Posted on 9/03/15 by Rhonda Zayas » Comments Off
Welcome to Downtown Design, a column that will focus on the graphic design of downtown Phoenix and bring awareness to the talented designers that we have living and working among us.
What’s wonderful about graphic design is that it’s so readily accessible. Even trekking through a seemingly “undesigned” area, such as a national park, you’ll find points of interest signage, maps, brochures, and area warning instructions, all of which was touched by the hands of a graphic designer.
The downtown Phoenix graphic design landscape is rich. There is a strong showing of hand-painted lettering, murals and sandwich boards, seamlessly co-existing with slick Adobe generated design, with perfect kerning.
With the Graphic Gumshoe, a work-in-progress photo collection of interesting Downtown Design elements, we walk around an area of downtown, take photos of the graphic design we encounter along the way and give a quick caption to each photo. Our goal is to document the graphic design landscape of downtown Phoenix as it is now, and throughout it’s evolution.
“Street Coffee” mural – 7th Street & Pierce
The hand-painted graphic elements and typography of the Street Coffee wall art is what caught our eye and made us stop and explore this area. The bold coloring, and various graphic elements are striking and loud, but surprisingly easy to read even while driving by. Design as art to blend in with the landscape, paired perfectly with a brand new coffee shop make us eager to see what the interior design will look like and how these exterior elements will be incorporated into their packaging, signage and overall brand.
Angels Trumpet Ale House – 810 N. 2nd Street
Angels Trumpet has their logo painted at a slight angle, which invokes motion, almost inviting you in by saying, “come on ’round the corner!” The black and white logo pops off the neutral wall just enough without screaming anymore than it has to. Their choice of graphics and fonts gives it an edgy, tattoo-quality, with added iconography to play on the “angel” aspect, and quite clearly PHX proud.
Antique Sugar Vintage Clothing – 801 N 2nd Street #104
Antique Sugar’s distressed sandwich board caught our eye for the variety of expressive fonts. The light blue board is a nice throwback color to the seemingly simpler 1950’s sweetness, which reinforces the “sugar” of their name. The solid “Antique Sugar” typeface mixed with the vintage script font, and commanding arrow, led us right over to the store for a look inside.
Bioscience High School – 512 E Pierce Street
Solidly sitting outside Bioscience High School, a beautiful metal art sign incorporating their double helix mascot is a blend of refined design and organic materials. The signage alone begs you to ask more about the academics of this educational establishment.
FilmBar Lounge & Art House Cinema – 815 N 2nd Street
FilmBar’s logotype gets right to the point, playing on the mid-century modern design that was such an important part of Hollywood cinematic history. Its coloring is refined, and its overall look is just understated enough to know that you’re going to have a genuine experience, and its not kitschy, or pushed too far to come off “themed.”
Madam Helen – 715 N 7th Street
Madam Helen’s sign seemed throughly thought out and pulls you in with simplistic typography mixed with classic imagery. The colors are smart, and the image harkens back to vintage circus poster art. The mystery of her craft and longevity in the area is obvious.
Pint Ventures – 2nd Street & McKinley
A vinyl sign pinned atop plywood made a modern design statement in an area with more of a vintage flair. Something fresh is brewing, and we are interested to see what this real estate company will be doing with the space. The clean type, use of open space, and one bold color, is quickly becoming the “it” downtown Phoenix graphic look, as it can be seen in use by many of the current developers.
Photos by Rhonda Zayas.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
FUTURE OF CANCER CARE HAS ARRIVED
University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital Set To Open
As the lone National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center headquartered in the state, The University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital is bringing the future of cancer care to downtown Phoenix.
National Cancer Institute facilities are dedicated to fighting cancer through groundbreaking research and the Center’s goal is to have a clinical trial available to patients with any type of cancer. There are only 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation.
Medical staff, who have been recruited from across the nation, will begin seeing patients at the new Center on Monday, Aug. 24. The Center is located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, next to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, at Fillmore and 7thStreets. “We believe this facility and the extraordinary combined medical talents from St. Joseph’s and UA Cancer Center will allow us to set the standard for extraordinary cancer care,” said Patty White, president and CEO of Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
One of the country’s most forward-looking cancer centers, the new five-story, 220,000-square-foot facility provides comprehensive outpatient cancer care for a wide spectrum of malignant diseases. Inpatient care and select services, including surgery, will continue to be provided at St. Joseph’s main campus just a few blocks away.
