"PUBLIC PARK AT HEART OF PHOENIX FOR SALE" - Phoenix Arizona
REGARDING HEADLINE OF THIS ARTICLE:
For the record it is in the City Of Phoenix's control & own by the city and "IS ""NOT"" FOR SALE".
The City Of Phoenix, Parks & Recreations board on 2.22.2007 came to a decision on this matter. Regarding Patriots Square Park and the loss of space to a Private Developer.
"By a 5 to 2 vote the Parks and Recreations Board is allowing the development to continue under further meetings. In finalizing and approving of the design, though changes where made at the meeting on 2.22.2007 in the plans. It still remained incomplete by the meeting close. It was mentioned "minor" changes be made before it’s complete and finalize the plan. Future meetings would be held to work out the details, it was stated before the meeting closed.
Regarding public meeting - Where public views have been heard and in general have seen little changes from the conceptual plans of the design of the parks development in regards to Open public space on this issue. An estimate of 2/3 of the park will be lost space to development, in comparison to what is there today as a park.
No matter what the final plan is at this time.
It remains all to clear, it will have less public park space then there is today on the site, where the park is.
Even though the park has been included in to the cityscape project and commercial businesses will be within the boundary of block 77 or was 2.2 acres of continues open park space know known as "PATRIOTS PARK" It still remains unclear as to how much Commercial space and Public space there will be because no hard solid plan has been approved with solid figures attached to them (other than the conceptional plan).
An article from Sunday 2.25.2006
This is an OPINION PAGE ARTICLE from the Arizona Republic in regards to this fight for a City Park & is from Jim MacEachern (firstname.lastname@example.org):
CityScape foes are a frustrating, silly group
Feb. 25, 2007 12:00 AM
I don't believe I've ever seen Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon at the end of his rope before.
But there he was . . . legs metaphorically dangling and eyes literally rolling.
Gordon, in a meeting on the downtown CityScape development project, was exasperated. At wits' end. He was fighting his instincts, which tell him to take citizen concerns seriously, no matter how preposterous they may sound. But the opposition to CityScape - well organized, armed with Web sites and lapel buttons and bereft of reason - finally found his limits. Fighting CityScape to keep that brickyard abomination called Patriots Square intact was just too much.
No Phoenix issue is more perfectly suited to exasperate even the most patient among us than the fight over the downtown CityScape project.
The fact that it has gotten the necessary green lights is almost beside the point. The Phoenix Parks Board (which has the final say over disposition of the city's parks, even faux parks like Patriots) voted 5-2 on Thursday evening to approve the $900 million CityScape design.
The ultimate outcome was a given. It would have been just too insane for any responsible board to side with the dissenters and say no. The exhausting process to get to Thursday's decision, however, should not have been a given. It should not be this difficult for the inner core of a city the size of Phoenix to gain this kind of value.
The message that the CityScape debate has sent to developers curious about investing in downtown Phoenix? Either arrive with limitless patience and the resources to buck weeks or months of frustrating delay or go scrape the desert, instead.
Really, nothing better explains the absurdity of egalitarianism gone mad than the resistance to CityScape, the greatest infusion of private investment into downtown Phoenix ever.
Nothing better explains why developers prefer scraping clean the desert periphery in the suburbs than enduring the torture of instantly organized activists opposed to virtually every infill project in the already developed urban core.
It is the perfect juxtaposition of something very good - that being a huge infusion of private investment into a region that has seen nothing like it in almost 30 years - with something really wretched, which is Patriots Square.
The debate reached its nadir when opponents extended their reservations beyond the usual "sop to developers" language, an argument that under more-reasonable circumstances can have great merit.
Yes, the city has spent enormous sums, haplessly, to make Patriots Square a viable, attractive place. If that investment had not produced a baking brickyard on top and a scary, concrete rainforest of a parking garage below, the investment argument would have a lot more substance to it.
The opposition did not stop there. On various Internet blogs (and, indeed, in the numerous earlier public forums), the opponents argued that CityScape's design is just too suburban for them.
I'm not entirely sure what this means, other than demonstrating that people do enjoy pretending to be urban designers and architects. But the discussion got silliest when it came to the most fundamental discussion of all: the question of private property vs. public property. And, really, that is the heart of the debate.
