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Old Posted Sep 4, 2007, 4:46 PM
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Well, the Scottsdale thread seems to have vanished so I'll post the following article here:

September 4, 2007 - 1:48AM
One Scottsdale construction pushes on
Julie Janovsky, Tribune

Construction for the $1.5 billion One Scottsdale project is under way.

Crews began hauling dirt on Aug. 13, beginning a mass excavation for an underground parking lot, said a spokesman for Scottsdale-based developer DMB Associates.

The dirt haul, running 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, is expected to continue through November.

Commuters looking to stay clear of the construction route should avoid the area along Scottsdale Road, just north of Loop 101.

From there, trucks will proceed west on Loop 101 to 56th Street and head north about 500 yards on the east side of 56th Street before returning to the Thompson Peak Parkway construction entrance.

Eleven structures will be erected during the first phase of the 120-acre development, expected to feature a combination of residential, commercial and retail space. Building designs for these structures are being submitted to the city through the end of this month.

Construction on the new Dial headquarters on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Loop 101 is ongoing. The company is planning a 340,000-square-foot building encompassing four stories of office space above three stories of underground parking. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

In addition to Dial's plans, designs submitted to the city also include a four-story, triangular-shaped "Flatiron style" building featuring more than 58,000 square feet of office space and a neighboring five-story contemporary style structure with 91,000 square feet of space.

Each will be built over three stories of underground parking.

The first-phase buildings are all located south of the proposed Center Drive, an east/ west road that will bisect One Scottsdale, said Don Hadder, city principal planner.

Grand opening of the development is planned for October 2009.
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Old Posted Sep 5, 2007, 7:44 AM
Azndragon837 Azndragon837 is offline
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Originally Posted by jvbahn View Post
The Nile was the only real reason to go to Mesa IMO, I also have fond memories, not only of raves before its conversion to Christ, but moreover the old Goth-nights in the mid-90's. I've dated myself now, need to go spill some booze on the ground for my dead homies.
Going to the Nile back in July 2000 was my first foray into Downtown Mesa...and my thought was "what's this lonely place?" Hehehe. Now that the Art Center is finished, it give it some style. Still needs some work, but still won't go to Downtown Mesa (the last time I was there was last year at the Arizona Planning Association Conference). I miss the Nile! I'll go crack some glowsticks for the homies myself, LOL.

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Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 2:29 PM
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September 11, 2007 - 2:06AM
Detailed picture emerges of Waveyard park
Jason Massad, Tribune

The Waveyard water park and resort is a $250 million development that would draw tourists from across Arizona and around the U.S.

The resort is one of the largest developments proposed in Mesa since a potential deal in the late 1990s failed to lure the Arizona Cardinals football stadium.

Mesa offered $20 million in incentives to Scottsdale-based Waveyard LLC, triggering a vote on Nov. 6.

The campaign in support of Waveyard officially kicks off Wednesday, with mailers and advertisements, said Robert Brinton, executive director of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Waveyard’s proponents say the resort is a one-of-a-kind destination that collects a number of adventure sports in an urban environment.

A wave pool, a scuba lagoon, an indoor water park, an artificial white-water channel and a wakeboarding park would weave among hotels, residential villas and retail boutiques at the resort. The boutique hotel was a surprise to some, but Brinton said it was always a possibility to be able to handle the 750 rooms needed for the site.

For Mesa, the development could pull in millions a year in sales tax revenue. But questions remain about how city parkland would be replaced if it was lost in the deal with Waveyard.

Who does this affect and how?

Waveyard is a proposed $250 million resort that would incorporate retail boutiques, a hotel, residential villas and office and commercial space into a water-themed adventure park. Scottsdale-based developer Waveyard LLC released the first detailed site plan today, showing in concept how the complex would be arranged.

Waveyard executives said an artificial white-water river would be the largest of its kind in the world. More than 1 million people annually — both Arizonans and out-of-state visitors — are expected to visit the park. It could open as early as 2010. However, Mesa voters will decide in November whether to approve the development agreement.

