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Vicelord John May 5, 2006 1:47 PM


Originally Posted by el_avocado
That's cos it is racist.

no, it is not.

If the billboard had nothing but mexicans, I wouldn't think anything of it, other than "oh there are mexicans," which really is nothing to be afraid of.

HooverDam May 5, 2006 8:09 PM


Originally Posted by combusean
22-story condo project planned for Town Lake
City Council should see plans in a few weeks

A 22-story condominium tower may be headed to the northern shore of Tempe Town Lake.

Very interesting. If I recall correctly the area just NE of there is pretty scuzzy. I'm surprised thats not having an adverse effect on sale. I guess they figure people will be heading south across the river for most of their dining and going out anyway, so perhaps what is immediately north isn't of importance.

wushu18t May 5, 2006 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by John_Vandercook
no, it is not.

If the billboard had nothing but mexicans, I wouldn't think anything of it, other than "oh there are mexicans," which really is nothing to be afraid of.

if so, then it would also. racism isn't just blatant, but often subtle. subtle or blatant is still wrong. as for Centerpoint it may just be a bad oversight on their marketer.

wushu18t May 5, 2006 11:04 PM

double post

bobjuba May 12, 2006 7:05 PM

Wow, Tempe will look great if these projects actually happen, now when will they tear down that unsightly flour mill? If ever? I suppose if it was otrn down the whole Mill Avenue theme would be slightly tarnished but that area would still rock...

Azndragon837 May 12, 2006 9:05 PM

^Tempe has NO plans to tear down the Historic Flour Mill. As ugly as it may seem, the mill is what gives Mill Avenue its name, and it is an icon to the city. Recently, developers wanted to convert it into a condo...I do not know the status of it right now, but that is what I heard in the media.

Frankly, I'd rather see new mixed-use development build along Mill Avenue and the mill rennovated to include some sort of museum or restaurant (maybe the restaurant can become a new restaurant for the nearby Mission Palms Hotel expansion immediately to the south).

Also, the mill sits adjacent to the west entrance of "A" Mountain, so a nice gateway entrance to the butte would be awesome. The whole site has potential. The flour mill can be rennovated, so do not bet on it to be torn down.


combusean May 12, 2006 9:27 PM

^ The Mill is awaiting redevelopment schemes, and last I checked the property was locked in MCW Holdings (the developer of the brickyard that went bankrupt) lawsuit with the City of Tempe.

The silos themselves are historically protected so there's almost no way those are coming down--I wouldnt stand for it one bit either. It is possible to renovate them into condos or whatever, so that'll likely play a big part of whatever we'll see.

The Mill parcel itself is ostensibly fairly difficult to develop--it's oddly shaped and there's almost no room for on-site parking. I think, however, that such challenges will lead to a truly unique project.

I'd like to see the following get developed:


the 2 - 6 story stuff should be live work.

The rail tracks would be repaved with red brick, exposing the steel rails still. Historic signage and exhibits down a landscaped pedestrian path could showcase the area.

All parking structures would be underground, making this super expensive to develop.

The finishing touch--gold neon/flourescent resignage of Hayden Flour Mill on the existing tower.

Some interior photos for those not too familiar with the area (sorry if this is way off topic)

Neon lights and recessed curved windows some day?

I've always liked that fresco. Restore it!

Don B. May 13, 2006 7:02 AM

^ Any renovation of this crumbling edifice will require massive amounts of tax dollars, otherwise it will languish forevermore, as it has for decades.


oliveurban May 13, 2006 6:01 PM

Condo tower is sought for Tempe's lake
Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
May. 13, 2006

A 22-story tower called Onyx may soar over the north shore of Tempe Town Lake, and, if built, would become the third major lakefront condominium development nestled near Loop 202 and Scottsdale Road.

While skeptics and residents wince at the millions that Tempe has poured into the 220-acre man-made lake, the water has helped create a hot real estate ticket.

On the north side, Town Lake's shores are crowded with construction equipment for Northshore, a 137-unit complex being built by WestStone Group of Cos., and Mondrian, a 532-unit condo-apartment project by Gray Development Group.

And on the south side, Suncor Development Co. is building four condo towers and will celebrate the first building's grand opening on Thursday.

"There are limited opportunities for shoreline access," said Greg Loper, director of development for WestStone, which is building Onyx and Northshore. "It's just an ideal location."

The unfinished Northshore project has sold all but a handful of its units, he said.

WestStone said it expects to submit formal plans for the Onyx project to the city in a few weeks.

The project would include townhouses and a condo tower, with a total of about 200 units, Loper said. The condos would sell, on the low end, for an estimated $400,000 to $500,000.

Initially, a restaurant was to be where the proposed Onyx project would go. Now that the lake property is a hot commodity, though, developers are pursuing more condos, said Tempe Development Services Manager Chris Anaradian.

