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Old Posted Nov 25, 2006, 8:46 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Arrow ASU/UofA Downtown Phoenix construction thread

I want to post this again since the other Phoenix thread got kicked to the Archive forum and it's very recent news...


Downtown dorm pact nearly set

Ginger D. Richardson
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 24, 2006 12:00 AM

After nearly six months of haggling and negotiating, Arizona State University appears to have worked out a deal to build a $100 million-plus student housing project in downtown Phoenix.

The complex would contain roughly 1,300 beds and be constructed in two phases between now and 2009. It would be 12 to 15 stories high and located on the northern end of the downtown campus, just north of Taylor Street between First and Second streets.

The property, which would support students at the university's newest campus, would be paid for entirely by a private developer. That company would, in turn, charge students rent.

"We are cautiously optimistic that we are going to get this in place," said Rich Stanley, senior vice president and university planner.

Permanent student housing is critical to the success of the new campus and will be sorely needed when the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism opens in downtown Phoenix in August 2008. The media-based college boasts an enrollment of nearly 1,800 students, many of whom are underclassmen likely to live in ASU-provided housing.

But the development is also considered key to helping Phoenix reach its overall revitalization goals. Not only would it function as students' primary home, the city believes it would encourage spinoff development in the form of restaurants, shops and other retail uses.

"More people living downtown will create the support for new businesses," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. "It's a cycle that will repeat and continue."

Specifics of the agreement with Alabama-based Capstone Management have not yet been made public, but the university plans to seek project approval from the Arizona Board of Regents at the end of this month. The Phoenix City Council is expected to vote on the deal in December or January.

Housing and groceries
Plans call for the housing complex to be built on a combination of city-owned and privately held land north of what once was the Ramada Inn Downtown.

The hotel is being used by the university as a temporary dorm and is known as Residential Commons.

The new housing building would have as many as 750 beds in its first phase, to be open by August 2008.

The university expects it to be used mostly by freshmen in its initial years. The second phase, which could open a year later, would bring an additional 550 beds to the downtown area and most likely would be used by sophomores and upper classmen, Stanley said.

The property would feature a quad-style setup, in which two to four students in adjoining rooms share a single bathroom. It would also have wireless Internet access, academic support programs, meeting and gathering spaces and on-site food service.

In addition, ASU is hoping to locate a grocery store, or perhaps a fast-food restaurant, on the ground floor.

"The students will tell you that they want a grocery store downtown, and that there isn't a place to get some food to take back to the room and eat," said Kevin Cook, vice provost and dean for student affairs. "That has been the Number 1 thing we hear about."

Right now, many students are walking to a Circle K several blocks away to stock up on basic supplies, Cook said.

Timothy Johns, a freshman nursing major who lived in Residential Commons on the downtown campus since August, has some other requests, too.

"I'd like to see it have a stove and a refrigerator. A little kitchen facility on the floor where you can do a bit of basic cooking," he said. "Also, private bathrooms. I think, nowadays, the students I talk to really enjoy having their own bathroom."

Developer to charge rents
Capstone Managementcould not be reached for comment this week.

But according to the company's Web site, the firm has an extensive history of managing student housing complexes at universities across the country, including the University of Maryland, University of Alabama and University of Missouri.

Stanley and other ASU officials say their agreement with Capstone would allow the company to function essentially as a landlord for an apartment complex.

The firm, as the dormitory's owner and manager, would set the rents and collect the money directly from students.

But the university is still working with the company to determine what those charges would be. Stanley said ASU wants the "opening rent to be reasonably in line with those in the rest of our system."

According to ASU's Web site, students living in on-campus housing in Tempe and Phoenix are paying $5,300 to $9,800 this academic year, depending on where they live and what meal plan they are on.

The plan to locate the property in downtown Phoenix has been somewhat controversial because the development is forcing the closing and relocation of a couple of longtime downtown businesses, including Mary Ann Avila's Downtown Laundry and Dry Cleaning store.

Avila, who has run her shop at the corner of First and Taylor streets for 11 years, received an eviction notice from her landlord last month.

But Tuesday, Phoenix Deputy City Manager David Cavazos said she would receive about $200,000 in relocation assistance.

The city will also work with her to find a new place for her business, Cavazos said.






