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shrek05 Aug 8, 2006 9:44 PM

those renderings of the Mondrian are rather unattractive....

anyone know when the approved faa centerpoint towers 1 and 2 are breaking ground, the 30 story ones?

shrek05 Aug 8, 2006 10:37 PM

Hayden Ferry lands international luxury hotel
 
European hotel chain Le Meridien is headed to Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe with an expected check-in date of November 2008.

Tuesday's announcement, was made in conjunction with parent company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.


Le Meridien Senior Vice President Eva Ziegler said the hotel will be chic, subtle, sophisticated, understated and elegant. "We're about the forward-looking, contemporary style of Europe/France," Ziegler said.

The 183-room, 14-story hotel will include 44 residential units on top of the property with access to Le Meridien amenities.

A joint venture between Valhalla Development Corp., Sierra Hospitality and Adobe Development Partners, the hotel will be operated by APMC. Bent Severin Design, which has designed Westin Tokyo, Sheraton Bahrain and Sherton Warsaw, will join with hotel architects Callison Group of Seattle on the project.

Ziegler said "passion points" for Le Meridien developments are fashion, art, architecture and food. The chain strives for quality and professionalism, he said. "We want to grow our footprint ... in the North American market. We desire the creative guest. The open-minded, forward-looking person who enjoys life."

SunCor Development Co. Hayden Ferry Lakeside is a $160 million, 17-acre, 1.95 million-square-foot master-planned, mixed-use project on the south shore of Tempe Town Lake.

Currently, an eight-story, 209,000-square-foot Class A office building anchored by Smith Barney, and the eight-story, 40-unit condominium Edgewater at Hayden Ferry Lakeside are up and in use. Another office building and the Bridgeview condo project are under way. Two additional condo towers, designed to give the illusion of cruise ships, are planned.

SunCor President and Chief Executive Steven A. Betts said a hotel has been planned at the site from the beginning, pointing out its proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, freeways and various attractions. "We really are the geographic center of the Valley."

The hotel, he said, "is giving Hayden Ferry an international flair." The city's desire for a world-class hotel has long been known. Hayden Ferry received about two dozen, unsolicited hotel proposals. "They were nice, but not quite nice enough ... they didn't have the international flavor and quality we wanted," Betts said.

Earnest money, agreements with the hotel franchise, the developer, management and proper entitlements were in place before the announcement was made Tuesday, said Margaret E. Kirch, SunCor executive vice president for commercial development.

Arizona Office of Tourism Director Margie Emmermann said the hotel fits the state's new brand image: "Inspiring unforgettable Southwest moments."

Le Meridien, she said, allows the state to better compete not only within in the United States, but in the international marketplace. "It gives us enhanced bragging rights," she said. "Visitors want new experiences and great experiences."

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, who returned to Tempe Aug. 6 after a trip to Russia, called the hotel a "global hitter," adding it marks Tempe and the region a "truly cosmopolitan and global player."

Tempe Councilman Mark Mitchell said the hotel "is a vital component to bringing people to Tempe who might not come otherwise."

Mitchell said Tempe has embraced the new and improved Phoenix Convention Center and sees itself as a regional partner in convention business. "We complement each other. They can do breakout sessions here and vice versa."

Ziegler said she was especially excited by the Tempe site because it is not a conversion and offers a chance for the developer and Le Meridien to define a "flagship" together.

Le Meridien was founded by Air France in 1972 and was acquired by Starwood last November. Starwood also owns The Phoencian, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa and the soon-to-open W Scottsdale and W Phoenix. Le Meridien has more than 120 properties in 52 countries. Other U.S. hotel locations include Los Angeles, Florida, San Francisco and New York.


Anyone know more details about this hotel? From what I can see, its pretty famous in Europe.

ArtDecoFan Aug 8, 2006 11:10 PM

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien/index.html

Starwood's upscale and luxury brands continue to capture market share from competitors by aggressively cultivating new customers while maintaining loyalty among the world’s most active travelers. A Starwood property is an excellent choice for this location.

Quote:

Le Méridien (luxury and upscale full-service hotels and resorts) is a European brand with a French accent. Each of its hotels, whether city, airport or resort has a distinctive character driven by its individuality and the Le Méridien brand values. With its underlying passion for food, art and style and its classic yet stylish design, Le Méridien offers a unique experience at some of the world's top travel destinations.

BA744PHX Aug 9, 2006 4:11 AM

There is a pic of the hotel on http://www.azcentral.com/business/ar...uncor0809.html it looks very nice i think.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shrek05
European hotel chain Le Meridien is headed to Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe with an expected check-in date of November 2008.


PHX31 Aug 9, 2006 5:01 AM

Eh, it could be better. I think the final product will look better than that rendering.

loftlovr Aug 9, 2006 10:36 AM

I think it looks awesome-
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7...0808suncor.jpg
Matches the Suncor building's theme well....

oliveurban Aug 9, 2006 11:17 AM

This is good news. Le Meridien is a solid, more contemporary first-class brand. Something of which Tempe has always been lacking.

vertex Aug 11, 2006 6:13 AM

I just wish the city would stop trying to hide the butte....

oliveurban Aug 11, 2006 7:03 AM

^ None of these buildings are covering up the butte, really. If these were 40-story highrises, then that would be a different story. Regardless, I do rather think that this new urban landscape developing around it's base actually enhances it. Creates a very unique setting.

combusean Aug 11, 2006 7:07 AM

^ So that fantastic view from ... what, the 202 can be preserved?

