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  #121  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 7:12 PM
kevininlb kevininlb is offline
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I lived in chicago when millenium park was being built, and many, many people were not happy about it. I mean, I couldn't wait for it but there were many people really pissed off for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which was talk of a "bean" sculpture. You're right about it being a tourist draw now but, trust me, Chicagoans were not happy about it until months after it was finished when tourists starting showing up.

I'm so far not blown away by the design for the civic space but I am waiting to see what happens. If nothing else, I give the mayor credit for factoring in a park and shade in his grand scheme for downtown.
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  #122  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 7:17 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Also, there will be a 100' wide by 80' tall "floating" sculpture of some sort in the park which could be like this bean you guys are talking about. Something that size, up in the air, means it will be seen from pretty far, it will probably top out at 100'-110' in the air with the air space below it calculated in.
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  #123  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2007, 5:31 AM
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It's obvious to me that Gordon's position in the column is boosterism and trying to take credit for a process and outcome with which he had nothing to do. If Gordon wants to leave a legacy, let's see Parks and Rec. Dept. reform.

That said, Parks and Rec. and ASU are to blame with any dissatisfaction people may have with the Civic Space design. I personally say you have to actually see the proposal in more detail than what's been presented, and I think the success of the space will ultimately depend on the number of potential users more than the design. I think Patriot's Square would have been more popular if there were more people living downtown, same with Deck Park. The design of the park, unless it's well and truly broken, will not impede use if there are residents who are willing to leave their luxury condos and spend time in the park.
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  #124  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2007, 11:19 AM
jvbahn jvbahn is offline
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THe trains are pretty cool IMO, though the comment about the new convention center is dead on. "Oh look how nice it is!" Then they drive home. Adds absolutely nothing to the area other than reducing the old oven that it was and provides some mass. With Combusean, I would agree, it's time to end the reverse lane, and start putting some density along the 7's. Too much damned driving in Phoenix, and it's got to turn around the auto-based infrastructure in so many ways if it is supposed to survive the absolute hell of the fast-approaching oil problems in the next few years. Now if they could turn off the tap at City Hall and the Capitol for the suburban infrastructure, maybe they could save Arizona.

As for the park, any sort of public space in the city would be welcome....it would be good to encourage some sort of communal civilization where people can gather publically, for which there is almost no example in the PHX Metro.
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  #125  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2007, 10:57 PM
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I haven't been to alot of the bigger convention centers around the country, but those that I have seen do not incorporate retail. What do other cities do to prevent the "dead space" you're complaining about? Seems that simply providing a larger and more usable convention center that will attract more travelers to the area is about all we can ask of that building. It's up to the surrounding area to cater to the retail needs of those people. If all the retail is incorporated right into the convention center, it will discourage travelers from getting out and experiencing the rest of what downtown has to offer.
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  #126  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2007, 2:42 PM
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Quote:
Downtown ASU a work in progress
Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 19, 2007 12:00 AM

It's a tough juggling act for a 1-year-old.

When students return this week, Arizona State University's downtown campus will have a lot of balls in the air: construction, teaching, and pleasing taxpayers who invested millions, including $220 million from a 2006 bond, to pump life into the heart of Phoenix.

Tuesday will mark the first anniversary of the campus designed to create a vibrant university community that would inject jobs, foot traffic and electricity into Phoenix's core.
For ASU, the strategy is part of a broader plan to grow the university and create a campus focused on public service and policy. University and Phoenix leaders give themselves high marks, saying the first year was a success even though the campus is far from complete.

More than 3,000 students attended downtown classes last year, but official numbers for this year won't be ready until September. By 2015, up to 15,000 students - nearly the current size of Northern Arizona University - will take classes taught by downtown faculty.

"We are adding an entire educational sector to downtown Phoenix," said ASU President Michael Crow, who called the campus "one of the largest developments in the history of downtown."

This year, people will see more construction, more students and a stronger effort to improve students' experience. Some rough spots may fade with time. Others, such as the demand for more cheap parking, aren't going away.

Students say they love the professors, small downtown classes and cutting-edge classrooms, but they are giving the fledgling campus a different grade: Incomplete.