Still, one real estate expert said that while the lake may be a popular location, the rash of condo development is vulnerable to the same market forces as the rest of the Valley.

"Right now, it's a popular area because downtown Tempe is being pushed, but there's a limit to those things," said Jay Butler, head of the Arizona Real Estate Center at ASU Polytechnic.

Butler said that he wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of Arizona State University students with wealthy parents end up living in them.

There could be other challenges. The new condo tower would be about 220 or 230 feet tall, and must be approved by the City Council during public hearings, Anaradian said.

Projects more than 200 feet tall have to notify the Federal Aviation Administration, he said, and the city won't issue a building permit until a project has applied for FAA review.

loftlovr May 14, 2006 10:13 AM

Son of a bitch you beat me camelback _road!!
I always go to post and someone beats me.... (Onyx article)

This is the article about the Constellation Group- they are out of Australia and bad ass! We should write to them and beg them to develop the Silo Mill- they did one before...

Don B. May 16, 2006 5:08 PM

Speaking of the flour mill in Tempe:

Historic Hayden Flour Mill may yield 2 cultures' relics

Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
May. 16, 2006 12:00 AM

The Hayden Flour Mill could become closer to becoming a usable historic site this month, after years of snags that have blocked redevelopment of downtown Tempe's most recognizable icon.

A Tempe company, Archaeological Consulting Services Ltd., will begin digging Monday around the mill and silos to search for artifacts. Archaeologists expect to find remnants from the years the site was actively used as a flour mill, along with traces from when the area was a settlement for the ancient Hohokam tribe.

City leaders said they view the eventual development of the mill as a crucial step to linking the downtown shopping and business districts with the recreation and housing being built along Town Lake.

The city has heard a range of proposals for the site, including outdoor recreation stores, a historical museum and converting the silos into condos or a hotel. It's possible that the city-owned land could have some combination of those components.

But before anything can happen to the mill, the archaeological dig hopefully will unearth a piece of land's past.

The dig is the first tangible movement toward renovating the historic site in years. The land has been tangled up in a yet-to-be-settled lawsuit and a fight between the city and a local developer over what can be built on the property and who can build it.

On Thursday, an open door into the mill's main building let its musty smell into the open air. Archaeologists will use backhoes, shovels and trowels to probe the mill and silos. They'll start the digging at the southeastern corner of the Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.

Using old fire insurance maps as their guide, a team of eight people will search for a two-story adobe jail. Team members will keep an especially careful look out for the structure's outhouse, or whatever is left of it.

It sounds strange, said Bob Stokes, who is in charge of the project's field work, but the garbage and trash tossed into the privy's hole might tell the archaeologists the most about what people ate, bought and used during that time period.

"It's not only a bathroom, it's a convenient trash can," Stokes said. "We might be able to learn what the inmates were eating, the kinds of utensils they were given . . . whether they got poorer cuts of meat, vs. better cuts of meat, or if there are few bones, if they got very little meat at all."

Archaeologists can also use the remains to do a micro-botanical analysis. It will tell them about the health of people during that time to see if they had parasites and if they were treated, Stokes said.

The archaeologists will remove strips of concrete around and between the other sides of the mill building to search for other artifacts and building remains. But while doing so, the team will take special care to keep its digging away from the buildings so the mill and silos will stay structurally sound for renovation.

This "exploratory" or "testing" digging phase will last five or six weeks. This phase will determine if there is more detailed work to be done, Stokes said. If something worth digging up is found, "large-scale excavations" would start in the fall, but it hinges on what, if anything, is found initially.

The $340,000 archaeological investigation is being paid for by a grant from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community from casino profits. Staff support is coming from the city, the Tempe Historical Museum, and the Tempe Historic Preservation Office.


loftlovr May 18, 2006 8:34 AM

Hayden Ferry Lakeside development pics-
Actually pulled over on the side of the freeway to take these!

Don B. May 18, 2006 3:50 PM

^ You are insane. :D


oliveurban May 18, 2006 7:44 PM


Originally Posted by loftlovr
Hayden Ferry Lakeside development pics-
Actually pulled over on the side of the freeway to take these!

No kidding.

Can we get you to pull over on the I-17 South to I-10 East on-ramp while you're at it, too? ;)

combusean May 23, 2006 9:20 PM

Whole Foods grocery to be part of Cosmo condo project

Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
May. 23, 2006 01:03 PM

Downtown Tempe residents are finally getting their wish: A full-service grocery store is coming.

Whole Foods has signed a 20-year to operate in downtown Tempe. The two-story store will be part of the Cosmopolitan building, a mixed-use project at University Drive and Ash Avenue.

The area has lacked a large-scale food store since an IGA closed in 2000. Residents have been asking for a replacement ever since.

Residents have pulled for more shops and stores that would make downtown more livable, not just a place to visit. But the grocery store will come with a price.

