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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2009, 11:37 PM
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Sim-Southwest: Our Visionary Concepts Thread

This is the thread for all visionary and conceptual developments created by SkyscraperPage Southwest forumers.

combusean
- 126 Neighborhoods of Phoenix
- CBS Tower Phoenix
- Papago Park streetcar/mixed use
- Veterans Square Pavilion: the world's largest entertainment venue

HooverDam
- 3rd Street Pedestrian Mall
- Statewide Highspeed rail
- Phoenix Neighborhood identification
- Library renaming
- One Million Trees for Phoenix

mitchk
- 3rd St and Roosevelt

PhxPavilion
- Central and Thomas

Post your own proposals here or create a new thread for big ideas.

Last edited by combusean; Sep 22, 2009 at 12:58 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 3:48 AM
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CBS Tower Phoenix

Part of my letter to Mayor Phil Gordon about an idea for the space on Roosevelt and Central

Quote:
Imagine the Roosevelt LRT station becoming our own Times Square.

The ugly CBS radio station building is redeveloped into a new mixed use tower. The LRT power substation would be relocated to its base, completely opening up the public space of the LRT station. In addition to office and hotel uses, the tower would also house the radio stations, the new headquarters of Channel 5, as well as CBS production studios and branch offices.

Analogous to the One Times Square tower in Manhattan from which the Times Square Ball is dropped, the Phoenix CBS Tower would feature the CBS marquee 500' in the air and a video screen 1/3rd of the way up looming over the unimpeded LRT public space. Its construction would certainly indicate Downtown has arrived as a regional center of media and broadcasting.

Given the Motion Picture Production Tax Incentive Program offered by the state, it is a perfect time to engage a potentially deep-pocketed well-connected developer for the betterment of a public space and enhancement of Phoenix's nationwide image.
His response:

Quote:
we'll look into this...good idea
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 3:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glynnjamin View Post
Pretty sure NBC is out of there at the end of the year anyways. Moving to Biltmore area last I heard.
Where did you hear of this?
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Why would channel 12 move? They are in a great spot, though the building does suck.

Anyway, about channel 12... I watch them to get my daily local news in the evening. One thing I cannot stand is when they are reporting about certain crimes and 'tragic' events from throughout the city, but have someone 'on scene' from atop the roof. Whenever this happens the two hosts who sit in the studio say something like, 'lets now go out to Bob for more info.' Then the camera changes and they show one of their reporters standing on the roof, you can tell because I can see Viad Tower or the Central Library behind them. Then this reporter starts discussing some crazy act of violence miles and miles away. But on the bottom of the screen it says something like: HORRIBLE MURDER or DRUGS FOUND, then under that it says Downtown Phoenix.
I understand what channel 12 means by this. They are saying that there was a murder or drug involvement, and that they are reporting it from their studios downtown. But for someone who was casually looking or was as dumb as a doornail, it might look like there is a horrible murder downtown, or that there was a pot bust downtown. So in some ways it always looks as if all sorts of violence is happening downtown, when it is actually not. Why don't they just say 'channel 12 studios' or 'channel 12 roof'.

Is it just me or is there anyone else who gets upset by this.
Okay, end rant.

Cool thread combusean, hopefully this will allow us to think differently about our city, and allow us to think more progressive in dramatic ways, and be, like you call it, visionary.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 1:33 PM
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^^^ Agreed. Judging by the extremely ignorant AZCentral posts, just think how many people are 'dumb as doornails' here, that would assume the violence is in DT.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 3:46 PM
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Combusean, your email reply from the Mayor "we'll look into this... good idea" may actually be a good email. ie, it might have actually been the mayor responding to you. I've sent an email to the mayor before and got a long-winded fluff reponse email that was sent by his secretary or someone else who checks/responds to his email. The fact that you got a one line reply might actually mean it was the mayor himself.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 12:12 AM
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I had this two week period a couple of months ago where I saw the mayor like three times, in various spots around town. I was beginning to think that perhaps I was being guided by a higher being because I had very important information for him. But then I also wondered if he would begin to recognize me and think I'm a stalker.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 12:28 AM
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I've often thought of a large two tower development on Central and Thomas positioned diagonally to each other on the northwest and southeast corners optimistically comprised of one 1000' tower and one 600-800' tower with the former being hotel and condo and the latter being office.

They would be connected via an underground air controlled tunnel and would feature large bases for retail, restaurants, a grocery store and seating area with plants. The tunnel would feature a staircase and elevator leading directly up to the LRT station. Borrowing from Combusean's idea this could also be a great place for a news or Network location with a large LED TV on the north and south sides of the building facing up and down Central. The 1000' tower would feature an observation deck and restaurant at the top. The retail and restaurant would be heavily focused on being unique to the state and include some entertainment venues as well, such as a Lucky Strike Lanes. The tower could also be used for broadcasting.

