Thursday, August 17, 2006

Coming Up Roses

I know, a cheesy title, but I can't help but feel quite optimistic and almost giddy about the prospects of this city at this time. Today, the Journal published an article about Rose Company's plan for the former Greyhound site and a bordering 1-1/2 acres. They're premlinary ideas are for office, retail, structured parking and 250 residential units all combined in about 200,000 square feet of ground level real estate. I'm no professional but that translates into descent density on a scale that any city would be happy to see inserted into the heart of their CBD. The property is located across the street from the newly constructed interstate coach station on 1st and Silver.

The nearly completed station.

Hopefully, the view will, at minimum, be as vibrant as our example to the north in Denver.

I can't say that I don't like the direction our city is taking, but a look around the country proves that more can be done in the way of strenthening and accelerating such development in positive ways. In the Duke City, all development is being moved along by the private sector while our mayor and city council do their best to balance the needs of the entire city. That sounds positive and obvious, but in a time when petroleum is at a premium and cities are understanding the importance of attracting young, professional, educated co-eds and their families to exciting, mixed-use neighborhoods, our city is seemingly either narrow minded or overworked. In Austin, the public and private sectors have set out to meet goals. Goals of employment, residential units AND transit. They have been so successful in recent times that they are now looking beyond the next couple of years to determine where future density will occur when their last remaining parking lots are filled. A quick look around downtown Albuquerque reveals a similar situation. While our pace of development is not as rapid, any acceleration in our development could potentially result in our city looking toward the future, which it would seem would be an obvious subject of conversation somewhere around city hall. Perhaps we're waiting for the public sector to point us in the right direction and do things for us as they have on our city's westside?

A plot of land just waiting for that dreamed arena.


Anonymous said...

Tim! From what i've heard the mayor is determined to build a 10k arena, it seems like he wants an arena just for the sake of having an arena, with no regard as to whether it will be obsolete from the moment the doors are opened. I say build it 18 to 20k or don't build at all.

Philly said...

I agree you gotta increase capacity to lure some big names DT.

The more seats, the more people spend money DT.

Mario said...

I couldn't agree more! With a metro population nearing 1 million, filling 20K seats will not be a problem.

Steve said...

Examples of similar sized metros and what they're doing or have done in the last few years:

Little Rock Alltel Arena 19,000
Fresno Save Mart Center 18,000
Des Moines Wells Fargo 17,000
Wichita Sedgwick County 17,000
Omaha Qwest Center 17,000
Tulsa BOK Center 18,000

It's clear metros of our size are capable of finding corporate sponsorship and building these facilities. We immediately fall behind by building an arena that does not match up.

Tim said...

I'm definately with you all when you say an arena needs to be bigger than 10k seats. It really is amazing that these third tier cities are doing it while we pick our noses arguing over the price of a few acres of land. Reading articles in those cities, however, shows that they are having a hard time filling up their arenas, with Omaha being the exception. The smart thing that these cities have done is build the arena to be expandable by using the horseshoe configuration that allows one end to be expandable. I think I'd be happy with 15k to start with.