The Cosmopolitan building was initially pitched at 16 stories. That height, which would put condominiums 207 feet into the sky, didn't sit well with many who worried the new condos would be overlooking their yards, not to mention the additional residents clogging already congested streets.

And the project's height may inch higher.

About 15 people attended a community meeting Monday night. There, Charles Huellmantel, an attorney for the project's backer, Kowallis, Mackey & LeMar Development, showed neighbors a series of updated renderings.

He explained that the developer wants to add more height - an additional 28 feet.

The building needs more space because the grocery store would be larger than initially planned, Huellmantel said. Costs also came into play.

"Like all the other buildings in town, it has become much more expensive to build. Prices have gone through the roof," he said, pushing the need to go higher, literally. As a result, the added space would also include a dozen more condo units.

The new Whole Foods is replacing another natural foods store, the Gentle Strength Cooperative, which has been in Tempe for more than 30 years. Gentle Strength is moving to the Valley Fair shopping center at Southern and Mill avenues to make room for the new condo building.

Whole Foods will carry similar products to Gentle Strength, since both specialize in natural and organic foods. Whole Foods will likely feature meat, seafood, produce, flower and baked goods departments or counters, as well an organic garden center and, potentially, a full-service restaurant.

Builders will likely break ground on the Cosmopolitan building in early 2007, Huellmantel said Monday night.

Upward May 23, 2006 9:23 PM


Originally Posted by camelback_road
No kidding.

Can we get you to pull over on the I-17 South to I-10 East on-ramp while you're at it, too? ;)

How about the 10 east to 17 north (one of the high flyovers)? :D

loftlovr May 24, 2006 7:18 AM

More Towers in Tempe!!

Tempe – A venture formed by Jim Riggs of Shea Commercial and Tony Wall of 3W Cos., both of Scottsdale, and TriYar Capital in Phoenix (Steven Yari, Shawn Yari, Bob Agahi, principals), plans to develop a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use project at the northwest corner of University Drive and Forest Avenue in Tempe. University Square Investors, formed by Riggs, Wall, et al., paid just under $24.5 million to assemble the 3.219-acre site. A trust and a company formed by Sidney Joseph of Tempe were the sellers of most of the site in two deals totaling just over $23 million. Biltmore Management Inc. of Tempe (William Was, Jr., principal) was the seller of a small parcel for just over $1.39 million. The planned development, which will require a PAD overlay from Tempe, includes a 30-story hotel/condominium tower, a 26-story condominium building and a 12-story office structure. In all, plans on file in Tempe call for 490 residential units, 300 hotel rooms, 256,000 sq. ft. of office space and 49,000 sq. ft. of retail. No comment coming from any of the venture partners in the planned $400 million development. The site for the proposed project is bounded on the north by 7th Street, on the south by University Drive, on the east by Forest and on the west by Myrtle Avenue. Existing buildings on the site include several retail and restaurant businesses and three former single-family homes that are being used for retail purposes. All of the structures, located just east of Mill Avenue, would be razed for the new development. The venture has filed for zoning approval and could obtain the necessary entitlement by June, according to representatives in Tempe’s planning department. Shea Commercial, 3W Cos. and TriYar have extensive experience as developers in the Valley. Shea has developed numerous office condominium complexes in the Phoenix area and has a few residential condominium projects in the works. TriYar has developed residential and retail projects and is under construction on a W Hotel and upscale condos east of Scottsdale Road and south of Camelback Road in Scottsdale. Wall has developed office and retail space in the Valley. Find out more from Riggs at (480) 451-9077. Contact Wall at (480) 361-6054. Talk to the Yaris and Agahi at (602) 748-8888.

plinko May 24, 2006 7:24 AM

^Does that mean no more Mama's Pizzeria?

Carter May 24, 2006 8:40 AM

I saw a sign for the zoning meeting as I walked to work this morning and was wondering what this project was. Thanks for the info!

Azndragon837 May 24, 2006 11:11 AM


Originally Posted by plinko
^Does that mean no more Mama's Pizzeria?

Mama's Pizzeria left its building last year, now occupied by Lorenzo's Pizza. Yes, this means that:

-Lorenzo's Pizza

-The Arches Plaza (which includes Subway, Alphagraphics, India Bistro, Mai Island Grill, the Pita Pit, Tempe Bicycle and Dave's Hot Dogs...all yummy food)

-The Buildings on both sides of Forest that contain: Wet Paint Art Supply, E-Ba Cafe, and the HQ Smoke Shop

....will be gone.

The developers better include a ton of retail spaces to supplement the lost retail and restaurants. Wet Paint Art Supply provides most of the Architecture Students the materials needed for studio (I used to shop there all the time when I was in the Architecture program). Mai Island Grill is an excellent Hawaiian eatery, and so is India Bistro, a lovely Indian Buffet that is moderately priced. Remember, this project (which is very likely) is right across the street from the ASU Architecture Building.