This area is going to fill in quickly and nicely. Two massive parking lots and a block of mostly dirt lots gone. If Central Park East ever gets off the ground, directly north of Chase Tower, it would really finish things off nicely. C'mon hotel developers, that is a pretty prime spot for another hotel!

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Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 2:36 AM
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ASU housing downtown a step closer

Ginger D. Richardson
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 29, 2006 12:00 AM

After nearly six months of haggling and negotiating, Arizona State University appears to have worked out a deal to build a $100 million student housing project in downtown Phoenix.

That is welcome news for nearby residents already worried about the lack of affordable housing in downtown and whether students would pool their money to rent houses in nearby neighborhoods.

"Market rates have pushed the rates of moderate housing through the roof. There's a void there," said Steve Dreiseszun, nearby resident and president of the F.Q. Story Neighborhood Preservation Association.
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"Consequently, affordable housing would be a need for students and faculty and middle-income individuals who want to live and work in the downtown area."

The student complex would contain roughly 1,300 beds and be built in two phases by 2009. It would be 12 to 15 stories high and on the northern end of the downtown campus, just north of Taylor Street between First and Second streets.

The property would be paid for entirely by a private developer. That company would, in turn, charge students rent.

"We are cautiously optimistic that we are going to get this in place," said Rich Stanley, senior vice president and university planner.

Permanent student housing is critical to the success of the new campus and will be sorely needed when the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism opens downtown in August 2008. The college boasts an enrollment of nearly 1,800 students, many of whom are underclassmen likely to live in ASU-provided housing.

But the development also is considered key to helping Phoenix reach its overall revitalization goals. Not only would it function as students' home, city officials believe it would encourage other development, such as restaurants and shops.

"More people living downtown will create the support for new businesses," Mayor Phil Gordon said. "It's a cycle that will repeat and continue."

Specifics of the agreement with Alabama-based Capstone Management have not yet been made public, but the university plans to seek project approval from the Arizona Board of Regents on Friday.
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Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 3:33 PM
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Here's a link to the ASU DT student housing developer...

http://www.capstonecompanies.com/
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 4:33 AM
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Regents OK dorm for ASU downtown

Ginger D. Richardson and Anne Ryman
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 5, 2006 06:06 PM

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved an Arizona State University plan to build more than 700 new student-housing beds in downtown Phoenix by August 2008.

The $100 million-plus project will be located on the northern end of the downtown Phoenix campus, just north of Taylor Street, between First and Second Streets.

It will be entirely funded by a private developer, who will, in turn charge students rent.
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ASU is under a very tight deadline to deliver the project, which is considered critical to the success of the new campus.

Last year, more than 1,300 students from the College of Public Programs, the College of Nursing, University College and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism lived in on-campus housing on the Tempe campus.

By fall 2008, all of those programs will have moved to downtown Phoenix, where ASU currently only has beds for 260 students.

"It's a very tight schedule, but it's not impossible," said Rich Stanley, ASU senior vice president and senior planner. "We think it's doable."

The university expects mostly freshman to use live there in the early years.

But the project, which is being built in phases, will eventually contain as many as 1,300 beds, and will likely be used by sophomores and juniors as well.

The university has said that it is working with the developer, Alabama-based Capstone Management, to ensure that students who live there will pay rent commensurate with their counterparts on the Tempe campus.

It is currently talking about rates set at a maximum of $695 per month, for a 10-month lease. Rates would be higher for students who want their own room.

The property will feature a quad-style setup, in which two to four students in adjoining rooms will share a single bathroom.

But that might be a tough sell for students already living on the downtown campus, because they are staying in what used to be the Ramada Inn Downtown, and have grown used to having their own bathroom.

"Our rooms are really huge, and I like the set-up," said freshman Jenna-Lynn Stewart, who also said the rooms' balconies overlooking the Ramada's pool were a major selling point.

ASU has not committed to putting a pool in its new residence hall, but says the permanent housing will feature such amenities as wireless Internet access, academic support programs, meeting and gathering spaces and on-site food service.

In addition, the university is hoping to locate a grocery store, or perhaps a fast-food restaurant on the ground floor.

The financing arrangement is a little unusual; typically universities issue bonds to pay for such projects. But the state's universities have caps on their bonding capacity, which means there are limits to how much they can build at one time and still maintain a favorable bond rating.

