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PHX31 Jan 21, 2006 2:18 PM

what's the deal with the Cosmo? I noticed the food store is still alive and doing business, I would have thought they'd close by now...

oliveurban Jan 21, 2006 2:38 PM

^ Yea, I believe they're supposed to relocate to Southern/ Mill Ave. But, not until July.

Don B. Jan 21, 2006 4:12 PM

Guys, I need some help rounding up all of the ASU projects to the Tempe list above. Currently, it doesn't have any of the stuff going up on campus. The scope: All buildings completed since 2000, proposed or under construction.

I appreciate your help in advance. :)

Sean, I see what you mean about Pulte's intentions. Hopefully, they can line up other land and Vela may still happen, and this doesn't end up being a zero sum game.

I would imagine some developers are worried the condo market in downtown Tempe may not be all that deep, especially with the planes roaring overhead, the powerlines, and the semi-funky nature of the neighborhoods around downtown. Thus, many projects are probably on hold while Centerpoint, Bridgeview phase I and Cosmo move forward. If they sell out fast, like Edgewater's eight-story building did (at $400 per square foot no less), then many of the other rumored/proposed projects should start moving forward. Also, I don't feel Tempe's downtown has really "made it" until something happens to the old flour mill and land adjacent thereto. That would be an excellent location for affordable housing, which is sorely lacking in all of these projects.


combusean Jan 21, 2006 4:49 PM

^ That seems like a fairly large scope. I mean, what's the reference to skyscrapers here?

That being said, there's Coor Hall, ITSB 1 and 2, the two biodesign buildings, McAllister Academic Village (2,000 residential units in two phases), 2 Msqft for the Arts and Business Gateway, and 1.45 Msqft for "South Campus Housing"

I think the condo boom is being staved off by astronomical construction and land acquisition costs rather than an inherent limited demand for units. Let's not forgot that prices here are substantially higher for condo units than other cities in the US.

Moreover, the market's in a bit of a correction. Investors are bailing out en masse and there's a fairly large number of units availalble given the largely untested market here. I'm certain things will in due time stabilise--but in the long term owner occupiers market, I think we've barely scratched the surface.

Most of all Don I think your final assessment about the Mill's renovation playing a signature role in modern post-urban Tempe is dead on accurate. It is the single biggest block aside from Mission Palms that interrupts the Mill Avenue motif from University to the lake.

The numerous challenges (i call them opportunities) the site poses will likely mean that it will be the last and largest major parcel in Tempe's City Center district left--after that building anything new will likely require tearing something else down.

Don B. Jan 21, 2006 5:57 PM

^ Thanks, Sean. If you look at my list, I tried to include every project of at least three stories in the downtown area. I figure ASU's new buildings (especially the taller projects) shouldn't be left out.

I totally agree about the construction costs being an issue. That, and the relative inexperience of our builders at creating high-rises.


Azndragon837 Jan 22, 2006 12:11 AM

Hey guys,

For your information, the 16 story Cosmo Building has been redeisgned (the one you have Don is the old design). The project received comments from nearby neighbors in the Maple/Ash Neighborhood, and their concerns were addressed.

Don B. Jan 22, 2006 4:06 AM

^ Thanks, Andrew - you 'da man! :)


combusean Jan 22, 2006 6:56 AM

Trillium Residential is 4 floors and 466 units. I calculated the du/acre to 38 which isn't too bad, it's a little more than your average apartment complex around here.

Another measure can be calculated from the site plan. You should have a pedestrian entrance about once every 25 feet according to good urban design standards, this project has an entrance about every 62 feet fronting Washington, excluding Center Parkway which bisects the property.

combusean Feb 3, 2006 2:52 AM

Found this one but forgot to link to it.

523-Unit Mondrian Developer Sues Tempe
City failed to expedite lake work, suit states
Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 20, 2006 12:00 AM

A developer building a $100 million project on the northern shore of Tempe Town Lake has slapped the city with a lawsuit.

Gray Development Group alleges that Tempe cost the company "tens of million of dollars" because the city failed to "fast track" the project, according to the complaint filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on Jan. 6.

"The City broke its promises, breached its contractual obligations and failed to act fairly and reasonably toward the Plaintiffs. . . . Because of the City's wrongful actions, the Plaintiffs have incurred millions of dollars of damages including increased expenses, lost opportunities and lost profits," the lawsuit states.

Tempe's lawyer said she expects that the city and developer will patch things up. It's important to keep the project on track, said City Attorney Marlene Pontrelli.

"We have a great working relationship with Gray, and we think we will be able to come to a solution that's mutually beneficial to both parties," Pontrelli said.

Several calls to Gray Development Group officials were not returned Thursday. John Moshier, the company's attorney, said his client has not authorized him to comment.

Mondrian Tempe Town Lake is a 523-unit development that will include apartments and condominiums. It's scheduled to be completed in March.

According to the lawsuit, project negotiations began in 2002, when the apartment market was in the post-Sept. 11 doldrums. The project took so long that the real estate market recovered, which forced the developer to pay more. Delays also led to higher design and loan costs, the suit states.

oliveurban Feb 13, 2006 7:34 AM

10-story condo project planned for blighted area of Tempe
Katie Nelson
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 13, 2006

It will take years before sleek light-rail cars slide through the Valley. But rail-inspired redevelopment is already cropping up in a long-ignored section of Tempe.

A 10-story condominium complex may be built in a desolate area of the city, along the same street where police see the highest concentration of prostitution and blight.

The portion of Apache Boulevard that straddles Loop 101 is covered with a smattering of empty lots, trailer-home parks and small businesses, some of them boarded up or run-down. And while there are appealing aspects, such as a tasty mix of ethnic restaurants and an active community center, city leaders and residents have long stewed over how to rejuvenate the area.

The city has taken steps to revitalize the locale, such as investing in a fire department headquarters and a new police substation, which broke ground in December. Despite those efforts, the section of the boulevard has received little attention from private developers.

But now, the new Tempe Union Station Lofts project is proposed.

If it is ultimately given the go-ahead by the City Council, it would be the first upscale private investment in that part of the boulevard in years. The public will get its first glimpse of the multiuse buildings proposal tonight at the city's Apache Boulevard Project Area Committee meeting. It still has to go through the Planning and Zoning Commission before going before the City Council.

The Lofts' backers are hoping to cash in on middle-income folks who will be lured by easy access to two light-rail-line stops and the Loop 101 freeway, only a half-mile away.

"Light rail is going to change the perception of how people get around," said Steve Barduson, the project's architect. "And while there is probably nowhere lower on the food chain in Tempe than Apache right now, we're banking on what it could be."

If it materializes, the project would take up three lots and replace Tradewinds, a decaying batch of tiny apartments and trailer homes now at 1900 E. Apache Boulevard. The new buildings, one 10 stories and one five, would include more than 400 condominiums or live/work spaces, underground parking and retail with space for a restaurant. The design will be aimed at recent college graduates, baby boomers in the market for a second home and anyone else looking to shun suburbia for an urban lifestyle, Barduson said.

Lately, project proposals like this aren't rare, said Phil Amarose, chairman of the Apache Boulevard Project Area Committee. But he doesn't take them lightly and hopes the proposals are a sign of what is to come thanks to light rail.

"Apache has to change over from being an old state highway, which is contributing to the deterioration," Amarose said. "You need something to inject this new feel for the area."

The Tempe Union Station Lofts could be a step toward that new look, he said.

"Some of the people say they want it the way it was," he added. "But for every one of them there are nine boarded-up businesses. Change of some magnitude is coming as fast as those light-rail cars are coming. We need to keep up with it."


Azndragon837 Feb 13, 2006 10:22 AM

We shall see what happens soon.

oliveurban Feb 24, 2006 6:45 AM

US Airways calls on Staubach to help expand corporate HQ facility
Mike Sunnucks
The Business Journal of Phoenix - 2:49 PM MST Thursday

US Airways Group Inc. is expanding its Tempe corporate headquarters and has retained Dallas real estate firm The Staubach Co., to help with those expansion plans and new planned development.

US Airways (NYSE: LCC) is currently based in downtown Tempe, where it occupies a 216,000-square-foot office building. The airline plans on adding office space as well as retail and other uses to that Tempe parcel. The expansion could also include restaurants, a hotel, conference center and condominiums.

Staubach will help the Arizona-based airline find development partners in that expansion, the companies said Thursday.

The US Airways headquarters site is located at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway in downtown Tempe, is one of the region's prime pieces of real estate. It will be located on the Valley Metro light rail line

Staubach is one of the top real estate firms in the U.S. Its founder is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

Steve Corney, managing principal of Staubach's Arizona divisions, will coordinate US Airways development efforts.

Tempe-based America West Airlines and Arlington, Va.-based US Airways merged last year. The new combined carrier is flying under the US Air banner but opted to locate its headquarters in Tempe.

For more:,

Azndragon837 Feb 24, 2006 9:40 AM

^That is very good news....that whole area s going through a transformation

Azndragon837 Feb 24, 2006 9:43 AM

Looks like the southeast corner of Veteran's Way and College will be where the Armory Condominium Project will can see it in the flyover video of the city, it's really cool.

So Don, you should update your Tempe Projects lst.


PHX31 Mar 2, 2006 6:41 PM

Here's another under construction project I came across:

The Dorsey Place Condos are located at Dorsey (east of Rural) and University. It doesn't look like student residences. The more density the merrier.

Azndragon837 Mar 27, 2006 8:34 PM

Also, an UPDATE on Centerpoint Condominiums:

Construction continues at Centerpoint. They are nearly finished with the excavation and
have started foundation work. The crane should be coming up out of the ground in the
next few weeks.

The contractor has asked to do some night time concrete work. They have sent a letter
to property owners around them to inform them of the work and give them a contact name
and number for any complaints. The most impacted residents around the project were given
a tea cup, night time tea, a CD of Sleepy Time music, and ear plugs along with the letter -
to ease the pain.

Hahaha, I think that is least construction will speed up with night time work.
Looks like the Phoenix bickering sure did not slow it down.


Don B. Mar 28, 2006 11:29 AM

^ That's a cool table. I don't know all of those projects, though. :)


soleri Mar 31, 2006 6:31 PM

Here are some renderings from Will Bruder's web site for the ASU Business College at Mill & University. I don't know how real these designs are. Maybe they're just preliminary and conceptual. But sweet mother of Jesus, would these be cool or what?

PHX31 Mar 31, 2006 7:34 PM

I don't think they would be that cool given the circumstance and location. Something like that would be amazingly cool as a resort on the side of a mountain or in the outskirts where it can blend with the surrounds... but I think of college-use buildings in the more traditional sense. And at one of the most high profile street corners in the city, it would want something that fits in with the more historic vibe of Mill Ave, and something that is more ped friendly.

Azndragon837 Mar 31, 2006 7:36 PM

^I like the design, but it better engage to the street (Both Univeristy and Mill Ave). Place retail and service frontage on both streets, and maybe student housing somewhere.

It looks conceptual, but it might be real. On ASU's website, the section that talks about Michael Crow's the New American University, the Will Bruder design is showcased on there, so this might be real.

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