PHX31 May 24, 2006 2:19 PM

/\Are you sure this includes all of those properties? Wet Paint, etc. are on the east side of Forrest... the article said the project is bounded by Forrest west to Mrytle.
It does mean that Hogi Yogi will be gone, which was pretty good back in the day (it may be closed now, temporarily).
I'd like to hold off on making any comments until I see the renderings and site plan, but to raze that whole area seems excessive.

soleri May 24, 2006 3:09 PM

Amazing. Almost $8 million an acre. Some dead farmer is rolling over in his grave.

I'll miss Lorenzo's. Where else can you get good food and a $3.50 pitcher of beer? It would be great if the developer allowed for student-oriented retail but usually expensive development has expensive ground-floor rents.

The market in Tempe for high-rise condos and hotel rooms is apparently even deeper than we thought. This is the kind of success derived from basic nurturing of good urbanist principles: pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, historic preservation, good transit, and a strong, knowledge-based economic engine (ASU).

combusean May 25, 2006 12:14 AM

^ This is a pretty big project for Tempe. It's incredibly dense (i dont think there is a denser project on the line) and its varied uses will place an enormous amount of people on the streets at almost all times of the day.

We are fortunate to have Shea Commercial headquartered here. Since the Phoenix area will always have issues putting up office towers because of the lack of demand for anchor space, Shea's build to suit-office condo approach is probably the best bet at the area getting non-residential towers for a little while. I'm always glad when sprawl developers start going urban, and it looks these guys are embracing the concept head on. The Waterfront is Scottsdale's most important project right now--I have high hopes for a similar anchor for downtown Tempe.

If the City of Tempe is really that quick with their entitlements process and can get this thing approved by June, it would send a pretty clear message that Tempe's PZ&D office works and could open the floodgates for similar projects. Remember, entitlements are the first thing that puts the value into the land.

The last time I went by this block I noticed the hole it formed in the burgeoning streetwal--imagine, in a few years we should see a pretty contiguous line of high density development along University, with Cosmo, the SWC of University and Mill, the ASU gateway, and now this. I hope the Ruby Tuesday block on the NEC of University and Mill is next.

plinko May 25, 2006 12:55 AM


Originally Posted by combusean
^ I hope the Ruby Tuesday block on the NEC of University and Mill is next.

Totally agree, though the redevelopment of that lot could be all based on current return and land values. Remember that the building on that site is only 8 years old. I don't know who owns the lot, but my guess is that there's probably still alot to be paid on that land and Ruby Tuesday may have upwards of 5 years left on their lease. Sad, but possibly true.

I remember when they built that thing. Completely the wrong land use for that corner. Should have had at least 2-3 stories on top of it (office and/or housing). Same for Jack Black's building across the street which was built at the same time (where PF Chang's is).

Curious...what's going in on the SWC? There's a gas station and a Burger King there right now, correct?

combusean May 25, 2006 1:53 AM

The gas station has been tore down and they were clearing the asphalt a week ago, I'm guessing to salvage the underground storage tanks and clean the site up. I dont know what's exactly going there, however.

The Burger king is still there. What's gone is just the NW quarter acre of the block that the Mobil was on before, a popular hangout for taxis and probably the last place in downtown Tempe to get a pack of smokes and a soda. Whats this about basic retail again?


Originally Posted by plinko
Same for Jack Black's building across the street which was built at the same time (where PF Chang's is).

I disagree... for as stunted as Centerpoint was it almost made more sense that way in the end to make the unintended real signature of the project--the restaraunt/corner gateway--only one story.

I mostly want to see Ruby Tuesday gone cause I got salmonella there. But there's another side to it. Something about that corner just screams 1990's "sorry, folks!" downtown architecture that we all ended up getting after the bust. A 20+ story tower--even in that same basic ground floor plate and design would be perfect for the corner.

PHX31 May 25, 2006 1:58 AM

/\ College Store on College north of Mill has all of that stuff, smokes, beer, food, etc. I've bought several Foster's oil cans after tests/presentations at that store. I know it's not downtown, per se, but close.

Vicelord John May 25, 2006 4:54 AM


Originally Posted by PHX31
/\ College Store on College north of Mill

you do know those streets run paralell to each other right?

PHX31 May 25, 2006 5:36 AM

Good catch eagle eye, obviously I meant Univ. :tup:

Vicelord John May 25, 2006 5:42 AM

wasn't obvious to me. I don't have ESP.

Carter May 25, 2006 5:42 AM

I think he means Campus Corner, which is on College accross the street from Panda Express.

PHX31 May 25, 2006 5:51 AM

/\ Good catch eagle eye, obviously I meant Campus Corner. :haha:

Carter May 25, 2006 6:06 AM

The zoning meeting is June 8th.

Carter May 25, 2006 4:11 PM

Looks like the date has changed again to June 5th for the zoning meeting.

SethAZ May 26, 2006 10:38 PM

5th and Mill
Hello everyone! Long time reader, first time poster. :) I was wondering if anyone knows why the NE corner of 5th and Mill is still empty. I think a Coldstone once occupied that space but if I remember correctly that was a long time ago. Anything cool going in there soon?

Also, I love all the new development in downtown Tempe but so far I have not seen any new restaurants or bars planned for the area. Mill Ave is great but with all the new people living down there I don't think that Mill will be able to accomodate everyone. Any ideas?? Thanks.

combusean May 27, 2006 1:26 AM

Dunno about 5th and Mill. Is it just the retail space that's vacant or is the whole building vacant or what?


Mill Ave is great but with all the new people living down there I don't think that Mill will be able to accomodate everyone. Any ideas?? Thanks.
Most of the highrises covered in this thread take a couple years to even build to their first phase. Centerpoint is still at least a year off, and that's "only" 22 stories. That's about how long the average smaller infill project takes as well. In either case, most of these projects aren't built right on Mill, but rather divert traffic off to Rio Salado and University which are still pretty capable. Once demand starts warranting new, properly timed stoplights, moving people in and out of downtown wont be so difficult. Traffic patterns for residential highrises generally aren't nearly as intensive as similarly dense office and retail blocks tho.

It's too early to tell how many of these new highrisers will actually use light rail and the bus, but I'm led to believe that the demographics and transit/retail options available by the time everything opens will really smooth things out.

The interim construction that's the root of the current problem, on the other hand, is something the transitioning areas will just have to grin and bear. It's worth it in the long term.

SethAZ May 27, 2006 2:45 PM

5th and Mill
I'll have to go check and make sure, but i'm pretty sure it is just the corner retail space on 5th and Mill and not the whole building. It is two stories and it is all boarded up.

combusean May 28, 2006 2:34 PM

University Square

More Tempe towers proposed
By John Yantis, Tribune
May 19, 2006


Scottsdale developers are proposing to turn a square city block east of downtown Tempe into more than 1 million square feet of living, work, hotel and shopping space anchored by three towers, including one that would be 30 stories.

University Square would be larger than Centerpoint, which is under construction near University Drive and Mill Avenue.

Planning officials recently received zoning and design applications for the project. It would be built between Myrtle and Forest avenues and University Drive and Seventh Street.

“We found some errors, some inconsistencies in their numbers on parking and we have some other questions so they’re not going to the (planning and zoning) board yet,” said Chris Anaradian, Tempe’s development services manager. “They’re still working with our staff as we review their drawings, and they gave us quite a number of drawings so there’s a lot of information to go through.”

The 30-story tower is proposed to be 329 feet tall. It would have 180 hotel rooms on the first 17 floors and about 40 condos above the 17th floor. A second tower that would be 286 feet tall would have 226 condos. A 12-story office tower would be about 168 feet tall and is proposed to have 267,000 square feet of offices and 44,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

The whole project would be about 1.3 million square feet, not including 1,800 parking spaces. Centerpoint, which is planning three 30-story buildings and one 22-story building, is 930,000 square feet, Anaradian said. Smaller floor plates make the Centerpoint towers skinnier, he said. Centerpoint’s height will be 343 feet.

“This is a mixed-use project so you have residential, office, hotel and retail all mixed together,” Anaradian said of University Square. “That’s a good thing. We like to see that diversity in a project, so it’s not all one thing.”

The towers would jut from a “podium” that’s about five stories with four levels of underground parking. Anaradian said the project resembles a wedding cake: The bottom tier is large and then next tier up is narrower.

A partnership called University Square Investors submitted the plans. It is led by Scottsdale businessman Tony Wall and includes Scottsdalebased Shea Commercial, known for office projects. Both Wall and a Shea spokeswoman declined to provide details of the project until next week.

Anaradian said the team has either finished purchasing the property or is in the process. The project would replace the Arches on the north side of University east of Myrtle. The center has been popular with Arizona State University students, and it features restaurants, a bicycle shop and a tattoo parlor.

Anaradian said University Square is at least 1 1 /2 years from starting construction.

“This is pretty early in the process and just because somebody submits 1.3 million square feet and we review it, doesn’t mean it’s going to get built,” he said. “There’s a lot that goes on on financing and lot of things the city doesn’t have control over.”

While it’s great somebody wants invest in the community, he said the size of the project could be problematic.