"They could have made it more livable," said David Bacerra, a social-work graduate student.
Work in progress
Last year, ASU launched a high-profile campus in the heart of Phoenix. It moved three colleges downtown, converted the Ramada Inn Downtown into a dorm and took over several downtown buildings. A shuttle service ferried students between the downtown campus and the Tempe campus.

Most of the ASU buildings lie between First Avenue and Third Street, Van Buren and Fillmore streets. ASU's Mercado complex is near Fifth Street and Van Buren.

Key parts of the campus haven't been built yet or are under construction:


• The first 13-story tower of a $150 million student housing complex, called Taylor Place, won't be ready until 2008. After a second tower is complete in 2009, the complex will house 1,300 students.


• The $71 million journalism school is to open in 2008 and is expected to bring more than 1,000 undergraduate students downtown.


• A $15 million expansion for the nursing school that will provide 50,000 square feet for classrooms and offices on the southeast corner of Second Street and Fillmore probably won't break ground until 2008.


• A student union, planned for the bottom floor of the post office at 522 N. Central Ave., is not expected to open until 2010 or later. The project, which includes relocating the post office's distribution center to another site, could cost $4 million.


• The campus quad, a $30 million 2.7-acre park called the Downtown Civic Space. The first phase is scheduled to be done by 2008, but it won't be complete until 2009.
Craving a college vibe
Until those projects are done and more shops and restaurants stay open late, the campus will be a turnoff to many students, some say.

"If you were looking for a real college atmosphere, it wasn't there," said Kaylin Hasselquist, 19, who lived in a dorm downtown last year. She plans to live in Tempe this year.

Since she had to take several classes in Tempe, Hasselquist says she spent a lot of time commuting back and forth from Phoenix shuttling between the campuses. At night, there was little for students under 21 to do, she said.

With the nursing school based downtown, Hasselquist is considering leaving ASU to go to nursing school back home in Minnesota after this year. The lack of downtown amenities will be a "deciding factor" if she goes home, she said.

Other students raved about the high-tech feel of the new campus: There's wireless Internet access, sleek computers, new study areas and tricked-out classrooms that make PowerPoint presentations easy.

"The classrooms last year were wonderful," said Lynn Maupin, a graduate student in the school of nursing.

Most students interviewed, however, said ASU needs more affordable parking.

Throughout ASU, student parking permits rose again last year. Students shell out $180 to $670 annually for a permit. Many students say they parked in cheaper, public lots, but those spaces often filled up during the day. Another rate hike is planned next year.

There are no plans to provide cheaper parking, the school says. The price hikes are part of a three-year increase that began in 2006. ASU's transit program needs the additional money to keep providing campus shuttles, free bus passes for students and other services, the school says.
More activities
Crow says the University has tried to respond to some specific student concerns by getting input from downtown students, investing in safety measures and creating a student center at the Arizona Center.

"In general, what we are hearing is that students are quite happy," he said. "They don't like the hassle of the construction, but that's seen as an aggravation by everybody."

Another university official stressed that the downtown campus isn't designed to have the traditional feel that students would get 10 miles away in Tempe.

"We knew that we would be a different experience," said Mary Kay Harton, assistant director of student engagement. "If they want Mill Avenue, the large numbers (of students), we can't provide that for them."

Of the 167 students who lived last year in the renovated Ramada, now called Residential Commons, 40 will return. Residential Commons is the only ASU dorm that allows students to return after their freshman year is over.

But school officials also plan to strengthen student activities, which they say is a key to retention and student success.

They have started an online calendar to spread word about events, looking for ways to involve graduate students and partnering with more local businesses. This year, orange-clad ambassadors from Copper Square will show students around downtown during the first week of school. Many students didn't know what restaurants and shops were available, Harton said.

The temporary student union also will try to enhance activities, offering events on most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, she said. Last year, few students used the temporary union, at the Arizona Center nearby, because it didn't open until the spring semester.

The ASU Wells Fargo Student Center has the hang-out essentials: plasma TVs, games and meeting space. But it pales when compared with what ASU has planned for the future: Downtown students lounging on the bottom floor of the post office after a multimillion-dollar face lift.

