Optima Sonoran Village has the green light to add an 11-story building along Camelback Rd. and an additional 288 units. Scottsdaleâ€™s city council approves the amended site plan and development standards with a downtown infill-incentive district application for the $400M Camelback Rd. and 68th St. project. Phase one, which is currently underway, is scheduled for a 2014 completion.
Â Metro light rail breaks ground in Mesa for the first extension to the commuter rail system. The $200M extension from Sycamore St. into downtown Mesa anticipates carrying more than 10,000 additional passengers. Construction starts downtown and moves west with utility relocation at the front end. The project has a fall 2015 completionâ€”four to six months earlier than originally anticipated.Â As previously reported, the joint-venture team of Kiewit Western/Parsons Transportation Group/Mass Electric are completing this design-build project.
Tracks are in the ground for one segment of the four-mile, $195.5M Tucson Sun Link streetcar system on Fourth Ave. Connecting the UofA to downtown, crews from Old Pueblo Trackworks are installing about 210 feet of track daily. University Blvd., Congress St., and Broadway will all be impacted by construction during the coming three months. The full project is expected to take about 18 months.
The University of Phoenix formally opens its new John Sperling Center for Educational Innovation in Tempe, 1601 and 1624 W. Fountainhead Pkwy. The universityâ€™s new main campus mixes technology, design and classroom instruction in â€œclassrooms without boundaries.â€ The technology-directed campus is design to accommodate electronics ranging from laptops to smartphones and mobile technology with adapters and plug-ins for a multitude of devices.
Kranitz Student Center renovations at Paradise Valley Community College continue with an $8.5M, 60K SF remodel adding 11.5K SF in new space, most of which is a community room for meetings and public events. The first sign is removal of the breezeway arch between Kranitz and the Administration building. The new $1.4M, 4,500 SF Health Sciences Building is scheduled to open this summer.
Â Westin Kierland Resort and Spa starts construction in June on its big wave. The $2.4M FlowRider, a water boarding simulator, creates artificial waves sized for an ocean-like surfing experience. The amusement ride joins the resortâ€™s 900-foot lazy river and 110-foot water slide.
Greeting patrons with fewer visual barriers, the $1.13M renovation of the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., nears completion. Besides the typical remodelâ€™s replacement of flooring and cosmetic updates, the library now includes a coffee shop, more study rooms, and increased space in the main lobby. Barriers separating patrons from library research associates have been changed to a side-by-side arrangement for better collaboration and assistance.
Peoria completes phase one of the Old Town Commercial Rehabilitation Program with a June 5 grand opening of Wagoner I Plaza, 84th Ave and Peoria avenues. The program renovates exterior facades and improves site features in an ongoing effort to revitalize the commercial district.
Number three in the series of four new Mesa fire stations opens in a 12K SF facility at 3361 S. Signal Butte Rd. north of Elliott Rd. The new station reduces response times to population centers developing in southeast Mesa. It joins stations at 845 N. Alma School Rd. and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which both opened in 2010. The fourth station, near E. Main and 58th streets is slated for a summer opening.
Double Tree opens its 204 room, all suite, Tucson Airport hotel in the former Airport Radisson hotel. The property was extensively remodeled hotel is now set as a full service property. The remodel created 12K SF of flexible conference space, adds business and fitness centers with 24 hour access, and Finneganâ€™s Restaurant with room service.