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  #81  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2017, 10:30 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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I walked through the AZ Center this afternoon for the first time in several weeks. The good news, I suppose, is that renovation is well underway. The bad news is that Cucina Cucina, the Italian restaurant opened there about a year-and-a-half ago, has gone out of business. Cucina Cucina was good-but-not-great Italian. That made it better than most of the restaurants at the AZ Center. More importantly, it's concerning that another existing tenant has closed and there haven't been announcements of new tenants on the way.
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  #82  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2017, 10:43 PM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is online now
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Too early in the renovation to get excited about the lack of new announcements.
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  #83  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2017, 4:07 PM
PHXFlyer11 PHXFlyer11 is offline
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Originally Posted by biggus diggus View Post
Too early in the renovation to get excited about the lack of new announcements.
Plus new restaurants and shops will come when housing is built on site.

I recall back in high school (14 years ago) we went to AZ center and it was pretty busy, they had an indoor food court on the second floor. Not sure how it dropped off so quickly.
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  #84  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2017, 7:41 PM
RonnieFoos RonnieFoos is online now
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I went to AZ Center last night to watch Ragnorak...good movie I will add. I am impressed with the renovation so far. They are adding a lot of artsy elements, extending the elevator shaft height (looks like they could be installing glass elevators?) and adding lots of other nice features.

For being half empty with all the construction, there were quite a few people walking around. Maybe just checking out construction? I can't wait to see this when completed.
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  #85  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2017, 9:19 PM
ASUSunDevil ASUSunDevil is offline
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Originally Posted by RonnieFoos View Post
I went to AZ Center last night to watch Ragnorak...good movie I will add. I am impressed with the renovation so far. They are adding a lot of artsy elements, extending the elevator shaft height (looks like they could be installing glass elevators?) and adding lots of other nice features.

For being half empty with all the construction, there were quite a few people walking around. Maybe just checking out construction? I can't wait to see this when completed.
Gensler (architect) doesn't mess around. It will be
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  #86  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2017, 10:33 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Originally Posted by PHXFlyer11 View Post
Plus new restaurants and shops will come when housing is built on site.

I recall back in high school (14 years ago) we went to AZ center and it was pretty busy, they had an indoor food court on the second floor. Not sure how it dropped off so quickly.
When it opened nearly three decades ago, the Arizona Center was packed. It stayed that way for a few years until the novelty wore off. In recent years, the surrounding area has experienced a resurgence, but due to the inward-facing design of the Arizona Center, people who work in nearby offices or stay in nearby hotels have a hard time realizing there's anything worth exploring inside. Unfortunately, the renovation underway does little to address this intrinsic flaw, which is why I'm particularly concerned about the absence of new tenant announcements.

Last edited by exit2lef; Nov 4, 2017 at 10:50 PM.
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  #87  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2017, 12:02 AM
biggus diggus biggus diggus is online now
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I disagree that the inward nature has that big an effect. Anyone who lives or works in the area knows what's there and the hotel staff in the area are always quick to send their guests there for restaurants.
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  #88  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2017, 6:45 AM
doppelbanger doppelbanger is offline
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I also disagree that inward facing was the problem. The biggest problem is that the place was full of "mall stores". The place used to have a Sam Goody (maybe Wherehouse) and a whole bunch of clothing stores that are either out of business or almost out of business. Its really no different than other malls such as Fiesta or Metro Center. I imagine that that the rents are even higher at Az Center because of the downtown location. Just one more observation, Az Center was the original and only outdoor "mall" for a long time and may have lost some of it's uniqueness as a destination during the boom of outdoor malls: Tempe Marketplace, San Tan, Westgate, Quarter etc.
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  #89  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2017, 1:00 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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I don't remember the music store, but I remember plenty of clothing stores such as Foot Locker, Victoria's Secret, and the Gap -- all of which are long gone. The Arizona Center was far more popular as an entertainment venue than as a shopping center and tried to shift towards even more entertainment after half a decade of operation:

https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/...16/focus1.html

Unfortunately, by the time that change in focus happened the original entertainment venues such as the sports bar and dueling piano bar had passed their peak and nothing added afterward would ever be as popular. Now, I actually think the Arizona Center could do better by adding some basic retail back to the mix. At the time the center opened, there wasn't the population nearby to support a drug store, for example. Now there is. I work across the street from the Arizona Center and sometimes the CVS at CityScape is too far to walk for an immediate need.

Regarding the inward-facing nature, we'll have to agree to disagree. It's a significant problem and will put the Arizona Center at a continuing disadvantage if not properly addressed. Sure, some people who work or live nearby know what's inside, but there are also many visitors to downtown who have no way to know there is a whole mall hidden behind Hooters. Likewise, I would guess that most hotel guests don't ask their concierges for help with finding restaurants. Some simply look for restaurants by walking around, and when faced with blank walls and loading docks, they look elsewhere.

Regardless of what happens with the retail component, the office towers of the Arizona Center are just as bad -- maybe even worse -- in terms of inward focus. On both Van Buren and Fifth Street, a person walking on the sidewalk has to pass loading docks and service entrances that should be in alleys or on the backsides of buildings. Instead, those back-of-the-house functions face the street while the main entrances to the buildings are located on the inside of the center. Those flaws are not easily fixed and will present a continuing challenge for the complex.

Last edited by exit2lef; Nov 5, 2017 at 1:45 PM.
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  #90  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2017, 4:02 PM
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KEVINphx KEVINphx is offline
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
I don't remember the music store, but I remember plenty of clothing stores such as Foot Locker, Victoria's Secret, and the Gap -- all of which are long gone. The Arizona Center was far more popular as an entertainment venue than as a shopping center and tried to shift towards even more entertainment after half a decade of operation:

https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/...16/focus1.html

Unfortunately, by the time that change in focus happened the original entertainment venues such as the sports bar and dueling piano bar had passed their peak and nothing added afterward would ever be as popular. Now, I actually think the Arizona Center could do better by adding some basic retail back to the mix. At the time the center opened, there wasn't the population nearby to support a drug store, for example. Now there is. I work across the street from the Arizona Center and sometimes the CVS at CityScape is too far to walk for an immediate need.

