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  #1001  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 1:29 AM
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combusean combusean is offline
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Some part of me wonders just how much Downtown Phoenix's development was frozen in time, waiting to be thawed again.

The Jet appears "back". Desert Troon still owns the land at 2nd Avenue north of Van Buren. Downscaled and overparked somewhat, it's a two-tower 22 and 19 floor mixed use project. 280' and 229'. Not bad...









http://desert-troon.com/the-jet

Southwest Development Group still owns the land across from Lynwood on Central Avenue south of McDowell. Still have a corporate multiparty answering system picking up the phone. There website has not been updated.

http://www.soave.com/core/realestate_museum.php

Mostly old renderings at: http://emvis.net/~sean/ssp/projects/swdg_twin_towers/

Last edited by combusean; Aug 3, 2010 at 10:22 AM.
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  #1002  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 2:26 AM
azliam azliam is offline
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So, I was driving back from South Mountain today on Central. I wanted to see how CityScape was looking since I haven't been downtown in awhile. While driving from downtown to midtown, I was talking with a friend about how I wish there was more of a link between downtown and midtown besides the lightrail. I thought it would be interesting if the sidewalks were enhanced with music or misters since it is not the most comfortable thing to walk in the heat during the summer; however, there are certainly parts of Central where the sidewalks couldn't be widened/extended.

Then, while looking at the lightrail, we wondered why there isn't some type of sky walkway built above the lightrail (or lightrail stations) that would extend all the way down Central from midtown to downtown, with points where people could exit it and be at street level. Perhaps they could have moving sidewalks on parts of them, somehow be cooled, have music, or even be lit up at night somewhat like the Freemont Street Experience in Vegas or some type of cool lighting. Plus, the views would be great.

I guess we were trying to come up with an idea of how to get more pedestrian traffic in midtown and downtown, and find a way to link the two better. I believe that if more people were walking through that area rather than just driving or riding the lightrail, they would be more prone to visiting some of the businesses along Central and downtown. Perhaps it could even draw more people to want to live in the area, or spur more development along that area.

I tried to find some photos online of sky walkways somewhat similar to what we were thinking about. Here's a few - not the best, but an idea:

http://www.mythailandblog.com/wp-con...5/brtbus_3.jpg

http://www.mythailandblog.com/wp-con...5/brtbus_2.jpg

http://www.photoeverywhere.co.uk/bri...irport2091.jpg
Wow, I didn't even get a response. I didn't think it was THAT lame of an idea...
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  #1003  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 5:50 AM
Phxguy Phxguy is offline
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Wow, I didn't even get a response. I didn't think it was THAT lame of an idea...
Well there's lame then there's just gay. Haha just kidding. While the idea isn't bad, would be right above the path of the lightrail? If so that works because not only do people get the view of downtown and Midtown, they get shade(as well as the people on the ground), they have very easy access to the stations, plus it'd add to the pedstrian traffic during the summer thus, like you said spurs buisness along the corridor. Although walking DT Phoenix 2 weeks ago I did see quite a lot of people walking the streets on that 113 degree day. If they built that I'd use it whenever I was DT or Midtown.
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  #1004  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 5:53 AM
Phxguy Phxguy is offline
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Originally Posted by combusean View Post
Some part of me wonders just how much Downtown Phoenix's development was frozen in time, waiting to be thawed again.

The Jet appears "back". Desert Troon still owns the land at 2nd Avenue north of Van Buren. Downscaled somewhat, it is a massively overparked 22 and 19 floor mixed use project. 280' and 229'. Not bad...

http://emvis.net/~sean/ssp/projects/swdg_twin_towers/[/url]
When did this project first die? So your saying it came back?
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  #1005  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 8:29 AM
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HooverDam HooverDam is offline
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Originally Posted by azliam View Post
Wow, I didn't even get a response. I didn't think it was THAT lame of an idea...
Sorry, I wrote a response, then my internet browser crashed and I was too lazy to retype it!

My basic thought would be, I like your idea of trying to connect Downtown and Midtown more, thats a good thought. But skywalks aren't the way to do it. They pull people away from the street and decrease pedestrian activity and vitality that we all associate with a healthy city. What we need more of is firstly shade trees, second man made shade structures, and third many more misters.