Where is the money coming from?
After a lengthy battle, Mesa landed the Waveyard development after competing with Surprise. As part of the deal, the city offered a $20 million sales tax rebate to Waveyard that the park’s developers would be entitled to after the development is up and running. That tax incentive triggered a vote, and the election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

How is it different from other parks?
Developers like to say that the park’s recreation would bring back-country sports to an urban area. The whitewater channel would be one of a handful of its kind in the United States. A large wave pool would accommodate surfers and body boarders. An outdoor scuba lagoon would allow divers to get their certification. An expansive indoor water park is planned for those who stay at the resort hotel.

What about environmental issues and traffic?
Some Mesa residents have questioned how much water the park would use for recreation. The developers counter criticism by saying the annual consumption from the park would be less than an 18-hole golf course. The traffic created by the park is more of an unknown. One of the major reasons the development chose Mesa is because of its proximity to loops 101 and 202. The park does not plan on making major improvements to nearby streets, such as Eighth Street and Dobson Road.

Dave Richins, West Mesa Community Development Corp.: “My first reaction when I saw what they want to build in my neighborhood is, ‘Promise?’” Richins said one of the high points of the project was the placement of offices nearby. “The more eyes looking over Riverview Park, the safer the park becomes,” he said.

Nate Caine, Mesa resident: One of Caine’s biggest concerns is the planned linear park along Eighth Street to replace lost park land. Although it is meant to maintain the acreage of the original park at Riverview, the linear park would basically function as landscaping for Waveyard, while losing amenities such as volleyball courts and dog parks. “No one in their right mind says let us build a linear park,” he said.

Rex Griswold, Mesa City councilman: He said a detailed site plan is essential to help voters make a decision in the Nov. 6 election. “It is hard to explain something like this that has not been built before. It is important to get the information out to voters. If they have all the facts, I think they will be in favor of this project.”
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 2:02 PM
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Post Waveyard Update

Check out the "interactive" map with a little more detail than previously published. There is also a site map, slide show and timeline at the bottom of the map.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 2:23 PM
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Waveyard seems neat, but I really wish it was a proper theme park like a Six Flags. I think with shade, arcades, lots of indoor and water areas, and misters everywhere, a roller coaster park could do well here. Especially if it was about 50% a water park, with coasters as well. Ah well, I guess Ill keep having to drive 6 hours to get my coaster fix.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2007, 2:13 PM
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Fiesta Mall condo project back on track

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 16, 2007 12:00 AM

A condominium project designed to increase pedestrian traffic and help transform Mesa's Fiesta District into an urban center is moving forward.

After months of little action, sales of Aquaterra condominiums are scheduled to start in November.

A Web site advertises "metropolitan living spaces" and "chic lofts." Prices are expected to range from $180,000 to $900,000.

"We're very excited to be part of the Fiesta District," said Tom Roszak, of Roszak/ADC, the project's developer. "Part of the success of our project is all these other things happening in the area."

Aquaterra is expected to contribute to the district's redevelopment, along with renovations to Fiesta Mall and the new Children's Hospital tower at Banner Desert Medical Center.

Roszak said about 40 percent of the units must be sold before construction begins. He said he plans on construction starting next summer and Aquaterra opening in late 2009.

Aquaterra features three interconnected buildings that are five to six stories tall and blue- and orange-tinted glass.

The project originated as the bigger, splashier Fiesta Towers in November 2005, but it was scaled back amid a decline in the Valley's housing market.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 4:13 PM
Don B. Don B. is offline
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Looks like Elevation Chandler might be revived after all:


Troubled high-rise may have buyer
Luci Scott
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 25, 2007 06:26 AM

There may be a buyer for the troubled Elevation Chandler, the partly built high-rise project south of Chandler Fashion Center that has sat idle for 18 months.

"There is a very reputable potential buyer in discussions with (developer) Jeff Cline," said Chandler City Manager Mark Pentz. He declined to name the prospect.

This is not the first possible buyer to consider buying the project at the intersection of Loop 101 and the Santan Freeway.

A number of potential buyers have inquired about the site, said Don Brigham, executive vice president at Coldwell Banker Commercial in Phoenix.

He also declined to discuss the newest prospect.

"It's probably too early to be talking," Brigham said. He is handling the sale along with Steven Schnitzer, senior vice president at Coldwell Banker Commercial.

A number of residents have expressed in published letters that the city take over the troubled property and tear down the eyesore, which has been marred by graffiti taggers on at least two occasions.

But it's not that simple.