Each tower would have unique but striking architecture. For example:



Anyway, just thinking out loud.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 3:23 PM
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The intersection of Camelback/Central, I think has unbelievable potential for a major development mentioned above. I know there was already a proposal for this same lot, but I think the land is too valuable not to include the transit station. If they could incorporate the LR station, by possibly building above it with elevators/escalators to serve the station that would be ideal.

It would be the missing link that connects the Camelback Corridor to the Central Corridor.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 9:29 PM
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PhxPavillion, while Im all for big grand projects, we need to run from Dubais example, not towards it. Their buildings seem to always be built on superblocks, with giant walls facing the street and everything connected by what amounts to basically indoor malls. While I know that seems appealing at first blush because of the AC its not a good idea. Youre giving up everything thats been associated with great cities for hundreds of years due to 3 months out of the year. We can design things smartly enough to make the outdoors tolerable in the summer and take advantage of the rest of our years great weather.

Ch 12 stuff:

I too have heard Ch 12 is moving, though I hadn't heard anything about going to the Biltmore. On one hand ,I think its socially irresponsible of them to move out of Downtown. A news station should be close to where most of the news is coming from and its also a show of civic faith and pride to have it downtown. On the other hand, Ch 12s building is awful and fucks over any hope of Hance park being great. Hance Park sucks not only because of its awful design but also because of what immediately surrounds it. If it was developments (that were occupied) like the Portland Place building it could have some chance, but walled off TV studios won't do the trick.

If I ruled the world/Ch 12 Id try to move MORE downtown, not less. For instance a great spot would be the NE corner of Fillmore and Central, if they designed the station right. On the ground floor they could have their studios for their morning and day shows with glass windows facing towards the Civic Space park. They could capitalize on the view and people walking by, like the Today Show does. Then for their evening broadcast it could be up on a higher floor, 5 or store floors up and also have a window backdrop that would look out onto downtown and the park/Her Secret is Patience. Wouldn't that be cool?

A small big idea: Renaming the libraries

Yesterday I wanted to check out a DVD from the library, so I looked it up on their site and it would give me a list of which libraries it was available at. They have plant names, "Mesquite" "Palo Verde" "Saguaro", etc. While I see what theyre trying to do, and its cute or whatever, its not very helpful. I had to click on each one to see the map and realize where it was.

Now obviously Phoenix has a geographic identity issue. Very few people self identify the neighborhood they live in (because they often dont know) they say their cross streets. Renaming the libraries to properly reflect their neighborhoods would help a lot. Furthermore new parks when built should carry the neighborhoods names, later parks can have generic names like "Desert View" or whatever.

Id propose these name changes to help identify their locations:
  • Burton Barr Central Library....no change, "Central Library" is fine
  • Acacia Library.....Sunnyslope Library
  • Century Library....Biltmore Library
  • Cholla Library.....Metrocenter Library
  • Desert Sage Library...Desert Sky Library
  • Harmon Library...no change, or maybe call it Harmon Park Library
  • Irondwood Library..Ahwatukee Library
  • Juniper Library....Deer Valley Library
  • Mesquite Library...Paradise Valley Library
  • Ocotillo Library...South Phoenix Library
  • Palo Verde Library...Maryvale Library
  • Saguaro Library...Arcadia Library
  • Yucca Library....Christown Library
  • Desert Broom Library...not sure, can't call it "Cave Creek" that may be confusing-Im open to suggestions
  • Cesar Chaves Library....Laveen Library
  • Agave Library...no idea for a name on this one

was that so hard? It was actually MORE difficult to think up the plant names. Except for two of those they all have clearly defined area names. Now it would cause a controversy to change the Cesar Chavez branch, so you could go with "Laveen-Cesar Chavez Library" or something like that.

More on neighborhood identification:

On a related note, I once got in touch with the Mayors office to inquire about who to speak with in regards to Phoenix doing a better job of naming neighborhoods. That is, providing signage, maps, creating specific boundaries, unifying park names, etc to help create more defined neighborhoods. Our competing Western cities like San Diego, LA, Denver all have done this, yet we just have those retarded, useless "Urban Villages."

So you think the gal I talked to (wish I could remember this cunts name) would appreciate someone trying to get involved and point me in the right direction, right? Nope. She started by saying she didn't understand, I explained to her that in San Diego the neighborhoods have signs like this:



And she said "well the Urban Villages have signs too." Ug. Really? You think ANYONE notices those tiny sun bleached metal signs when theyre whizzing by at 55mph? Especially when theres maybe 20 of them in the whole city?

