The Trammell Crow Company brought in new local development partners and a revamped vision for “The Fillmore,” their winning proposal for the West Fillmore RFP. Last year, they put forward a similar winning proposal, however, at that time, the development partnership included the Caesar Chavez Foundation and questions arose regarding a potential conflict of interest for Councilman Michael Nowakowski, who is part of the executive staff of the Caesar Chavez Foundation.
This time around the development team includes Trammell Crow as the master developer, Minnesota-based ESG Architects and local Phoenix-based partners WDP Partners (retail development consultant) and MetroWest Development (residential developer).
The RFP covers the 7.5 acre site of the former Thomas J. Pappas School. Both the size and location of the site make it a key residential and retail expansion area for the West Fillmore end of the Historic Roosevelt neighborhood and downtown. Over the last several years, an in-depth planning process involving city staff, area property owners, and consultants was used to develop the requirements for the RFP. For more background on the site and the RFP process, see our article from December 1, 2014.
The selection panel for the West Fillmore RFP was made up of Andie Abkarian (community member), Joshua Bednarek (Planning and Development Department), Jesse Garcia (Neighborhood Services Department), Daniel “Buzz” Gosnell (DWG Phoenix), Mike Santellanes (Phoenix Industrial Development Authority) and Michael Trueman (P.B. Bell Commercial Development).
This new iteration of “The Fillmore” envisions the creation of a “high design urban density neighborhood” that will include 679 total residential units in a mix of for sale and for rent properties, which will be developed in two phases. In addition to the housing, the proposal includes 14,000 square feet of retail space, 3100 square feet of office space (for the Trammell Crow Company) and 20,000 square feet of amenities: pools, clubroom, outdoor courtyards, fitness center, coffee/wine bar, restrooms, lobby areas and leasing offices.
The proposal includes activating Fillmore Street on the north with storefronts, sidewalk cafes, courtyards with water features, green space and shade, and an increased number of parking spaces. The new plan includes 957 total parking spots to accommodate residents and retail guests, with 126 of those spaces dedicated to public parking. Amenities and secondary courtyards will cover the parking structure itself.
Fifth Avenue will provide a “critical spine” through the development, and will be activated by “lobby entrances, native plantings, parking, pedestrian scale amenities, and multi-modal traffic lanes.” The southern end of the site includes an “Urban Paseo” that will break up the super blocks and provide a pedestrian-friendly throughway that incorporates the tenets of the City’s Complete Streets policy, such as multi-modal traffic lanes, shaded public spaces, native plantings, and way-finding information.
Phase One of the project will cover the area from 4th Ave. to 5th Ave. and will include 329 for rent units, 20 for sale units, 527 parking spaces, and the entire Urban Paseo between 4th Ave. and 6th Ave. Phase Two will cover 5th Ave. to 6th Ave. and will include 330 units (a to-be-determined combination of for sale and for rent), 430 parking spaces, and an option for an urban school on the south end of the property or an additional 65 for sale condos.
Dallas-based Trammell Crow is a longstanding real estate development company that has operated in Arizona since 1978. MetroWest (with offices in Chicago and Phoenix) has spent the last several years developing in-fill projects in and around the Historic Roosevelt neighborhood and has placed what they describe as an “all-in bet on livelihood of downtown.”
The process will move forward in the same way as last time, with lots of checks and balances. The next steps include contract negotiations with the city, additional community outreach, City Council approval and the creation of the final designs.
At 7.5 acres, this is an unusually large development area for the City; a normal project site is somewhere around a half to one acre. There are a lot of moving parts, questions to be answered, and adjustments to be made before the project comes to fruition, but it offers an exciting opportunity to inject new life into this neighborhood, and provide another great area for residents to live and play in our city core. We’ll keep you in the loop as plans progress.
*Editor’s Note: This story has been updated for clarity.