Additionally a key thing is having vastly more street facing retail along central. When its 115 outside and you walk by shops with doors opening and closing and their cool AC spilling out onto the street that helps a lot. Additionally you're going to be more likely to pop into a book store or whatever just to browse and get some relief from the heat.

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Originally Posted by combusean View Post
The Jet stuff
While Im thrilled at them updating the site and hopeful that anything replaces a dirty lot, I'm a bit confused by one line on their site. It says:

Quote:
The Jet is a planned high-rise development that offers a welcome mix of rental housing competitive to entry-level ownership
Does this means they plan the rental apartments to be priced similarly to the mortgage on a starter home? Doesn't Downtown need a lot more apartments that are priced at $1 per square foot per month or less rather than luxury rentals that cost as much as owning a home? These luxury projects whether they be condos or apartments seem misguided to me. The majority of urban pioneers are going to be young, creative, poor types.

Obviously due to Phoenix's lack of historic large building stock that can be retrofitted into multi story loft buildings its going to be harder to create large scale affordable housing projects. But developers if they were smart should be trying to fill that market. I know many people (myself included) that would love a place between the 7s, the I-10 and the tracks but end up finding mostly either dumps or 'luxury' apartments with not much in the way of affordable quality in between.
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  #1006  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 2:33 PM
Leo the Dog Leo the Dog is offline
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Wow, I didn't even get a response. I didn't think it was THAT lame of an idea...
Why build elevated structures over LRT? If this is the case, they should've just built elevated rail with elevated walkways to the sidewalks and buildings.
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  #1007  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 3:49 PM
glynnjamin glynnjamin is offline
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Why build elevated structures over LRT? If this is the case, they should've just built elevated rail with elevated walkways to the sidewalks and buildings.
Or elevated rail with a nice green shaded walkway underneath...that would at least create shade, walkability, and urban transportation. Too bad it would cost like 4x as much as the LRT line.
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  #1008  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 5:44 PM
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Or elevated rail with a nice green shaded walkway underneath...that would at least create shade, walkability, and urban transportation. Too bad it would cost like 4x as much as the LRT line.
Besides the fact that unless you ran the elevated line down the sides of the road instead of the center, no one is going to want to walk down the middle of Central underneath train tracks. That would really, really ramp up cost lol!

Go to Paris where the metro line 2 runs elevated down the center of the street, people do not walk underneath the tracks.
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  #1009  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 6:14 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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I think here people would love to walk underneath the tracks. I know I would in the summertime. Underneath the tracks = shade!
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  #1010  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 6:18 PM
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Originally Posted by KEVINphx View Post
Besides the fact that unless you ran the elevated line down the sides of the road instead of the center, no one is going to want to walk down the middle of Central underneath train tracks. That would really, really ramp up cost lol!

Go to Paris where the metro line 2 runs elevated down the center of the street, people do not walk underneath the tracks.
There are plenty of places where walkways are used effectively underneath the tracks in the center of the road. I think it's a bad idea in Phoenix both because walkways are effective underneath elevated tracks, which Phoenix doesn't have (they're on the way up or down from the trains and stations, not out of the way for people to get up to them above everything else) and Phoenix doesn't have enough street life as it is, we don't need to cannibalize what little street life we have by diverting it away from the sidewalks and storefronts (or potential storefronts) and up above the middle of the road.

Bangkok for example has a large elevated walkway underneath a significant portion of the BTS train. It connects directly into the upper levels of nearby buildings and it has room for vendors and shops (coffee/doughnut shops, newsstands, currency exchanges, etc.) along the walkway. My pics.







Like I said though, the walkway is easily accessible and underneath the train, and the sidewalks are so thoroughly congested with people and street vendors that having elevated walkways increases mobility without cannibalizing the street life.







