City staff presented a proposed policy regarding Non-Standard crosswalk treatments like the two rainbow crosswalks that were recently installed in the Melrose District as well as Central & Portland
The proposed policy would allow Non-Standard crosswalk treatments only in within high-visibility crosswalks at signalized and stop-sign controlled intersections.
The city would maintain the white high-visibility markings, and the sponsoring organization would maintain the colored markings within the lines.
City staff indicated the installation cost for the average Non-Standard treatment would range from $6-25k.
Key Corridors Master Plan Update
The Key Corridors Master Plan Update is a citywide initiative intended to create an system to effectively and efficiently accommodate all roadway users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, scooters, and of course cars and freight.
The plan will work by determining primary and secondary uses for different roads in Phoenix, and then planning and building the infrastructure to support those uses. However, just because a particular method isn’t the primary or secondary use doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be included from using that roadway, the method just won’t be emphasized. This means that improvement dollars for a given road are likelier to go toward its primary and secondary uses.
The overall idea is to create a layered grid of different roadway types. Bicyclists, for instance, would be able to commute across the city using roads with designated bike lanes, and be safely separated (at most points) from high-speed cars and freight, which would travel along the wider, higher-speed arterial roads.
- The project was started in April of 2018 and is now in its first round of stakeholder and public outreach. Primary and secondary uses for streets will be identified sometime in June 2019, with a second and final round of public outreach taking place around July.
- The project incorporates plans and input from several sources, including community-designed transit plans, the Citizens’ Transportation Commission, the Complete Streets Initiative, regional transit/freeway plans, and many others, including a public website dedicated to the project.
- You can participate and provide input for this project at PhoenixKeyCorridors.com
Among the priorities identified by communities:
Safer streets for pedestrians, specifically better lighting, improved crossings, and reduced speed limits in appropriate places.
Improved bicycle infrastructure, including protected bike lanes.
Creating sense of place by protecting the character of communities and creating amenities that are close to home.
Expanding transit, including providing enhanced frequency and shaded transit stops.
Enhancing regional connectivity, providing reliable and fast links between major employment, education, and commercial centers.
Accelerated Pavement Program
The city is moving forward on its plan to resurface our streets at a faster pace. This faster pace was made possible by delaying – and likely killing – several planned Light Rail extensions.
For a given street, the resurfacing takes about 1 week from notification of local residents to completion.
The City is making use of a specialized vehicle that photographs streets and identifies various issues including rough surfaces and potholes. Data from this vehicle is used to prioritize street repairs.
In an effort to avoid cutting new pavement, the City is working with utility companies and various other parties to ensure underground maintenance is conducted prior to resufacing a given street.
The City recently launched a very cool tool that allows citizens to place different-colored pins on a map of the City to notify the Transportation Department of various pavement issues such as rough patches and potholes.
Next time you find yourself near 1st Avenue and Monroe in Downtown Phoenix, you might encounter a large friendly-looking robot, just sitting on a park bench reading a book under a street light. Your might ask yourself: Why would a robot be taking the time to read a book? The answer lies within the story inscribed onto the book’s pages.
Both the story and the robot are creations of local artist Doug Boyd, who said during a phone interview that he was inspired to create the piece after a sort of eureka moment on the John Muir trail, which is a backpacker’s route that runs about 210 miles through California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains:
“About 130 miles in, I realized as I was pulling out my phone that I was still connected, checking GPS, taking pictures, etc. It made me think about how someday we’re all going to be so connected we’re just going to become robots. Also another thought on the concept is that with the world full of robots we forgot about the stuff the we can actually touch and see, and that’s kind of why I put a book in his hand. Robots and computers have endless amounts of data storage, so to hold a physical book was something that maybe a robot had never done.”
Doug Boyd is the owner of Artfully Rogue Studio, which is located in the Deer Valley Airpark and specializes in metal and industrial art. The project on Monroe took about a month and a half to build and features a solar panel which powers lights in the eyes and chest during nighttime. This robot is the second in a series of three; the first piece, which is much smaller, is located at Boyd’s studio and features a robot taking stock of a butterfly perched on its outstretched hand. The location of the last robot hasn’t been decided yet, but it will be “much taller”, Boyd said, adding that he wants to incorporate a real plant into the piece.
The Monroe project came about while Boyd was attending a meeting for art submissions for Artlink Phoenix. He was speaking with that organization’s President, Catrina Kahler who’d seen his earlier piece with the robot and the butterfly. She wanted to know if he could create a new piece for Downtown Phoenix Inc that incorporated a robot on a bench. Boyd happened to have a drawing on him featuring nearly that exact concept, and the whole thing took off from there.
Downtown Phoenix Inc is a public-private partnership whose stated aim is “attract more businesses, residents, and visitors to Downtown Phoenix.”, and it coordinates activities between several downtown-focused organizations. Public art like Doug Boyd’s reading robot are important to the development of a walkable urban core that can attract those businesses and residents to Downtown Phoenix, in addition to being a very nice and welcome improvement to the streetscape.
Please join me in welcoming this new friendly giant to Downtown Phoenix, feel free to go and visit him (or her?), just be sure to being a good book and don’t dare check your email.
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.
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.
The Project Continues
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 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.
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!
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.