Time and again, opponents have argued against the essential nature of CityScape, a project on three square downtown Phoenix blocks, including one square block that is Patriots Square. Oppo-leader Alex Votichenko expressed it best earlier this month at a public hearing on the project's design: "What I see here is not a public park. I see taxpayer-funded landscaping."
Well, no. There's a bit more than that. Like the promise of downtown life. But since development opponents are so fervent in their hostility to the idea of people making money from these deals, they would just as soon keep the forbidding brickyard as it is, thank you very much.
My personal views, recant to Jim MacEachern article:
It been a long road for all parties involved in this issue. I have been involved since August of 2006 and others have been involved more than I. There are those that have been stead-fast from the start and still have hope, that something may change, like I do. So it has not been an easy piece of pie to get and good for all of the people "WHO FOUGHT FOR A PUBLIC PARK".
I AM "NOT" AGAINST CITYSCAPE DEVELOPMENT, "NOT"; I AM AGAINST THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PUBLIC PARK KNOWN AS PATRIOTS SQUARE PARK! WHICH IT IS CURRENTLY A PUBLIC PARK & INCLUDED IN CITYSCAPES DEVELOPMENT. AS FAR AS THE MAYOR AND DEVELOPER IN THIS ARTICLE, SO SOME PEOPLE DRAGGED IT OUT AND MADE IT WHAT IT WAS. PERSONAL I HAVE NOT FELT JUSTICES HAS BEEN SERVED AND RECEIVED BY THE PUBLIC ON THIS ISSUE.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT CITYSCAPE AND SPECIFICALLY IN REGARDS TO BLOCK 22/23, WHICH IS NOT MY CONCERN!
"THIS IS ABOUT - A PUBLIC PARK WITH IS KNOWN AS PATRIOTS SQUARE PARK OR BLOCK 77, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE CITYSCAPES DEVELOPMENT PLANS"
NOW THE QUESTION REMAINS FROM A QUOTE BY T.S. ELLIOT:
"WHAT WE CALL THE BEGINNING IS OFTEN THE END, AND TO MAKE AN END IS TO MAKE A NEW BEGINNING. THE END IS WHERE WE STARTED FROM"
The quote made me think, is it really over?
"If there is a will, there is a way".
Only trying to save a park from private development, that's all.
ORIGINAL STORY AS OF 2.21.2007 IS BELOW.
Patriots square park "a public park" in Phoenix's heart of the city, is at the center of a heated debate. Which will be decided this thursday (tomorrow) by the Parks & Recreation Board. The meeting and vote by the City of Phoenix "Parks & Recreation Board" on 2.22.2007 @ 5:00 p.m. (start) is and will effect the future of "our public parks" In the city of Phoenix and may even effect the public parks in other parts of "our" country. If this is able to happen here in this city, which and who city or community is next, it could be yours!
What is at stake is the "public area" which is the park itself, located on top of a 5 (not 7) story underground parking lot. It consisted of 2.2 acres which is a free open space with brick laid walkways, build in sitting, trees, amphitheater and concession stands (2) at present. This park does need improvements, everyone involved agree on this issue.
(this is do to the lack of city funds allocated to "THIS" city park)
The question does remain can we afford the loss of public space and parks to developer today and not think we can take it back for the children of tomorrow once it has been developed and incorporated into private space of commercial, retail or residential space?
The city of Phoenix, the Developer (Red Development), The cities - Parks & Recreation Board and the public, are all at odds with what and how the project (CityScape) will effect the Public area of Patriots square park.
By the effect or result of design! What will remain public area, the retail space, the commercial and last residential. Yes Residential "inside" of a public park (via condo high rises above the retail and commercial businesses).
*Please note any mention of Block 77 in docs. is also known by the public as Patriots Square Park!
The HEART of our city is the zero point of the grid map of our city!!! (aka “0” mark in all directions north, east, south & west. If you lived here for more than a year and are smart, you learn. This is fact.)
This is a result of zoning of the district that Patriots Square Park is within... Commercial, retail and residential (aka rentals) on block 77 is due to the zoning of the district and does not exclude or include block 77 from the zoning in the "downtown core district" ! When rezoning the district, who would have thought the zoning of this district would need to be specific in regard to a public known space classified as a Public Park. For this reason it would not have been thought of or needed to be on the general understanding of what a public park stands for.