The tallest towers in HFL are 14 stories-that leaves plenty of the mountain in view and flight paths and Tempe's height limits will keep the Butte as the most prominent feature in the skyline.

Centerpoint might be too big in this regard--at its current height it's taller than the mountain and would not be built in Phoenix due to the proximity of the runway.

I'd rather have the views of the city preserved from the mountain, not the other way around.

oliveurban Aug 11, 2006 7:15 AM

The butte is in no danger of being "covered up" by this grouping of 10-14 story buildings, regardless of someone's vantage point - street level, from the 202, atop the butte, etc. That was my only point.

combusean Aug 11, 2006 7:18 AM

^ I was commenting in response to vertex, not you camelback. ;)

oliveurban Aug 11, 2006 7:24 AM

Ah, that makes more sense.

Well then, carry on!

Sekkle Aug 15, 2006 6:24 PM

I was in downtown Tempe this morning and noticed that there is a second tower crane up at the Centerpoint construction site. Just thought I'd mention it. Does anyone know if this is for one of the 30-story towers?

Don B. Aug 15, 2006 11:14 PM

^ Most likely, although I'd be surprised they are starting the second tower this early.

The first tower is 22 stories, and towers 2, 3 and 4 are all supposed to be 30 stories tall. So, if this crane is for the second tower, then it is for a 30-story tower.

--don

Azndragon837 Aug 16, 2006 5:59 AM

^It's actually a boom crane (not a tower crane). From my observation, I believe it is for the 30-story tower.

-Andrew

loftlovr Aug 16, 2006 8:27 AM

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=71656

Historic Hayden Mill is due face-lift
By Garin Groff, Tribune
August 14, 2006
The developer of the 30-story Centerpoint Condominiums is planning to put its mark on one of downtown Tempe’s most important pieces of history, the Hayden Flour Mill.

Avenue Communities LLC will likely take over redevelopment efforts on a Valley landmark that has sat idle for the past decade.

Len Losch, Avenue Communities principal, said the company plans to renovate the historic mill and build shops nearby within two years.

The proposal, if acted upon, would bring closure to a decadelong effort to revitalize the gateway to downtown Tempe and spruce up an iconic building that has fallen into disrepair and become the subject of a legal dispute.

Tempe recently settled a lawsuit with MCW Holdings, another prominent downtown developer that failed to meet city deadlines to start construction at the mill site. The settlement let MCW continue with the project, but the company instead chose to sell it to Avenue Communities for an undisclosed sum.

Some downtown merchants and city officials hope that the company will move quickly. It has already developed several high-end condo projects and built apartments under the name Trillium Residential.

“Avenue Communities has demonstrated across the Valley that it has the capacity and skill to develop this project,” Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said.

The City Council will decide whether to approve the deal at its Thursday meeting. Avenue must abide by the lawsuit settlement agreement with MCW, including the key provision that the city will become the owner of the property if Avenue doesn’t meet a series of construction deadlines.

The deal would greatly expand Avenue’s presence downtown. The company recently bought McDuffy’s sports bar at Fifth and Ash avenues and will temporarily move its corporate offices there by year’s end. It’s now in the Camelback Corridor in Phoenix.

Avenue Communities also plans to one day build two high-rise condo towers at the McDuffy’s site. The idea is preliminary, Losch said, adding that he couldn’t say how tall the buildings would be or when they would be built.

The company will move its offices to the mill after its reconstruction.

“We want to move our employees down there because we want to give them an authentic sense of place,” Losch said.

At the same time, Losch expects to complete new buildings for retail around the mill. Other phases will come later. Losch said he’ll reveal details about the development’s first phase within weeks.

Merchants and city officials hope the company can make something happen at the mill soon because it’s been a source of community embarrassment in recent years. It needs paint, in part because of black fire marks from when transients broke in and started a blaze.

“The mill is the icon, so it’s got to be resuscitated as soon as possible,” said Michael Monti, owner of Monti’s La Casa Vieja restaurant.

Monti’s is across the street from the mill. The properties are key to Tempe history — both were developed in the early 1870s by Charles Trumbull Hayden. Hayden’s son, Carl, was a congressman and U.S. senator from 1912 to 1969 and is considered one of the most influential Arizonans.

Redeveloping the mill would fulfill a decadeslong goal of continuous development on Mill Avenue to Tempe Town Lake.

Avenue Communities expects to scrap MCW’s plans and come up with its own. Monti said he’s familiar with some of the plans, and that the development would bring excitement to the area.

“They’re not just putting a box on the corner,” he said. “They’re providing glamor and sizzle to get people in the box.”

Sekkle Aug 16, 2006 1:12 PM

Quote:

^It's actually a boom crane (not a tower crane). From my observation, I believe it is for the 30-story tower.
It looked a lot like a tower crane to me... straight vertical mast, horizontal jib... Tower crane, no?

Azndragon837 Aug 18, 2006 8:12 AM

^Ah, damn, I saw it today and was shocked to see the second tower crane go up for the 30 story Phase 2 of Centerpoint. On Tuesday, it wasn't there, only a boom crane. Wow, they go up FAST! MY bad, hehehe.