Regent Anne Mariucci said this deal puts the financial risk on the developer, and warned that the Regents have no intention of bailing them out financially if the project doesn't work.

"If it fails, Big Brother isn't going to step in and take that debt on," she said.

However, ASU has made some concessions to ensure that the project is financially stable when it first opens, said Rich Stanley, ASU senior vice president and university planner.

For example, ASU has agreed to directly lease up to 15 percent of the available rooms, should the building not be fully occupied in 2008. The university's commitment is less in subsequent years, and ends after four years. It does not exceed more than $1.15 million in any given year, Stanley said.

ASU President Michael Crow said the new housing is part of a $3.4 billion plan to build and refurbish facilities that will eventually serve up to 90,000 students on ASU's various campuses. Nearly $1 billion of that is slated for student housing, and outside partnerships will be key to getting the new buildings in place, Crow said.




In a previous article, they have mentioned it is planned to be a 12-15 story building. I'm kind of curious on the two phase part of it and how that will work out.

Last edited by HX_Guy; Dec 6, 2006 at 4:44 AM.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:57 AM
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Students may study in Phoenix, but they're letting loose in Tempe
The concrete jungle isn't the party some expected
by Meghan Keck
published on Monday, October 30, 2006


Jaqui Schraeder came to ASU from Manhattan, the "city that never sleeps," so it's no surprise that the undeclared freshman is having a tough time adjusting to downtown Phoenix's bedtime - 2 p.m.

"Businesses are pretty much open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Schraeder said. "So when I get back from class, there's nothing to do."

Lack of late-night activity takes away from the college atmosphere in downtown Phoenix, driving many of the Residential Commons' 150 residents to Tempe.

Most students come to parties in Tempe on Friday and Saturday nights, said Schraeder, who applied to live on the Tempe campus as soon as a bed is available.

"We all try to find someone who has a car and go together," she said. "Otherwise, the shuttle back to Downtown stops at 10 p.m., so we have to find somewhere to spend the night."

Night activity downtown is limited to the Arizona Center, which has restaurants and a movie theater, said Jose Martinez, an accounting and finance junior.

Martinez said he moved downtown expecting a traditional college experience.

"You know the rumors you hear from friends - parties and having a good time at the dorm," he said.

But Martinez said he is disappointed.

"There is nothing to do but go to the same places or hang in someone's room and watch TV, and I get tired of going to the same place every weekend," he said.

Marketing freshman Neil Orvis said downtown's culture isn't something desired by most college students.

Living downtown because of limited Tempe residence-hall space, Orvis said ASU staff offers free concerts, museums and sporting events.

"But really, does a college student want to go to a concert or museum when they can spend it having more 'fun' on the Tempe campus?" he said. "I bet you nine out of 10 people living downtown would love to live on the Tempe campus. I'm missing out on college life."

Still, the lack of nightlife hasn't been all bad, Schraeder said.

"During the week we all hang around together, so it's a nice small community," she said. "Living in ResComm allows for closer connections much quicker than I think living on campus in Tempe would."

Schraeder credits her resident assistants with creating events to facilitate the close community, including the weekly Residential Commons political discussions she has attended.

Student activities have also included movie nights and an improvisation class, but many students weren't interested in them, said Siobhan McCurdy, a former Downtown campus RA.

"When some students' idea of fun is drinking ... it's no wonder that there wasn't always good turnout for activities that staff had planned," she said.

McCurdy said she is no longer an RA because she didn't enjoy the job but said that she has hope for Downtown student life.

"Even though Phoenix doesn't have a college atmosphere, we really do make ResComm feel college-like," she said.



It's really a shame that things are the way they are with nightlife downtown. It would be a disaster if the attendance rate at the downtown campus actually starts to decline due to students wanting a real college experience.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 3:33 PM
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[QUOTE=HX_GuyIt's really a shame that things are the way they are with nightlife downtown. It would be a disaster if the attendance rate at the downtown campus actually starts to decline due to students wanting a real college experience.[/QUOTE]


Even if there was more nightlife downtown, i.e. clubs and bars, most of those students are too young to participate. Having gone to ASU, I can understand why these 18, 19 and 20 year olds would want to be in Tempe. It's a shame, but very understandable.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy
Students may study in Phoenix, but they're letting loose in TempeLack of late-night activity takes away from the college atmosphere in downtown Phoenix, driving many of the Residential Commons' 150 residents to Tempe.

