- National architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch on Wednesday announced the groundbreaking of The LINK PHX, a 30-story, 375,000-square-foot mixed-use tower in downtown Phoenix, according to Boston Real Estate Times.
- The high rise, which is being developed by CA Ventures and Diamond Realty Investments, will include 257 market-rate apartments, 17 penthouses, 7,000 square feet of street-level retail and parking. The main lobby will feature an outdoor dog park and fitness center, and the rooftop will include a pool, spa and lounge.
- The LINK PHX skyscraper, which is scheduled for completion in August 2019, is the first of three residential towers that will make up the mixed-use complex. The high-density project is designed to be an anchor development in the downtown Roosevelt Row Arts District.
Activists in some cities like Los Angeles have fought to stop high-density projects on the basis that they overstress infrastructure, create logjams in traffic flow and add to local air pollution. Los Angelenos who were critical of the city management that approved the zoning changes that made these projects possible were able to put a ballot measure before voters back in March that would have put a one-year moratorium on such deviations from zoning laws. Residents overwhelmingly voted down that measure.
However, Phoenix looks at high-density projects a little differently, particularly when they anchor light-rail stations or other modes of mass transit. In fact, high density is almost a necessity with transit-oriented developments (TOD's) because of the relatively high number of residents, workers and visitors fuel ridership.
Albert Santana, director of high capacity transit for the City of Phoenix, told Construction Dive that the key to the city's success with TOD's is that it approaches them station by station, taking the character of each neighborhood into consideration during the transit planning phase. This strategy has led to nearly $9 billion in economic development around the TOD's.
The city goes one step further than encouraging high-density, however. Developers are often rewarded with height variances or other allowances in exchange for building that way.
TOD's, along with smart positioning of rail lines allowed the Valley Metro Rail to reach its 20-year target of 50,000 daily riders in just a few years.