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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 12:43 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is online now
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Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
I think you greatly exaggerate the amount of vacant retail built along the light rail corridor. Besides Tapestry and Grigio Metro in Tempe, I can't think of any others that have been failures. Others took time, or have certain spaces struggling, but that's just reality of a market that is still waiting for more residential investment. For those 3 failures, there's a dozen or more with successful occupancy rates.
Roosevelt Point -- 100% vacant
Skyline Lofts -- only the live / work spaces along Pierce are occupied
Hub / University House in Tempe -- about 50% vacant
Several projects (not just Grigio) along Apache in Tempe (can't remember all the names) with high vacancy rates

I haven't counted the exact number of vacancies, but it's a serious problem -- far greater than your statement above would suggest.

Ultimately, this will have to be an area where we agree to disagree. I have no objection to developers including ground floor retail when they believe it is commercially viable, but I'll continue to be skeptical of efforts to impose ground floor retail as a condition projects have to meet before being approved.

Last edited by exit2lef; Feb 23, 2015 at 1:32 PM.
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  #42  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 4:22 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
Roosevelt Point -- 100% vacant
Skyline Lofts -- only the live / work spaces along Pierce are occupied
Hub / University House in Tempe -- about 50% vacant
Several projects (not just Grigio) along Apache in Tempe (can't remember all the names) with high vacancy rates

I haven't counted the exact number of vacancies, but it's a serious problem -- far greater than your statement above would suggest.

Ultimately, this will have to be an area where we agree to disagree. I have no objection to developers including ground floor retail when they believe it is commercially viable, but I'll continue to be skeptical of efforts to impose ground floor retail as a condition projects have to meet before being approved.
I already discussed the issues with Skyline. 5 live/work vs. 2 empty retail spaces is not that bad.

Hub/University House is extremely new and has already leased 4 of its spots. Yes, it brought a high inventory online, but it will get filled as College continues to pick up momentum.

Other Apache projects have fared fine. 922 Place, The District, ASL Trails, Gracie's Village all have a high percentage of their retail filled.

When you walk down Apache or Roosevelt in 20 years, you really think it would be ideal for each to be lined with mono-use buildings? How will we ever create active, urban spaces, or create environments where cars become less of a requirement if there's no opportunity to live/work/play in centralized locations?

Last question: if the market was hot for office construction, would you support the building of office towers throughout the Roosevelt historic district on neighborhood streets? If not, why would it be okay to build mono-use projects in areas that are designated as commercial TOD districts?
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  #43  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 4:28 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is online now
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I already discussed the issues with Skyline. 5 live/work vs. 2 empty retail spaces is not that bad.

Hub/University House is extremely new and has already leased 4 of its spots. Yes, it brought a high inventory online, but it will get filled as College continues to pick up momentum.

Other Apache projects have fared fine. 922 Place, The District, ASL Trails, Gracie's Village all have a high percentage of their retail filled.

When you walk down Apache or Roosevelt in 20 years, you really think it would be ideal for each to be lined with mono-use buildings? How will we ever create active, urban spaces, or create environments where cars become less of a requirement if there's no opportunity to live/work/play in centralized locations?

Last question: if the market was hot for office construction, would you support the building of office towers throughout the Roosevelt historic district on neighborhood streets? If not, why would it be okay to build mono-use projects in areas that are designated as commercial TOD districts?
Mixed use doesn't have to mean that every single building has multiple uses. Mixed use can be achieved by having buildings with single, but different uses, intermingled on the same block or in the same compact neighborhood. That's still substantially different than late 20th Century suburban development that sometimes kept office, retail, and residential miles apart. As for office buildings on residential streets, I would generally not favor that because of the negative effects that would create for existing residents. That's what good zoning does -- protect against externalities. It doesn't try to create retail space where there is insufficient demand.

Last edited by exit2lef; Feb 23, 2015 at 4:43 PM.
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  #44  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 5:35 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Mixed use doesn't have to mean that every single building has multiple uses. Mixed use can be achieved by having buildings with single, but different uses, intermingled on the same block or in the same compact neighborhood. That's still substantially different than late 20th Century suburban development that sometimes kept office, retail, and residential miles apart. As for office buildings on residential streets, I would generally not favor that because of the negative effects that would create for existing residents. That's what good zoning does -- protect against externalities. It doesn't try to create retail space where there is insufficient demand.
But, if you turn every building you listed as unsuccessful into single-use residential, and allow new construction to be also be single-use residential, where is the opportunity for mixed uses? Apache would be a street of urban residential - what purpose does that solve in the long run? They'll all still need their cars to do their shopping in suburban retail settings. If residential was going up next to galleries, next to an office building, next to an urban-style grocery, I would be fine with that. But, that isn't the trend. What would happen is exactly what you describe: residential being built clustered and built miles away from retail and office uses.