"We can't take private property for other than a public purpose, and we can't do it without paying just compensation to the land owner," said Glenn Brockman, assistant city attorney.

"Those are very big steps to take, and they have a lot of repercussions," he said, "so that's generally the reason why cities are reluctant to do that type of thing."

The initial plan for the site was a high-rise hotel topped by two floors of luxury condominiums, another tower of condominiums, a fitness center and a parking garage. At first, work was ahead of schedule. Then in April 2006, workers walked off the job because they weren't getting paid. Subcontractors recorded mechanic's liens and several filed lawsuits.

Phoenix-based Mortgages Ltd., the mortgage holder, filed foreclosure action to take back the property, and a trustee's sale was scheduled for February 2007. Cline managed to save the property and cancel the trustee's sale by getting a $24 million bridge loan to pay the mortgage and the contractor, Weitz Co. The loan gave him breathing room and a year to obtain new financing to resume construction.

This spring Cline put the 10.5-acre site up for sale at an asking price of $42 million to $58 million. No explanation for the $16 million price range was given in an advertisement from Coldwell Banker Commercial.

Cline did not return a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment on the potential sale.

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Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 4:59 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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no slides, eh?

Who in God's name is going to a waterpark with no slides? thats like going to a burger shop thats out of hamburgers.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 5:47 PM
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Downtown Mesa plan takes new approach

Jason Massad, Tribune

Mesa’s moving ahead with a redevelopment plan to attract a mixed-use site and a Mesa Community College campus to prime real estate in the city’s downtown that’s now vacant land.

The $20 million property was once envisioned as a site for a minor league baseball park to replace Hohokam Stadium and, later, a time-share resort with an ice-skating rink. Both of those proposals failed years ago.

However, the city is now taking a new approach to sell some of its real estate holdings and attempt to enliven a downtown that’s often known for it’s lack of excitement.

“This is a great redevelopment site,” said Shelly Allen, the city’s Town Center development director. “It’s a very rare circumstance to have a 20-acre parcel in the middle of downtown.”

This spring, Mesa hired Phoenix Commercial Advisors, a commercial real estate company, to gauge the interest of private developers in building residential, retail and office space on the roughly 25-acre site on the southwest corner of Mesa and University drives. Nearly 5 acres of the development is envisioned as an MCC campus that would specialize in “work force development,” including disciplines like fire safety and health and nursing courses.

Instead of dictating the kind of development at the site, city economic officials say that a chosen developer will study the market and propose to the city what type of development the area would support.

Within 45 days, city officials are scheduled to select from four developers, including CDK Partners and Concord-Eastridge of Arizona, Michigan-based Crosswinds National, and the Californiabased The Athena Group.

It’s an aggressive timeline for a project that has languished since Mesa and MCC agreed to develop it in 2004. Since then, MCC’s commitment to the project was seen as wavering because of shakeups at MCC.

In 2006, news reports detailed fraud and other misconduct throughout the Maricopa County Community College District.

Larry Christensen, a major proponent of the downtown campus, was fired as MCC president after Maricopa County sheriff’s officials raided the campus.

“With all the leadership changes, we didn’t know what was going to happen there,” said Councilman Rex Griswold.

However, MCC officials say they are now on board and have $10 million in bonds authorized to pay for classroom space that would be centralized on a downtown campus.

The new campus would integrate MCC health and fire safety courses as well as a four-year program offered at Northern Arizona University that could be accessed by MCC students seeking a bachelor’s degree.

Bernie Ronan, acting president of MCC, said that a plan for an information and technology center would stay at the Centennial campus in Mesa. About 10,000 students could use a new campus per year, Ronan said.

The $10 million authorized for the downtown campus might not be enough. But expensive components of the project, like parking, could be spread out across the development, which could lower costs for the community college system.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 8:51 PM
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Elevation Chandler

Great news on this front. I've been monitoring the progress, but haven't seen this article. I live not too far from this development and was excited about it only to see it sit there unfinished. I believe it is a great location with the proximity to downtown ocotillo, intel, mortorola, wells fargo, and I believe it is called Park Place just South of the freeway. There was another urban development planned for the west side of the Chandler mall, not sure what is going on with that due to the market.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Vertex, thanks for posting that article about that parcel in Mesa. I've been waiting for the city to do something with that for a long time. Hopefully it will pan out this time as it's a prime piece of real estate, right in the middle of the city. You don't find that very often.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 2:57 PM
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Intel opens 'leading-edge' fab
Plant to build most powerful chips

Max Jarman
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 21, 2007 12:00 AM

In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors that could be put on a silicon wafer would double approximately every two years, indefinitely, because of technological advances.