Most students come to parties in Tempe on Friday and Saturday nights, said Schraeder, who applied to live on the Tempe campus as soon as a bed is available.
Oh great.

College students + lack of nearby nightlife = drunk driving.

Going to UC Irvine must be almost as bad as ASU Downtown. The only places open really late within walking distance are fast food places, but at least there are some restaurants open to a normal hour (the 2 PM thing in Phoenix is only a slight exaggeration). Having to drive to places like Newport Beach for nightlife is a perennial problem. At least we can have parties in our apartments. I assume ASU Downtown is a dry campus, just like main?
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 9:11 PM
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Downtown ASU College Students #1 complaint: Nothing to do in Downtown Phx- Downtown campus is boring.

Matt Pool's Tavern: a start in the right direction. But City is resistant to a speedy approval/ throws up red tape?

How ridiculous!
What kind of asses are employed there?
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 8:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Upward
Oh great.

College students + lack of nearby nightlife = drunk driving.

Going to UC Irvine must be almost as bad as ASU Downtown. The only places open really late within walking distance are fast food places, but at least there are some restaurants open to a normal hour (the 2 PM thing in Phoenix is only a slight exaggeration). Having to drive to places like Newport Beach for nightlife is a perennial problem. At least we can have parties in our apartments. I assume ASU Downtown is a dry campus, just like main?
The main campus isn't dry, nor is the downtown campus. As long as you are 21, it's allowed.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 3:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JI5 View Post
The main campus isn't dry, nor is the downtown campus. As long as you are 21, it's allowed.
I think that's the main problem for students DT. They're freshman and sophmores (18-20 years old), so they can't get into Seamus', or Cooperstown, or Matt's.

Last edited by sundevilgrad; Dec 7, 2006 at 5:40 PM.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 3:23 PM
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Two things that downtown Phoenix needs that I think would appeal to college age kids who cant drink are: a bowling alley, and an art house movie theatre. Both Tempe and Scottsdale have art house theatres, and thats it for the valley. I went to college in St Louis, a much smaller city and there were 4.5 art houses there (one was a regular multiplex that showed indy films on one or two screens), so I think the valley could support another art house.

I don't know if either of those type of things would really appeal to college kids, I just graduated college myself, and I certainly like that stuff, but I was never part of the drinking/clubbin'/cool crowd, I don't know what those people like to do. My friends and I were usually happy w/ a big bag of Funyons, some Mountain Dew, and D&D.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 5:45 PM
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I graduated from ASU in 2003 and my time there went like this:
1. Girls
2. Classes (I have a BS in Biochemistry, so I had to study)
3. Beer/Bars or Clubs
4. Football
5. Climbing/Backpacking
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 8:47 PM
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The main campus isn't dry, nor is the downtown campus. As long as you are 21, it's allowed.
I am an ASU grad. In the on-campus housing, alcohol was NOT allowed: even for people over 21, even grad students. I never went to any kind of school-sponsored function that included alcohol. It was my understanding that the campus was dry. Of course, there's Mill Ave, but that's not campus.

At UCI, I'm allowed to have alcohol in my apartment, there's often wine served at our department colloquium, and there's a place on campus (run by campus dining) that serves beer.
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 7:54 PM
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/\ And i'm an ASU senior, and I promise you it IS allowed. There are certain dorms that are dry, for people who want that. Others have no rules on the subject - including campus apartments. As for school functions not serving alcohol, its not PC. People would be up in arms if any tuition money was spent on alcohol.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2006, 6:09 PM
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/\ And i'm an ASU senior, and I promise you it IS allowed. There are certain dorms that are dry, for people who want that. Others have no rules on the subject - including campus apartments. As for school functions not serving alcohol, its not PC. People would be up in arms if any tuition money was spent on alcohol.
Well, ok. Maybe things have changed since I moved off campus (I only lived there through Spring 2003). But when I was in the dorms, we were told the campus itself was dry, not just the dorms we were in. Maybe they lied to us.

