Blog Archives

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.]

Midtown Phoenix high-rise set to be imploded, 9/27


Beadle high-rise set for implosion (Photo source: Sadie Jo Smokey)

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — At 10 a.m. Sunday, Lisa Kelly, owner of Advanced Explosives Demolition, will push a button.  In 4.5 seconds, a bit of history at Third Street and Earll Drive will fall.  Residents and businesses neighboring the site say good riddance.  Last spring, workers removed the building’s windows, leaving a blighted skeleton of steel and concrete.

In 1972 when it was built, the Mountain Bell Plaza building was one of the first International Style glass-and-steel office high-rises in Phoenix.  Designed by local architect Al Beadle, the building was a perfectly rectangular 10-story block of blackened glass.  For 30 years, the building was home to Mountain Bell and Qwest Communications.  Qwest moved out in 2003, and San Diego developer Joe Pinsonneault bought the building in mid-2004 for $12.5 million.

Jean Switzer lives with her elderly parents on Catalina Drive, one street south of the implosion site.  As of Thursday, she said residents were confused and frustrated at the lack of communication and information about the impending implosion.  “I haven’t received a flier,” Switzer said.  “Nothing about how to prepare, what to expect. Should we stay in our homes?  Should we seal our windows?  These are things that take a long time.”  Phoenix spokeswoman Deborah Sedillo Dugan said a reverse 911 call Saturday evening will alert residents of the blast.  [Note: Read the full article at Midtown Phoenix high-rise set to be imploded 9/27.]

“Results we can see.”

IMG00112Hmmm… We’re guessing these aren’t results Councilman Tom Simplot wants to see.  Campaign sign in foreground; midtown Phoenix development project lying fallow in the background.

NEWSFLASH!  Between last night and this morning, the sign has been taken down.

Destruction of midtown Phoenix landmark continues


The destruction of the former Mountain Bell/Qwest building, designed by noted local architect Al Beadle, continues.  Located at 3rd St. and Earll in midtown Phoenix, the site is slated to be a high-end retirement community for baby boomers.  For background, click here.

Phoenix working to adapt vintage buildings for new uses

The city of Phoenix is working to simplify the process of adapting older buildings for new business uses on an all-new episode of Building Phoenix, premiering 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28, on Phoenix 11, the city’s news and information station available to Cox and Qwest Cable subscribers (for additional airdates and times, click here).

Program highlights: A 1940s firehouse in Sunnyslope becomes Bomberos Café and Wine Bar; coffee connoisseurs are filling up at Copper Star Coffee, housed within a vintage gas station in the Melrose on 7th Ave. area of midtown Phoenix (pictured at right); a former tire shop is transformed into Results Only, a facility to get pumped up and healthy; and the trendsetter who transformed a historic post office into Postino Wine Café is ready to do it again; plus appearances by Vice Mayor Tom Simplot and Councilwoman Maria Baier.

“Building Phoenix” is a production of the city of Phoenix Development Services Department.  Michael Hammett, host and executive producer, is an Emmy Award winner and former contributing reporter/producer for ABC 15’s Sonoran Living.  The program will be streamed live during the premiere.  The Building Phoenix show is available on-demand.

Phoenix mid-century landmark to be demolished for boomer retirement home

Mountain Bell/Qwest Building, photo by Arizona Republic[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic, June 24, 2008] — Retired Valley residents interested in living the good life in midtown Phoenix may be able to move forward in that direction this year.  If all goes as planned, the old Mountain Bell Plaza building, 3033 N. Third St., will be torn down in the fall to be replaced by a retirement community.

By Dec. 1, a San Diego-based developer plans to open a sales office for luxury townhouses, condominiums, and apartments.  Montage Senior Living will be “a very high-end, five-star retirement living community” on nine acres, developer Joe Pinsonneault said.  Units could start at $600,000 and could be as much as $2.5 million, Pinsonneault said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Developer to demolish Beadle building for boomer condos

Al Beadle designed Mountain Bell/Qwest building.  Photo source: Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic.[Source: Eugene Scott, Arizona Republic] — A San Diego-based developer hopes to bring luxury townhouses, condominiums, and apartments to North Third Street, near Thomas Road.  “The plan is to develop a very high-end, five-star retirement living community on that 9-acre piece of land,” said Joe Pinsonneault, developer of Montage Senior Living.

The project would replace the old Mountain Bell Plaza building [designed by noted local architect Al Beadle], which will be torn down, and feature independent living and retirement facilities.  Qwest sold the building in 2003.  Developers have been working on the 690-unit project for three years and said central Phoenix needs this type of project.  It’s aimed at baby boomers hoping to retire in Phoenix. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]