His postulation, which proved right, is now known as Moore's Law. It's the reason the capacity of an iPod has grown from 1,000 songs when it was introduced in 2001 to 40,000 today.

It's also the reason Intel Corp. has invested $3 billion in a new 1,000-employee semiconductor fabrication plant, or "fab," that opens Thursday in Chandler.

It's the fourth semiconductor factory that Intel has built in Chandler since arriving in 1980 and probably not the last.

The Chandler campus, where 10,000 people now work, is designed to accommodate two additional factories, and Intel has a tradition of building new plants next to existing ones.

With the capacity and power of semiconductors doubling every two years, Intel needs to continue to build new plants and upgrade older ones to stay on top.

That technology now allows more than 250 million transistors to be applied to a microprocessor the size of a postage stamp.

That compares with the 2,200-transistor chips cited by Moore in 1965.

Intel's new plant, known as Fab 32, represents the state of the art of semiconductor manufacturing. It will produce a new batch of chips that are faster, more robust and use less power than the previous generation.

"It's our most leading-edge and cost-effective facility so far," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said.

Employees for the new plant have been trained in Ireland and Oregon, where Intel built a smaller version of the facility to test the technology.

'Competitive advantage'
Unlike traditional factories that can remain relevant for decades, semiconductor plants can become obsolete in a few years, often requiring billions of dollars in upgrades to bring them up to speed.

Many companies are giving up, closing plants and outsourcing production to merchant foundries springing up around the globe.

Earlier this year, STMicroelectronics announced that it would close its U.S. chip plants and use merchant foundries for production. The plants had 4,000 employees, including more than 1,000 at a factory in Phoenix.

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, has the resources to continue to build its own plants and intends to continue to do so.

It also plans to continue to invest in U.S. facilities such as Fab 32, while other companies that choose to continue to produce their own products are moving production overseas, where labor is cheaper.

"We're comfortable building fabs," Mulloy said. "It gives you a competitive advantage."

By owning its own fabrication facilities, Mulloy said, Intel can stay ahead of its competition, keep costs down and better control the quality of its products.

"Our technology is a year ahead of our nearest competitor," he said.

Latest technology
Fab 32 is the only full-scale semiconductor-production facility in the world to employ the latest 30 millimeter/45 nanometer technology.

The plant can accommodate larger 300 millimeter silicon wafers that are etched with 45 nanometer-sized lines that contain millions of transistors.

The larger wafers allow more chips to be cut from a single piece of silicon and lead to increased production. The smaller lines allow more transistors to be applied to a chip, making it more powerful and versatile.

Intel's previous top-of-the-line plants, such as Fab 12, also in Chandler, process 300-millimeter wafers, but etch them with larger 65 nanometer lines. Fab 12 opened 1996 but underwent a $2 billion upgrade that was completed in 2005.

A third Chandler plant, Fab 22, opened in 2001 and etches 200-millimeter wafers with 130-nanometer lines.

Joanne Itow, an analyst with Semiconductor Partners in Phoenix, noted that a 300-millimeter plant is 2 1/2 times more efficient than one that processes the 200-millimeter wafers.

Fab 22's future
There had been some speculation that Intel may close, or upgrade, Fab 22 when Feb 32 opened. Intel's original Chandler plant, Fab 6, closed in 2000.

Mulloy said the company may update Fab 22 but said there are no announced plans to do so.

"We certainly don't plan to close it," he said.

Intel is currently spending $1.5 billion to update a plant near Albuquerque to the 300 millimeter/45 nanometer technology.

But it chose not to update an older second plant in Albuquerque.

The company closed Fab 11 there in August and eliminated 1,100 jobs.

The New Mexico plant had technology similar to Fab 22 but produced flash-memory chips, which Intel has been phasing out.

Mulloy acknowledged that Fab 22's 6-year-old technology is too old to produce the latest microprocessors that are Intel's core business. But it is adequate to turn out the chip sets that perform functions that are not on the microprocessor, such as accommodating graphics.

