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HX_Guy Nov 25, 2006 8:46 AM

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! :D

http://www.nitnelav.com/ASUDowntownNew.JPG

HX_Guy Nov 29, 2006 2:36 AM

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.

sundevilgrad Nov 29, 2006 3:33 PM

Here's a link to the ASU DT student housing developer...

http://www.capstonecompanies.com/

HX_Guy Dec 6, 2006 4:33 AM

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.

HX_Guy Dec 6, 2006 7:57 AM

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.

sundevilgrad Dec 6, 2006 3:33 PM

[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.

Upward Dec 6, 2006 7:15 PM

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?

loftlovr Dec 6, 2006 9:11 PM

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?

JI5 Dec 7, 2006 8:54 AM

Quote:

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.

sundevilgrad Dec 7, 2006 3:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JI5 (Post 2494557)
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.

HooverDam Dec 7, 2006 3:23 PM

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.

sundevilgrad Dec 7, 2006 5:45 PM

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

Upward Dec 8, 2006 8:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JI5 (Post 2494557)
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.

JI5 Dec 9, 2006 7:54 PM

/\ 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.

Upward Dec 10, 2006 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JI5 (Post 2499247)
/\ 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.

Jimks Dec 11, 2006 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sundevilgrad (Post 2494777)
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.

HooverDam Dec 11, 2006 7:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jimks (Post 2501828)

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.

HX_Guy Dec 17, 2006 5:57 PM

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."

HX_Guy Dec 17, 2006 6:31 PM

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!"

soleri Dec 17, 2006 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 2515732)
"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.

JimInCal Dec 17, 2006 6:56 PM

What's wrong with the convenience foods industry??? Could you imagine the business a big Tokyo Express could do ajacent to ASU downtown? There is a huge built-in market there now. I've got to think that coffee houses, deli's and a variety of ethnic fast-food places are forthcoming and in quick order. If not, I would be amazed.

HX_Guy Dec 17, 2006 7:24 PM

I'm surprised the ones already there havn't made changes. Is the ASU population not enough to warrant staying open later? Have any of the fast food places even tried to extend their hours to see if it's worth it?

HooverDam Dec 18, 2006 12:25 AM

The students ought to all be taken out and slapped, what a bunch of idiots. You are in college, you need to learn to make your own fun. I just got done going to school for 4 years in Webster Groves, Missouri, the definition of quiet suburbs. But my friends and were always having a great time. Its not the school (or anyone else's) job to make life fun for you, you have to go out and find it. Life isn't going to be like an episode of "My Super Sweet 16" where everyone spends thousands to please your dumb ass.

HX_Guy Dec 22, 2006 9:11 PM

From http://phoenixcityliving.typepad.com/

http://phoenixcityliving.typepad.com...mall_map_2.gif

The City of Phoenix and ASU are currently working on the development of the Taylor Mall pedestrian corridor. The area known as Taylor Mall will run along Taylor Street from Central Avenue to Third Avenue.

The proposed project is designed to enhance the pedestrian environment along this section of Taylor Street. Ten Eyck Landscape Architects were chosen as the primary design group and Jack Mackie has been commissioned for the public art for Taylor Mall. The project is being funded from the $5 million approved by voters in the 2006 bond election.

A public meeting is being held on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 at 5:30pm, to present the proposed Taylor Mall streetscape improvement concepts. No business will be conducted nor any action taken at this meeting. The event is open to the public and individuals and group directly affected by the ASU Downtown Campus are encouraged to attend. The meeting is being held in the Phoenix City Hall First Floor Assembly Rooms A & B (200 W. Washington Street).

HX_Guy Jan 10, 2007 3:23 PM

Regional Roundup

Jan. 10, 2007 12:00 AM

PHOENIX: The council will vote on an agreement today that will allow Arizona State University to build a student-housing project downtown. The meeting is at 3 p.m. at 200 W. Jefferson St.


PHOENIX: Organizers of the Champ Car World Series race and festival will announce details today about the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 downtown event.



I wonder if any specific plans will be revealed about the student-housing project or if if it will just be a "go ahead" and they will discuss the details at a later time.

SZD Jan 11, 2007 12:58 AM

I attended the Central Village Planning meeting on Monday and then the meeting where they gave the renderings/plans of the Taylor Street Mall last night....so I have a few things to post...I just have to get my notes out.

