X Phoenix (200 Monroe) – Update #1

The 200 Monroe project is now under construction, and the project’s name is officially ‘X Phoenix’.

Chicago-based PMG Group is building a 1.2 million square foot, 23-floor residential facility on the 2-acre site located on the Southwest corner of 2nd Avenue and Van Buren, just blocks from the ASU Downtown campus. The new property will be part of PMG’s ‘X’ brand.

‘PMGx Social Communities’ is a sub-brand of PMG aimed squarely at Millennials, and its properties offer a more communal-style of living that places a strong emphasis on shared spaces. When it opens around Fall 2021, the Phoenix location will be the newest and third-largest of 9 ‘X’ communities around the country, including 4 in Florida, 2 in Chicago, 1 in Denver, and 1 in Oakland, CA.

The finished structure will include 553 residential units, just under 1000 parking spaces, about 46,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space,  and rise to 279 feet, according to documents obtained through a public information request.

The project will feature a very large amenities deck that includes a giant hot tub and pool, outdoor bar and lounge, performance stage, and lawn. Other amenities will include a coworking lab, gym, fitness studio and ‘sky dog park’, according to the company’s website.

Currently, the parking structures on the 2-acre lot are all demolished, along with an old auto-servicing building, and the parking lot is in the process of being removed.

The City of Phoenix also operates a live webcam that provides a decent view of the lot.

Block 23 – Update #1

The construction at Block 23 continues. The structure was ‘topped off’ at the end of January as it reached its ultimate height of 17 stories or about 230 feet. Workers have begun to affix finishing materials to the exterior of the lower levels and frame out the interior areas.

Currently-announced tenants include a Fry’s marketplace, which will represent Phoenix’s first modern downtown grocery store, 20,000 square feet for accounting firm Ernst & Young, and nearly 7,000 square feet for ‘Blanco Tacos & Tequila’, a restaurant concept from local restaurateur Sam Fox.

Construction is expected to conclude by the end of this year.
When complete, the building will include:

    • 330 Apartments
    • 203,000 Square feet of office space
    • 18,000 Square feet for retail/restaurant
    • 60,000 Square feet of grocery (Fry’s)

A Construction Webcam is available here.

New Project: AC Marriott at Arizona Center

The Project

The Arizona Center is building a new hotel. Construction is due to begin this year on a new 14-story, 200-room AC Marriott Hotel which will be located at 414 North 5th Street. The hotel, designed by California-based AXIS/GFA Architecture, is due to be about 152 feet tall according to an FAA building height review. This project is one of many big updates and recent changes to the Arizona Center, including a large recently-completed renovation and a planned residential tower.

Variances Denied

The developers for this project had applied for a variance to increase the distance of their building from the sidewalk from 10 feet to nearly 50 feet. This variance was initially approved by the city, but overturned on appeal due opposition from local urban advocates. The Urban Phoenix Project’s Sean Sweat and another man, Mr. Mike Angulo, opposed the variances, arguing that large building setbacks essentially create a dead spot on the sidewalk that detracts from the street’s walkability and urban appeal, which the city’s setback requirements had been intended to promote. Additionally, Mr. Sweat argued that the requested variances did not meet the statutory requirements for approval. The Adjustment board agreed with these positions and denied the variance, sending the developer back to the drawing board to create a more walkable design.

The Project Continues

Despite the setback, this project appears to still be moving along. Filings with the city as recently at February 26th indicate continued activity on the project. PHX Rising Blog has submitted a public records request to obtain any updated designs or plans regarding this project.

These renderings included with this post were submitted with the project as originally designed, and do not reflect anything done by the developer in response to the denied variances.

Aspire Fillmore – Update #1

I received back my public records request and am able to update several points of information regarding this project, which is actually called Aspire Fillmore.

Aspire Fillmore will be a single 17-story, mixed-use structure located on the Northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Fillmore. The building will rise to about 240 feet and provide 254 units of residential living space situated above 281 parking units and 3,400 sq. ft. of ground-level restaurant space.

The design of the building looks very similar to that of The Stewart, which was also designed by the same firm (CCBG Architects) and is nearing completion just a few blocks away.

BFL Construction appears to be the builder for this project, and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2019.

Kenect Phoenix – Update #1

Kenect Phoenix has officially commenced construction. The fencing around the project has been expanded to include Polk street, which is now closed between Central and 1st Avenue. The parking lot has also been demolished, and excavation equipment is on site.

The mixed use live/work/play project, developed by Akara Partners and built by UEB Builders, is estimated to be complete around Fall 2019, reach approximately 280 feet, and add 320 new residential units to the heart of Downtown Phoenix.

This construction project has a webcam that can be accessed here.

Phoenix looking to redevelop several properties in 2019

On Friday, the City of Phoenix’s Community and Economic Development department released a ‘wish list’ of properties they’d like to propose for redevelopment in 2019. The properties targeted are mostly parking lots along the Phoenix Light Rail corridor, with the exception of the American Legion building at 7th & Grand, and a City admin building at 5th Avenue and Adams.