“This Center reflects the University of Arizona’s commitment to improving the lives of all Arizonans,” said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. “The potent combination of leading-edge research and exemplary patient care means that today is a new day for cancer patients in Arizona. For nearly 40 years, the UA Cancer Center has been on the leading edge of cancer care. Now patients can get that care right here.”
The University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital offers every component for the continuum of cancer care – from educating those at an increased risk to providing cutting-edge treatment for those who have been diagnosed. Peter Lance, MD, medical director of The UA Clinical Research Unit and interim deputy director of the Center, said that there are currently “more than 100 clinical trials underway at the UA Cancer Center in Tucson. Now those trials will progressively open to Valley residents and our oncologists also will initiate their own trials.”
The Center will offer precision medicine, which can tailor treatment to an individual through services such as advanced imaging of tumors, medical genetics and genetic counseling. In addition to treating cancer, the center will offer preventative care and education to encourage individuals to change lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking and obesity, that might increase the risk of cancer. The center features a demonstration kitchen that will help educate patients, staff and the community about the importance of good nutrition, weight management and their role in cancer prevention.
The new building features: 70 exam rooms, 44 infusion chairs, three endoscopy rooms, 8-9 rooms for minor procedures and clinical research. Additionally there is a supportive care and survivorship area that includes a meditation room, rehabilitation and therapy rooms, space for support groups, the demonstration kitchen and a boutique that will carry specialty items for patients and survivors.. The new center also includes a healing garden.
Photos courtesy of University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
New housing options are set to arrive in Downtown Phoenix by way of South America.
Chilean-based development firm Sencorp is bringing their less-is-more design ethos to the valley, developing an empty lot on 2nd and Moreland Streets into a condominium complex, cheekily named en Hance Park.
After arriving in Phoenix in 2006, the team immediately recognized the growth potential of the downtown area, according to developer Alvaro Sande. For the last 50 years, they’ve been creating living spaces in Chile and beyond, and specialize in efficient design, turning small units into liveable homes.
“In my country,” Sande said, “we sell units that are around 700 square feet with three bedrooms. We love designing small areas, and we love to make smaller areas feel bigger.”
In bringing that experience to Phoenix, the layouts at en Hance Park will maximize the team’s goal for smaller, more affordable spaces while incorporating high-end design features.
“We had to make smaller units, and that’s how we bring the price down but we keep the quality. We like modern amenities, we like wood finishes, we like good design, but in a smaller setting. Therefore we allow people to afford a unit,” he said.
The firm has purchased 80% of the block, and plans to build more condominiums once the first phase is complete. The initial building will reach 5 stories, and include a handful of floor plans, ranging from studios, to ground floor units with private courtyards.
Looking out at Margaret T. Hance Park, which is set to undergo welcome renovations, and just a block away from Roosevelt Row, it’s no surprise the project has stirred a fair amount of interest in the community. While they are currently taking reservations, they will not begin formal sales until construction has begun.
Photos courtesy of en Hance Park
On October 26, 2014, Christine Mackay started as the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix. It’s a big job overseeing several large divisions. She served in the same role for the City of Chandler for six years, but a city the size and complexity of Phoenix is a whole new challenge. We sat down with her to discuss her first ten months on the job and to learn what’s next.
DPJ: How do you see your role within the City of Phoenix?
CM: My role is to recruit companies and recruit the workforce that attracts those companies. My job is to help create the quality real estate that they want, a workforce that they want, an educational system that they want, and then they can’t say no.
For me, first it’s been about cataloging all of the assets that exist and really understanding those assets. I grew up here, I’ve been here my whole life, but I only came into Phoenix to go to GPEC meetings or a basketball game and then I went back to my suburb. No joke.
Two weeks before I got the call from Paul Blue asking me to coffee, my city council in Chandler was interested in looking at adaptive reuse on some of the old buildings in Chandler. Phoenix had done such a brilliant job with their adaptive reuse that we took a bus tour to see what had been done. I got to see Angels Trumpet, the Vig, Cibo, the Duce, and Luci’s Market. I got to see all this stuff and I went, ‘I’ve lived here my whole life, how did I not know this was here?’