But, the question I have first is does anyone know anything about the "Sliver" building on Taylor Street? I have no idea if that is how to spell it, but that is what they kept saying. Next to the AZ Republic parking garage. Is going to be constructed by Urbistruct. They kept talking about it at the Taylor Mall meeting and a guy from Urbistruct was in the audience, but I had to leave otherwise I would have tried to tackle him for information.

sundevilgrad Jan 11, 2007 2:24 PM

Wow, the news sure is coming fast right now...
 
City Council will lease land to ASU for dorms

Ginger D. Richardson
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 11, 2007 12:00 AM

PHOENIX - City Council members agreed Wednesday to lease several parcels of downtown land to Arizona State University so that the property can be redeveloped into a $150 million student housing project.

Detailed plans have not yet been released but Deputy City Manager David Cavazos said that early concepts call for the construction of two 16-story towers that average about 170 feet in height.

The towers' design and construction will be funded entirely by a private developer, who will, in turn, charge students rent. advertisement




"We are very excited about this project," Cavazos said. The student housing will be built in two phases, the first of which will open in fall 2008, and contain about 700 to 750 beds. The second phase will bring an additional 500 to 550 beds to downtown.

The project will be on the northern edge of the downtown Phoenix campus, just north of Taylor Street, between First and Second streets. The prime location means the dorm will be sandwiched between the university's primary academic buildings.

It is also forcing the relocation of a few existing downtown businesses, including Mary Ann Avila's Downtown Laundry and Dry Cleaners, which is being razed.

But on Wednesday, Avila and her attorney said they were in support of the student housing plan.

Avila will receive $200,000 from the developer and her current landlord, plus relocation assistance from the city.

She said she is close to signing a new deal that would allow her to reopen her laundry elsewhere in the downtown area, although she declined to disclose the specific location.

Representatives from the Valley Youth Theatre also spoke in favor of the plan. Officials there had been expected to oppose the student housing proposal because of worries it may encroach on city-owned land that had been set aside for their own expansion plans.

However, a Wednesday meeting with Cavazos and other city staff seemed to put those concerns to rest.

"We are very encouraged by the meeting this afternoon," said Bob Cooper, Valley Youth's producing artistic director, who added that he was "very excited" about the ASU project.

But, he said, "It was important to us that it wasn't done at the expense of the children that the Valley Youth Theatre has been supporting for the past 18 years."

Cavazos said that the city and ASU have pledged to work with the Valley Youth Theatre on their expansion efforts and would look at retaining a private firm to redevelop the roughly 35,000 square feet of vacant land around its existing building. They also will work with them on potential funding sources, he said.

Details will need to be worked out over the next 30 to 60 days.

ASU is under a tight deadline to deliver the project, considered critical to the success of the new campus.

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

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


Two 16-story towers sure will be nice on the northern edge of DT. Can't wait. Should help the AZ Center towers blend in a little better and not look so distant from the core, of course, the Sheraton Hotel will do a better job of that. Great news lately, and it sounds as if most of the projects aren't of the pipe dream nature, it sounds like they'll actually be built. Great news about CPE, I hope they are still planning on going TALL!:cheers:

JimInCal Jan 11, 2007 2:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sundevilgrad (Post 2559441)
City Council will lease land to ASU for dorms

Two 16-story towers sure will be nice on the northern edge of DT. Can't wait. Should help the AZ Center towers blend in a little better and not look so distant from the core, of course, the Sheraton Hotel will do a better job of that. Great news lately, and it sounds as if most of the projects aren't of the pipe dream nature, it sounds like they'll actually be built. Great news about CPE, I hope they are still planning on going TALL!:cheers:

I'm very happy they decided to go with two 16-story towers as well. It could have been piddlier than that from the first indication of what was planned. Hope the design is at least somewhat creative and not completely utilitarian. It's great to see more talk about Central Park East. The original renderings were something out of the former Eastern Block though. :slob: I hope it gets a complete redesign ...something 45-50 floors would be grand!

HX_Guy Jan 13, 2007 10:18 AM

http://www.azcentral.com/community/p...rms0113Z3.html

Another article on the City Council approving the ASU dorms downtown...pretty much same old news, two 16 story buildings rising about 170', but there was on new nice fact at the end of this article...

"The university is hoping to place a grocery store or perhaps a fast-food restaurant on the project's ground floor."

That would be great to see, another grocery store downtown, although I'm sure it would be small, but still much needed. Even a fast food restaurant would not be bad...maybe a McDonalds, KFC, or Taco Bell...something that isn't already there.

