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Old Posted Jun 7, 2014, 6:40 PM
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combusean combusean is online now
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Post General Phoenix Metro Discussion Thread

We've had a lot of long-winded and off-topic posts in Phoenix Development News lately that generally don't have much to do with new development and instead relate more to the state of the current built environment and the theories behind its perpetual quagmires and possible solutions to it and the like.

I've received a complaint today about the offtopic discussions in PDN and after remembering some of the negative reactions to those posts inside the PDN thread, I think it's time to make a change. It's been my past policy that these discussions are fine as they fill the doldrums of no development, but that time has come to an end given that we have a lot more people and projects now cluttering things up.

New Posting Rule

If it has to deal with a proposed project, active project, or construction photos, please post it in Phoenix Development News. I, and enough forumers here would like to see that thread tightened basically only contains what's on topic to it--Phoenix, Development, News.

If it relates to the Phoenix metropolitan area's built environment, its politics, its history, its people, your or other peoples' experiences in it, or practically anything else besides a brand new building, it goes here. Or, you are free to start a new thread but given the lack of traction a lot of threads get, this one will be stickied for the time being.

This is an easy rule to follow, please don't make me have to move/delete posts all the time or at the worst case start suspending users.

Please let me know either here or in a private message if there are any comments, questions, or complaints.

Edit: The scope of this thread was widened to Phoenix Metro from just Phoenix.

Last edited by combusean; Aug 11, 2015 at 5:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2014, 6:42 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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I dig it.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2014, 9:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by combusean View Post
We've had a lot of long-winded and off-topic posts in Phoenix Development News lately that generally don't have much to do with new development and instead relate more to the state of the current built environment and the theories behind its perpetual quagmires and possible solutions to it and the like.

I've received a complaint today about the offtopic discussions in PDN and after remembering some of the negative reactions to those posts inside the PDN thread, I think it's time to make a change. It's been my past policy that these discussions are fine as they fill the doldrums of no development, but that time has come to an end given that we have a lot more people and projects now cluttering things up.

New Posting Rule

If it has to deal with a proposed project, active project, or construction photos, please post it in Phoenix Development News. I, and enough forumers here would like to see that thread tightened basically only contains what's on topic to it--Phoenix, Development, News.

If it relates to Phoenix's built environment, its politics, its history, its people, or practically anything else besides a brand new building, it goes here. Or, you are free to start a new thread but given the lack of traction a lot of threads get, this one will be stickied for the time being.

This is an easy rule to follow, please don't make me have to move/delete posts all the time or at the worst case start suspending users.

Please let me know either here or in a private message if there are any comments, questions, or complaints.
Bless you!

Last edited by combusean; Jun 8, 2014 at 9:41 PM. Reason: sorry, edited wrong post.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2014, 3:52 AM
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Phoenix villages

I read a book maybe 10 years ago or so by Grady Gammage Jr. He stated that the Phoenix Village system was an epic failure because people live in one "village" only to commute out to another "village" to shop/dine/work.

The idea of villages was to have Phoenicians "live, work and play" within the same village. Of course that would never happen in a city with a built environment like Phoenix. He did give credit to 24th/Camelback as one of the only successful village centers and I agree.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2014, 6:24 AM
alexico alexico is offline
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Originally Posted by Leo the Dog View Post
I read a book maybe 10 years ago or so by Grady Gammage Jr. He stated that the Phoenix Village system was an epic failure because people live in one "village" only to commute out to another "village" to shop/dine/work.

The idea of villages was to have Phoenicians "live, work and play" within the same village. Of course that would never happen in a city with a built environment like Phoenix. He did give credit to 24th/Camelback as one of the only successful village centers and I agree.
hence I plan to move back to the Optima on 24th street
1. close to work
2. walk to the grocery store, bank, mall, town and country, i can walk to get my hair cut, the gym, all the great bars and restaurants around. basically i can walk on foot to cover pretty much everything I would need on a regular basis. I can't wait to move back. I just wish this was more a nightlife spot walking too. Merc Bar is more of a lounge. OT went under. old town is still close tho so no big complaints

what was the Polo club like back in the day?
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2014, 6:46 AM
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24th/Camelback seems like a success story when it comes to the urban village 'cores' concept, but the neighborhood itself was opposed to the increased heights/density and subsequently fought to impose a height limitation. Village cores were also intended to be pedestrian-friendly and accessible/inclusive, and all development surrounding 24th/Camelback has been auto-oriented and aimed at only the highest levels of income, creating somewhat of a blight to its south as mountain views were replaced by shadows from midrise offices.