-Andrew

Azndragon837 Aug 18, 2006 8:14 AM

http://www.azcentral.com/community/t...ll0817Z10.html

Winery, bakery among developer's plans for mill

Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 17, 2006 12:00 AM



A winery and an Italian-style bakery could join boutiques, non-chain shops and mid-rise condos by the Hayden Flour Mill site.

Avenue Communities tonight will seek city approval of an agreement that would transfer the flour mill project from MCW Holdings to Avenue.

Avenue's proposal is the latest vision for the area by the mill, and the historical mill silos would be preserved under the deal.

Development around the mill long has been considered a lynchpin for linking Mill Avenue with Tempe Town Lake.

The land has the potential to be a high profile development that also connects Tempe's past to an innovative cluster of shops and condos, said Ken Losch principal for Avenue Communities.

"The mill site is the most interesting property in the whole Valley," Losch said.

He said Avenue Communities bought MCW's development agreement for an undisclosed sum about two weeks ago and now is developing the mill-area site.

The prospective winery would partner Avenue with Signorello Vineyards in Napa Valley and John Burtner, a master winemaker, Losch said. The winery plans to temporarily set up shop at 48th Street and University Drive and plans to produce 150 barrels of wine this year, he said. The temporary winery is not open to the public.

For the flour mill project, Avenue wants to add shops that "can bring in sophistication but retains that bohemian feel," Losch said.

Although Avenue's planned 30-story Centerpoint project has made the developer's name synonymous with height, Losch said that the condo development by the mill would probably be eight- to 16- stories tall, or in the 120- to 130-foot range.

The mill's vintage silos are around 153 feet tall, said city planner Chris Messer.

MCW Holdings is walking away from the flour mill weeks after it removed a major legal hurdle that blocked development near the 1918 mill and its iconic 1950s silos.

In June, MCW Holdings put to rest litigation that sprung from a legal dispute with Tempe about an $11.8 million bank loan.

Under the terms of the deal, MCW agreed to purchase the flour mill site from Tempe, after several conditions were met, for $7.4 million. Tempe agreed to pay $6 million toward preserving the flour mill and silos. Tempe planned to credit the developer for $7.1 million in infrastructure costs, when MCW pulled permits for the flour mill development.

The agreement also had a clause that allowed MCW to "assign" the project to another developer.

Essentially, the agreement still stands, but Avenue has taken over MCW's role, Losch said.

Before the MCW and Avenue Communities deal became public, it was widely known that Avenue was one of a handful of firms jockeying to develop the Hayden Flour Mill. Avenue also provided some input during negotiations between MCW and Tempe city officials, Losch said.

The City Council also tonight will address other key issues, including:


• The final public hearing for the University Square project. The council's vote on development rights for the project, which would take up an entire square block.


• The first public hearing for a zoning change that would make way for an eight-story, 100-unit condominium project northeast of Apache Boulevard and Rural Road. The final vote is Sept. 7.


----------------------------------------------

-Andrew

oliveurban Aug 18, 2006 8:22 AM

I was happy to read this article. Their desire to pursue more independent retailers is a great mindset. Continuing along the lines of simply attaining more large, corporate chains, only continues to dilute Mill Avenue's remaining cache.

I'm looking forward to this, hope it works out.

Carter Aug 18, 2006 8:25 AM

Looks like Avenue Communities will own most of downtown Tempe...;)

loftlovr Aug 18, 2006 12:19 PM

Nice!
I'm really diggin this Mill redevelopment news.....
It's so sad watching such a beautiful historic landmark just sitting there dormant.
I do still wish The Constellation Group got the project- but Avenue is better than MCW in my eyes....

Sekkle Aug 19, 2006 6:41 AM

Quote:

^Ah, damn, I saw it today and was shocked to see the second tower crane go up for the 30 story Phase 2 of Centerpoint. On Tuesday, it wasn't there, only a boom crane. Wow, they go up FAST! MY bad, hehehe.
I was pretty surprised to see the 2nd one, too... considering the fact that the first one has been up for like 6 months and they're still not even at ground level. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it seems like it is taking a really long time. I just want to see them build a few stories and raise that mofo up to 240' or so!

Azndragon837 Aug 19, 2006 7:51 AM

Article from the East Valley Tribune about the Tempe City Council vote on the massive University Square project in Downtown Tempe:

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=71944

Tempe leaders say condos near ASU are too tall
By Garin Groff, Tribune
August 18, 2006

Tempe took a chunk out of plans to build the East Valley’s tallest building in its downtown. The city’s leaders said the 30-story condo project called University Square was too high for a building on University Drive.

The City Council decided Thursday that the development was OK only if the developer lopped some floors off two of the three towers. The developer wanted one tower to climb to 345 feet — and up to 370 with equipment — but Tempe capped the buildings at 300 feet.

“I don’t want to see an air conditioner, I don’t want to see a cover” above 300 feet, said Councilman Ben Arredondo, who complained most about the height. “I’m going to go out there with a ruler.”

The objections followed more than a year of concerns that booming downtown Tempe might have become too popular with developers for its own good. Residents and council members said they feared pricey condo projects and developments — some worth $250 million — will make the college town unaffordable for students and the momand-pop shops that helped make Mill Avenue so popular.

“I think we’re very quickly being viewed as an elitist downtown,” Councilwoman Barb Carter said.