Now, all I can think about is Phoenix. It’s a dynamic, exciting, cool market, and it just needed help telling its story. So many people are beginning to understand and tell the story: brokers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, etc. and doing a remarkable job. It’s become much more than just a local story, it’s getting national play and national attention.
DPJ: What is your approach and what steps have you taken so far?
CM: My approach is to ‘take no prisoners.’ This is a big, bold, vibrant city and it needs to take big, bold, vibrant steps. This is the sixth largest city in the country and it wasn’t competing as the sixth largest city in the country. So, in the beginning it was about getting a marketing plan done, getting our website done, and getting our strategy set.
This isn’t a ‘fire, ready, aim’ situation, this is very strategic. We got our website done so that it was more attractive to site selectors, corporate real estate executives, thought leaders, and decision makers. We also made it very attractive to that knowledge workforce that wants to find a new place to live.
DPJ: Tell us a little more about that knowledge workforce and what’s attracting these people to Phoenix.
CM: I represent all 517 square miles of Phoenix, but the central city is our unique environment, it is the heart of metropolitan Phoenix. When you look at the way things are going, where a workforce wants to live, where a workforce wants to be, where they want to evolve – it’s in an urban environment. The days of a large house with a pool and a backyard in a suburban market are few and numbered. People want to connect in lifestyle. They’re tired of spending their weekends taking care of their yard and their house. The central city offers an incredibly vibrant lifestyle that the suburbs can’t duplicate.
DPJ: How do you see the connection between Downtown and other parts of the central city, for example, Midtown?
CM: Let’s look at Midtown. When I started, the commercial vacancy rate in Midtown was 38% and now it’s 23%. It’s a nine million square foot market, so that means we’ve brought in 1.3 million square feet of tenants in just 10 months. By the end of the year we will be into the teens.
Midtown has been a kind of ‘red-headed stepchild’ of the central city. Downtown has sports, the central government, CityScape, the Orpheum, etc., but no one had really cataloged the assets in Midtown. It’s just as unique as Downtown, and just as cool as Downtown. Where Downtown is hip, vibrant, cutting edge, thought-leading, sports-minded and fun, Midtown is just a little bit more sophisticated. It’s arts, culture – the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Opera. The two areas complement each other incredibly well.
DPJ: What are the city’s plans for Midtown this next year?
CM: We have money in the city’s CIP (Capital Improvement Program) budget for 2015-16 for Midtown to really engage and connect with Central Avenue, and with the 3rd Street Promenade. Currently the buildings along Central, which were mainly built in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, turn their back on Central, but that’s not the way buildings succeed today.
The city is looking for ways to make those connections, including public sidewalks that go right up to the entrances of the buildings; crosswalks in mid-blocks so people don’t have to go all the way down to the next light to cross to the other side; small landing places with shade; and comfortable seating spaces. For the 3rd Street Promenade, which is anchored by Steele Indian School Park on the north, we’re focused on creating shade and trees and making it both walkable and bikeable.
DPJ: What about the northern end of Midtown and into Uptown. How would you describe what is happening there? Where do you see the boundaries?
CM: Any developer would say Midtown goes between the 7s from McDowell to Camelback. So to me, Midtown stops at Camelback and then Uptown starts on the north side of Camelback. When you go into Uptown, you go into a much more suburban market that includes single story houses, and ranch houses with big lots and mature trees.
But look at the area around the Camelback and Central intersection, with all the activity that’s going on there today, like Vintage Properties (Uptown Plaza), the Newton, the BMO building. There’s just so much.
The city owns a little strip of land in that area near the light rail station, on the western side of the empty triangle parcel at the southwest corner of Camelback and Central. We’re going to put out an RFP to dispose of it. Starting in July and August we’re going to hold neighborhood meetings in that area to let everyone know what will be happening on that site.
In addition, the developer who owns the southwest corner is looking at some new development plans for there. The neighborhood had some opposition to what he’d wanted to do before, so he’s really scaled it back to make it more palatable, but the neighborhood will need to have their input, so we’ll see what they say.
DPJ: We’ve heard that there is a comprehensive parking concept being developed. Can you tell us about this?