Yes, good zoning should protect against externalities - that includes massive dead zones created by mono-use structures in what should serve as a commercial corridor. I also didn't say it should try to create retail space where there is insufficient demand. Mixed use can also mean a small gallery, exhibition space, community center, etc. And, just like a lot in Roosevelt should remain undeveloped until there is demand for the best use (residential), so too should the lots along Roosevelt (mixed use).

There are plenty of blocks adjacent to Roosevelt where residential uses would fit in just fine. But, how are we going to cultivate more spaces for the arts scene to grow if we don't provide the infrastructure? Live/work spaces are nearly 100% occupied downtown. There's no market rationale for why any large project shouldn't at least include a handful of those.

Again, I think you feel I require retail all the time and that's just not the case. Even on Roosevelt, I'm fine with the iLuminate project on the surface. One mono-use building on a block filled with retail isn't going to make a difference to the street's commercial character. But, something like what Wood proposed? Removing ~6 retail spaces for an entire block's worth of apartments? That just isn't the right use for that block.
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  #45  
Old Posted May 20, 2015, 9:37 PM
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The last time I drove by the site a couple of days ago, construction activity was definitely going on. Anyone know of a project website giving updates? I couldn't find one.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 20, 2015, 9:43 PM
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The last time I drove by the site a couple of days ago, construction activity was definitely going on. Anyone know of a project website giving updates? I couldn't find one.
I drove by a few days ago and it looked like work was being done. I also saw signs with an estimated completion date. I can't remember what the date was, but I think it was after their original goal of having it ready for the 2015 Super Bowl
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  #47  
Old Posted May 20, 2015, 9:45 PM
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The last time I drove by the site a couple of days ago, construction activity was definitely going on. Anyone know of a project website giving updates? I couldn't find one.
I kind of doubt it since it's not a new structure. But yes, there is tons of working going on and has been for months. Hopefully this opens soon! I hoped it'd be a boutique hotel, but in time maybe it will be.
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  #48  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 11:43 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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I kind of doubt it since it's not a new structure. But yes, there is tons of working going on and has been for months. Hopefully this opens soon! I hoped it'd be a boutique hotel, but in time maybe it will be.
I don't think that it would be converted within our lifetime, especially to a boutique brand which would require more renovations than say, an upgrade from a Garden Inn to a plain Hilton Hotel.

It really sucks that a boutique or lifestyle hotel wasn't pursued, because the great draw of Hotel Monroe was how it added so many new, upscale nightlife destinations. People are attracted to unique bars and lounges in those kinds of hotels; a Hilton Garden Inn will be hard-pressed to find anything remotely upscale for its retail space... I hope they are at least somewhat nightlife-oriented.

I do wonder what they will end up doing with the Lodge next door. It would be a huge shame if it was demo'd. It could be turned into a hostel, movie house, or even a regular restaurant and add a lot to the area.
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  #49  
Old Posted May 30, 2015, 9:58 PM
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Drove by the other day. Tons of progress, now working on the windows/entrance.
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  #50  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 6:34 AM
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I don't think that it would be converted within our lifetime, especially to a boutique brand which would require more renovations than say, an upgrade from a Garden Inn to a plain Hilton Hotel.

It really sucks that a boutique or lifestyle hotel wasn't pursued, because the great draw of Hotel Monroe was how it added so many new, upscale nightlife destinations. People are attracted to unique bars and lounges in those kinds of hotels; a Hilton Garden Inn will be hard-pressed to find anything remotely upscale for its retail space... I hope they are at least somewhat nightlife-oriented.
Not disagreeing but downtown Denver has a HGI kitty corner from the south (less prime) end of the convention center. When I Googled to check my recall a popup was advertising $309 a night - good grief; maybe there's a convention in town? They do claim boutique status.

Forget who the developer was but they grabbed that site early before anybody knew how successful the new convention center would become. If built today it would be twice as high and a different brand. In fact White Lodging is finishing up a 21 story dual-branded Hyatt a block further away. Oh well.

