By Peter Madrid for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Dallas-based developer Encore Multi Family submitted a Planned Unit Development zoning request to the City of Phoenix to construct a multifamily project east of State Route 143 between Van Buren and Washington streets.
The application calls for the rezoning of approximately 6.9 acres from Industrial (A-2) to PUD to allow for a new, multi-family residential project called Encore Residential on Van Buren. The project calls for 240 residential units divided among two buildings.
The northern building adjacent to Van Buren is four stories and designed around a central courtyard amenity space. The southern building, located closer to Washington, is three stories. Both buildings have tuck-under garages and surface parking.
Encore Residential on Van Buren is designed as an urban-scaled development with multi-family residential uses and associated amenities. The project is planned with a number of design elements intended to complement the urban setting, including an appropriate streetscape design along Van Buren, contextual building scale, color and design elements and complementary landscaping.
The site has two ingress/egress points along Van Buren and one from Washington. Pedestrian linkages, streetscapes and outdoor spaces will be provided with a contextually responsive approach to landscaping and design throughout the development.
“The Van Buren Street façade, by virtue of its design and length, will be especially appealing and will have the most effect on the area,” according to the project narrative. “The project will be a catalyst for further redevelopment in the area and the proposed scale, building heights, character and design are all compatible with an urban redevelopment.”
The property is a leftover, urban infill site in the once bustling Van Buren area lined with popular “motor lodges” and swanky cocktail lounges. The completion of Interstate 10 and overall urban flight led to a sharp decline in the area staring in the late 1960s.
In recent years private and public investments have helped shed a positive light on the potential of the area. Perhaps the biggest public investment is the light rail corridor, which passes directly south of the site along Washington Street. With a light rail station at nearby 44th and Washington streets, another new station was recently announced to be built at 50th and Washington streets.