Daily Archives: October 16, 2009

Phoenix Convention Center cracks down on exercising

[Source: Phoenix Beat Blog, Arizona Republic] — It’s a public building, but when it comes to the Phoenix Convention Center downtown, the public need not enter.  A downtown businessman who has been using the center for his daily exercise routine was ousted from the three-building complex on Wednesday after spending the last five months walking its halls during lunchtime.  According to the center’s spokeswoman, he should not have been allowed in the first place.

Turns out, there are only two areas where the public is always allowed — the food court in the north building and the atrium in the west building. “It has always been our policy to limit public access to restricted and closed areas of the facility,” said Cynthia Weaver, communications director.  That apparently includes every square foot of space with the two exceptions.

Weaver acknowledged that none of the “restricted” areas are posted with signs noting the restrictions, and none are blocked by doors — except those areas that are obviously off-limits.  Nor does the city post a public-access policy on the center’s Web site. Weaver likened the building to the White House, another facility owned by the public but where the public is not allowed to wander at will.  [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix Convention Center cracks down on exercising.]

Phoenix Interrupted: Downtown’s full of gleaming progress surrounded by vacant lots – now what?

Chateaux on Central

Failing midtown Phoenix project (Photo: Sharon, Phoenix Daily Photo)

[Source: Sarah Fenske, Phoenix New Times] — There’s a development on the edge of downtown Phoenix that captivated me even before I moved into the neighborhood: the Chateaux on Central.  My interest wasn’t a matter of good design — everyone from Will Bruder on down is on the record mocking the place, and rightly so.  (With its fanciful turrets, shiny copper roofs, and that ghastly faux-French “eaux,” the project’s overall effect is Disney Does Brownstones in the Desert.) No, the Chateaux on Central were somehow personally evocative.  They made me homesick. [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix Interrupted: Downtown’s full of gleaming progress surrounded by vacant lots – now what?]

Tall buildings plan pulled back for Central and Camelback

[Source: Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic] — A Phoenix developer has pulled back from seeking approval for a project that would have included some of the tallest buildings in Phoenix.  Reid Butler submitted plans for the southwestern corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road in May 2008, but the plans immediately ran into nearly unanimous opposition from the area’s historic neighborhoods and the city councilmen who represent them.

Butler wanted to put up three buildings holding offices, a hotel and condos, topping out at 400 feet.  The Chase Tower and US Bank Center in downtown Phoenix are the only buildings in the state that are that tall. The Qwest Tower at Thomas Road and Central falls just short.

What the project might have had going for it is its location at the north end of Phoenix’s Central Avenue business area, and its inclusion of a light-rail station at a point where the tracks change direction.  But Butler never reached a point where he could argue those points before any official body.  [Note: Read the full article at Tall buildings plan pulled back for Central and Camelback.]