HX_Guy Jan 29, 2007 10:41 PM

To kind of answer my question a little bit.. :)

I checked for permits for the school of journalism and it seems work on that end has been ongoing. The latest shows on 12/27/06 Permit# PRLM-0605802. It looks like SUNDT will be the contractor and the description looks like this...

DESCRIPTION OF WORK: A 244000 MULTI LEVEL LOW RISE BUILDING CONSISTING OF OFFICE RETAIL AND CLASSROOMS (UNIVERSITY ) LOCATED IN THE DOWNTOWN CORE DISTRICT. THE BUILDING IS SIX STORIES WITH RETAIL ON GROUND LEVEL OFFIEC AND CLASS ROMS 2ND THRU 6TH FLRS TV STUDIOS ON THE TOP FLOOR.

Nice to see it will have ground floor retail.

PHX31 Jan 29, 2007 10:46 PM

On what cross streets will it be located?

HX_Guy Jan 29, 2007 10:57 PM

The school of journalism?

http://www.nitnelav.com/ASUDowntownNew.JPG

It will be on the block bound by Central and 1st St, Taylor and Fillmore.

The new student housing is going to go on the block directly east of it.

PHX31 Jan 29, 2007 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HX_Guy (Post 2597651)
The school of journalism?

http://www.nitnelav.com/ASUDowntownNew.JPG

It will be on the block bound by Central and 1st St, Taylor and Fillmore.

The new student housing is going to go on the block directly east of it.

It seems like such a waste of space... why not combine the School of Journalism and ASU dorms on the same block? No way will the 6-story, 244,000 SF building take up that ENTIRE city block, it probably won't even take up half or even a third. What will make up the rest of the room? A parking lot? The old 411 building just south of it is probably bigger than what the planned school of journalism is to become and that doesn't even take up half. Why not put up both buildings on the west lot, keep the east lot as parking (to be developed in the future?). Nothing like a Super block filled with a wasteful 6-story building. Why do they keep saying there isn't enough land? There would be plenty if they didn't waste so much of it. They should look to the az republic/convention center hotel block as a model.

HX_Guy Jan 29, 2007 11:29 PM

I'm guessing the rest will be parking since there is no mention of underground parking. Each floor will have about 40,000 sq ft right? That that whole block is probably around 2.2 acres (like the Patriot's Park parcel) which is roughly 95,000 sq ft. So yea, it won't even take up half the land. They could have definately put the dorms on the same parcel Im sure...but maybe it would have been more costly to do underground parking?

PHX31 Jan 29, 2007 11:39 PM

If it is all ASU, just make the entire east block a parking lot for both the dorms and the journalism school. Then if you need that land in the future, build a garage along with new buildings.

HX_Guy Jan 29, 2007 11:44 PM

Yea who knows what the plans are. They are also demolishing what is there now, except for the Youth Theatre, which is actually supposed to be expanded.

It's pretty obvioulsy both the dorms and the school of journalism will be on the southern halves of each block, creating a nice walkable Tylor street.

JimInCal Jan 30, 2007 2:09 AM

ASU Student Housing
 
http://www.azcentral.com/community/p...rms0113Z3.html

This article, earlier in January states the dorms will be two, 16-story buildings. This is a bit better use of that space....more height.

"...Detailed plans for the units have not been released, but Cavazos said early concepts call for two 16-story towers about 170 feet tall. The towers' design and construction will be funded entirely by a private developer, who will, in turn, charge students rent. Plans call for the student housing to be built in two phases, the first of which will open in fall 2008 and contain about 750 beds. The second phase will have 500 to 550 beds..."

DevdogAZ Jan 30, 2007 2:38 AM

:previous: That would be great if the student housing were in two 16-story buildings. And I agree that it will be a waste to only put a 6-story building on the other block, but when you figure the parking needs of over 1000 student beds, plus the classroom space and other amenities, perhaps it would have gone too tall. There's got to be a point where the cost of going tall outweighs the cost of a second low-rise structure, especially when the city is giving away the land.

Also, don't forget those pictures we saw a while back of the Taylor Street Mall which would create a nice little student district with housing, shops, classrooms, etc. all together in a small walkable area. If they were to build all the amenities in one tall building, it would mean that one of the blocks of the "mall" would be a vacant lot/parking lot instead of shops/retail. It would also mean that if students could live and go to school all in the same building, without ever going to the ground floor, it would discourage the pedestrian traffic and feel that will make that "mall" a successful area.