By this lack of foresight, We the public now have to question what our are zoning and ordinances as a whole in regards to public space and public anything for this fact of present abuse of Public land and space !
Is this a realist view of what will be a public parks of the future? where you will no longer be able to freely walk thru or enter, relax & take a break from the every day events. Than is it true than our malls will become are parks?
When and how did this happen:
6.21.2006 RCA 52677 (RCA - Requests For Council Action) Council approved RCA 52677
Note: (This document approve residential within park grounds)
4th paragraph states: The proposed development for block 77 is approximately 75,000 sq. ft of retail/entertainment space, residential condominium development, public space area which would include outdoor cafes, landscape, public art and a second level pedestrian connector to block 22/23. (THIS HAS BEEN APPROVED)
10.04.2006 City counsel meeting, Ordinance S-33380 - docket item #55 (see below for web site)
This meeting and vote by the City of Phoenix "Parks & Recreation Board" on 2.22.2007 @ 5:00 p.m. is and will effect the future of "our public parks" In the city of Phoenix and may even effect the public parks in other parts of "our" country.
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2007 @ 5 p.m.
WHERE: Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson street
WHAT: Parks Board Meeting - Patriot’s Square Agenda Item
Based on the input from the 2/22 meeting, the Parks Board will vote on the future of Patriot’s Square.
Here are some web sites regarding this issue:
(Note: 2nd page, 4th paragraph states: The proposed development for block 77 is approximately 75,000 sq. ft of retail/entertainment space, residential condominium development, public space area which would include outdoor cafes, landscape, public art and a second level pedestrian connector to block 22/23.
City of Phoenix, Patriots Square Park (#17 on points of Pride list for the city) web page:
Parties of interests web sites:
The City of Phoenix official directory web page:
Save patriots (squares) park:
City of Phoenix, Arizona City counsel meeting on October 04th, 2006.
Ordinance S-33380 authorizing the City Manager to enter into development agreements, leases and other necessary agreements with RED Development, LLC for a mixed-use downtown redevelopment project; to acquire, convey and lease property; to establish reserves; and authorizing the City Controller to disburse funds.
This authorizes agreements with RED Development, LLC for the redevelopment of the area bounded by Washington and Jefferson Streets, First Avenue and Second Street in downtown Phoenix.
The proposed 2.5 million-square-foot mixed-use project includes approximately 250,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, approximately 1,260 residential units, a 150-room boutique hotel, two Class "A" office towers, approximately 3,000 new structured parking spaces and the redevelopment of Patriot's Park.
The agreements shall contain the following provisions and such other terms and conditions deemed necessary and appropriate as further provided in the back-up report.
The Developer must finance and construct: a 2,500-space underground parking structure under Blocks 22 and 23; repairs and upgrade the Patriot's Square Garage; 220,000 gross leasable square feet of retail/restaurant space on Blocks 22, 23 and 77; a high-rise tower on Block 23 including approximately 500 residential units and a 150-room boutique hotel; the redevelopment of Patriot's Square Park subject to a redevelopment plan approved by the Parks and Recreation Board; plaza and open space on Blocks 22 and 23; and appropriate streetscape improvements.
On completion the City will: purchase the Block 22/23 parking structure for approximately $72.5 million; reimburse up to $13,945,000 for improvements to the Patriot's Square Garage; and reimburse up to $2.475 million for streetscape improvements. The City will purchase approximately 500 above-grade parking spaces for $7.5 million if the parking spaces and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space are constructed in Phase II on Block 23.
City participation is subject to: the completion of the Phase I improvements; a $13 million Letter of Credit to cover any shortfalls in project lease payments and transaction privilege license taxes required to pay City debt service for a period of five years; prepayment of the projected Phase II construction sales taxes.
Funding sources will be available through lease payments from Renaissance Square and project-generated revenues, including the lease of parking structures and building improvements, the General Fund portion of both the project's construction sales taxes and the project-generated sales and lease transaction privilege license taxes. The project is expected to provide sufficient revenue from these sources to pay annual debt service obligations. In the first five years, any shortfall will be covered by the developer's Letter of Credit. After five years, any shortfall would need to be covered by City sources.
RED Development, LLC is eligible to do business with the City of Phoenix until March 17, 2007, by its compliance with the affirmative action requirements of the City Code, Chapter 18, Article IV or V. The firm is responsible for maintaining its eligibility during the life of the agreements.