"We have lots of the products that could be produced at Fab 22," Mulloy said.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 8:53 PM
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^^^ I've heard that Fab 32 might actually be Intel's last US fab.

In other news, it looks like Aquaterra in Mesa, formerly the Fiesta Towers, is moving forward. The company I work for is bidding some work on the project. Check out the website, there are some cool renderings. The project has some live/work units on the ground floor, along with office/retail, then residential units above. Total of 6 stories, with one floor underground parking.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 5:12 PM
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Fiesta Mall swings out the old
November 9, 2007
David Woodfill, Tribune

The demolition worker tried and tried, but the old Macy's department store at Fiesta Mall in Mesa seemed to say it wasn't going away quietly.

The worker struggled to smash through the front doors using an 180,000-pound excavator on Thursday morning but didn't get far, eventually giving up in front of an audience of city officials, civic leaders and mall employees.

Jeff Graves, a former employee attending the building's demolition and 9:30 a.m. ceremony to mark Fiesta Mall's second phase of renovations, wasn't surprised to see the machine's giant scoop bounce off the metal security barrier protecting the nearly 30-year-old building. He remembered when a motorist tried ramming through the same gate with his vehicle.

The ceremony promoted the mall's ambitious renovation plans to reclaim its status as a major shopping destination in the East Valley.

"I hope it will work because this mall's been going downhill for a while, unfortunately," Graves said.

"It's sad, but good," said Natalie Francis, a merchandiser at Macy's.

"One door shuts, another one opens," added her boss, Macy's manager Mary Markichevich. Markichevich said she views the changes at Fiesta Mall as a watershed moment similar to the improvements that made Tempe's downtown core along Mill Avenue a shopping mecca.

The building, at the southeast corner of the mall, was left vacant after Federated Department Stores acquired May Department Stores in 2005. Federated moved Macy's from the southeast corner of the mall into the former Robinsons-May store on the north side.

The building, which originally housed The Broadway, another department store, was built in 1979.

Representatives of Westcor, the Phoenix company that owns the 1.4 million-square-foot mall, said renovations such as changes to the food court, parking areas and landscaping would wrap up in mid-December. Garrett Newland, Westcor's vice president of development, said additions including a hotel, condos or movie theater could be two to three years down the road.

John Crawford, sales director at Toni & Guy salon near the former Macy's, said he's eager for that area of Fiesta Mall to open for business because it will drive more foot traffic to his store.

Plans call for two 50,000-square-foot retailers - one upstairs and another downstairs - in the future building. Mall representatives have confirmed negotiations with electronics, sporting goods and book retailers.

Fiesta Mall timeline
1977 - Sears department store opens.
1979 - Mall owner Homart, a subsidiary of Sears Roebuck Co., opens Fiesta Mall with Sears, Goldwaters, Diamonds and Broadway.
1990 - Bought by Grosvenor International. Mall is remodeled, and 25 stores are added.
1993 - Bought by LNB.
1999 - Renovated again.
2004 - Bought by Macerich, Westcor's parent company.
2005 - Mall's first redevelopment phase begins.
2006 - Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores merge. Federated transfers Macy's store to old Robinsons-May building.
2007 - Macerich acquires Macy's building.
2008-09 - Second redevelopment phase to begin.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 5:45 PM
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More LEED construction

I couldn't really decide where to post this article. Since its a Mesa based company I finally decided to put it here. However, topics cover several localities from the metro area.


November 15, 2007 - 1:01AM
Developer looks to build ‘green’ in Valley
Ed Taylor, Tribune

A new Mesa-based development company that specializes in super-energy-efficient buildings is ready to start its first projects. Called c.i. Development Group, the firm was formed in 2006 by partners Jason Savell and Eric Faas to build LEED-Gold and LEED-Platinum retail, office and mixed-use projects.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a national standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design and construction of “green” buildings. The Gold and Platinum standards are the two highest ratings a building can attain.

Two of the three planned buildings are in line to receive the platinum rating and would be the first commercial buildings in Arizona to reach that standard, Savell said. One is in Surprise, and the other is in the Johnson Ranch area of Pinal County. Both will be mixed-use retail and office complexes.