Lastly, aside from that exact intersection, the surrounding commercial area suffered deterioration for decades until the recession turned the focus onto infill and redevelopment. The thought of a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's moving into Town and Country would've been laughable just a few years back.

The revitalization efforts have been great, especially when you consider the developments closer toward 40th/Campbell. The midrises built prior to the height limit are all very attractive and for a city so heavily geared toward auto usage, this is probably as good as it gets for a suburb. I just wanted to point out those issues, as I think they prevent it from being a true success based on the criteria outlined - which is really unimportant and irrelevant in reality.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2014, 4:45 PM
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The Camelback "village" had a very good thing going for it: money. The Biltmore (resort and shopping center), Bartlett Estates, and near-Arcadia are wealthy areas. It probably analogizes to Century City, which is LA's most successful quasi-urban center, at least before DTLA's resurgence. But do people really walk in these "villages"? If you live in Optima, you certainly could although even there I suspect most people would still get in their cars. For Phoenix, the entire conceit depended on the idea that these sub-cores would rationalize car dependence. But why would you want to? Density and car dependence are at cross purposes. You need the former to get real urbanism and you need the latter because you don't have it. That's the paradox. Polycentric urbanism as expressed in this way is either a fig leaf or an oxymoron.

An unwalkable city is a disaster. It's why there's so much hand waving in Phoenix about light rail, Downtown ASU, and Roosevelt Row. But there's not even a grocery store you can walk to. Urban planning relied on the artistry of advertising to make this pig look kissable. But is there an actual city with a real downtown and vital urban neighborhoods? Polycentric urbanism can actually exist in those cities with real cores. In places like Phoenix - and LA - it's mostly a post-hoc justification of the disaster.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2014, 7:54 PM
FitnessPower FitnessPower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by combusean View Post
We've had a lot of long-winded and off-topic posts in Phoenix Development News lately that generally don't have much to do with new development and instead relate more to the state of the current built environment and the theories behind its perpetual quagmires and possible solutions to it and the like.

I've received a complaint today about the offtopic discussions in PDN and after remembering some of the negative reactions to those posts inside the PDN thread, I think it's time to make a change. It's been my past policy that these discussions are fine as they fill the doldrums of no development, but that time has come to an end given that we have a lot more people and projects now cluttering things up.

New Posting Rule

If it has to deal with a proposed project, active project, or construction photos, please post it in Phoenix Development News. I, and enough forumers here would like to see that thread tightened basically only contains what's on topic to it--Phoenix, Development, News.

If it relates to Phoenix's built environment, its politics, its history, its people, your or other peoples' experiences in it, or practically anything else besides a brand new building, it goes here. Or, you are free to start a new thread but given the lack of traction a lot of threads get, this one will be stickied for the time being.

This is an easy rule to follow, please don't make me have to move/delete posts all the time or at the worst case start suspending users.

Please let me know either here or in a private message if there are any comments, questions, or complaints.
much needed
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2014, 2:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo the Dog View Post
I read a book maybe 10 years ago or so by Grady Gammage Jr. He stated that the Phoenix Village system was an epic failure because people live in one "village" only to commute out to another "village" to shop/dine/work.

The idea of villages was to have Phoenicians "live, work and play" within the same village. Of course that would never happen in a city with a built environment like Phoenix. He did give credit to 24th/Camelback as one of the only successful village centers and I agree.
If that is the criteria for success, then failure was the only logical outcome. Regardless of what the city tried to do with the villages, at the time of their creation, people already lived in those villages, and already worked in other villages, and aren't going to simply sell their house and move across the city to satisfy the goals of the village project.