“There’s only so many square feet of office and residential that are going to get bought or leased in any particular year,” he said. “That’s just the market demand. A project like this comes in and . . . if it actually gets built all at once or even in phases, it’ll suck up tenants from other projects that are also in here right now being reviewed. Only so many of these projects are actually going to get built.”
Downtown Tempe block may tower
By John Yantis, Tribune
May 26, 2006

A mostly vacant city block in downtown Tempe may one day be a glitzy, towering $500 million project that will feature office space, a downtown hotel, boutique shops and dozens of high-rise condominiums, according to plans released by developers Thursday.

Under the proposal, three groups of investors will transform an area between Seventh Street and University Drive and Forest and Myrtle avenues into the 1.5 millionsquare-foot University Square.

The plan includes a 30-story hotel condo tower with 225 rooms and additional condo units, a 23-story residential tower that would feature an outdoor swimming pool on the top floor and a round office tower with 12 floors. Retail shops and upscale restaurants would go on the ground floors.

“We’re totally stoked on this project because it’s got a phenomenal location in a vibrant town and huge growth potential with having (Sun Devil Stadium) and (Arizona State University) nearby and Mill Avenue,” said Jim Riggs, founder and president of Shea Commercial, one of the developers.

The project will feature parking above and below ground.

Here are the players:

Scottsdale-based Shea Commercial teamed with 3W Companies and Triyar to develop University Square. It’s the biggest project Shea has ever done, Riggs said. The company is in the midst of doing 20 mixed-use projects in nine states. Triyar is a private real estate development company based in Westwood, Calif. with offices in Scottsdale.

Most recently, it developed the W Hotel in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale-based 3W Companies looks for developments in the Valley and the southwestern United States.

And then, there’s the land. An article by Business Real Estate Weekly of Arizona on Shea’s Web site says the investors paid just under $24.5 million to assemble the 3.2-acre site. A trust and a company formed by Sidney Joseph of Tempe were the sellers of most of the site in two deals totaling just over $23 million. Biltmore Management of Tempe was the seller of a small parcel for just over $1.39 million.

Businesses in some of the buildings that will be razed for the development will remain open for a while.

“Our timeline is not totally clear, so we’re in the middle of discussions with them because we want to keep everybody open as long as we can,” Riggs said.

The financial impact could be substantial. Developers estimate University Square will increase spending in and around Tempe by an estimated $1.16 billion during the construction of the project. By completion it is expected to create nearly 1,500 jobs. University Square will generate more than $100 million in fiscal benefits for Tempe and the Tempe Union School District, the developers said.

Mayor Hugh Hallman said drawing permanent residents to the Mill Avenue district will stabilize the Tempe economy for years to come.

Development services manager Chris Anaradian called University Square a milestone project that promises to be an asset for residents, retailers and visitors.

Formal zoning for the project was filed on May 9 and is expected to be approved in late summer. Riggs said construction is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2007.

“We’re going to go down with the parking lot and work on that,” he said. “That’s going to take a while to dig that hole.”

Tenants would begin moving in in early 2009.

soleri May 28, 2006 8:52 PM

I'm usually a little skeptical about wow projects like this, but there are so many positive forces in Tempe right now that this doesn't seem like such a stretch. If the real estate market doesn't tank altogether, I can see this happening. Still, it's a legitimate question how many high-rise condo towers Tempe can support. The location here is very, very good, so I'll give this one an edge on the competition.

The architecture is pleasant enough, comfortably ensconced between midcentury and mid-Wilshire. If this means generic, so be it. This is the kind of success which breeds more success.

oliveurban May 29, 2006 11:55 PM

University Sq. is definitely massive. I like it.

There is definitely a genuine ball rolling in Tempe right now, and I too wonder how far it will go.

It's interesting to see how ASU markets it's new downtown Phoenix campus as this eventual and quintessential big-city "urban campus", when, in probably just a matter of a few years from now, it's main campus in Tempe will nearly be offering that exact same product/ experience. Definitely not a bad thing, just interesting to see all of this more larger-scale organic development happen in Tempe, while we wait for the same in downtown Phoenix.

PHX31 May 30, 2006 12:46 AM

I like that little pedestrian walkway that jets over Forest, if that's really what it is. I doubt anything like that will come to fruition, though, because of air rights and what not over a Tempe Street.

Upward May 30, 2006 1:53 AM

Wow, that looks amazing!

loftlovr May 30, 2006 11:37 PM

Wouldn't this be nice!?

loftlovr May 31, 2006 12:39 AM

Sports complex on way
Tempe, Ky. firm sign facility deal

Ty Young
The Arizona Republic
May. 29, 2006 12:00 AM

Tempe officials and a Kentucky basketball organization have signed a deal designed to turn 18 acres into a sprawling sports facility for decades.

And if the developers have their way, the facility will become a regional hub for Amateur Athletic Union sports tournaments.

The Kentucky Basketball Academy, under the name STH Enterprises, was awarded a bid to develop the site near Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive, south of Tempe Town Lake. The company is known for housing large-scale regional and national basketball and volleyball tournaments at a similar facility in Lexington.