CM: When I got here the thing I kept hearing from the brokers and the building owners was that they couldn’t bring companies down here because they couldn’t park them. These buildings used to have 300-500 square feet per person and park at two to three per thousand. But, today, even the financial institutions only have 170 square feet per person in their new model and you’ve got to be able to get five to seven per thousand in your parking to make it work. And, until the central city is the favored darling of urban development, we’re still competing with places like Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Places where they can surface park for free.
We have a lot of vacant space – 2.6 million square fee. of vacant space between Midtown and Downtown. And we don’t want to just fill the buildings, we want to bring the right companies with the right work force. To attract these companies we need temporary solutions until public transportation becomes more common place. We’re getting closer and closer to that, but in the interim we have to provide places for these people to park within four minutes of their building or the companies won’t look at you.
We decided to catalog all of the parking in Downtown and Midtown: everything from Buckeye to Camelback and between the 7s. Now, when a building owner calls and says ‘I can do this lease but I need 200 parking spaces for five years,’ I can say ‘here’s six places within a four minute walk where you can buy parking and here’s who you can call.’ And they do.
We’ve now done six transactions where we’ve helped people find parking. We’re going to the city council in September to ask permission to post private transaction information on a public website. Then we will be able to post all of the contacts for all of the buildings, along with rings around the buildings to show a four minute walking distance, and information on who to contact to lease parking in those areas.
Over time we won’t need as much parking, because people will get so used to mass transit that it will do what it is intended to do. But, we’re not there yet because we don’t have all the mass transit connections. As time goes on and we finish making those connections, everyone, or at least a great proportion of people, will move around by mass transit.
DPJ: Are you taking a similar approach to parking in the Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill area?
CM: In Roosevelt Row for certain….I’m working with Councilman Nowakowski to identify some city-owned sites where we can get some parking up for the next three-to-five-year term while we figure out a structure and what needs to go there. Businesses will die if we don’t get them some parking by end of summer; it’s a ‘now’ priority.
DPJ: What are the main challenges/opportunities you see coming next?
CM: More parking is the challenge that we need to overcome first. It will be a game-changer. Then, I believe what you’ll see next is downtown pushing to the south. When you look at the Warehouse District…that’s the next cool, hip place. The development of the Warehouse District is going to be amazing. Absolutely amazing.
DPJ: Any final thoughts about your first ten months on the job?
CM: I am so excited. There’s so much opportunity. The city has done an amazing job since 2007-2008 in driving downtown development, but the vibrancy of downtown really changed with the Super Bowl. Our own citizens in metro Phoenix got on light rail to come downtown for the Super Bowl events and figured out how cool that part of town is.
So, that’s what we’ve been doing for the last 10 months: setting the stage for what we want to accomplish and putting the tools in our tool belt to say ‘now we’re ready, let’s go!’
For the past year, Phoenix residents have provided thoughtful feedback on the City of Phoenix’s future investment in transportation (Prop 104) and its General Plan (Prop 100). On June 16, RadiatePHX invites the community to rally in support of these important initiatives and their impact on downtown at the August 25 ballot box.
The networking event is a special edition of the monthly RadiatePHX, where business, community, and city leaders gather on a monthly basis to connect about issues and happenings affecting our city’s core.
Featured Speakers: This month’s program features remarks from Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego on MovePHX, PlanPHX Committee Chair Mo Stein on the General Plan, plus a welcome message from this month’s host, DeSoto Central Market General Manager Shawn Connelly.
In “Rock the Vote” spirit, an official voter registration ambassador from the Arizona Secretary of State will be on hand to register voters and answer questions.
When: Tuesday, June 16 5-7 p.m. (program begins at 6 p.m.)
Where: DeSoto Central Market, 915 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
Cost: FREE, with complimentary bites
Park/Ride: Vehicle parking is limited. Walk, bike, or take light rail!
RSVP: June RadiatePHX
Presented by Downtown Phoenix Inc., Downtown Phoenix Journal, and the Phoenix Community Alliance, RadiatePHX is a free monthly networking event that invites you to “connect to the core” to learn about downtown opportunities, issues, and solutions; receive key updates from guest speakers on what’s happening in downtown; and discover how you can connect and contribute.