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  #1011  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 6:22 PM
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There's an even better idea for central. I love all the street vendors out 24/7 in places like Bangkok, Amsterdam, or Santa Fe. They really enhance street life, they encourage people to be out and walking, they allow a street to be continuously walkable even if there aren't storefronts along sections of the road, etc. Let's create a street vendor district along central along the light rail to connect midtown and downtown. Food, books, cds, trinkets, whatever, it would be great.
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  #1012  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 7:48 PM
Phxguy Phxguy is offline
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Originally Posted by mwadswor View Post
There's an even better idea for central. I love all the street vendors out 24/7 in places like Bangkok, Amsterdam, or Santa Fe. They really enhance street life, they encourage people to be out and walking, they allow a street to be continuously walkable even if there aren't storefronts along sections of the road, etc. Let's create a street vendor district along central along the light rail to connect midtown and downtown. Food, books, cds, trinkets, whatever, it would be great.
Why not add a completely seperate district inbetween there with the street vendors and the walkway. Something say like a Chinatown or Koreatown; Little Italy. Emercing ones culture into downtown would not only attract international and Arizonian people there but it would increase pedistrian, auto, and light rail traffic. Plus I think it would be cool if they added the street vendors in the alley ways making it like a walkthrough outdoor mall like in Honolulu, if you've been there. That way people can shop on the streets then cut through an alleyway market to get to the next street over.
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  #1013  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 9:49 PM
dtnphx dtnphx is offline
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A friend of mine was invited to a soft opening for Nobuo in The Teeter House and LOVED IT! In the paper today...

Nobuo in downtown Phoenix open for dinner
by Howard Seftel -Republic restaurant critic

After three lunch-only weeks, James Beard Award-winner Nobuo Fukuda feels comfortable enough to ramp up dinner at his new downtown Phoenix restaurant. Dinner at Nobuo at Teeter House starts Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Fukuda received national acclaim at Sea Saw, his closed Scottsdale restaurant known for exquisite modern Japanese small plates. His new restaurant is modeled after Japanese taverns called izakayas, causal, affordable spots where people come to nibble and drink.

Sea Saw regulars will recognize several dishes. Among them: tuna tataki with beet puree ($10); fluke with homemade focaccia ($10); a trio of octopus, mozzarella and tomato (mp); coconut curry grilled lamb ($12); soft shell crab with green papaya slaw ($10) and parchment-baked sea bass with mushrooms (mp).

What's new? I'm looking forward to pork belly buns ($8), steamed clam with cabbage and bacon ($10) and most of all to okonomiyaki ($8). It's a sizzled Japanese pancake, generally mixed with a scrumptious combination of seafood or pork, cabbage and vegetables, and a dab of Japanese mayo. Then, it's finished with a sprinkle of bonito and seaweed flakes, and drizzled with distinctively thick, slightly sweet sauce.

Details: Lunch and dinner Tuesdays-Sundays. 623 E. Adams St. (Heritage Square), Phoenix, 602-254-0600,
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  #1014  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 9:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Phxguy View Post
Why not add a completely seperate district inbetween there with the street vendors and the walkway. Something say like a Chinatown or Koreatown; Little Italy. Emercing ones culture into downtown would not only attract international and Arizonian people there but it would increase pedistrian, auto, and light rail traffic. Plus I think it would be cool if they added the street vendors in the alley ways making it like a walkthrough outdoor mall like in Honolulu, if you've been there. That way people can shop on the streets then cut through an alleyway market to get to the next street over.
Unfortunately, one of the most substantial ethnic communities Phoenix actually has is under a good deal of scrutiny at the moment (and likely won't be creating any new vibrant districts downtown in the near future). It's a damn shame, too, because AZ cities could be truly uniquely recognized for celebrating Hispanic and Native American cultures more visibly in our built environment.