It’s unclear how many stories the redesigned project will have. The original plan had a hotel/condo tower at 30 stories, a 22-story condo tower and a 12-story office portion. It has about 2.1 million square feet of space, but 1 million of that is for parking.

University Square will replace a block of thriving businesses in modest buildings. The most prominent feature is the Arches, a 1960s-era slump block shopping center.

Developer Tony Wall said the project will become a contemporary landmark that features shops on the street level. It’s a place where people can live, work and recreate without using a car, he said, as it’s about three blocks from a future Metro light-rail station.

“It gives a cosmopolitan image to downtown,” Wall said.

A resident of the nearby Orchid House — which at seven stories is the tallest, most massive condo project downtown now — objected to the six-story platform that the towers would sit on.

“You basically are walled off on all four sides,” Mike Wasko said. “I don’t see it being inviting for you to explore.”

The council had previously decided this part of downtown shouldn’t have buildings taller than 300 feet. After Wall agreed to lower his buildings, the council approved the project 6-1. Councilwoman Shana Ellis opposed it after raising concerns about having so much development on one block.

The council required Wall to work with the family that owns Restaurant Mexico after hearing from fans of the longtime downtown eatery. Another redevelopment project forced it from a location on Mill Avenue, and it’s unclear if the family will want to move again. But the City Council made a major point of making Wall ensure the family will have a place in his project or some other place if they want to stay open.

By cutting the project’s height, the city still has the East Valley’s tallest building. That’s Centerpoint Condominiums, a four-tower project a few blocks northwest of University Square that has three 30-story towers planned at 343feet.

One sticking point remains for University Square and Centerpoint. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether the buildings would be a hazard to flights departing from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.


----------------------------------------------

Okay, that councilman is nuts for saying "I'm going out there with a ruler." That's soooo funny.

On the other hand, my opinion on this project is: it's too big for the immedate area where it will be built. My take: build several midrises (about 8, 14, and 20 stories) with separated buildngs with some sort of open space, including spaces for the shops that are currently in the Arches Buiding; such as the yummy Ma'i Island Grill (an awesome mom-and-pop Hawaiian restaurant, go there sometime).

Use brick and more neo-traditional architecture mixed in with contemporary forms (like the ASU Foundation Building) so that the buildings have more of a human scale.

Having a looming 30 story tower right in front of the Architecture Building, along with the increased traffic for a hotel/condo and office, is a bit too much for that site. I have seen the plans, and it's one MASSIVE superblock. I hope the revised plans will be welcomed by the Downtown community.

One last statement: For those who live in the Orchid House nearby, with their concerns about their views: hello people, you live in a growing, thriving urban city. EXPECT tall buildings to be built around you. Don't expect that your 8 story Orchid House condos to be the king and have commanding views. If I ever buy a condo downtown, I will expect the nearby area to pop-up with more condos, partially blocking my views of whatever, and that's fine with me, because, I bought my condo in an urban city, not some shithole like Gilbert.

-Andrew

wushu18t Aug 19, 2006 8:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Azndragon837
If I ever buy a condo downtown, I will expect the nearby area to pop-up with more condos, partially blocking my views of whatever, and that's fine with me, because, I bought my condo in an urban city, not some shithole like Gilbert.

-Andrew

any opprotunity about Gilbert. :D :haha:

Sekkle Aug 19, 2006 8:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Azndragon837
For those who live in the Orchid House nearby, with their concerns about their views: hello people, you live in a growing, thriving urban city. EXPECT tall buildings to be built around you.
THANK YOU. I have this same thought every time I hear some idiot whining about how a 75-ft "high-rise" being planned in his neighborhood will ruin his mountain views. Especially in a downtown area like this one.

Quote:

One sticking point remains for University Square and Centerpoint. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether the buildings would be a hazard to flights departing from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Ok, so is the second tower crane that's up at the Centerpoint site actually for the first 30-story tower? Are they just building it and "to hell with the FAA"? Or, if the FAA comes back and says 343-ft is a hazard, is the City of Tempe going to stop the construction (assuming that that is the 30-story tower they've started)? I know Tempe has basically said "Phoenix can't tell us what building heights to approve and what to deny," but wouldn't we have heard something in the paper if Tempe had said "the FAA said it's a hazard but we don't care, we're going to allow it"?

Azndragon837 Aug 19, 2006 1:39 PM

^Most likely, the FAA will not deem Centerpoint a flight hazard. The W Hotel in Downtown Phoenix will be a soaring 450 feet, and the FAA deemed that NOT a flight hazard recently. Centerpoint's second tower will be 345 feet, 100 feet shorter than the W, and about the same distance from the end of a runway as the W.

IF the FAA, for some reason, labels Centerpoint a flight hazard, that won't stop construction, whereas, the airport will need to partially adjust its flight path, which will be an annoyance that Phoenix does not want to deal with.

My take: It seems to me Centerpoint won't be a flight hazard. But, we shall see.

-Andrew

AZchristopher Aug 19, 2006 6:10 PM

Tempe doesn't care. The airport is Phoenix' deal and Tempe doesn't want flight patterns to destroy its growth.

combusean Sep 7, 2006 5:47 PM

Not bad for a bump...

Townhome proposals go before council
Condominium plans also on agenda tonight

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

Although signs point to the real estate market slowing from its recent breakneck pace, the condo craze in Tempe continues.

