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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2015, 5:37 PM
poconoboy61 poconoboy61 is offline
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Yeah, it's orientation is odd. I also like the views of the city you get from the park. Having something similar to DeSoto in that space with rooftop space. Oh well. At least Central Station will have ground level retail and maybe a grocery store.
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2015, 11:37 AM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Originally Posted by poconoboy61 View Post
Yeah, it's orientation is odd. I also like the views of the city you get from the park. Having something similar to DeSoto in that space with rooftop space. Oh well. At least Central Station will have ground level retail and maybe a grocery store.
There is no ground level retail, though, that's the issue. It is a massive parking garage:

Van Buren - is a complete blank wall with the garage entrance in the center.
Central Ave - has one commercial space that is going to be used as an incubator (9-5 business)
1st Ave - has one commercial space that is going to be used for the transit offices (9-5 business)

I suppose those 2 spaces could be considered ground level retail, but they'll make for a much different type of street activation as opposed to, say, a restaurant with late night and weekend hours.

When you consider that its 3 sides front 3 of the busiest streets in downtown, that it connects to 2 light rail stops and the entire hub of the bus system, a garage with 2 offices on the ground level is a total waste of prime real estate.
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2015, 6:13 PM
KevininPhx KevininPhx is offline
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Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
There is no ground level retail, though, that's the issue. It is a massive parking garage:

Van Buren - is a complete blank wall with the garage entrance in the center.
Central Ave - has one commercial space that is going to be used as an incubator (9-5 business)
1st Ave - has one commercial space that is going to be used for the transit offices (9-5 business)

I suppose those 2 spaces could be considered ground level retail, but they'll make for a much different type of street activation as opposed to, say, a restaurant with late night and weekend hours.

When you consider that its 3 sides front 3 of the busiest streets in downtown, that it connects to 2 light rail stops and the entire hub of the bus system, a garage with 2 offices on the ground level is a total waste of prime real estate.
You're describing many downtowns, including LA and Chicago - where there is no lack of street life but where buildings like Sears/Willis and the Hancock Tower are, garage and retail.
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2015, 7:05 PM
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Does this really need its own thread yet?

However we know how big projects like these can go. Can we wait until it at least gets through the city before we start subdividing it into its own group?
Good question; seems a bit premature to me. Not objecting really and I would hope that coverage continues on the main thread for the many that go there but not to sub-threads.

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Here's hoping the design is radically modified prior to August.
...for the better of course. It feels like there's a good distance still to go on this project. Value engineering is not unusual as things progress as well so we'll see.

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Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
There is no ground level retail, though, that's the issue. It is a massive parking garage:

Van Buren - is a complete blank wall with the garage entrance in the center.
Central Ave - has one commercial space that is going to be used as an incubator (9-5 business)
1st Ave - has one commercial space that is going to be used for the transit offices (9-5 business)

When you consider that its 3 sides front 3 of the busiest streets in downtown, that it connects to 2 light rail stops and the entire hub of the bus system, a garage with 2 offices on the ground level is a total waste of prime real estate.
I do agree but not sure there's an easy fix here?
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2015, 10:48 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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There shouldn't need to be an "easy fix." There should have been a project proposed for the best parcel in downtown Phoenix that was appropriate for its surroundings and provided the best short and long-term benefits to the City who gave up its central bus terminal for this. Phoenix is NOT LA or Chicago or any other city. Those cities have multiple pockets of density, of continuous retail, of true urban districts. Phoenix is manufacturing a downtown out of the ruins of its past and has still not reached the point where it has become a city that is more than just the sum of disconnected mega projects.

The Central Station lot had the potential to a true "hub" and center of activity. It flanks 2 light rail stations, is the City's major bus terminal, will one day be a connection to even more light rail lines and a possible streetcar, has frontage onto the only successful urban park in Phoenix, is at the intersection of ASU and the CBD, and is between the 2 busiest streets in downtown - 1st Ave and Central. It had the opportunity to activate the edge of Civic Space with its Polk side, to take advantage of the successful Westin's main dropoff across its Central side, to be one of the first major projects that Van Buren has been zoned for, and to serve the YMCA/ASU students along 1st Ave.

It does none of that. Civic Space will now be covered in complete shade during certain times of the year and its southern view, which used to be a great mix of midrises and highrises, will now be a giant wall of glass housing luxury apartments that are separated from the park by a private driveway along the Park's southern border. And, the rest of the site gets an above-ground parking garage.

If the market could only support 1 residential apartment tower and 2 office spaces for this site, then the entire RFP should have been delayed until conditions improved OR the winning bid should have had a phased plan that left portions of the property available for future development.