Other cities that have the Little Tokyos, the Chinatowns, etc... developed those organically after immigrants settled close to friends and family. I've never seen an example of a city "wanting" a Chinatown and shipping in thousands of Chinese just to make that a reality. Sounds more like something China would do, actually. Any volunteers for "Americatown"? Tokyo's got one!
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  #1015  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 10:10 PM
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BTW - in response to Nobuo opening downtown: YES. I've been searching for a place to eat okonomiyaki for over two years. It's a delicious Osaka tradition, and great to see some different Japanese foods come to the valley after the wave of Americanized sushi.
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  #1016  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 11:38 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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I'm probably going to try it tonight.
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  #1017  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2010, 2:07 AM
azliam azliam is offline
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Originally Posted by mwadswor View Post
There are plenty of places where walkways are used effectively underneath the tracks in the center of the road. I think it's a bad idea in Phoenix both because walkways are effective underneath elevated tracks, which Phoenix doesn't have (they're on the way up or down from the trains and stations, not out of the way for people to get up to them above everything else) and Phoenix doesn't have enough street life as it is, we don't need to cannibalize what little street life we have by diverting it away from the sidewalks and storefronts (or potential storefronts) and up above the middle of the road.

Bangkok for example has a large elevated walkway underneath a significant portion of the BTS train. It connects directly into the upper levels of nearby buildings and it has room for vendors and shops (coffee/doughnut shops, newsstands, currency exchanges, etc.) along the walkway. My pics.







Like I said though, the walkway is easily accessible and underneath the train, and the sidewalks are so thoroughly congested with people and street vendors that having elevated walkways increases mobility without cannibalizing the street life.







You are right about Phoenix not having enough pedestrian traffic along Central; however, Phoenix is not a typical large city either. With the status quo, I just do not foresee Phoenix having a bunch of pedestrian traffic along Central Ave to downtown even with the lightrail moving along the middle. The sidewalks are narrow in some parts, wide in other parts, there is alot of empty space along Central in areas, not enough shade, etc. There needs to be something to actually draw more people to that area that would help to tie the midtown area with the downtown area, and I just don't foresee with the ways things are now (at least during the long hot summers) alot of pedestrian traffic moving along Central or even wanting to walk in the heat along Central all the way to downtown. A skywalk, however, could keep people cooled, allow for great views and for pedestrians to actually take time to see what is actually along Central (without worrying about hurrying to the next destination because it is so hot), and have plenty of points in it where people COULD get to street level. The idea isn't to take people away from street-level, it's actually to get more people to go along Central and downtown and see what is actually (or could potentially be) down there.
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  #1018  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2010, 5:46 AM
SunDevil SunDevil is offline
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yes it's hot now, it's late summer, however, what's the reason people aren't walking down central in December? It ain't the heat. It's the build environment.

20+ story buildings are admirable, but the soul of the city is in the 1-2-3 story buildings where "joe shmo" can afford the lease to open up shop. What must be recognized is that for Phoenix, this pretty much means strip malls, existing ones and future ones. This means auto-centric, this means embracing the thing most city dwellers disdain the most.
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  #1019  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2010, 3:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
yes it's hot now, it's late summer, however, what's the reason people aren't walking down central in December? It ain't the heat. It's the build environment.

20+ story buildings are admirable, but the soul of the city is in the 1-2-3 story buildings where "joe shmo" can afford the lease to open up shop. What must be recognized is that for Phoenix, this pretty much means strip malls, existing ones and future ones. This means auto-centric, this means embracing the thing most city dwellers disdain the most.
Come again? You think the reason we don't have street life on central in december is because we need more strip malls and we need to be more auto-centric?
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  #1020  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2010, 3:49 PM
Leo the Dog Leo the Dog is offline
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^^^ I think I know what he was trying to say...we don't have pedestrian activity year 'round bc its just not convenient for anything but autos.

Even though midtown Central is lined with numerous high/mid rises that creates a nice skyline, they are suburban in nature, designed for the automobile even in the heart of the city. Every high rise has its own parking structure, usually behind the building. One may not even have to drive on Central to get to work! The buildings themselves, are set back from the sidewalk with ample open space (just think Viad or any other mid-town office building).

It would be nice if someday the open space surrounding these "towers" were allowed to be developed into 3-5 story apartments, condos, shops (for Joe Schmo) that front Central with connectivity to LRT and office towers.

How do you get office workers out of their car if it is just too easy to park in the garage and take the elevator up to the office? Parking should be limited and expensive, right now, it is just too convenient and cheap for commuters to drive into work from outer residential districts.

Parking is so cheap in these garages (I know of one that is $16/month unlimited parking for employees, some might be free) that nobody parks at meters for $1.50/hour.
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