They may be pushing to establish more presence in downtown's as another one is due to break ground in the new Union Station neighborhood this year, although not in a prime spot.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2015, 4:36 PM
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Not disagreeing but downtown Denver has a HGI kitty corner from the south (less prime) end of the convention center. When I Googled to check my recall a popup was advertising $309 a night - good grief; maybe there's a convention in town? They do claim boutique status.

Forget who the developer was but they grabbed that site early before anybody knew how successful the new convention center would become. If built today it would be twice as high and a different brand. In fact White Lodging is finishing up a 21 story dual-branded Hyatt a block further away. Oh well.

They may be pushing to establish more presence in downtown's as another one is due to break ground in the new Union Station neighborhood this year, although not in a prime spot.
Not sure what you're trying to say. The room rates have no impact on people's perception of the hotel as being either 1) an average lodging amenity, or 2) an actual attraction due to its status/on-site bars, restaurants, etc.

People go to the bar at the W regardless of whether they are guests of the hotel - the bar is an attraction on its own. That was what Hotel Monroe offered, and what another boutique or lifestyle brand would have offered. Nobody is going to dress up for a night out at the Hilton Garden Inn bar.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2015, 5:17 PM
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Not sure what you're trying to say. The room rates have no impact on people's perception of the hotel as being either 1) an average lodging amenity, or 2) an actual attraction due to its status/on-site bars, restaurants, etc.

People go to the bar at the W regardless of whether they are guests of the hotel - the bar is an attraction on its own. That was what Hotel Monroe offered, and what another boutique or lifestyle brand would have offered. Nobody is going to dress up for a night out at the Hilton Garden Inn bar.
I was merely suggesting that Hilton Garden Inn was apparently A) trying to become more of a "downtown" brand and B) was also trying to be seen as a "boutique" hotel.

The room rate was just an aside that had caught me by surprise. Said nothing about the "actual attraction due to its status/on-site bars, restaurants, etc." - not an area that I'm competent enough to comment about.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2015, 11:39 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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I was merely suggesting that Hilton Garden Inn was apparently A) trying to become more of a "downtown" brand and B) was also trying to be seen as a "boutique" hotel.

The room rate was just an aside that had caught me by surprise. Said nothing about the "actual attraction due to its status/on-site bars, restaurants, etc." - not an area that I'm competent enough to comment about.
I don't think the point is whether or not Hilton Garden Inn is a "downtown" brand or not; it's that a boutique hotel was more ideally suited for the Professional Building. A boutique hotel, by definition, is 100 rooms or less, individualized/custom, and either independent or a very specialized sub-brand of a larger chain (in other words, an HGI would never qualify, regardless of what you read about Denver's). A hotel specifically designed around the historic building site and its features, as Hotel Monroe was, would have been a huge step. Turning a historic property into an upscale destination would've provided a much-needed "anchor" unique to downtown.

An HGI, on the other hand, will offer nothing that emphasizes or highlights the importance of the site. The rooms, service, and overall interior design will be identical to that of a newly-constructed stucco HGI in Gilbert.

An HGI would be happily accepted downtown closer to the convention center on an empty or underutilized lot (at Colliers, for example). But, it's impossible to not think Phoenix lost out on something really big when Hotel Monroe went under. Maybe if such a great plan hadn't existed, the positives of the HGI - like the # of visitors it will hold daily and the fact that a long-vacant historic building is finally being restored - would be easier to focus on.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2015, 12:10 AM
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Well, when you put it that way I can't disagree. I did start out my OP with "Not disagreeing but" as I understood I wasn't about to make any compelling arguments, lol. I therefor yield on all points; I got no skin in this one.

Like with a lot of things and times and in this case the term "boutique" they often get bastardized or plagiarized. But I've got no beef with your own specific definition or thinking.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2015, 2:34 AM
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I skimmed very lightly through all of that conversation but it sounds like some of you are disappointed this build will be a Hilton Garden Inn, so I just wanted to say that I have stayed at historic Hilton Garden Inn hotels in historic buildings and they have all been really cool. Never have I felt they ruined a historic structure.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2015, 3:37 AM
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I skimmed very lightly through all of that conversation but it sounds like some of you are disappointed this build will be a Hilton Garden Inn, so I just wanted to say that I have stayed at historic Hilton Garden Inn hotels in historic buildings and they have all been really cool. Never have I felt they ruined a historic structure.
I'll agree with that. While I can see both sides, I've stayed at many boutique hotels in historic structures around the country that were owned and/or managed by local companies that lacked the vision and/or capital to run them the way they should be. That turns into an unfortunate circumstance when a grand building is poorly ran. I always felt that's what we would've had with the originall developers of Hotel Monroe. I saw their product at 44 Monroe firsthand during design and construction and was left with doubts as to their execution had they opened the hotel. At least here, there will be the backing of the Hilton name to keep up standards.