The garage and retail space could and should have been built into the podium of the residential tower, which could and should have been built at the corner of Central and Van Buren. An office tower with underground or podium parking should have been planned for at the corner of Polk and 1st Ave' the City needs Class A office space, and what could be a better sell to tenants than being have your office on the site of the City's multi-modal hub? Polk could then be lined with restaurant spaces that opened up the park, Central and Van Buren could have been the perfect spots for the first big box stores to come downtown, and the transit office and incubator space could have fronted 1st Ave.
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2015, 5:07 AM
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^ What amazes me is how easily you can articulate all that. I'm more just a cheerleader but I keep learnin'.

I do happen to actually be familiar with that specific area and everything you say is well taken. The shade might be nice in summer but at that time of year the sun is so high that it won't be shady for the most part. It's in winter months when the sun would be appreciated that it will be blocked.

Your emphasis on the site's potential as a transit and strategic hub is what I like. I could visualize more of a mixed use 12 story project over a podium as being much better as I'm reminded of some projects in LoDo. There's also THIS which received a height waiver because it's much smaller than could be footprint actually leaves much better mountain views for other residential units nearby.

If it's any consolation the Diamondbacks are beating up on the Giants tonight at AT&T Park.
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2015, 9:26 PM
rocksteady rocksteady is offline
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Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
There shouldn't need to be an "easy fix." There should have been a project proposed for the best parcel in downtown Phoenix that was appropriate for its surroundings and provided the best short and long-term benefits to the City who gave up its central bus terminal for this. Phoenix is NOT LA or Chicago or any other city. Those cities have multiple pockets of density, of continuous retail, of true urban districts. Phoenix is manufacturing a downtown out of the ruins of its past and has still not reached the point where it has become a city that is more than just the sum of disconnected mega projects.

The Central Station lot had the potential to a true "hub" and center of activity. It flanks 2 light rail stations, is the City's major bus terminal, will one day be a connection to even more light rail lines and a possible streetcar, has frontage onto the only successful urban park in Phoenix, is at the intersection of ASU and the CBD, and is between the 2 busiest streets in downtown - 1st Ave and Central. It had the opportunity to activate the edge of Civic Space with its Polk side, to take advantage of the successful Westin's main dropoff across its Central side, to be one of the first major projects that Van Buren has been zoned for, and to serve the YMCA/ASU students along 1st Ave.

It does none of that. Civic Space will now be covered in complete shade during certain times of the year and its southern view, which used to be a great mix of midrises and highrises, will now be a giant wall of glass housing luxury apartments that are separated from the park by a private driveway along the Park's southern border. And, the rest of the site gets an above-ground parking garage.

If the market could only support 1 residential apartment tower and 2 office spaces for this site, then the entire RFP should have been delayed until conditions improved OR the winning bid should have had a phased plan that left portions of the property available for future development.

The garage and retail space could and should have been built into the podium of the residential tower, which could and should have been built at the corner of Central and Van Buren. An office tower with underground or podium parking should have been planned for at the corner of Polk and 1st Ave' the City needs Class A office space, and what could be a better sell to tenants than being have your office on the site of the City's multi-modal hub? Polk could then be lined with restaurant spaces that opened up the park, Central and Van Buren could have been the perfect spots for the first big box stores to come downtown, and the transit office and incubator space could have fronted 1st Ave.
While I'm sure it is too late, have you ever emailed your sentiments to anyone with the city in charge of this project? Not saying it would do much, but I certainly hope they see/hear your concerns because it is spot on.
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2015, 2:22 PM
Jjs5056 Jjs5056 is offline
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Honestly, I wouldn't even know where to send such feedback, but I'll take a look on the phoenix.gov site.

The worst part is that the project already received a GPLET - when will the City stop bending over backwards for developers? If they're giving away a tax break, the City should demand higher quality projects that have a significant impact/contribution to the community. At the very least, they could ensure developers follow the Urban Form put in place for the sole reason of preventing monstrosities like this from being built.

SmithGroup will get away with their mediocre contribution to downtown because 400+ residential units and a shiny rendering in place of what is now a bus dumping zone is hard to resist. It's like nobody see that over 3/4 of the lot is an above-grade garage, which we wouldn't/shouldn't accept from any new office project, for example.

I really think this lot is the most important parcel in downtown. With the future plans for light rail lines to converge here, the expansion of ASU, growth in Roosevelt Row, etc., it will become the central hub. And, it's being wasted on a parking garage.
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  #29  
Old Posted May 5, 2015, 5:03 AM
ljbuild ljbuild is offline
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Central station to start construction

According to "THE CONSTRUCTION REPORTER" & ERIC JOHNSON(economic development manager for PHX.)