The full list:

  • 19th Avenue & Montebello Park-and-Ride
  • 19th Avenue & Camelback Park-and-Ride
  • Three adjacent lots next to the I-10 between Jefferson and Washington
  • Two adjacent lots along Central Ave between Columbus and Weldon (Midtown, just South of Indian School)
  • A former city admin building at Adams and 5th Avenue and an adjacent surface parking lot
  • The American Legion property at 7th and Grand Avenues
  • A surface parking lot at Central & McKinley, directly across the street from The Stewart
  • The parking garage immediately South of the Hyatt Regency hotel, at 1st Street & Adams.

It’s unclear yet what the city’s goals are in offering these properties for redevelopment. Specifically regarding the two Park-and-Ride lots, it’s likely the City is looking to retain the Park-and-Ride functionality at these locations while adding street-facing residential or commercial components, rather than close them altogether. It’s also unclear if the City intends to obtain a new facility for the American Legion Post #1, integrate it into a new development, or eliminate it entirely. These questions are likely to be answered as the individual RFPs are issued next year.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

New Project: Duo on Fillmore

Duo on Fillmore is a multifamily residential complex planned for the Northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Fillmore. The project, proposed by Scottsdale-based Aspirant development, appears to consist mainly of two towers of different heights. One 14 story, 198-unit apartment building and another 17 story building to the North with an unspecified number of units.

Aspirant Development is the same development company behind The Stewart (originally Circles on Central), currently under construction nearby at Central and McKinley. 

This project is one of several developments planned for the area immediately to the West of Central Ave in Downtown, including The Fillmore and the HB Monroe tower.

It’s unclear whether this project will have any retail or commercial/office components, and no renderings are available yet. 

New Project: The Central Park

Phoenix, meet your newest mega-project!

Pivotal Group, a private equity firm based in Phoenix, is seeking to develop a 2.3 million square foot project on a vacant 15-acre lot on the Northeast corner of Central & Indian School (4141 N 3rd Street). If early documents are any indicator, the project is very ambitious. The proposal, filed with the City of Phoenix in late October, outlines a “high intensity, walkable urban mixed-use development” consisting of 8 large towers with heights up to 390 feet, all perched atop a massive 60 foot tall ‘podium’ that would create an elevated park, conceal parking, provide space for retail, and create a pedestrian ‘canyon’ between the buildings leading from the intersection of Central & Indian School towards Steele Indian School Park.

The plan includes the following:

  • Two Office towers on the main corner will reach 250 feet and 280 feet tall, and provide 760,000 total square feet of office space.
  • A 200-room hotel will sit along the South edge of the property and will rise to 200 feet.
  • Three additional towers, each rising from a single larger structure connecting them all, will sit on the East edge alongside Indian School Park. These towers will provide a total of 250 residential units and reach 200 feet.
  • Finally, two freestanding residential towers located at the North end of the property will provide another 400 residential units for a combined total of 650 units. These towers will cap the property at 390 feet tall.
  • Between all the structures, retail/restaurant space lands at 170,000 square feet. Parking lands at 4308 spaces. 

The plan is still very much subject to change and the project must still clear a design review, a rezoning, and obtain variances for the height and frontage style. If constructed as currently planned, The Central Park would be one of Phoenix’s largest developments and also one of its tallest. Currently, 44 Monroe stands as Phoenix’s tallest residential tower at 380 ft. No timeline is yet stated for the project. 

Most Walkable neighborhoods near Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix is widely regarded as a car-dependent city.
So it might surprise you to learn that several of our neighborhoods are rated as ‘Very Walkable’ (or close to it) by a company that rates neighborhoods according to how friendly they are to pedestrian life.

A Seattle-based company called Walk Score (acquired by Redfin in 2014) has been rating neighborhoods in America on the basis of how ‘walkable’ they are since 2007. Walk Score takes several factors into consideration when determining their score. Points are awarded based upon the proximity of various amenities like grocery stores, shops, and restaurants to a given address.

Based on this data, Walk Score calculates a score for each address between 0-100, where a 100 represents a perfect Utopia of walkability and a 0 indicates areas where pedestrians are hunted down and eliminated in a real-life version of 1975’s ‘Death Race 2000’; well not really, but you get the picture. A Walk Score over 50 is considered “somewhat walkable”, meaning some errands don’t require a car. A score over 70 is considered “very walkable”, indicating most errands can be accomplished on foot, and 90+ is a “Walker’s Paradise” where car-free living is a real possibility.

With these tiers in mind, Phoenix has only three neighborhoods that qualify as ‘very walkable’ – Downtown, Booker T. Washington, and Eastlake Park. An additional 8 neighborhoods are within 5 points of making that grade. Phoenix has an overall Walk Score of 41 and is unsurprisingly designated as a “car-dependent city”. While Walk Score doesn’t take all walkability-affecting factors into account, notably excluding sidewalk quality & design safety, shade, and crime, it’s currently the only available metric that attempts to quantify the pedestrian-friendliness of an area or an address. Without further ado, here are the 5-(ish?) most walkable neighborhoods near downtown Phoenix:

Downtown (84)
McDowell to Lincoln, between the 7’s
Population: 7813

Downtown is sort of a given, since downtowns generally form the core of any urban area. In Phoenix’s case, Walk Score and Google’s definition of ‘Downtown’ actually encompasses several neighborhoods which have formed (or are forming) their own distinctive identities, including Downtown Core, Evans Churchill, Roosevelt, and the Warehouse District. All of these neighborhoods enjoy great access to local shops and restaurants, and the Downtown Core will be getting a Fry’s Grocery store by the end of next year. In addition, being anywhere within this neighborhood puts you within walking distance of the Light Rail, which takes you to East to Mesa and Tempe, or North toward Christown and (eventually) MetroCenter.

