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Downtown Phoenix parking debate grows along with ASU

[Source: Associated Press] — Some downtown Phoenix residents living in the Roosevelt Neighborhood are expressing concern about parking for Arizona State University students both now and in the future.  Some condo and office building developers waiting for the soft real estate market to rebound are instead turning their downtown land into parking lots for ASU students and others.  That has some members of nearby neighborhood associations worried.  “Ideally, we don’t want a parking lot there,” said Steve Brueckner, president of the Roosevelt Action Association.

Neighbors said they fear that parking, even if it’s temporary, could lead to more permanent downtown lots.  Besides relying on light rail to get students downtown, ASU will also need thousands of parking spaces, according to university figures.  This fall, ASU expects to have 4,500 students and as many as 900 staffers on campus, said university planner Richard Stanley.  The school currently has 1,100 parking spaces and agreements to lease 3,400 other spaces some for daytime use only from the city of Phoenix, near Chase Field; the Mercado complex; and the Phoenix Convention Center.  By 2020, ASU estimates it will have 15,000 downtown students and may need up to 6,000 spaces by then.

Hoping to calm neighborhood fears, the City of Phoenix says some landowners must seek a zoning change or special permit to create a parking lot, said Debra Stark, the city’s planning director.  “The city also has specific lighting and landscaping requirements,” Stark said.  ASU officials said they are still working on a long-term parking fix downtown.  Planning for parking does not include disrupting residential neighborhoods surrounding ASU, Stanley said.

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ASU’s downtown Phoenix journalism building nearly done

Pat Shannahan, Arizona Republic.[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic, June 20, 2008] — Workers are finishing a signature building on Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus.  The $71 million future home for the journalism school and Channel 8 is a bronze building with crisp lines, loft-like spaces and cutting-edge classroom details, said Richard Stanley, a senior vice president and university planner.  “We wanted to put in place the notion that this was for an urban campus,” Stanley said.  “It’s not just another office building.”

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will move from Tempe to downtown Phoenix this summer, in time for the fall term.  The school will share the six-story, 223,000-square-foot building with the public television station and KBAQ, a classical music station.  It’s the latest ASU division to move from Tempe since the university and Phoenix city leaders established the campus in 2006.  It’s now an integral part of city plans to revitalize downtown Phoenix.  The venture has been funded by a $220 million voter-approved bond.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.  To view 24/7 webcam, click here.]