Proposals for condo developments large and small continue to roll into city offices.

The City Council will hear seven of those proposals regarding condominiums or townhomes during its formal meeting tonight.

All of the projects are existing or are scheduled to go in near downtown or in north Tempe and are in varying stages of zoning and development.

They range from nine to 100 units.

Five of the seven condominium-related applicants are coming to the council regarding complexes builders want to install.

They include:

• Ash Avenue Condominiums are nine units that are being planned for the Maple-Ash neighborhood, off 1120 and 1122 S. Ash Ave., near the historical Pyle House.

• Campus Edge Condominiums is a 100-dwelling unit complex that includes a commercial area. The proposed site is at 922 E. Apache Blvd., and is on the site of an old Taco Bell and Texaco Star Mart. If approved, it would be 8 stories. [Ed note: It wasn't too long that they built that Taco Bell, right?]

• Dorsey Place Condominiums are to go into a lot off 1275 E. University Drive. Developers plan to install 90 condo units and office or commercial space on the nearly 2 acres.

• Miller-Curry Townhomes is a space where builders want to put 11 townhomes and one live/work unit. It is on just over an acre at 1245 N. Miller Road in north Tempe.

• Roosevelt Court is a proposal for 10 townhomes at 323 S. Roosevelt St., near Fifth Street. It is the site of four older homes.

The other two condominium applicants involve zoning changes so that apartments can be converted to condos and sold individually.

They are:

• El Adobe Condominiums at 1005 E. Eighth St., where there is a 48-unit apartment complex.

• Corsican Condominiums at 1312 South Hardy Drive, where there is a 30-unit apartment complex that the owners intend to convert to for-sale condos.

Information: www.tempe.gov/comdev
Downtown Tempe to get a CVS pharmacy

Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 6, 2006 02:30 PM

Quote:

Downtown Tempe could get its first pharmacy in years, marking yet another step toward an urban-living focused transformation.

Site plans have been submitted to the city for a new CVS Pharmacy. The documents put to rest rumors circulating for months about the future of the now vacant southwest corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive.

The five-page proposal tells more than just plans for bricks and sticks, according to city leaders. It signifies a coming lifestyle change.

"The location of a full services pharmacy in the downtown and adjacent to the surrounding neighborhood helps bring back to the community the services and goods that improve the quality of life that makes it easier to live in the area," said Mayor Hugh Hallman.

"It also demonstrates we are doing the right thing, to convert the district from entertainment and retail to one that has a true sense of neighborhood in and of itself," he added.

Other community-focused amenities coming to the area include a Whole Foods Market inside the proposed Cosmopolitan - now called "KML Mosaic" - project that's slated to go on University Drive at the Gentle Strength Cooperative site. Other mixed-use proposals are touted to have support services such as food markets for coming condo-dwellers as well. But the CVS is the first such project to come to the area and stand alone.

The nearly one-acre piece of land had been the site of a Mobile gas station for up to five decades. City records show it was likely a filling station even before that as well. In recent months crews have been dismantling the remains of the gas station to prepare it for a new purpose.

The preliminary plans submitted to the city could change as they are reviewed by city staff over the coming months according to Steve Venker, a city planning and zoning manager, but for now the building would be a maximum of 30 feet tall.

The CVS building would be situated on the front of the lot, adjacent to the curbsides of the intersection in order to encourage a pedestrian-oriented feel. A parking lot would be in back, visible from the Mill Avenue side.

The proposed plot stretches out beyond the gas station footprint, and into at least part of adjacent retail lots. That could mean the disappearance of several local businesses including Sahara Middle Eastern Restaurant and Long Wong's on Mill Avenue, which only reopened at the site earlier this year.

One of the owners, Norma Hora, said Long Wong's hadn't actually been notified of the change, but they had suspicions because a surveyor was measuring land that included their lot.

As of now, the CVS will look like many of its some 6,100 locations throughout the nation: pale yellow stucco walls, pillars around the sides, with a marquee-style front.

There are currently seven CVS Pharmacies in Tempe; but the closest pharmacy to the downtown district is a mile away where there is a Walgreens at Mill Avenue and Broadway Road.

ASU student housing plan concerns residents in area

Eugene Scott
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Quote:

Arizona State University plans to build a residential community for nearly 2,000 students on Apache Boulevard, and local residents aren't too pleased.

Nearly 70 members of the Daley Park Neighborhood Association voiced their concerns to university and city officials Tuesday night.

The 12-building South Campus Residential Community will feature housing for 1,860 students; a seven-story, 1,860-vehicle parking garage; additional parking for more than 330 vehicles and commercial retail. The entire development will be more than 810,000 square feet. [Ed. note: I believe this is on the site of Mariposa Hall, which is scheduled for demolition next semester]

"The university could build this tomorrow if they wanted to. But we're here to figure out how best to co-exist," said Steve Nielsen, ASU assistant vice president for university real estate development. "We have a commitment to work with you and your issues. At the same time we have a university to run."

Nearly 7,900 students live on ASU's Tempe campus. University officials said this development has to be completed to increase that number to the university's goal of 15,500 by 2020.

"There's almost no housing for students beyond their freshmen year," said Ron McCoy, university architect. "We don't even have enough housing to house all the freshmen."

Concerns with parking and traffic permeated the meeting. Residents and city officials said having a development so close to the Apache Boulevard and Rural Road intersection could be a safety issue. [Huh?!]