Furthermore she wouldn't agree that people don't actually use terms like "Camelback East."

She then said "well the city puts up the historic district signs" again I told her that wasn't what I was meaning. Those signs are too small for anyone to notice and the city has no cohesive effort at mapping out its neighborhoods. I even emailed her Seans excellent neighborhoods map to give her an idea (I hope that was oK Sean) and she basically just told me they weren't interested.

Its stuff like this that really makes me go insane. It would not be expensive or really even take that much man power to implement something like this. It would greatly help people feel more connected to the neighborhood, create greater senses of civic and neighborhood pride, promote local involvement and shopping local, etc. Whats the fucking downside!? Whats it going to cost to put up better signs, create maps, etc.? It can't be that much, plus you can use the neighborhoods themselves and local businesses to chip in to help pay for it. You can empower local artists to create the signs, and neighbors can get involved to help their area be unique either through secondary signage, unique street lighting, uniform landscaping, etc.

High Speed Rail:
Im currently reading Visions in the Desert: Carl Hayden and Hydropolitics in the Southwest and it amazes me that we used to have guys like Carl Hayden and Barry Goldwater who actually did some good for Arizona. Today the Federal government is giving out huge sums of money and we have to rely on our Mayor and a Congressman to wrangle any of it for us.

Obviously we need more rail options for commuters and it would be nice to not be so reliant on air travel when going to other cities. Like James Howard Kunstler says, we have "a rail system the Bulgarians would be ashamed of." Arizona ought to pursue a HSR line connecting Nogales to the Grand Canyon. Something along these lines:


High speed rail connecting 2 major metropolitan areas to the gateway to another country and one of the 7 wonders of the world would be amazing for tourist and locals alike. If other states/the Fed wanted to chip in there could be a junction in Wickenburg to connect up to Vegas and one in Phoenix (at Union station) connecting to LA. Im not sure how you'd connect to SD, maybe through Phoenix or maybe Florence would make more sense. Or maybe youd just have to go to SD by way of LA.

I know it would be insanely expensive and thus itll probably never happen. But hey, the CAP cost billions too. Id love it if we had leaders who were able to sell the Federal Gov't on building it as a demonstration project for nationwide HSR but its highly unlikely we'd be able to convince them to build it here instead of somewhere like NYC-DC.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 11:11 PM
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in about 20-30 years, i'd like to see u-of-p stadium and bob (chase field) torn down. then, sun devil stadium and wells fargo arena upgraded, and a new baseball field built in conjunction with packard stadium, and have that whole area be a huge entertainment district, so there's no wasted arena/field space in the valley. that's the way it should have been done in the first place. bob doesn't bother me much, but u-of-p stadium (and jobing.com arena) being in a suburb really makes me cringe. stupid, stupid planning. tempe is centrally located, has good highway and rail connections, and is landlocked. imagine what all would have been done by now, development wise, if bob had been built in the tempe town lake area, and the millions of dollars used to build a new stadium and new arena in glendale had been used to upgrade the existing stadiums on asu's campus.

Last edited by led_tool_mises; Aug 15, 2009 at 12:34 AM.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 11:28 PM
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^I really dislike that idea. First off, 20-30 years to tear down Chase and UofP is WAY too soon. Those stadiums will hopefully have 50 year shelf lives at least.

Secondly, whats this weird obsession people have with shoving a bunch of sports stadiums all in one area? Some idiot on AzCentral used to go on and on about putting all the stadiums downtown connected by a "looping monorail!" and that idea was silly too.

The way we have it now works out well, 2 in Tempe, 2 in Phoenix, 2 in Glendale. They all bring lots of people to their respective areas, will all eventually be connected by LRT, all bring sales tax and income to the different cities and spur development near them (though thats not so much the case w/ ASU since they own all that surrounding land).

If you put them all in one area you likely create a mono-use district thats dead a lot of the time. Furthermore you couldn't have just 'upgraded' Wells Fargo arena to a NHL hockey arena, its way too small. Youd have to tear it down and start from scratch (thus doing away with your cost savings argument) and it would be over programmed. Wells Fargo Arena already has scheduling issues with all the teams using it (thus why ASU built the Weatherup Center to help relieve that), adding a NHL team would be a nightmare.