A third project, a medical office building in Pinal County, will carry a gold rating, Savell said.
He said that only about 40 new buildings in the country have a platinum rating, and the only one in Arizona is the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University in Tempe — an institutional research building.

“We want to make this kind of energy-efficient green building available for everyday uses,” he said. “This is the future.”

The Surprise project, called M Square, will break ground in about two weeks. The Johnson Ranch project, called San Tan Commons, at Hunt Highway and Valley View Road, is scheduled to begin construction in February. The nearby San Tan medical complex will begin in the third quarter of next year.

Among the features of the San Tan Commons center will be a photovoltaic solar-energy system to supply some of the building’s electricity, an advanced day lighting system that will direct natural light into the interior and eliminate the need for daytime indoor lighting, and high-efficiency insulation.

The medical building will have vegetation on the roof to minimize the structure’s heat island effect and eliminate storm-water runoff.

Savell insisted the cost of building green is no greater than conventional construction if the project is planned properly. He added that lease rates in the company’s buildings will be competitive with others in the market.

“We don’t need a premium,” he said. “The biggest cost that I see is poor planning. If it’s properly planned early on and you get a good grasp of how the whole process works … a lot can be done without big changes in technology or costs.”

So why haven’t more builders sought LEED certification? Savell said not many builders have experience with the techniques, and there are few incentives to build green in Arizona.

“Arizona is a market that wherever you build, for all intents and purposes, it will sell,” he said.

By building a few green projects, the developers hope to show that it’s possible to build such structures and still make a profit, he said.

Pinal County planning officials say they support LEED-certified projects, but having been burned by developers who have made promises in the past and then not delivered, they sought assurances that c.i.’s buildings will be created as advertised.

That led to some tensions during the zoning process, said Jerry Stabley, Pinal County deputy planning director.

The county wanted the developers to agree to a planned area development designation for the projects, which requires the properties to be developed as specified.

The developers opposed that, saying it would take too much time. Instead they just wanted a straight zoning designation, which could allow changes in the plan.

In a compromise, the zoning was approved after the developers submitted a letter assuring county planners that they would develop the land as promised.

That good-faith gesture “gave the (planning) board more comfort that they would do what they said,” Stabley said.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2007, 3:41 PM
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Yet another change in the plans:

Fiesta site planning for Aloft luxury hotel
Misty Williams, Tribune
November 22, 2007

A major condominium and retail development in the works for west Mesa’s Fiesta District is evolving yet again with plans to add a luxury hotel.

Chicago area developer Tom Roszak is close to finalizing a deal that would bring Aloft, a new brand of Starwood Hotels, to the AquaTerra condos. Situated on the northwest corner of Grove Avenue and Westwood just east of Fiesta Mall, AquaTerra will include roughly 330 condos, 15,000 square feet of retail space and the 128-room, six-story hotel, Roszak said.

“I think it is a great addition to the AquaTerra brand,” he said.

Plans for the mixed-use development have shifted several times since Roszak publicly proposed it a couple years ago. Initial plans called for four, 25-story towers, but last spring, Roszak scaled back the project to three connected low-rise buildings.

Putting in a hotel has always been an option, and it was approved by the city with the rest of the project earlier this year, he said.

The Starwood deal is expected to close in a couple months.

The upscale hotel will have a modern design and compete with other luxury brands, such as Marriott Courtyard and Hyatt Place, said Robert Brinton, executive director of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau. It’s well-suited for business and leisure travelers, who want to be in a stylish hotel, he said. Mesa already has numerous budget or economy hotels and has been trying to attract more luxury projects, Brinton said.

Four such projects have been approved in Mesa recently, including a Hyatt Place at the Riverview shopping center, a Marriott Courtyard near Falcon Field and two more Marriott brands near Crismon Road and U.S. 60.

“(The Fiesta) area is a good area in terms of hotel guests with amenities around from restaurants to shopping,” and Aloft should fit in well, Brinton said.

AquaTerra is the latest in a series of recent projects, such as Riverview, the remodeling of Fiesta Mall and light rail, that community leaders say will revitalize west Mesa.

Condos will range in size from 600 to 3,000 square-feet with prices running from the $180,000s to the $900,000s.The sales office opened Saturday and has received about 50 reservations so far, Roszak said.