PHX31 Jan 31, 2007 3:27 PM

Downtown campus to have its own Memorial Union
New center, set to open March, equipped with pool tables, TV, music
by Jeff Mitchell
published on Wednesday, January 31, 2007
advertisement
In order to improve upon the quality of student life for the Downtown campus, construction began on a new 5,000 square foot student activity center in the Arizona Center, 455 N. Third St.

The new student center, scheduled to open mid-March, will bring a much-needed gathering place for students, said Kevin Cook, vice provost dean of student affairs.

Although students can gather in the University Center, the student center will have pool tables, music, three big-screen televisions and have offices for student clubs, Cook said.

Nursing freshman Zack Bremer said the student space is needed.

"I think they desperately need it because there is not much for the students to do [at the Downtown campus]," Bremer said.

Having a place for students to hang out could be a vast improvement, he added.

Rene Sanchez, social work senior, said, "It can be a place for students to walk to and hang out rather than sit in their rooms and watch TV."

The student center will be located on the second floor above the AMC theater on the northwest corner of the Arizona Center - one block from the Residential Commons and two blocks from the University Center.

There are about 4,000 square feet for student organization offices and student space and about 1,000 square feet for a banking area with tellers, said Tony Martinez, a contractor for D.K. Realtec, a company working on the facility.

The MU on the Tempe Campus also has restaurants and services for students; the hope is the Arizona Center itself will serve as an MU for students, Cook said.

Karl Huizenga, district manager of Sportsfan - a sporting goods store located in the Arizona Center - said he looks forward to the new student center.

"I think it's fantastic," Huizenga said. "It will bring more people down to the Arizona Center."

Currently, there are about 134 students living in the Residential Commons, which is 20 less than the previous semester, said Laura Ellis, Residential Commons coordinator.

Students should recognize the Downtown campus is different than Tempe, Ellis said. It's a smaller community with an urban environment.

"If that appeals to you, you should be downtown," he added.

The student center is available to all ASU students, not just those who live on the Downtown campus, said Christina Hernandez, ASU coordinator for new student programs and traditions.

Nursing freshman Tara Reynolds commutes to the Downtown campus for her classes from Peoria.

"I think it's kind of neat," Reynolds said of the student center. "But, I don't know if I'd use it or not."

Reynolds said she likes the Downtown campus, but only spends time there to attend classes.

Nursing freshman Lauren Harley said the center may be great for the weekends.


I thought they were going to use the old post office as a student union? Maybe there will be two, or maybe this is just the interim MU?

HX_Guy Feb 14, 2007 6:44 AM

Looks like permits have started to be issued for the ASU Downtown Student Housing.

Permit# PAPP-0700527
Description/Scope of Work: PRE-APPLICATION SCREEN
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: 370,000 S.F PROJECT IN THE DOWNTOWN CORE DISTRICT CONSISTING OF 2 HIGH-RISE DORMITORY TOWER FOR STUDENT HOUSING FACILITY FOR ASU DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

PHXRising Feb 17, 2007 4:44 PM

New Park Space
 
Here's an article from this mornings AZ Republic. Maybe this will help offset the loss of Patriots Square Park. :shrug:

Funds OK'd for planning of civic space

Ginger D. Richardson
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 17, 2007 12:00 AM
PHOENIX - City Council members have taken the first official step toward designing and building a new civic space in downtown Phoenix.

The council on Wednesday agreed to pay EDAW Inc. just under $200,000 to design a plan for the 2.7-acre park-like area that would be just south of the U.S. Post Office between Central and First avenues. Phoenix officials think the space is crucial to the success of Arizona State University's downtown campus and to the city's overall revitalization plans for the area.

The civic space is envisioned as a gathering place for university students as well as residents and workers. Phoenix and ASU officials have said they don't have any preconceived ideas of what features the park area should contain but have indicated that it should include green space and areas for visitors to sit, talk, eat and perhaps listen to music.

Jeff Bentz, a senior associate at EDAW, said Thursday that the company will begin holding meetings in March to seek public input on the project. EDAW, which has offices around the country, including downtown Phoenix, has extensive experience in park and urban civic space design, including Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

About $30 million was set aside for the civic space when Phoenix voters gave approval last March to fund the project as part of a bond program.

HX_Guy Feb 19, 2007 12:27 AM

Another new construction about to start!

http://dpc.asu.edu/groundbreaking.jpg

http://cronkite.asu.edu/about/images...bldg_feb07.jpg

nbrindley Feb 19, 2007 1:26 AM

That's the first rendering I've seen of it, looks great. It's going on an empty lot, right?