Steve Hatton, Kentucky Basketball Academy facility manager, said his company has entered into preliminary negotiations with the AAU to host events at the facility. The AAU is one of the largest amateur sports organizations in the country and holds tournaments every month at the Kentucky Basketball Association facility in Lexington.

"We've been trying to get something done in Arizona for about three years" with the AAU, Hatton said. "Talks have really started heating up in the last 18 months."

Bobby Dodd, AAU's president, could not confirm that the organization is planning anything bigger for the facility, but said he and the Kentucky Basketball Academy have conducted discussions on the topic.

The city agreed Wednesday night to enter into a development agreement for the 18 acres.

The company will build and run the 60,000- to 90,000-square-foot facility that will house six multiuse courts for basketball and volleyball, including one stadium court with seating for about 1,500.

The building also will house a cafe, retail store, locker rooms and meeting rooms. The plan also calls for six acres of softball and multiuse fields for soccer and lacrosse.

The $4 million facility is expected to draw regional and national sports tournaments, providing an economic push for hotels and restaurants, Vice Mayor Mark Mitchell said.

"This will help the business community in so many ways," he said. "We want to make Tempe a destination point for amateur sports tournaments."

The city will lease the land to the academy under the building for $5,000 per year.

The 30-year contract has two 10-year extensions that could be enacted if the company meets performance measures.

In the first year, the company must hold at least two regional or national tournaments and a minimum of 10 local tournaments. In Year 2, the company must add at least 500 basketball games, 200 volleyball games and 80 field sport games.

After the life of the contract, city officials will review the company's performance and decide whether to extend the contract.

Community Development Manager Chris Salomone said the city looked into the Kentucky group and found it was well recognized in the amateur sports arena. At its facility in Kentucky, the group sponsors numerous events that bring hundreds of teams - and their parents' tourism dollars.

"They have a good history of putting on these tournaments and bringing people in," he said.

loftlovr Jun 7, 2006 9:51 AM

Size may matter in planned Tempe complex

Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 3, 2006 12:00 AM

It would likely be taller than Tempe Butte. It may have more hotel rooms than Tempe's Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn, or Twin Palms.

The $500 million project that would go in near downtown and Arizona State University is poised to become the largest mixed-use project in the city.

Developers are publicly touting the University Square proposal around town, indicating it would take up an entire square block and include a 12-story office building, 23-story condominium tower and 30-story hotel. If built, the project would replace a series of 1960s-era shops that are no higher than one story.

There is a hurdle to clear, though. The Federal Aviation Administration has declared University Square a "presumed hazard" because of the proposed project's proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The project's 3.3 acres are bounded by University Drive on the south and Seventh Street on the north in between Myrtle and Forest avenues.

"It's a fantastic urban site, probably the best urban site in metro Phoenix," said Tony Wall, president of 3W Cos., one of the development partners involved. The other brawn behind the project is Shea Commercial of Scottsdale and Triyar Cos. of Westwood, Calif.

Being situated near ASU in downtown Tempe would allow the project to cater to many types of clients, said Jim Riggs, president and CEO of Shea Commercial.

"We're going to bring together the gap between Mill and the university," Riggs said.

There would be a cost. About a dozen small businesses would have to move.

"It's one of those things. It's coming to an end," said Brad Hultquist, 46, who has run one of his two Grooming Humans hair salons on the site for nearly two decades.

"There's a sense of urgency and a lack of affordable retail and services space in this area. Some of them (other small businesses) don't have a place to go."

Hultquist said he isn't worried. He's developing a contingency plan to enable his business and 17 employees to stay in the area - maybe even in University Square - because he agrees with Wall: Their block is one of the Valley's hottest locations.

"I can't picture myself or my business anywhere else," Hultquist said.

The concept might not go over as well with everyone in the area. The increasing height of projects planned in Tempe has become controversial with many residents and the FAA. The planned 22 and 30 stories of Centerpoint Condominiums at Sixth Street and Ash Avenue and the proposed 18 stories of the Cosmopolitan building that would go nearby on University Drive serve as examples.

University Square's developers say the 30-story maximum they hope to have approved is a "necessity."

"The height adds to the value," Riggs said.

"It makes sense with the vision of downtown Tempe and growing upward," Wall said. "We're creating the urban environment that's there and growing in Tempe."

The FAA "presumed hazard" designation, though, still looms. In a May 1 decision, the FAA stated that initial findings "indicated that the structure as described exceeds obstruction standards." The final determination is pending a public review that ends July 7.

The project could also encounter other obstacles. Traffic congestion, parking, water and sewer capacity have become hot-button issues for other developments.

Azndragon837 Jun 8, 2006 4:25 AM

And a related article in today's AZ Republic about the University Square Project:

Neighbors want answers to project plan

Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Traffic congestion and parking were on the top of people's minds Monday night when more than 45 people gathered at Lorenzo's Pizza, Pasta & Café.