The developer is hoping to start construction on both the condos and hotel in early summer of next year.

The entire project could take 24 months to finish.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2007, 7:14 PM
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Has there been any movement on that 10-story hotel/condo building near the Chandler mall? I think it was called Elevation Chandler. I assume it looks the same as it did when I left in July (and for several months prior to that)...
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2007, 3:43 AM
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andrewkfromaz andrewkfromaz is offline
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It's been years since they took down the scaffolding and basically mothballed that project. I've heard there may be a buyer - 42 mil. I guess it would be a few months at the least before construction could get underway again.
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Old Posted Nov 30, 2007, 8:24 PM
tempedude tempedude is offline
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Tesco set to open its first stores in PHX area

Finally...I'm quite interested in the retail foray into our market from a British company that has an excellent reputation. Also, if they do well here, these types of markets I think would do well in urban downtown areas like Phoenix and Tempe etc. AJ's should not be the only downtown market once more development gets rolling.
Fresh & Easy food markets open next week

Kerry Fehr-Snyder
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 30, 2007 10:00 AM

It's been described as a cross between Trader Joe's, Costco and Whole Foods on a miniature scale.

But whether the new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets opening next week in Chandler and Mesa live up to their name as delivering fresh and easy food is anyone's guess.

Supermarket pundit Phil Lempert is optimistic about the British retail giant's foray into the ready-to-eat, nutritious and fresh-food grocery market.

"I think it's going to work nationwide. I truly believe that they've hit on a retailing niche that no one has, and it will satisfy the masses," said Lempert, a supermarket analyst with Supermarketguru.com.

"Very few people that I talk to enjoy buying their groceries in a 50,000-square-foot grocery store because it's too big, it's too confusing and has too big of a selection."

Fresh & Easy stores, by comparison, are 10,000 to 15,000 square feet and have a limited selection of fresh, relatively inexpensive and nutritious food.

The stores were created by British-based Tesco PLC for the U.S. market. It opened its first stores in southern California and Las Vegas this month.

The company, often described as the third-largest retailer in the world, is targeting middle- and lower-middle class neighborhoods rather than high-end ones.

A Fresh & Easy spokesman declined to compare the stores with competitors or describe why the company chose to open its first three stores in Mesa and another in Chandler.

"It's a grocery store. There's not anything that's wildly different," said spokesman Brendan Wonnacott.

Observers consider the company secretive, a tactic it uses to surprise competitors and keep them off guard.

The media has generated much of the hype around the stores, while the company has remained relatively mum about its plans.

In Arizona, Fresh & Easy has announced plans to open 27 stores in the Valley, from El Mirage to Queen Creek. Of those, 14 are in the Southeast Valley, with six in Mesa and five in Chandler.

Two stores are planned in Gilbert and one is being built in Queen Creek.

The company also picked six sites in Phoenix after studying the city for about a year.

"They actually were already aggressively working to identify sites by the time they came to us," said Scott Motley, a project manager in the Phoenix community and economic development department.

The company wants to attract customers from various economic levels and resisted the city's efforts to compare the stores with other retailers, such as AJ's Fine Foods.

"They were pretty savvy in their effort to identify the locations and understand the market here," Motley said.

Lempert said Fresh & Easy isn't interested in the high-end market.

Its stores features a spartan décor, polished concrete floors and generic-looking branded food.

"The biggest surprise that the food pundits had is that you're going to pay less at this store than if you walked down to the full-service bigger grocery store," Lempert said. "That's their strategy. And not as a loss leader. These are their everyday low prices and they want to appeal to the masses."

Paul Patterson, dean of the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus, said the Fresh & Easy strategy fits a broader trend of selling to customers who are "demanding more and more convenience in their food purchases."

Grocery stores are trying to figure out how to capture some of the spending from customers who frequently eat at restaurants, Patterson said.

"As a profit center, delis are the most profitable area of the grocery store," he said. "At the same time, consumers are spending more money on food away from the home. Retailers and grocers have been trying to figure out ways to get consumers to spend more money at their stores rather than at restaurants."
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Old Posted Nov 30, 2007, 8:30 PM
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HooverDam HooverDam is offline
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Originally Posted by tempedude View Post
Supermarket pundit Phil Lempert
What a tremendous job to have, Supermarket pundit.
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