Blog Archives

Downtown Phoenix’s Omega condo goes skyward (virtually for now)

Ouch! Orpheum battles Omega over downtown Phoenix parking spots

[Source: “Developer, Orpheum residents trade ire,” Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The residents at an upscale downtown Phoenix loft project were booted from the building’s parking lot this weekend, days after some condo owners accused the parking lot’s owner of “wrongdoing” in court papers.  On Friday, signs appeared in the Orpheum Lofts that said “due to an insurance issue” residents could no longer park in the next-door parking lot.  On Monday, any remaining cars were towed, residents said.

This week, several residents at 144 W. Adams St. scrambled to find a new home for their cars.  Noah Lewkowitz usually takes a bus to his job at a Tempe architecture firm, but is driving to work this week because he has no place to park.  “It was nice to have my car right below my window where I can see it,” said Lewkowitz who rents a one-bedroom apartment.  Residents will have to pay $40 to $80 a month to park in nearby garages, he said.

It’s the latest flashpoint in a long-simmering parking dispute at the Orpheum Lofts, where condo owners have paid anywhere from about $150,000 to nearly $1 million for their homes.  Buyers purchased units in the refurbished Art Deco building and parking was included, residents say.  The lofts’ developer, however, sold the lot to W Developments.  W plans to build [Omega] condos on the parking-lot property but has allowed owners to park for free on the lot for a year and a half, said the company’s principal, David Wallach [also the developer of The Summit at Copper Square].  When the condos are built, each owner may have to pay more than $30,000 for a space in the high-rise’s parking garage.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

City leaders say livelier downtown Phoenix on horizon

Downtown Phoenix Sheraton rendering[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Every city has a few crown jewels, but in 2008, Phoenix plans to pile on the razzle-dazzle.  Several downtown projects, which are expected to wrap up this year, could have huge influence on the heart of the city, insiders say.  The list includes light rail, Arizona State University’s journalism school, the expanded Phoenix Convention Center, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, and 44 Monroe, the tallest residential building in the state.  “I see 2008 as the first wave of the perfect storm,” said Terry Madeksza, director of operations for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, a group of downtown merchants and landowners.  That’s because each project will help lure thousands of visitors and full-time residents, she said.  The 2008 projects also represent a staggering public investment.  The light-rail line, the Sheraton hotel and the convention center expansion represent more than $2 billion in public financing.

Next year will also bring huge milestones for downtown development.  For instance, the first phase of CityScape — a $900 million cluster of shops, offices, high-rise dwelling and hotels — is scheduled to open in 2009 and another high-rise condo tower, Omega, would be in the midst of construction.  “At the end of 2008, we won’t be finished,” said John Chan, the city’s downtown-development director.  This year’s projects “will carry that momentum beyond.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]