Now an Aloft, or Kimpton in the same space would've been my preference, but it takes all price points in a market and this is part of a true urban city. Dreaming big, I would've liked to get a Virgin Hotel, but that's far from the Phoenix market
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  #57  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2015, 11:58 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is online now
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I'll agree with that. While I can see both sides, I've stayed at many boutique hotels in historic structures around the country that were owned and/or managed by local companies that lacked the vision and/or capital to run them the way they should be. That turns into an unfortunate circumstance when a grand building is poorly ran. I always felt that's what we would've had with the originall developers of Hotel Monroe. I saw their product at 44 Monroe firsthand during design and construction and was left with doubts as to their execution had they opened the hotel. At least here, there will be the backing of the Hilton name to keep up standards.

Now an Aloft, or Kimpton in the same space would've been my preference, but it takes all price points in a market and this is part of a true urban city. Dreaming big, I would've liked to get a Virgin Hotel, but that's far from the Phoenix market
Agreed. The Hotel Monroe plans seemed so ambitious that I had doubts about their viability even before the financing evaporated in the Mortgages Ltd. debacle. I've stayed in both Hilton Garden Inns and Hampton Inns in vintage buildings in urban environments around the country. They may not be quite as sexy as boutique hotels, but they offer stability and a mid-priced tier that helps draw conventions.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2015, 6:11 PM
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Agreed. The Hotel Monroe plans seemed so ambitious that I had doubts about their viability even before the financing evaporated in the Mortgages Ltd. debacle. I've stayed in both Hilton Garden Inns and Hampton Inns in vintage buildings in urban environments around the country. They may not be quite as sexy as boutique hotels, but they offer stability and a mid-priced tier that helps draw conventions.
Downtown Bar hopping with some friends on Saturday (and as a local born and raised the idea of "bar hopping" downtown still seems strange) anyway allt he signs of "coming soon" for the Hilton are done in a very 1930's Art Deco style.

I really hope that hints to an awesome art deco aesthetic for the hotel, the style in general has made big comebacks over the last 5-10 years so Im hoping they take advantage of this original hotel and go all the way with the theme
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  #59  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2015, 1:52 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Agreed. The Hotel Monroe plans seemed so ambitious that I had doubts about their viability even before the financing evaporated in the Mortgages Ltd. debacle. I've stayed in both Hilton Garden Inns and Hampton Inns in vintage buildings in urban environments around the country. They may not be quite as sexy as boutique hotels, but they offer stability and a mid-priced tier that helps draw conventions.
Even if the plan was overly ambitious, and would be for some time, it is the kind of vision that would have provided downtown with unique anchors that highlights its history and attracts visitation. While the extreme Grace went to may have never been viable, a boutique operator - as all the proposals prior to CSM were - would have been a nice compromise. At least the design would be unique to the site and include destination bars/restaurants (look at Blue Hound and Lustre at the Palomar, for example).

As I said, the addition of an HGI downtown is a good thing. By all accounts, we need more rooms to attract the next tier of conventions, and while it isn't a luxury brand, it is at least select-service and, yes, reliable. I just wish it were built in a brand new tower on Adams/Central, Adams/2nd Ave, 3rd St/Jefferson, etc. and the Professional Building were left for a more custom project, or at the very least, a project focused on creating ground-level attractions out of the bank's distinct features (even if that meant generic office space above, for example). Now, if CSM is aggressively marketing the retail space and intends to be selective in securing the right mix of tenants, it could very well end up a win-win. Given the market, though, I don't know how realistic it is to expect interesting lounges, piano bars, jazz clubs, etc.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2015, 2:57 AM
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I don't know how realistic it is to expect interesting lounges, piano bars, jazz clubs, etc.
Well a Lounge place just opened up across the street, and Crescent, Blue Hound, Hanny's, and Bitter and twisted are all a couple blocks form there. Id say an interesting tenant is very possible, in fact probable.
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