And as for the question of did it actually affect anything: when I was under 21, it was easier to find pot than alcohol.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 4:11 AM
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I think that's the main problem for students DT. They're freshman and sophmores (18-20 years old), so they can't get into Seamus', or Cooperstown, or Matt's.
While downtown ASU is in the development stage, it would be a nice perk if the students could get discount tickets or even free tickets to events at us airways or chase field. Tickets to the Dodge or Orpheum theater would also be cool.

Another idea would be to have a few ASU basketball games at us airways.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 7:02 AM
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Another idea would be to have a few ASU basketball games at us airways.
I doubt ASU would want to do that. The only way is if it was an in season tournament, like what UA did this year.
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2006, 5:57 PM
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ASU students say downtown good for classes, but . . .[i]

Ginger D. Richardson
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 17, 2006 12:00 AM

Students attending Arizona State University's newest campus love their academic environment but say their college experience isn't quite what they hoped because downtown Phoenix does not yet have all the amenities they want and need.

There is no grocery store within walking distance, and dining options are limited. Downtown is a maze of construction, with no grassy areas or parks.

"Everything closes so early down here," said Kaylin Hasselquist, an 18-year-old freshman nursing major. "I mean nothing is open."
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As the downtown Phoenix campus wraps up its first semester, university leaders are redoubling their efforts to keep students happy because student retention ultimately will be one of the lasting measures of the new university's success.

A lot is at stake.

Phoenix is hoping that the campus will be an anchor for its downtown revitalization efforts, providing spinoff development in the form of new businesses and jobs. And ASU is counting on the campus to help it expand its system- wide enrollment and meet the state's ever-increasing higher education needs, which are being fueled by population growth and larger numbers of high school graduates going on to college.

University officials, who say they believe the downtown campus' inaugural term has been an overall success, have said they would like to see 90 to 95 percent of those students taking classes in Phoenix return for the spring semester. Enrollment topped 6,000 students during the fall.

ASU will not know until January whether it has reached that goal, but administrators already are making minor adjustments based on the feedback they have received during student forums.

"It's pretty clear and pretty consistent," said Mernoy Harrison, vice president and provost for the downtown campus. "They love the academics, but the amenities are lacking."

Not a college town
In many ways, students' frustrations come as no surprise to university leaders.

ASU and the city built the college in an area not known for nightlife or for even being student-friendly. Most fast-food places close mid- afternoon, and the restaurants that are open in the evening hours tend to be sit-down establishments that don't appeal to the college crowd.

But the university had hoped to combat the challenging downtown environment with a variety of campus-organized activities and the creation of a temporary student union at the Arizona Center, downtown's only outdoor shopping mall.

Some of the efforts were successful. The university worked out a student membership arrangement with the Lincoln Family YMCA on First Avenue, which has proven to be wildly popular.

Students also went on campus-run outings to downtown sporting events. They listened to Illinois senator and potential 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama speak at the Orpheum Theatre and took in Phoenix arts scene at the First Friday's art walk.

But the university was unable to open the student union as it had hoped, and many underclassmen said they passed a lot of post-dinner hours by simply hanging out in their dorm rooms.

The lack of entertainment appears to be a bigger problem for the underclassmen; those students who are over 21 say they've enjoyed attending class downtown.

"There's a lot of cool stuff within walking distance," 28-year-old Derrick Martinez said. "I think it would be cool to live downtown."

For the younger students, dining is also a challenge.



In Tempe, students can swipe their ASU-issued photo ID, or Sun Card, and pay for lunch or dinner through a meal plan at dozens of restaurants and coffeehouses on or off campus.

In downtown Phoenix, the choices are much more limited. Most students end up eating dinner at the cafeteria in the residence hall or at a cafe in the University Center, the campus' main academic building at Central Avenue and Taylor Street.

Many of downtown's fast-food restaurants close by 3 p.m.

Freshman nursing major Lucy Carfagno had the same dinner at the residence hall cafeteria every night: a chicken sandwich. She said the university needs to provide more dining choices.

Students also want a grocery store that they can walk to. Many say they have to stock up on supplies at a gas station/convenience store several blocks away.

What students do consistently rave about is their academic environment. They say they love the downtown campus' small class sizes, the personal attention they get from professors and staff, and the overall look and feel of the classrooms.

"The teachers have more time with us," said 18-year-old Denise Wilson, a freshman nursing major. "I go to mentoring, and they help you with your homework."