HX_Guy Feb 19, 2007 2:48 AM

Yes, it's going on what is now a surface parking lot, although from the rendering it looks like it will probably go on only half of the lot. I'm guessing the remainder of the blcok will stay a parking lot?

http://www.nitnelav.com/ASUDowntownNew.JPG

BA744PHX Feb 22, 2007 12:07 AM

Cronkite School breaks ground in downtown Phoenix
 
The Business Journal of Phoenix - 4:34 PM MST Wednesday, February 21, 2007
by Chris Casacchia
The Business Journal
http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoen...ml?jst=b_ln_hl

The Walter Cronkite School of Mass Communication at Arizona State University broke ground Wednesday morning on a six-story, 223,000-square-foot complex at Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

Cronkite, long-time anchor of the "CBS Evening News" and dubbed "the most trusted man on television," was joined by Arizona State University President Michael Crow, Gov. Janet Napolitano, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Dean Christopher Callahan and KAET General Manager Greg Giczi for the journalism school's historic launch.

"Michael Crow is a true visionary of our time. He took the reins of this university and gave it a new direction and energy beyond anyone's imagination," Cronkite said. "Together with Dean Callahan, these two inspiring leaders are working to make our journalism school the best in the land. I'm grateful beyond measure to those who made this dream a reality."

The facility at 411 N. Central Ave. will open in fall 2008. The Cronkite School's portion of the building will be five times the size of its current home at the Tempe campus. The 100,000-square-foot space will be equipped with four digital newsrooms, seven multimedia computer labs, two TV studios, four classrooms and a 150-seat auditorium for large public forums. It also will house offices for the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the New Media Innovation Lab -- two recent additions to the Cronkite School.

"Having the Cronkite School in Phoenix makes so much sense and offers so many educational opportunities," Gordon said. "Locating right in the middle of the government corridor and most of the major media outlets will allow journalism students to essentially have a laboratory that is as big as downtown Phoenix itself."

More than 200 people attended the event.

HX_Guy Jun 9, 2007 10:05 PM

ASU Downtown Phoenix construction thread
 
With both the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and the ASU Downtown Dorms now under way, here are some pictures of the projects so far and a place for furture updates.


Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

http://cronkite.asu.edu/about/images...bldg_may07.jpg

- Six stories, 110-feet tall
- Ground floor retail facing Central Avenue, First Street and Taylor Street Mall

LIVE Webcam: http://cronkitebuilding.asu.edu/


June 7th, 2007:

http://www.nitnelav.com/DowntownJune7/DT5.jpg


ASU Downtown Dorms

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7...ndorms1ak1.jpg
http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/8...ndorms2ye9.jpg

High resolution image: http://img442.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ndorms1ch3.jpg

- 13 stories, 161-feet tall (according to Don B.'s chart)


http://www.nitnelav.com/DowntownJune7/DT3.jpg

http://www.nitnelav.com/DowntownJune7/DT1.jpg

HooverDam Jun 9, 2007 10:16 PM

Has it been made public knowledge what they are going to do w/ the Ramada Inn/ResComm once the dorm 'towers' are built? It sure is a waste of space, I'd love to see it knocked down and replaced w/ something denser/taller.

DevdogAZ Jun 10, 2007 12:50 AM

Cool thread. Thanks for starting it. I hadn't seen the renderings of the dorms yet, so that's cool too. Which street is that in the foreground of the first dorm rendering (just trying to get an idea of how the buildings will face) and also, is that older, one-story white building in the second rendering really going to stay there?

As for the Ramada Inn that's currently being used as housing, I can't imagine that they'd keep it there after the dorms are complete. If the Taylor Street Mall becomes what they hope it will, that property will be far too valuable as retail space to be left as a decaying motel. Does anyone know if ASU actually owns the site or are they just leasing it until the dorms are complete. I'd be much more comfortable with a private owner doing something with it than I would with ASU holding it after they've just completed a couple hundred million dollars worth of projects. They might not be ready to build anything else for awhile after that.

vertex Jun 10, 2007 1:17 AM

I don't think ASU owns it, unless this was a recent transaction. Didn't someone have plans to knock it down and build a 50 floor tower on it a couple of years ago?

HooverDam Jun 10, 2007 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vertex (Post 2887953)
I don't think ASU owns it, unless this was a recent transaction. Didn't someone have plans to knock it down and build a 50 floor tower on it a couple of years ago?

I think there was mention of that in that same article about the Trump group wanting to redo the north part of the AZ Center and put two towers on it.


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