"I am concerned about the possible pedestrian and bicycle safety of this project," Tempe Police Chief Ralph Tranter said.

Residents said they've expressed their problems with increased traffic and parking before, but they've fallen on deaf ears.

"They say they understand where we're coming from, but still they come back with the same thing," said Ernie Nickels, chairman of the Daley Park Neighborhood Association. "So we're pretty frustrated, they say one thing and then they don't do it."

Residents also fear that other safety issues, noise and an additional traffic signal will fill their neighborhood and suggested that designers move the parking garage from the rail line and closer to the Rural Road and Apache Boulevard intersection or perhaps farther north.

University officials said that location is not an option.

"It does not make good urban design sense to move the garage close to Apache. Nobody likes to see a parking garage taking up valuable frontage of a good community street," McCoy said. "Other locations they suggested are far more disruptive to the kind of community we're trying to create. We need to find a solution that balances all of the concerns."

The option of building a parking garage underground to eliminate sound concerns was mentioned, but McCoy said the cost of the project would double if developers went with that option.

"Did you ask the Legislature for money for this project?" asked Sen. Ed Ableser, D-Tempe.

University officials said they did not because the project is being paid for with private funds.

Some residents don't want the project to have parking at all. University officials said not providing parking is also not an option.

"If we don't provide some level of parking they are going to choose to go back in your neighborhoods," Nielsen said.

McCoy said competition for housing requires new residence halls to include parking.

"We're competing in a market where students have access to parking. These students have grown up where they don't want to give up their cars," McCoy said. "We're trying to get students out of your neighborhoods. But there are sacrifices that have to be made in order to make this work."

University officials said there would be less traffic than residents perceive because 30 to 40 percent of students move their cars less than six times a week on average.

But residents said even if there were limited student traffic, traffic would be generated by the stores.

"The retail is expected to serve the community," McCoy said.

Residents expressed greatest concern about an alleged promise the university made in 2002 not to build a garage in their neighborhood. Nielsen said he was unaware of that agreement.

The aesthetics of a seven-story garage in addition to several four-story buildings were of concern as well. The residences will feature balconies facing the neighborhood and many residents expressed concern about students littering from balconies onto residents' property. Other residents expressed concern about the limited green space in the project.

PHX31 Sep 7, 2006 6:31 PM

[Ed note: It wasn't too long that they built that Taco Bell, right?]

They built the new taco bell on the corner to take the place of the old/abandoned taco bell a little further east, which is what I assume they are talking about.

oliveurban Sep 7, 2006 10:03 PM

A large drugstore, like CVS, is a good thing for downtown Tempe, yes. However, the SW corner of Mill Ave/ University doesn't seem like the best location to me--especially considering they're going to be bulldozing several neighboring independent retailers in the process, just to make way for it's parking lot.

I think there are possibly better, more unique uses for that exact spot.

vertex Sep 7, 2006 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by camelback_road
A large drugstore, like CVS, is a good thing for downtown Tempe, yes. However, the SW corner of Mill Ave/ University doesn't seem like the best location to me--especially considering they're going to be bulldozing several neighboring independent retailers in the process, just to make way for it's parking lot.

I think there are possibly better, more unique uses for that exact spot.

My thoughts exactly...

Some of you may have spotted my rant that was previously here. Rather than detract from this thread, I moved it to a new one called "What is the vision for Tempe?"

If you have an opinion about Tempe's current direction (good or bad), or just want to pile on to the rant, please take a look.

JI5 Sep 8, 2006 7:43 AM

HOWEVER - if that drug store had CONDOS on top of it... I would be in love.

AZchristopher Sep 8, 2006 4:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by camelback_road
A large drugstore, like CVS, is a good thing for downtown Tempe, yes. However, the SW corner of Mill Ave/ University doesn't seem like the best location to me--especially considering they're going to be bulldozing several neighboring independent retailers in the process, just to make way for it's parking lot.

I think there are possibly better, more unique uses for that exact spot.

If they really wanted it to be Urban they would have less parking and make the building a little smaller. That way the independant retailers could still be there.

loftlovr Sep 9, 2006 1:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JI5
HOWEVER - if that drug store had CONDOS on top of it... I would be in love.

I second that! :banana:

loftlovr Sep 9, 2006 1:27 PM

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/ind...dest=STY-73588

30-story Tempe building gets OK
By Garin Groff, Tribune
September 8, 2006
Federal aviation officials have decided that a proposed 30-story building in Tempe — which would become one of the East Valley’s tallest structures — isn’t a hazard to airliners and their passengers.

Yet Phoenix officials and one airline still have concerns about the 300-foot University Square project.

The building won’t rise to the original proposed height of 370 feet, however, because the developer’s plan exceeded the height limit for that area of downtown.

Even with 70 fewer feet, Alaska Airlines has objections to what the building could mean to its operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Tall buildings can pose a safety and operational hazard, the airline said.

“I’d have to think the issue still exists,” Alaska spokeswoman Caroline Boren said Thursday.

The high-rise condo is the second one proposed in downtown Tempe that has triggered a skirmish between Phoenix and Tempe. Should an engine fail when an eastbound airliner departs Sky Harbor, two air- lines would have to make a turn over downtown and use airspace above the buildings. Alaska Airlines was the only airline to object to the Federal Aviation Administration about the University Square project.

Tall buildings in the area mean planes will have to fly with less weight in some cases to ensure planes are high enough in case an engine goes out. That would mean fewer passengers — and less profit.

“It’s definitely a capacitylimiting issue,” said Jane Morris, a deputy aviation director at Sky Harbor.

Phoenix would not have allowed the building in its downtown under similar circumstances, Morris said. The FAA noted the building was too tall for Alaska’s flight procedure, but it wasn’t a big enough concern to the overall operations at the airport to warrant an objection. Morris said Phoenix has a stricter building-height standard in order to prevent airlines from having to reduce their passenger loads.

Morris said she didn’t know if Phoenix would object to the FAA’s findings. Alaska could formally object to the FAA decision, but Boren said she did not know what the airline might do. The airline is concerned the building could hurt its service on its 8 to 10 daily departures from Sky Harbor.

When temperatures are higher, a plane rises slower and has lower weight capacities. Flying over a tall building would prompt a reduction in a plane’s weight limit and could force Alaska to have fewer passengers.

“We’d have to leave people behind, and we don’t want to do that,” Boren said. “The reliability of service is a huge concern.”

The developer of University Square was comfortable with the FAA determination.

“We feel like we’ve satisfied the FAA’s requirement,” Shea Commercial president Jim Riggs said. “What else can we do besides that?”

Riggs expects to break ground on the $500 million project in the first half of 2007. It includes retail space and three high-rises that include offices, a hotel and condos.

Meanwhile, Avenue Communities is planning its Centerpoint Condominium project, which includes three 30-story buildings of up to 343 feet. Avenue has already started building a 22-story structure that the FAA has said is not a hazard.

Margie D’Andrea, Avenue spokeswoman, said the firm hasn’t gone to the FAA yet for a review on the taller buildings.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
More Good News!.... also, Screw Alaska Airlines!

PHX31 Sep 9, 2006 6:54 PM

hahaha/\

lame objections. good for tempe

oliveurban Sep 9, 2006 8:35 PM

This is going to be one massive project, if all plays out.

I like it.

vertex Sep 9, 2006 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PHX31
hahaha/\

lame objections. good for tempe

I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to be stuck with the traffic this thing will create. The parking garage alone is 7 levels, 6 of which will be above ground. Imagin, the base of this structure will be taller than the ASU bank vault down the street. Quite a neighboorly addition.

Sekkle Sep 10, 2006 6:23 AM

I'm sure somebody would have posted this eventually, but I'll save you the trouble!


Centerpoint remodel planned
8-story mixed-use site would include condos
Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 9, 2006 12:00 AM
A massive remodeling of one of downtown Tempe's largest developments could dramatically change one of Mill Avenue's most significant blocks.

What is known as the Centerpoint commercial project was one of the first redevelopment projects more than 15 years ago. Now, there is a plan to turn the western side of Mill Avenue, between Sixth and Seventh streets, into a mixed-use building called "On Mill" that reaches eight stories.

What's there today is one story. For the last year or more, it has had many vacancies, despite housing an area favorite, Coffee Plantation, as well as Fat Tuesday, Uno Chicago Grill, Chester's Harley-Davidson on Mill, Bath & Body Works and a smattering of other stores.

New plans would mean razing those buildings to make room for a new mix of retail, and the first condominiums directly on Mill Avenue.

There are three condo projects in the downtown area, with plans on the books for at least five more. But city leaders say this new concept fills a niche no others have so far.

"I think what you see is a different location in the market, a different lifestyle," said Neil Calfee, the city's deputy community development manager. "Compared to being 22 floors up in a condo to being on Mill Avenue will be a completely different living experience than living in something that's more of a planned, gated community."

The project is in the earliest of stages. Site sketches were submitted to the city recently and are undergoing initial review by city departments.

Much could change in the coming months, but what Scottsdale developer DMB Associates, Inc. and Phoenix architecture firm DFD CornoyerHedrick submitted to the city shows what they are aiming for. There would be 149 housing units, according to the plans. They would range from 850 to 2025 square feet.

The lower level of the building would be dedicated to retail, while the remaining seven floors would be housing. An amenity deck would be at the top with a pool, spa and fitness center along the southern edge of the building. An underground parking garage would be reserved for residents.

Both firms declined to comment as to the future of the current tenants or plans for the rest of the Centerpoint retail and commercial property.

Sekkle Sep 10, 2006 7:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vertex
I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to be stuck with the traffic this thing will create.
What about walking/biking/using public transit? I'm not trying to single you out specifically, vertex, but if downtown Tempe is to become the urban center that I think we (members of this forum in particular) are looking for, I don't think we should be doing the NIMBYs job for them. I'm sure that, if this project is built (and I'm admittedly a pessimist - I don't think it will happen in the near future, at least not at its proposed height/mass) it will create more traffic on University and the local streets in that neighborhood. But Tempe has the best transit in the PHX area, and I think LRT will help with people who might be commuting to Central Phoenix.