This 34 STORY highrise is to START CONSTRUCTION LATE THIS SUMMER and to be complete by EARLY 2017

Hopefully, taller towers will be built to the west and Northwest of that area to SHADE the bus transit center in the late afternoons.
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  #30  
Old Posted May 5, 2015, 2:57 PM
PHXFlyer11 PHXFlyer11 is offline
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Originally Posted by ljbuild View Post
According to "THE CONSTRUCTION REPORTER" & ERIC JOHNSON(economic development manager for PHX.)

This 34 STORY highrise is to START CONSTRUCTION LATE THIS SUMMER and to be complete by EARLY 2017

Hopefully, taller towers will be built to the west and Northwest of that area to SHADE the bus transit center in the late afternoons.
Wonderful news!!! This should help DeSoto and maybe fill in some other vacant retail. Big snowball for the area! So much residential breaking ground!
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  #31  
Old Posted May 6, 2015, 2:04 AM
Sepstein Sepstein is offline
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central station

This tower will never get built you clearly must not follow news on here! we will be lucky to get a 5 story apt building in 10 years
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  #32  
Old Posted May 7, 2015, 3:58 PM
dtnphx dtnphx is offline
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This tower will never get built you clearly must not follow news on here! we will be lucky to get a 5 story apt building in 10 years
You are incorrect.
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  #33  
Old Posted May 7, 2015, 10:59 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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This tower will never get built you clearly must not follow news on here! we will be lucky to get a 5 story apt building in 10 years
? What? Since 2007 we have gained
One Central Park east
Portland on the Park
the new 10 story medical building
Taylor Place
The Downtown Sheraton
The Luhrs Marriot
Alliance Bank Tower
Palomar Hotel/condo Tower

I don't remember when 44 Monroe was built but it was also like 06/07

Those are all over 10 stories (high rise in Phoenix terms)
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  #34  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 12:48 AM
poconoboy61 poconoboy61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
? What? Since 2007 we have gained
One Central Park east
Portland on the Park
the new 10 story medical building
Taylor Place
The Downtown Sheraton
The Luhrs Marriot
Alliance Bank Tower
Palomar Hotel/condo Tower

I don't remember when 44 Monroe was built but it was also like 06/07

Those are all over 10 stories (high rise in Phoenix terms)
I think 44 Monroe was in 2008. I have a strong feeling that Central Station will happen and will happen on time. Between the relatively frequent media updates on the project and some information I have heard from insiders with the project, it sounds like there is nothing right now that is going to stop this project. The Federal Transit Administration gave the go ahead to the city for the project, the developer recently sold another property here in the Valley and has enough capital to build Central Station, and the City absolutely seems supportive.

I look forward to seeing some highrise development downtown. People may not realize this, but this will be the tallest building that has been constructed in Arizona since 1989 and the tallest to be constructed downtown since 1976.
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  #35  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 3:10 AM
PHXFlyer11 PHXFlyer11 is offline
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Originally Posted by poconoboy61 View Post
I look forward to seeing some highrise development downtown. People may not realize this, but this will be the tallest building that has been constructed in Arizona since 1989 and the tallest to be constructed downtown since 1976.
That's not fair... Do i have to ask?

Ok, I'll guess... Is the 1989 one in Tucson?
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  #36  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 5:00 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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I believe its the US West building on Central and Thomas or whatever the hell they're calling the telecom company that leases space there nowadays.

Centurylink? Tucson's tallest was completed in 1986
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  #37  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 6:11 AM
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While it could be much improved, like adding 110 feet to it to finally get a building to hit 500 feet, it will be nice to have a new highrise downtown. Let's hope more start coming through the pipeline.
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  #38  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 5:10 PM
poconoboy61 poconoboy61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXFlyer11 View Post
That's not fair... Do i have to ask?

Ok, I'll guess... Is the 1989 one in Tucson?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 View Post
I believe its the US West building on Central and Thomas or whatever the hell they're calling the telecom company that leases space there nowadays.

Centurylink? Tucson's tallest was completed in 1986
Yeah, the 1989 highrise is the CenturyLink building near Central and Thomas. This will be taller than One South Church (tallest building in Tucson) by 60 feet.
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  #39  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 5:48 PM
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general philosophical question here borne of frustration and scratch-the-head perplexity...why can't they just tack on 10 more feet and get a third building in the friggin' state to that "magical" 400 foot mark????
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  #40  
Old Posted May 8, 2015, 7:16 PM
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^ This looks to me like it's a low-risk, value-engineered building that's being constructed to be sold later on like practically every other building in the region.

The garage is above ground, which is cheap to build, the developer is pushing back on Urban Form requirements that would drive up cost, the curtain wall is cheap glass, and there's practically no mechanical screening for the penthouse except its stupid "hat."

A taller building would probably significantly change up their pro forma, eg, they might have to put parking partially underground instead, which would drive up cost. Ignoring a safe expected rate of return for a taller building or flashier project is what developers do when they have faith in the market and want something they hold on to for a long time to recoup the losses building it.
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