The group learned about University Square, a hotel, condo, office and retail megaplex that would take up one of Tempe's city blocks if it gets approved by the city during the next year as they munched on pepperoni pizza at one of the businesses that's on the soon-to-be construction site.

The crowd consisted of mostly area residents, but a few business owners were in attendance. Both groups peppered the developers who plan to build the three-tower project that would reach as high as 30 stories on University Drive, smack between downtown Tempe and Arizona State University.
Traffic congestion and parking were the main concerns, and the only topics that created clear tension.

But building heights, blocked views and construction dates and times were also mentioned as topics neighbors are worrying about as plans for the project are put into place.

"This project is going to greatly impact my life," said Deborah Ryden, 58, who lives in a fourth-floor Orchid House loft that faces what would become the new University Square development.

"I don't think that any of us mind a new development down here. But I think most of the residents here agree we never thought we would see 30-story towers and be surrounded by high-rises," Ryden said.

Complaints from Ryden and many others centered on the impact of more vehicles coming to Tempe's already clogged downtown streets.

"That's why we're here," replied Tony Wall, president of one of the partners developing the project.

The developers and designers hope on-site amenities and workplaces, combined with the coming light-rail lines, would allow people to live without owning a vehicle, or at least reduce the amount of car trips they make.

The skeptics in the crowd, meanwhile, shook their heads.

People also asked if Seventh Street would be widened to accommodate the project's residents, employees and patrons, making the now-mostly quiet road a thoroughfare between Mill and College avenues.

And they wanted to know when the one-story shops currently on the land would be razed, and if rent would go up once the building was built.

Wall and the rest of the team said many of those specifics depend on the city, and answers would evolve in coming months - an answer that created some frustration within the audience.

"It's hard to imagine what this will be like in three years," said Amanda Conti, who was representing the local businesses Liquid Carma and Tattooed Planet. "We don't know what is going on. For us, we're floating until you let us know."

A trio of developers, two of which are from the Valley, is putting the project together. Shea Commercial and 3W Cos. from Scottsdale are working with the California-based Triyar.

Representatives from both Shea and 3W were at the community meeting, as well as two Phoenix-based architects who designed the project.

University Square would consist of a retail and parking on the lower floors with three towers extending upwards, including a 13-floor office building in the shape of an oval, a 26-story condo building along Seventh Street, and a 30-story hotel/condo tower that would be off Myrtle Avenue.

The project is only in the design phases now, said Wall, president of 3W. But the developers this month will begin to seek the needed permits to build.

They said they hope to break ground on the project's first phase a year from now.

Construction, the developers said, could take two to three years.


Information from the AZ Republic:

The city's first public hearing for University Square is set for 7 p.m. June 20 before the Redevelopment Review Commission. The meeting will be in the City Council Chambers, 31 E. Fifth St


Vicelord John Jun 8, 2006 4:37 AM


Irrational drunken post.

My apoligies.

plinko Jun 8, 2006 4:45 AM

^Why do that? That kind of crap isn't allowed here.

PHX31 Jun 8, 2006 5:04 AM

"This project is going to greatly impact my life," said Deborah Ryden, 58, who lives in a fourth-floor Orchid House loft that faces what would become the new University Square development.

"I don't think that any of us mind a new development down here. But I think most of the residents here agree we never thought we would see 30-story towers and be surrounded by high-rises," Ryden said.

...LOL "surrounded by high-rises"?!?!?! What is she smokin'? Talk about a sensationalist....

...and talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I mean, it would be one thing for a person to have concerns about building heights in the area. It would be another of the same for someone to build a house next to another house and then complain when somone built another house and blocked their views. But someone who lives in the Orchid house complaining NIMBY style? WTF? She lives in a building that undoubtably raised concerns previously, probably view blocking concerns... now she's complaining about that? I would think anyone who bought into the "urban" lifestyle by buying a loft would not care about stuff like new towers, I'd assume they would promote it. And, it's not like it's directly next door, it's going to be a ways away, certain not blocking any view besides other ASU buildings and maybe a partial view of the Butte/stadium.

Why can't we be at a meeting like this and try to talk some sense into people?

Azndragon837 Jun 8, 2006 5:09 AM

We can be....see the June 20th Redevelopment Review Commission Meeting at 7pm. We can all go there and check it out. Some of us can go up there and tell the residents about what they should expect when living in an urban area. I can understand traffic problems...but blocking views? C'mon.

And John.....that kind of "kidding" is actually a bit offensive, I think you should cut out some of that before the moderators get to you.


Don B. Jun 8, 2006 6:11 AM

^ I'd go, but I don't want to be accused of "nutswinging" or being gay because "I have all the info." Besides, I've got law school class that night....


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