Westgates in the middle of nowhere right now, but eventually with LRT, the 3 stadiums, the USA training facility for hoops, and hopefully that casino, itll be just another node.
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 11:44 PM
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^

eh... when you have only 2 football teams, one being college, having 2 stadiums is senseless to me. they use the stadium once per week, only a few months per year. also, it'd be nice to have them near each other so there's year round entertainment. look at asu over the summer. it's completely dead. bob being there would have completely changed that. i understand having different nodes throughout the city, but glendale is not even remotely centrally located. i can see having a downtown-tempe-mesa node setup, but glendale just seems stupid to me.

edit: you could just expand wells fargo. you wouldn't have to tear it down and start anew.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2009, 11:48 PM
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^
I'm guessing you live in Tempe. I'll give you Tempe is somewhat "centrally" located but in the same statement about Glendale being remote you threw in Mesa in the "centrally" located group? Um, not everyone lives in the east valley.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:26 AM
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new york city:

mets - citi field
yankees - yankee stadium
giants/jets/red bulls - giants stadium
knicks/rangers/st.john's - madison square garden
nets - izod center (same complex as giants stadium)
devils - prudential center
islanders - nassau coliseum

11 major league/d1 sports teams, 7 venues (6 complexes), all within 20 miles (with the exception of nassau coliseum).

phoenix:

diamondbacks - chase field
cardinals - university of phoenix stadium
suns - u.s. airways center
coyotes - jobing.com arena (same complex as university of phoenix stadium)
asu football - sun devil stadium
asu basketball - wells fargo arena (same complex as sun devil stadium)

6 major league/d1 sports teams, 6 venues (4 complexes), all within 25 miles.

so, taking out nassau coliseum (the outlier), nyc has 1.67 teams/venue, and 2 teams/complex, all within 20 miles driving. phoenix has 1 team/venue, and 1.5 teams/complex, all within 25 miles driving. i know we're not striving to be nyc, but come on, we're always talking about phoenix's terrible sprawl. why should sports venues be held to some different standard?
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Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CANUC View Post
^
I'm guessing you live in Tempe. I'll give you Tempe is somewhat "centrally" located but in the same statement about Glendale being remote you threw in Mesa in the "centrally" located group? Um, not everyone lives in the east valley.
nope. i don't.

i was thinking western mesa. i think the east valley is much more populated than the west, anyway.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by led_tool_mises View Post
in about 20-30 years, i'd like to see u-of-p stadium and bob (chase field) torn down. then, sun devil stadium and wells fargo arena upgraded, and a new baseball field built in conjunction with packard stadium, and have that whole area be a huge entertainment district, so there's no wasted arena/field space in the valley. that's the way it should have been done in the first place. bob doesn't bother me much, but u-of-p stadium (and jobing.com arena) being in a suburb really makes me cringe. stupid, stupid planning. tempe is centrally located, has good highway and rail connections, and is landlocked. imagine what all would have been done by now, development wise, if bob had been built in the tempe town lake area, and the millions of dollars used to build new a new stadium and new arena in glendale had been used to upgrade the existing stadiums on asu's campus.
worst idea ever.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by led_tool_mises View Post
in about 20-30 years, i'd like to see u-of-p stadium and bob (chase field) torn down. then, sun devil stadium and wells fargo arena upgraded, and a new baseball field built in conjunction with packard stadium, and have that whole area be a huge entertainment district, so there's no wasted arena/field space in the valley.
Horribly bad idea imo. It is not even possible to even upgrade Sun Devil stadium to the level of U of P stadium with out tearing it completely down and starting from scratch. Plus, that would require pretty much leveling Tempe Butte in the process. Not gonna happen. US Airways works just fine in downtown Phoenix for me. No need to upgrade Wells Fargo arena for the Suns. Wells Fargo at this point is far smaller that the U.S. Airways Center anyway. Chase Field? Well again, it is far far larger than any space available at ASU's Packard Stadium. The Diamondbacks are just fine where they are.

As for Glendale, I am quite happy with how things are. The west valley is going to have a larger population than the east valley in the next 10 years or so. It makes sense to have some of the sporting venues out that way too. Eventually, the Westgate area will be connected to the light rail I imagine. So, I would have no problem hoping the train from Tempe to go catch a Cardinals game.

I respect your ideas...I just don't agree with them.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZ4ate0 View Post
I respect your ideas...
I don't. That kind of thinking is the same crap that idiot planners and politicians in this state are already using to build a suburban hell hole.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:55 AM
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^

i'll agree now, actually. thanks for rationality, sir. if it could be done over, i'd like my idea, but now that it's been done, let's just hope for light rail expansion, and no further sprawl. i'm just worried the spread out venues will spur further sprawl development.

edit: was talking to taz.
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