In any post-war city built around the automobile, people are not likely to live right where they work. The entire village concept really only works when a city has a certain density so that people have enough housing options and work options in their immediate area. Even in old, dense cities, people aren't going to necessarily work in the same 'village' that they live in. Just because someone lives in Brooklyn doesn't mean they won't take the subway into Manhattan for work.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 6:03 PM
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Classical in Phoenix Classical in Phoenix is offline
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No surprises here in Phoenix's rank.

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/201...places/372968/
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2014, 8:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Classical in Phoenix View Post
No surprises here in Phoenix's rank.

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/201...places/372968/
The text in the full report is interesting.

Quote:
The research in this report focuses on...regionally significant, walkable urban places (WalkUPs for short). Our hypothesis is that wealth-creating development in many metropolitan areas has begun a permanent shift away from drivable sub-urban to walkable urban. As such, we predict that WalkUP development, already prevalent in some of the 30 metropolitan areas included in this study, may come to dominate real estate development in many more.
Phoenix is currently ranked in Level 4, indicating Low Walkable Urbanism:

Quote:
Metros that continue to build in the drivable sub-urban pattern. Any brights spots of walkable urbanism tend to be located in revitalizing center cities.
Quote:
Historically, drivable sub-urban development has characterized metro Detroit, Miami, and Phoenix. However, in contrast to their popular reputations and low rankings at present, all three metros are experiencing revitalization of their downtowns—and even some urbanizing suburbs—with several outstanding examples of WalkUPs in them.
However, the report predicts that, in the future, Phoenix might achieve a rank of Level 2, or Moderate Potential for Future Walkable Urbanism:

Quote:
Phoenix: Famously known as a sprawling metro area, Phoenix’s new light rail serving Uptown, downtown Phoenix, and Tempe—and successful revitalization efforts in downtown and Tempe, home of ASU—warrant its moderate ranking. Like Tampa, this ranking is primarily based on high walkable urban office absorption over a low base in the current real-estate cycle; only time will tell if these trends endure.
http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/do...ffic-ahead.pdf
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2014, 1:11 PM
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.

Last edited by Jjs5056; Jun 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2014, 2:31 PM
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A few random questions after looking around Google Maps; in case anyone knows the answer(s)?

1) Was the Sheraton ever planning on leasing any retail space on 2nd street? There are two sets of doors/windows that could easily be for stores, but look to be used for back of house operations.
2) Why did OCPE pull its retail spot on 1st street off the market? Our streets are so up and down, it really sucks when there's infrastructure wasted.
3) Does the Hyatt have a retail space at 1st street/Adams, or are those just windows at the corner? Nothing has ever been there, but it'd definitely be a nice addition.
4) During the debate surrounding the Jackson jail, Mary Rose Wilcox 'compromised' by saying the jail would look like the surroundings and have ground level retail. I don't expect that anyone would have rented the space, but are those doors/windows on the first floor really retail? Or, just for show?
5) Has anyone passed the AZ Center? Curious to know if they installed signage along 3rd street. $2 million and yet you still pass 4 signs/logos, and 4 sets of glass doors for the AMC - none of which get you inside, and none of which show you how to access the theater. 3rd Street is so salvageable - there's so much wasted space surrounding the theater where additional retail could go, the 2-story glass atrium for AMC could be the actual marquee/entrance...
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 7:07 PM
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Come on Sprouts! A downtown HQ with an attached grocery store would have been great! Instead, the exact thing is happening at CityNorth instead. Good for them I guess, and good to see the HQ staying in Phoenix.