Regarding the inward-facing nature, we'll have to agree to disagree. It's a significant problem and will put the Arizona Center at a continuing disadvantage if not properly addressed. Sure, some people who work or live nearby know what's inside, but there are also many visitors to downtown who have no way to know there is a whole mall hidden behind Hooters. Likewise, I would guess that most hotel guests don't ask their concierges for help with finding restaurants. Some simply look for restaurants by walking around, and when faced with blank walls and loading docks, they look elsewhere.

Regardless of what happens with the retail component, the office towers of the Arizona Center are just as bad -- maybe even worse -- in terms of inward focus. On both Van Buren and Fifth Street, a person walking on the sidewalk has to pass loading docks and service entrances that should be in alleys or on the backsides of buildings. Instead, those back-of-the-house functions face the street while the main entrances to the buildings are located on the inside of the center. Those flaws are not easily fixed and will present a continuing challenge for the complex.
to be fair, most people likely use their mobile device to locate places to eat and go - this may be something that has not yet been studied as far as how it could affect urban planning as I would imagine it is very easy to locate things off the main path - in Paris there are restaurants and shops that lie within the inner courtyards of buildings lining the vehicular streets for example and would be things you could only happen upon in the past but now anything can be found with google maps etc
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  #91  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2017, 8:23 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Originally Posted by KEVINphx View Post
to be fair, most people likely use their mobile device to locate places to eat and go - this may be something that has not yet been studied as far as how it could affect urban planning as I would imagine it is very easy to locate things off the main path - in Paris there are restaurants and shops that lie within the inner courtyards of buildings lining the vehicular streets for example and would be things you could only happen upon in the past but now anything can be found with google maps etc
I do that and so do many people I associate with. There are still many people who don't approach things that way, however. The Downtown Phoenix ambassadors get plenty of questions from people who step off the train or out of their hotel lobbies and simply look for the nearest, most visible restaurants. The ambassadors can direct them into the Arizona Center, but I worry about those who never bother to ask for help. The point about Paris is true in my experience, but wandering down alleys or into courtyards is an interesting, inviting form of urban adventure made possible by fine-grained development. When the streetscape changes every 100 feet, there's a sense that it's worthwhile to continue walking to find an interesting place. On the other hand, 1000 feet of blank walls, loading docks, and parking doesn't entice the pedestrian to explore further, and the interruption of the sidewalk with too many curb cuts can be a deterrent to walking at all. While I'm surprised the Arizona Center has so many defenders in this forum, I guess I'm pleased as well. I want the renovations to succeed in revitalizing the place despite the complex's substantial flaws. I just hope they find tenants to make it all worthwhile.
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  #92  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 9:58 PM
ASU Diablo ASU Diablo is online now
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New 200-room, 15-story hotel coming to Arizona Center

Update on the hotel portion of AZ Center!!

Here's the link but behind a paywall (highlights below):
https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/...o-arizona.html
Quote:
An AC Hotel by Marriott (Nasdaq: MAR) is slated for development at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix.

The planned hotel will be 15 stories and have 200 rooms. It is being developed by Las Vegas-based LaPour Partners.

LaPour is under contract for a 49,190-square foot parcel on the Fifth Street side of the Arizona Center development for the new hotel. The 31-story residential tower is slated to begin construction in 2018 and construction of the AC Hotel is scheduled to begin in April 2018
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  #93  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by airomero83 View Post
Update on the hotel portion of AZ Center!!

Here's the link but behind a paywall (highlights below):
https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/...o-arizona.html
BOOM!!
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  #94  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:07 PM
ASU Diablo ASU Diablo is online now
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BOOM!!
YES! I'm really looking forward to this entire project once completed. That's two more cranes in the sky come Q2 2018 (assuming the apartment tower happens around the same time)
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  #95  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:07 PM
RonnieFoos RonnieFoos is online now
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Can anyone post the full article?
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  #96  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:15 PM
ASU Diablo ASU Diablo is online now
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Can anyone post the full article?
This article is actually better and has more details.
https://azbigmedia.com/arizona-cente...ntown-phoenix/
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  #97  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:17 PM
RonnieFoos RonnieFoos is online now
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Originally Posted by airomero83 View Post
This article is actually better and has more details.
https://azbigmedia.com/arizona-cente...ntown-phoenix/
Good to see AZ Center really getting serious about a rebirth. How about some renderings AZ Center? We're ready!!
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  #98  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:30 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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An AC Marriott hotel just opened in Downtown Tucson. The AC brand definitely seems to be one oriented towards urban centers, so it's a good fit and a good sign for the Arizona Center. The AZ Big Media article says 5th Street between Van Buren and Fillmore. I'm thinking that might mean the grassy area between the APS building and the parking garage?
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  #99  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:33 PM
ASU Diablo ASU Diablo is online now
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
An AC Marriott hotel just opened in Downtown Tucson. The AC brand definitely seems to be one oriented towards urban centers, so it's a good fit and a good sign for the Arizona Center. The AZ Big Media article says 5th Street between Van Buren and Fillmore. I'm thinking that might mean the grassy area between the APS building and the parking garage?
Correct.
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  #100  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:44 PM
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Tidbit on timeline:

The addition of a 31-story residential tower is slated to begin construction in 2018 and construction of the AC Hotel is scheduled to begin in April 2018.
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