 43rd Ave allows them to connect to Alhambra HS, which is nice. Most importantly though its the PHX/Glendale border, so the cities would split the funding.

When commuter rail happens there could potentially even be a multi modal "West Phoenix" transit hub at Grand/Camelback/43rd Ave connecting bus, LRT and commuter rail.
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  #96  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 4:33 PM
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That sounds like a reasonable plan, but I can't imagine them running a new light rail line west on Camelback with then having then build an overpass over the Black Canyon Freeway only to have an proposed bridge for one to cross the Freeway at Dunlap. There is high density in the proposed Camelback Rd. area and it makes sense, but not sure how viable the project is from a funding, logistics and ADOT perspective.
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  #97  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 8:18 PM
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^ I'm not sure I'm following your concern. Is your worry that Metro/ADOT won't want the LRT crossing the I-17 twice in relatively close quarters (at Dunlap and Camelback) perhaps due to cost?
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  #98  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 9:12 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Originally Posted by HooverDam View Post
Oh yes agreed. I think its pretty clear the route will be (unless something odd happens):

Continuing west on Camelback from 19th Ave. Turning north on 43rd Ave to Glendale, then west on Glendale to Downtown Glendale.

Turning on 43rd Ave allows them to connect to Alhambra HS, which is nice. Most importantly though its the PHX/Glendale border, so the cities would split the funding.

When commuter rail happens there could potentially even be a multi modal "West Phoenix" transit hub at Grand/Camelback/43rd Ave connecting bus, LRT and commuter rail.

Valley Metro recently added a new possibility of using a combination of 51st and Grand avenues instead of 43rd Avenue. The route along Camelback past GCU would be unaffected, though.

http://www.valleymetro.org/images/up..._07-14_Eng.pdf
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  #99  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 9:31 PM
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Anyone else hate talking about light rail and future extensions seeing as how they won't be online for well over a decade?

The amount of time it takes to plan, design, and construct a 10 mile light rail extension to Glendale the rest of Europe and Asia will probably have built comprehensive maglev or teleportation systems.
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  #100  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 9:41 PM
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
Valley Metro recently added a new possibility of using a combination of 51st and Grand avenues instead of 43rd Avenue. The route along Camelback past GCU would be unaffected, though.

http://www.valleymetro.org/images/up..._07-14_Eng.pdf
Thats not an awful alternative, it would probably mean a few less stops and thus a quicker trip to downtown Glendale. I'm glad it would still get to Alhambra HS. It likely means less TOD, so that's the trade off.

E: Also, this is kind of goofy, but GCU needs to add red to their color scheme. Alhambra HS, Glendale HS, the Cardinals and Coyotes all have red in their schemes. It makes sense (at least to me) to thus name the line that will go to Downtown Glendale and eventually Westgate the "Red Line."

Get on it 'Lopes!

Other line color suggestions:
Copper= The extension to the Capitol
Blue = the South Phx extension over the river
Green= any line that goes to Biltmore area (financial district and its quite green there)
Gold (Yellow)= The original line which connects ASU campuses, it currently connects ASU Tempe to Downtown and may eventually connect to West
Silver= Any line to PV Mall area, the Dreamy Draw was once home to mercury (quicksilver) mines
Orange= any line in Scottsdale, since its original name was Orangedale
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