Quote:
Sprouts announces move to new corporate HQ at High Street in Phoenix

Tim Gallen
Reporter-
Phoenix Business Journal

Sprouts Farmers Market announced today it will be moving to new corporate digs in north Phoenix.
Phoenix-based Sprouts (Nasdaq: SFM) will move to new headquarters at the former CityNorth development next spring.
The natural grocery chain’s new corporate headquarters will be at 5455 E. High Street as part of the Offices on High Street.
“Our new High Street office will allow for greater collaboration and engagement with team members and business partners,” said Doug Sanders, president and CEO of Sprouts. “It also will better reflect the Sprouts brand and our commitment to sustainability.”
Included as part of Sprouts’ 77,400-square-foot headquarters will be a new Sprouts grocery store.
Sprouts is “a strong addition” to the High Street development, said Leslie Himley, vice president of marketing and communications for the property.
“This lease signing is a tremendous accomplishment for our team, one that will greatly benefit current and future tenants,” she said.
Sprouts currently operates in offices at 11811 N. Tatum Blvd. in east Phoenix. The natural grocer went public last August and has been on a strong growth trajectory since then, including opening its first store in the Southeast.
Sprouts operates more than 175 stores across 10 states.
As of 11:50 a.m., Sprouts shares were down roughly 2 percent to $31.90 per share.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 7:40 PM
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Here is an historic picture of the area north of Van Buren, south of Roosevelt, and west of Central looking generally SSE. You can pick out certain buildings that remain to get your bearings. A large amount of these houses and buildings have been demolished, which is sad, but I think it is interesting to see what's left and what could have been. I notice at least two large victorians with turrets and all that are long gone. Not to mention tons of other buildings in general. I'd bet this view is from the 50s or 60s. The destruction had already started.


my picture of a picture on a wall.

I posted this years ago, but just came across it again at an ADOT building I was at so I thought I'd snap another picture and post it again.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 11:13 PM
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OK. I'm not comparing Phoenix and Tucson so hater's be gone. However I was in Tucson recently and had a great time Downtown and along 4th Ave. The one thing I've noticed the last several times I've been in Tucson is that there are no empty lots...I mean anywhere! They just don't tear shit down. Now, part of that is that they're not developer-driven town, but they have so many more historic, interesting, human-scale buildings in their core than we have... a lot more! It's sad that we just tear shit down and then wait decades for something to be built. Why not just utilize what exists? It's a shame, really.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 11:32 PM
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/\ it's been said before, and you kind of mentioned it, But for the past half century or more Tucson didn't have the type of development growth and potential that Phoenix had. They kinda stagnated (relatively) which allowed their built environment to survive. They didn't have the crazy "upzoning" that led to land banking and speculation which led to demolition. How many times in Phoenix has a developer proposed some grand plan, receive further land entitlements, demolish existing structures, then sit on their speculatively valuable land? Tucson doesn't have the regional or national importance of Phoenix nor the growth/economy, but they sure have more old stuff. Which can surely be cool.

Pretty much any Arizona city has a better pedestrian feel, built historical environment, and less empty lots. I think the best is actually Prescott
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2014, 12:24 AM
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Everyone seems to overlook the biggest driving factor for so much of the development (or lack thereof) in Tucson---just like everyone in Phoenix decries becoming LA (or at least used to back in the 60s-80s), everyone in Tucson decries becoming Phoenix.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 5:59 PM
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Here is an article from ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) about the City of Phoenix's Lower Grand Ave and 1st Street improvement projects. It has some good in depth information from the City of Phoenix point of view regarding Great Streets/Complete Streets. I know some of you have pretty poor opinions of City street/traffic engineering staff.

It may be a protected article. If you can't read it, I can try to figure out how to post it... it's in the form of a .pdf if anyone would know how to make that available to everyone.

http://www.ite.org/membersonly/itejo...c-c6ef0daae20e
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Perhaps the vast majority of their corporate employees live in North Phoenix and North Scottsdale? If they all live out there already, why locate 30+ min away? Not everybody is going to or even should work/live downtown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjs5056 View Post
Good to see it staying in city limits, but I'm sick of 'sustainability' being thrown around as a company value when describing developments at places like CityNorth and DesertRidge. This will, in theory, suck potential residential and retail development to CityNorth along with these jobs.

With the future development of Central Station, plenty of space will be opening in the small midrise on 1st ave/Van Buren where MTA is housed currently. A Sprouts HQ there, with a flagship market the bottom, and the lot between it and the YMCA used for a weekly local farmer's/public market on weekends would've been fantastic. Central location for a grocer, and lord knows VB could use the boost with the empty retail surrounding the area.

Turpentyne - nothing suggests there were any changes; per the latest meeting notes, the council felt the development met the goals of Urban Form despite the needed variances. I guess back of house fronting major streets (2nd), inward facing plazas vs. streets (1st), midrise development in the core with no potential for expansion on top.. all 'fit the goals' of the city. Really wish they'd left the west half of the Ramada and built this in a mixed use tower adjoining it.
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