Daily Archives: July 10, 2008

ASU College of Design dean leaving for Chicago

[Source: Arizona State University] — Wellington “Duke” Reiter, Dean of the ASU College Of Design, is leaving in August to become the President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Dean Reiter was instrumental in creating ASU’s Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory in downtown Phoenix and spearheaded a planning effort by College of Design architects and urban planners to revitalize Phoenix’s Capitol Mall.  For more information, click here.

Downtown Phoenix Hyatt sold for $96 million

Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.  Hey, stop that spinning up there![Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic, July 10, 2008] — The Hyatt Regency Phoenix, a 696-room fixture in the city skyline, was sold to California real estate investment firm for $96 million, the parties announced on Wednesday.  The hotel’s owner, Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. sold the property to DiNapoli Capital Partners in Los Angeles.  “This transaction demonstrates the strong investor interest in well-maintained, institutional quality lodging assets,” said Romy Bhojwani, a senior vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels

Jones Lang La Salle Hotels was the broker for the transaction.  DiNapoli Capital Partners plans to invest “significant capital” to renovate the hotel.

And the votes are in…

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon[Source: City of Phoenix] — Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, following months of online, worldwide voting, has emerged as the “Best Mayor in North America” and is among the 11 finalists in contention to be named “Best Mayor in the World.”  For more information, click here.

Arizonans continue to flock to suburbs

Arizona's wide open spaces... urp, that was 20 years ago...[Source: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, “U.S. census shows Arizonans migrating to suburbs,” July 9, 2008] — New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show Arizonans continued their march to the suburbs — and beyond — in the year ending July 1, 2007.  But gasoline was selling then for less than $3 a gallon.  And that leaves the question of whether fuel at $4.10 — or maybe even $5 by the end of the year — will slow the double-, triple- and even quadruple-digit growth of mushrooming bedroom communities.

The statistics released today show Gilbert grew faster between the beginning of the decade and July 1, 2007, than all but two other cities of more than 100,000 in the nation.  The community’s 82.3 percent growth rate was topped only by McKinney, TX, and North Las Vegas, NV.  San Luis, AZ, increased its population nearly 55 percent since the decennial census, compared with nearly 51 percent for Somerton, and less than 14 percent for Yuma.  Wellton increased its population by nearly 2 percent, according to the census. 

Overall state population growth during the same period was 23.5 percent.  But Gilbert, which used to be on the edge of civilization, now finds that people are commuting through there from even farther distances.  In fact, Gilbert had only the 10th fastest growth in Arizona when cities of all sizes are compared.  Topping the state list is what had been tiny Maricopa, south of Phoenix, which wasn’t even incorporated when Census Bureau workers came knocking on doors for the formal decennial count.  The agency figures there were only about 1,535 people living in the community on April 1, 2000.

That was before newspapers began advertising new homes for Valley residents there — assuming you’re willing to drive through the Gila River Indian Community to get there.  Seven years later it was home to close to 39,000 residents, an increase of nearly 2,400 percent.  The growth is occurring in all directions from where residents work.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Where would you put transit from downtown Phoenix to 27th Ave.?

Hello.  I'm a bus and you better get out of the way!The next meeting of the Valley Metro Downtown Community Working Group to discuss transit expansion planning from downtown Phoenix to 27th Ave. will be held on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 from 6-8 p.m. at Metro’s office (101 N. 1st Avenue, #1300).

Interested individuals are encouraged to attend and voice their opinion.  Contact Monica M. Hernandez, Valley Metro Area Coordinator, by e-mail or phone at 602-322-4427 to confirm your participation at this meeting.  There is no need to respond if you have already confirmed your participation.

Say it ain’t so, Richard…

Richard deUriarteFriday is Richard deUriarte’s last day at the Arizona Republic.  Richard, who reported and editorialized on many downtown Phoenix related issues, leaves after 29 1/2 years at the Republic and former Phoenix Gazette.  He and his wife Frieda moved to Phoenix in 1979 for what they thought would be just a few years.  And like all of you reading this blurb, they stayed.

According to Richard, journalism has been good to him and so has Arizona.  He leaves the newspaper business with no regrets and many fond memories.  Although he’s not sure what the future holds, he will remain in Phoenix… hoping to write, perhaps issues and public policy writing and management, and maybe some teaching.  The Steering Committee of Downtown Voices Coalition wishes Richard all the best.