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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 1:53 AM
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JimInCal JimInCal is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Round Rock, TX
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Turning the Corner

This really should be on the CityScape thread but it fits in with the general conversation we are having concerning the changing face of DT Phoenix. This is a conversation with one of the RED partners found on the CityScape site, under the News/Media section. It was added on 12-8 so it's recent. It fairly succinctly sums up what many of us hope CityScape will mean to DT Phoenix. I have bolded things that I think are worthy of extra attention. Comments please.

Mike Ebert,
RED Development

Visit any Arizona drugstore or airport gift shop and you’ll find racks of postcards featuring cacti, sunsets, howling coyotes and the Grand Canyon. Mike Ebert hopes to add one more photo to the display—CityScape.

Ebert, a managing and founding partner of RED Development, hopes CityScape, a 2.5 million-plus-square-foot downtown development, will be the iconic project for all of Phoenix and its skyline will serve as postcard fodder for years to come. “When people are flying over the airport, they will say ‘What’s that?’ as they touch down near downtown Phoenix. This is the opportunity for downtown Phoenix to have a heart and soul.”

The three-block, Copper Square downtown project is one of the largest private investments in the state’s history—nearly $1billion to create a thriving urban development. CityScape will offer residential units, a boutique hotel, 550,000 square feet of Class-A office, 250,000 square feet of retail, more than two and a half acres of pedestrian-friendly open space and three Light Rail stops. Phase I is set to open spring 2009 and the remaining construction planned for a 2011 completion.

“Consumers want an experience now.” He says. “(CityScape’s) niche will be the one place in Arizona to have a true urban experience.”

Ebert’s vision for an urban destination perfectly matched downtown’s renaissance as the Phoenix Convention Center expansion, Arizona State University campus, University of Arizona Medical School and other projects began to take form. Building an urban hub required the collaboration of commercial real estate leaders like Cardon Development Group, Baron Collier Companies and Atlanta’s Novare Group. Ebert says downtown previously focused on government, law and banking. Now, as the Arizona Biomedical Campus and ASU campus progress, Phoenix can get the “creative type” downtown.

“Our timing couldn’t be better,” says Ebert. “CityScape can embrace diversity; suburbia tends to be very homogenous.”

Ebert’s youthful looks seem to contradict his well-established reputation throughout the state. He, with three colleagues, formed RED Development in 1995.

Select purveyors A.J.’s Fine Foods and P.F. Changs Bistro are the first retailers to commit to the project and be part of the downtown entertainment attraction.

The development will look progressive and contemporary, intermixed with an outdoorsy quality to satisfy pedestrian needs.

“There is no central spot downtown,” says Ebert. “Our goal is when someone says, ‘Let’s meet downtown,’ it’s at Central Avenue and Washington Street—at CityScape.”
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