Long-term goal
ASU says it has told its students to be patient, that some of the amenities that they want, such as a grocery store, will be built as downtown Phoenix continues to grow and develop.

But that's unlikely to happen much before fall 2008.

That is when ASU moves the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to downtown and plans to have a 700-bed student housing complex up and running.

Both will result in more students downtown, which could spur business and retail development.

"One of the objectives that has not been reached is having the presence of students and faculty on the streets and sidewalks," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. "I am confident that will eventually happen."

Phoenix and ASU are still moving forward with plans to develop an outdoor civic space downtown and to remake Taylor Street, on the campus' north end, into a more pedestrian-friendly area.

Both initiatives would help beautify the downtown area, but they are also not expected to be in place before 2008.

"We're still in a building mode, and it's going to be a little disruptive for a while," ASU President Michael Crow said. "But eventually we're going to have a really great downtown neighborhood."

Short-term answer
For now, the university needs to continually find ways to "engage" students in the downtown community, said Kevin Cook, vice provost and dean for student affairs. During the fall semester, ASU pushed its "First 100 days" initiative, which included trips to downtown plays and Arizona Diamondbacks games.

University leaders will do something similar in the spring semester, Cook said. They also plan to open their temporary student union by March, which would give students a place to hang out.

In addition, ASU also is trying to find ways to make it easier for the underclassmen, particularly those without cars, to attend events on the Tempe campus.

The university runs a daily shuttle service between downtown Phoenix and Tempe, but students have complained that its hours need to be extended beyond 10 p.m., particularly on the weekends.

ASU is considering the idea.

"We've definitely heard about that," Harrison said of the shuttle service hours. "If it is something that students feel would help their experience, we'll look at it."

Grading the effort
So, how do ASU administrators rate their own performance so far? Reasonably well, as it turns out.

"Overall, I'd give us a B-minus," Cook said. "I think we've provided everything that a student needs to be successful, but all of the student support things aren't yet in place.

"It's not like there's nothing. There is something. We're working to make it better."

Students, however, have a slightly different take.

"I think I'd have to give them two grades," Carfagno said. "I'd give them a B-minus too, as far as the classes and the buildings and all that stuff goes.

"But if we're including the campus, I'd say maybe a C-minus. Actually, probably a D, now that I think about it."
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2006, 6:31 PM
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Here is the link to the article which has some comments at the end, including one from a student it seems. I hope there aren't too many people who feel the same way he does...

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...grade1217.html

"I cannot stand the downtown campus. Everything mentioned in the article is on par with how many students feel. I have already taken 2 classes downtown and I despised every minute of it. Traffic is terrible, there is no where to eat, and the panhandling bums are everywhere. At least I am in grad school and I can go back home after class but I really feel sorry for the poor underclassmen that actually live down there. With all the extra $s ASU keeps getting from these tuition hikes its seems like they could provide a little more downtown to try and make the place more livable. Putting $s into downtown development would be a better use of those extra tuition $s instead of buying out Dirk Diggler's coaching contract, which they should not have needed to do if they hadnt screwed up and given him an extension in the first place. Way to go ASU!"
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2006, 6:52 PM
soleri soleri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post
"I cannot stand the downtown campus. Everything mentioned in the article is on par with how many students feel. I have already taken 2 classes downtown and I despised every minute of it. Traffic is terrible, there is no where to eat, and the panhandling bums are everywhere. At least I am in grad school and I can go back home after class but I really feel sorry for the poor underclassmen that actually live down there. With all the extra $s ASU keeps getting from these tuition hikes its seems like they could provide a little more downtown to try and make the place more livable. Putting $s into downtown development would be a better use of those extra tuition $s instead of buying out Dirk Diggler's coaching contract, which they should not have needed to do if they hadnt screwed up and given him an extension in the first place. Way to go ASU!"
I guess COP and ASU didn't tell the students that they're the ones who are supposed to make downtown lively. We've tried everything to turn it around: sports, sports' bars, convention center/hotels, mixed-use projects (Arizona Center) - every lollapalooza project we could conjure. But we didn't put feet on the sidewalks because ultimately people want more than venues. They want a real city.

Pardon my arrogance, but here's Soleri's Rule #4: it's ALWAYS better to have existing urbanism than the new pretend kind. Nothing replaces old buildings, real-world uses, organic growth, and complex social ecologies.
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