There are plenty of cities across the country with much more densely populated downtowns, with streets much narrower than those in the downtown Tempe area, that are great places to live. Basically, I don't think that the traffic created by this project would be detrimental to life in that neighborhood (the 6-story parking garage won't help, though). By the way, are there even any single-family homes left in that neighborhood north of University, south of "A" Mountain, between Mill and College?

loftlovr Sep 10, 2006 11:40 AM

I'm not sure if I want this or not-
("On Mill")
I love Mill Ave as it is- history, culture...
My stability rock.
We can't keep razing these buildings to make room for larger projects!
This is what we did in the 70's to all of our historic buildings Downtown...
I don't mind losing some of the less significant buildings along University to make room for University Square- but Mill seems more sacred to me!

I love the idea of a mixed use 8 story retail- condo building-
but to tear down Unos, Coffee Plantation and Fat Tuesdays?

How sad....

AZchristopher Sep 10, 2006 3:56 PM

Personally the first thing I do anytime I drive to Tempe is park either at the lake or at the garage by the theatre. DT Tempe is designed to walk through. Not drive.

AZchristopher Sep 10, 2006 3:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loftlovr
I'm not sure if I want this or not-
("On Mill")
I love Mill Ave as it is- history, culture...
My stability rock.
We can't keep razing these buildings to make room for larger projects!
This is what we did in the 70's to all of our historic buildings Downtown...
I don't mind losing some of the less significant buildings along University to make room for University Square- but Mill seems more sacred to me!

I love the idea of a mixed use 8 story retail- condo building-
but to tear down Unos, Coffee Plantation and Fat Tuesdays?

How sad....

Isn't that the block thats mostly empty all the time? I haven't walked down there awhile so I can't remember if thats the one or if that block is farther south. Anyway the best way would be to have the bottem two stories continue to be retail. That way they're actually adding more space. Not taking it away.

vertex Sep 10, 2006 4:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZchristopher
Personally the first thing I do anytime I drive to Tempe is park either at the lake or at the garage by the theatre. DT Tempe is designed to walk through. Not drive.

If you live in downtown Tempe, you have to drive to get to other places. University is our main artery, and if you haven't noticed, it's normally a train wreck without the construction.

vertex Sep 10, 2006 4:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZchristopher
Isn't that the block thats mostly empty all the time? I haven't walked down there awhile so I can't remember if thats the one or if that block is farther south. Anyway the best way would be to have the bottem two stories continue to be retail. That way they're actually adding more space. Not taking it away.

No this is one of the busiest retail blocks in Tempe. People are always outside using the tables (especially Fat Tuesday's), while the tourists always pile up in the Uno's.

vertex Sep 10, 2006 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ForAteOh
What about walking/biking/using public transit? I'm not trying to single you out specifically, vertex, but if downtown Tempe is to become the urban center that I think we (members of this forum in particular) are looking for, I don't think we should be doing the NIMBYs job for them... ...Tempe has the best transit in the PHX area, and I think LRT will help with people who might be commuting to Central Phoenix.

The problem is that Tempe is an inbound destination in the morning rush hour. As many people drive to work in North Tempe (everything north of US 60) as in DT Phoenix. The only other area of the valley with as many jobs is the Scottsdale Airpark.

If there were more light rail routes going to Tempe, I can see how it would help the traffic. For example, an LRT spur route from Tempe to Ahwautukee would be brilliant. But in it's current incarnation, the LRT in Tempe only benefits ASU students and DT Tempe residents who want to go into Phoenix. That is a main reason why we have all of the condo's being built in Tempe (in addition to keeping our current tax base).

Quote:

There are plenty of cities across the country with much more densely populated downtowns, with streets much narrower than those in the downtown Tempe area, that are great places to live.
And I've lived in some of those cities. They do have trasportation alternatives much greater than Tempe has (or will in the near future). In addition, density is a way of life, and that density is prevelant for miles around. Here, the density only occurs in small pockets, and the area is still car dependent.

Quote:

Basically, I don't think that the traffic created by this project would be detrimental to life in that neighborhood (the 6-story parking garage won't help, though). By the way, are there even any single-family homes left in that neighborhood north of University, south of "A" Mountain, between Mill and College?
If the city just forced these developers to put the garage underground, it would go a long way towards visually helping the street. But what I want to know is, where is all that traffic from the garage going to go? On to Forest Ave.? 7th St?

FYI, all of the houses left in that neighborhood were bought up by real estate predators/speculators long ago. With the exception of 2 homes, the rest are either businesses, or they sit empty.


NIMBY-ism isn't a disease, it is a symptom of really bad planning.

soleri Sep 10, 2006 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vertex
NIMBY-ism isn't a disease, it is a symptom of really bad planning.

Excellent point.

Azndragon837 Sep 11, 2006 3:14 AM

I knew about the plans for the "On Mill" project for a few weeks now, since I process the plans at the Planning Department in Tempe. Everyone in the office agrees that this project will be better than what is there now. Besides, all the retail will most likely return after the project gets built. I think it is a wonderful idea, and it is about time that SOMEONE has the guts to put a condo mid-rise on Mill and utilize it.

Also, the building coming down is not historic, so I have no objections for it being torn down. I just wish the redevelopment projects of the past incorporated the "living spaces on top and retail on bottom" concept. The "On Mill" project will have parking garage access from 7th Street, in the back of the building.

One project that I still am iffy about is University Square, which recently got FAA approval from what I heard. That massive project is taking away some lovely mom-and-pop shops, most likely to be replaced with high-end chains. Also, another project I am opposed to is the CVS on Mill and University, which will take away the building where Long Wong's is and an independent barber shop.


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