[Source: Andrew Conlin, Special for The Republic] — For nearly two decades, we’ve heard confident predictions that downtown Phoenix was on the brink of a crucial “tipping point,” when public investment would no longer be needed to generate new development that was both vigorous and self-sustaining. A term like “tipping point” is a kind of mental shorthand, useful in summarizing complex ideas but sometimes misleading when it comes to making decisions or drawing conclusions.
In reality, we won’t see the beginning of a significant shift from public to private investment until downtown achieves the requisite critical mass. This will be the moment when the collective energy generated by the diverse collection of downtown businesses, retailers, residences, entertainment venues, and academic and cultural institutions fuses into the nucleus of an energetic and growing community. Private investors will be drawn to this energy, creating new businesses and helping to further enrich the downtown scene. This will inspire more people to live and work here, generating new opportunities that will draw new investors. This development “chain reaction” will, we hope, be self-sustaining and transformational. [Note: To read the full opinion piece and comments, click here.]
[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The concrete-and-steel frame of the One Central Park East office high-rise has been rapidly rising near Van Buren and First streets. Snagging tenants for the 26-story downtown Phoenix building, however, has been slow going, the developer says. Early lease talks are under way with several prospective tenants for the 485,000-square-foot building, said Andrew Conlin, managing director of Chicago-based Mesirow Financial Real Estate. Those talks represent proposals to rent 800,000 sq. ft., Conlin added.
While some of those discussions have led to negotiations for letters on intent — a step before an actual lease — no leases have been signed yet, he said. The building is expected to open in September 2009. “The challenge that has arisen is that the lease market has been impacted by the economy a little bit,” Conlin said. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]