The space will spill onto the planned $30 million park.
This is the first time I have heard the name “Taylor Place” for the dorms; not bad in my opinion. It's also nice to hear they have plans for that empty lot on the south side of Fillmore between 2nd and 3rd Streets, although 50,000 square feet doesn’t seem like much.
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  #127  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2007, 4:16 AM
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I have to say I feel sorry for downtown students. Tempe is a great place to go to school, and no mistake. If you have to deal with the institutional mentality of ASU, you should at least get to enjoy the sheer weight of the nation's second-largest university's student, faculty, and alumni buying power, which results in some great (for Phoenix metro) restaurants, clubs, bars, boutiques, you name it.
I wonder what impact Tempe's continuing development will have on this environment, but I more wonder what it would take to get DT Phoenix to have a somewhat similar industry that caters to ASU students, faculty, and staff.
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  #128  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2007, 5:19 PM
StadiumLofter StadiumLofter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewkfromaz View Post
I think Patriot's Square would have been more popular if there were more people living downtown, same with Deck Park. The design of the park, unless it's well and truly broken, will not impede use if there are residents who are willing to leave their luxury condos and spend time in the park.
No way. I live walking distance from Patriot's Park. My girlfriend and I see it on our morning strolls every day. What's there to "use"? It's too small to jog around or to allow pets to roam around even if on a leash. And that's setting aside the fact that it's dominated by the homeless, and that it smells like pee. Oh and if you have the misfortune of walking through it at night, you'll also see a billion cockroaches with every step you take. This is despite the fact the City maintains the park: the grass is always crisp, clean, and green, and there's not a speck of trash lying anywhere other than in the immediate surroundings of where a bum may be lying on a park bench. In which case the bum would surely argue that the item of trash is not actually trash, but his cousin Elmo or something.

Destroying Patriot's Park is one of the best things to happen to downtown Phx.
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  #129  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2007, 11:30 PM
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Urban parks are a fairly unique place where the presence of people attract more people, which continues until the space is too full to be comfortable, which for urban users, is pretty full. I don't deny that Patriot's Square could have been better designed; in fact I don't object to nor lament its destruction. I'm simply stating that urban open space will get a better chance to succeed now that the number of residents, workers, and visitors in downtown is increasing dramatically.
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  #130  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2007, 1:52 PM
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I noticed yesterday that the elevator core/stairwell on the dorm is at the 13th floor... Also the WCSJ looks to be working on the top floor...
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  #131  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 1:34 AM
Kroney Kroney is offline
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We haven't had any photos in a while....

Facing SW at the corner of 2nd St & Fillmore.


Looking west down Taylor St. The Taylor Mall project is really coming along between 3rd St & 2nd.


Looking east at Phase 1 of the ASU dorms.


Dorms (left) & Cronkite School of Journalism.
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  #132  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 2:20 AM
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andrewkfromaz andrewkfromaz is offline
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Great photos. Wow, they are really moving on those dorms...
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  #133  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 3:56 AM
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It's hard to get the feel in a photograph, but in real life, that view of all of the cranes in Kroney's last picture is really impressive. Standing at the corner of the Westward Ho building looking at the Journalism/Dorms/Sheraton construction and cranes in one view is pretty awesome.

Thanks for the picture update Kroney!
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  #134  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 6:27 AM
Azndragon837 Azndragon837 is offline
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^Indeed, the sheer awesomeness of all those cranes, and that UGLY hotel! :-) So correct me if I am wrong: 13 stories will be the maximum height of those dorms? For some reason that building looks too short. I was expecting Manzanita Hall massiveness, but I can deal with a midrise downtown. :-)

-Andrew
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  #135  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 1:58 PM
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13 stories is what I remember hearing...
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  #136  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 1:58 PM
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13 stories is what I remember hearing...
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  #137  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 2:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post
ASU Downtown Dorms





- 13 stories, 161-feet tall (according to Don B.'s chart)
Here's HX's post from the first page... Looks like 13 stories.
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  #138  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 6:04 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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14 stories
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  #139  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 8:09 PM
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I was under the impression that the WCSJ would have “26ft” high ceilings on the sixth floor. However when looking at the live cam from the web feed it seems the forms for the sixth floor are going into place and they are in no way 26 feet higher then the previous floor.
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  #140  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 9:01 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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I noticed the same thing. I'm thinking maybe only some parts of the 6th floor will have the 26' ceilings and other parts the standard height.
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