Booker T. Washington (74) & Eastlake Park (72)
Van Buren to Jackson, 7th to 16th St.
Combined Population: 2206

Booker T. Washington and Eastlake Park are mentioned here together because they are essentially the same neighborhood. Both areas share a rich history as Phoenix’s traditionally black neighborhoods. They hosted several civil rights rallies during the Jim Crow era, including ones hosted by Martin Luther King Jr as well as the neighborhood’s namesake, Booker T. Washington. Phoenix’s fist all-black elementary school still stands at 1201 E. Jefferson Street and serves as the headquarters for The Phoenix New Times newspaper. Finally, Eastlake Park, which is Phoenix’s oldest city park, sits near the geographic center of this community. Both neighborhoods also share great access to the Light Rail, which runs Eastbound along Jefferson street and Westbound on Washington street.

Governmental Mall (69)
Fillmore to Jackson, 7th Ave to 19th Ave.
Population: 3613

The Governmental Mall neighborhood consists of the area immediately West of the Downtown Core. As its name would suggest, it encompasses dozens of State offices and buildings including the Arizona State Capitol building and Supreme Court. Almost all of its actual residential inhabitants live in a cone extending North and West from the triple intersection of Van Buren, Grand Avenue, and 7th Avenue. This close-in section of Grand Avenue earns the neighborhood the balance of its walkability points and has seen a recent resurgence as an arts and small business district. This historic district is home to the Tuft and Needle mattress company, Thirdspace Coffee, the Grand Avenue Pizza Company, and several other small businesses. The area also hosts University Park, a large municipal park with a public pool and baseball field.

Garfield (69) and Coronado (68)
Garfield: Van Buren to I-10, 7th St to 16th St.
Coronado: I-10 to Sheridan, 7th St to 16th St.
Combined population: 10,184

These two neighborhoods once formed the center of a booming “streetcar suburb” of Phoenix. Built mainly during the early 20th century, both of these historic neighborhoods housed mainly working-class families and were well-served by Phoenix’s streetcar system (the evidence of which almost seems to have been systematically eradicated, save for a small museum on Grand Ave). Houses contained a diverse mix of architectural styles including English Cottage, Craftsman, and Spanish colonial. These neighborhoods thrived throughout the 1940’s and were complete with small businesses, a grocery store, and a pharmacy. 
Unfortunately, both communities started to fall on hard times after 1947, when the Phoenix Streetcar system suffered a catastrophic fire that destroyed several of the trolleys as they were sitting in the streetcar barn at 13th Street and Van Buren. The I-10 freeway came through in the mid sixties and dealt another severe blow to the area by splitting these once-contiguous neighborhoods in two. By then, the suburb builders had moved on along with most of the middle-class population. The homes started to fall into disrepair until the mid 2000’s, when a city and community-backed neighborhood revitalization effort began to breathe new life into the area. Today, the neighborhood is thriving once again as many of the homes are renovated and restored to their former glory and the area is again served by a rebuilt streetcar system in the modern Light Rail. Many of the new residents are younger millennials, and current and former college students attending the campuses downtown.

Development in the areas near downtown Phoenix is moving along at a very brisk pace, and the walkability scores for each of these neighborhoods can be expected to improve steadily. Phoenix has designated most of these areas as Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) districts and implemented a Walkable Urban Code among them as well. These codes were specifically intended to encourage walking and biking through mixed-use and transit-oriented development, as well as relaxed parking requirements, among other things. The codes arrived through a 2012 effort called Reinvent PHX, which was undertaken to improve Phoenix’s competitiveness among other urban areas for both population and business. In the years since, Phoenix’s downtown has surged in vitality and is on track to continue its rapid transformation into a true urban core we can all be proud of.

New Project: Collier Center Tower


  • Project Name: Residence at Collier Center
  • Location: NW Corner of 3rd Street & Jefferson (201 E. Washington St.)
  • Type: Mixed-Use
  • Status: Proposed Construction (Expected commencement Q1 2019)
  • Expected Completion: Q4, 2020
  • Last Update: 6-Nov-2018
  • Developer: Hines
  • Builder: ?
  • Design: SmithGroup

Project Details

    • 25 story tower
    • 379 Condominiums including 125 2-bed units, 179 1-bed units, and 75 studio apartments
    • 2,800 square foot fitness center, Community Kitchen, elevated courtyard with pool and private seating, firepits
    • 10,000 square feet of existing office space will be renovated
    • 5700 square feet of retail space will be added

A full press release concerning this project can be found here.

Additional Concept Rendering: