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October 02, 2022, 04:55:22 pm
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Author Topic: PAC Parking Lot Development  (Read 9954 times)
Red Arrow
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« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2022, 01:20:25 pm »

$200 million will get you three miles of street car tracks and rail cars.

So we are only about 25 years away from something similar if we start now.

Is that 3 miles of track or route?  Double track is the way to go.

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dbacksfan 2.0
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« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2022, 07:53:32 pm »

So we are only about 25 years away from something similar if we start now.

Is that 3 miles of track or route?  Double track is the way to go.



It's a 3 mile loop (1.5 miles each side) with a spur at each end for cars to change direction.

North end of the loop

https://goo.gl/maps/Xc87311yJeN2S9hr9

East end of the loop stops at the light rail station on the Tempe/Mesa border.

https://goo.gl/maps/BjSi5zTDKjSCzMqr9

In theory and being looked at is extending the street car route into the downtown area of Mesa since the streetcar and light rail cars use the same gauge track and overhead electrical pickup and this intersection is where the crossover would be.

https://goo.gl/maps/eKPLgkYYBmPNLCbc9

The timeline has been extremely long mainly, IMO, because the target for transit here keeps moving, and has been changing since the mid 80's. Originally in the 80's was a plan for a combination of express buses and light rail, think hub and spoke method, to run down the center of the freeways, IIRC, with them all meeting together at a terminal just off of downtown Phoenix. Most of the terminal was built when they completed I-10 with the Deck Park Tunnel/Margaret T. Hance Park. The light rail was eventually built in the late 2000's and the area between the park and the library on Central Ave is where the top part of the station was to be built.

Overhead

https://goo.gl/maps/YSpKMfaXaYLjq1K68

This is the entrance/exit for where the buses would have entered from I-10.

West side

https://goo.gl/maps/ZvyFU1FWNQVLUJz68

East side

https://goo.gl/maps/PpepmRH4iKazG1SV6

The terminal area in the tunnel is now used by ADOT for equipment storage especially for the equipment they use for cleaning the tunnel two to three times a year.

https://www.12news.com/article/features/phoenix-has-forgotten-underground-bus-station/75-1e5ad90e-22e2-411e-b84a-ec4af12b521a
« Last Edit: May 08, 2022, 03:49:59 am by dbacksfan 2.0 » Logged
Red Arrow
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« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2022, 08:53:47 pm »

It's a 3 mile loop (1.5 miles each side) with a spur at each end for cars to change direction.

So, double ended cars.  Philadelphia had single ended PCC cars for many years which required a loop at the end of the route.  The suburban trolleys I knew were double ended.  A short route could be a simple switch to the other side like the Woodland Ave stop in Springfield on the Media line.  The end of the line in Media was simply an end of the track.  The old trolleys with trolley poles had a pole at each end.  The motorman had to lower one and raise the other to operate in the opposite direction. Probably not much fun in the rain or snow.  Not a problem with the pantograph type pickup.

Quote
In theory and being looked at is extending the street car route into the downtown area of Mesa since the streetcar and light rail cars use the same gauge track and overhead electrical pickup and this intersection is where the crossover would be.

Not sure about Streetcar and Light Rail mixing.  I've read that mixing Light Rail and Heavy Rail is generally not allowed even if the rail gauge and power source is the same.

Overhead view of the Woodland Ave stop.  The outbound double track stops at Woodland Ave. The switch (turnout) is a bit from the road, probably to allow 2 car multiple units.
https://goo.gl/maps/kqmdqzK5gizp2vWu5

Street view looking inbound to 69th Street.  Media, PA being the outbound end of the route.
https://goo.gl/maps/Hx4KfdbnE2iXa2e4A

I don't remember if it is single track from here to Media or if it is double track part way.

Edit: add end of line in Media:

Looks like there were some overhead wire maintenance difficulties when this street view picture was taken.
https://goo.gl/maps/T68pzFk4vXs2GRL99


Back to Tempe...
Do you know if Girder Rail was used rather than regular rail?  I ask because the last I heard, all Girder Rail is foreign sourced which causes funding problems with USA $.

http://www.rail-fastener.com/grooved-rail.html#:~:text=Due%20to%20the%20asymmetric%20cross-section%20of%20the%20girder,steel%20rails%2C%20more%20sophisticated%20welding%20techniques%20are%20required.





« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 09:17:19 pm by Red Arrow » Logged

 
dbacksfan 2.0
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« Reply #63 on: May 10, 2022, 01:01:52 pm »

I don't know about the actual rail used but will look around and see.

Valley Metro which runs both the light rail and the street car systems use the same tracks and the same repair yard, so the street cars are capable and actually have been during the "burning in period" for the cars have been running on the light rail tracks.

Quote
“They are going be doing some tests of the vehicle in our maintenance facility, then each vehicle has to do what’s called burn in and travel several-hundred miles to make sure it’s basically able to withstand travel on the track,” said Valley Metro’s Madeline Phipps. “We’re going to use the light-rail track for that because with only a three-mile loop on the Tempe Streetcar line, that would take a really long time.

“Then we’ll do testing on the actual Tempe Streetcar system, probably starting in late May. Streetcar vehicles can travel on the light-rail track. In fact, every night, the streetcars will switch over onto the light-rail track and travel to our maintenance center at 30th Street and Washington to be serviced.”

https://www.wranglernews.com/2021/04/02/run-into-town-on-a-rail-tempe-streetcar-ready-to-ease-congestion/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThen%20we'll%20do%20testing,and%20Washington%20to%20be%20serviced.%E2%80%9D

On the expansion into Mesa, I may have been somewhat wrong on the routes. They are studying the expansion now and awaiting results from Tempe's first year or two, as well as a 0.5% transportation tax that was passed in 2004 is set to expire in 2025 unless it is renewed by a public vote, and any infrastructure money from the Fed.

Quote
Tempe's $200 million streetcar won't be up and running until early next year, but some leaders already are eyeing expansion.

Valley Metro officials in 2020 began evaluating five possible expansion routes. One expansion — which would take it to Mesa near the Chicago Cubs spring training park and the busy Mesa Community College campus — ranked in third place.

That's the only explored route that would take streetcar deep into west Mesa. The others are almost entirely in Tempe, although the No. 1 option would just cross the Mesa border and go up to Dobson Road in Mesa. The five potential expansion routes are:

First place: A line running east on Rio Salado Parkway, roughly from Rural to Dobson roads. This would run along the Tempe Novus Innovation Corridor, which is partially being built on the old Karsten Golf Course.

Second place: A line running south on Rural Road from Rio Salado Parkway to Southern Avenue. At Southern Avenue, it would run west to Mill Avenue.

Third place: A line entirely in Mesa, running along Dobson Road from Rio Salado Parkway to Southern Avenue, then cutting east along Southern Avenue to Country Club Drive and running north along Country Club Drive to Main Street.

Fourth place: A line extending further south on Mill Avenue, to Southern Avenue.

Fifth place: A line going further west on Rio Salado Parkway.


Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith, who oversaw much of light rail's Mesa expansion as mayor, isn't ruling it out. But, he said it'll take years for an expansion like that to take shape.

If it does happen, he said, it'll be thanks to two things: the recently approved $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package and a potential renewal of Maricopa County's transportation tax, which is set to expire in 2025.

Francisco Heredia, a Mesa City Councilmember who leads two Valley Metro boards of directors, hopes it extends into Mesa.

He sees the potential Mesa route as a boon to spring-training baseball, shopping centers and the massive community college campus. It also could spur more redevelopment in the nearby Fiesta District.

"It's going to be important access for the future," he said.

Smith and Heredia spoke with The Arizona Republic at Valley Metro's expanded, solar-powered Operations and Maintenance Center in Phoenix. The center, where workers repair and maintain light rail vehicles and streetcar, recently underwent a $92 million expansion.

Extension could be 5-10 years out, but one leader wants to know next year
Leaders acknowledge an expansion could be years out, and likely hinges on whether voters renew the 0.5% county transportation sales tax. But Heredia hopes to have a timeline in the next year.

"We're going to see how Tempe's system operates and learn from that," the Mesa council member said.

Potentially expanding into Mesa comes with some hurdles. The streetcar would have to intersect with light rail at Dobson Road and Main Street, as well as a Union-Pacific train line on Dobson.

At least one of those issues may have a solution already.

Streetcar intersects with light rail lines twice in Tempe. At those points, the streetcar disconnects from the overhead line, which powers it and charges its battery, and runs solely on battery power. Smith calls it a "hybrid" model of rail.

Smith said the streetcar needs two things to expand: more grant funding and an extension on the county transportation sales tax.

The massive bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would go a long way for the former. The deal promised some $8 billion in grants for rail projects across the U.S. The biggest hurdle is getting some of that competitive grant money, Smith said.

"If streetcar happens (in Mesa), the infrastructure package is the reason it happens," he said.

But there's still the elephant in the room for rail projects: Prop. 400.

The tax, which voters approved in 2004, paved the way for light rail by increasing sales tax 0.5%. But it's set to expire in 2025. Smith said he hopes an extension will head to the ballot in 2022 or 2024.

"Come back in 2025 or 2026 and we'll see if the streetcar expansion can happen," he said. "If voters approve that extension, Mesa can immediately begin planning."




Here's the link to the article, you can get to it by using an incognito window since it's behind a paywall.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2021/12/13/tempe-streetcar-mesa-leaders-eye-expansion-routes/6408367001/
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dbacksfan 2.0
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« Reply #64 on: May 10, 2022, 01:34:35 pm »

A side note on Tempe and how much it has changed, here are two views from the same spot on Google Street View, the first is from May of 2011 and the second is from March of 2021


https://goo.gl/maps/89noe8h4kr4ZKT1Y9

https://goo.gl/maps/n39XCNHYt6PXkdzr7


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ComeOnBenjals
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« Reply #65 on: July 06, 2022, 08:49:36 am »

Keep hoping to see some initial work on this site... nothing doing yet Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: July 06, 2022, 09:24:29 am »

Keep hoping to see some initial work on this site... nothing doing yet Smiley

My assumption is they are working on construction docs and plans... they can take a long time especially with as backed up as most architects are at the moment. Some offices were at least 6 months out from even being able to start a project, let alone the time to actually work through getting it ready to submit to the city. So we could easily still be close to the end of this year before we see anymore plans from the developer or early next year.

It's definitely a tricky time because the longer it takes to get closer to construction and as interest rates keep rising hopefully this doesn't kill the project. It's a legitimate developer who has done plenty of similar projects, but rising rates are going to more quickly impact large projects like this than smaller developments.
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ComeOnBenjals
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« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2022, 01:01:22 pm »

My assumption is they are working on construction docs and plans... they can take a long time especially with as backed up as most architects are at the moment. Some offices were at least 6 months out from even being able to start a project, let alone the time to actually work through getting it ready to submit to the city. So we could easily still be close to the end of this year before we see anymore plans from the developer or early next year.

It's definitely a tricky time because the longer it takes to get closer to construction and as interest rates keep rising hopefully this doesn't kill the project. It's a legitimate developer who has done plenty of similar projects, but rising rates are going to more quickly impact large projects like this than smaller developments.

Good insight. Would be devastating if this project gets killed. Tulsa is so close to getting some more good momentum downtown.
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shavethewhales
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« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2022, 01:42:43 pm »

Well, hotel occupancy still seems to be doing well as far as I'm aware, and downtown apartments are still popular. Their profit margins may shrink due to interest expense, but I doubt the margins are so close that interest rate rises would knock them off. Construction costs are probably a bigger hinderance. We're still seeing overall project prices that are double what they were before the pandemic.

There's also fears of the overall economy going into a recession and layoffs starting up. Banking industry has already been impacted and that represents a lot of jobs downtown. Energy isn't doing as good as you'd think despite the profit margins you hear about. The drilling/midstream companies still can't get the capital to expand like they'd want and they are scared to jump in too quickly like they have in the past anyway. That means the downtown firms aren't hiring en mass like the old days either, and of course WPX is gone...

So all in all, I'm not surprised that they are dragging their feet and share the hope that things will go through as planned eventually. Hopefully things will level off by fall all around.
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« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2022, 02:14:40 pm »

Well, hotel occupancy still seems to be doing well as far as I'm aware, and downtown apartments are still popular. Their profit margins may shrink due to interest expense, but I doubt the margins are so close that interest rate rises would knock them off. Construction costs are probably a bigger hinderance. We're still seeing overall project prices that are double what they were before the pandemic.

There's also fears of the overall economy going into a recession and layoffs starting up. Banking industry has already been impacted and that represents a lot of jobs downtown. Energy isn't doing as good as you'd think despite the profit margins you hear about. The drilling/midstream companies still can't get the capital to expand like they'd want and they are scared to jump in too quickly like they have in the past anyway. That means the downtown firms aren't hiring en mass like the old days either, and of course WPX is gone...

So all in all, I'm not surprised that they are dragging their feet and share the hope that things will go through as planned eventually. Hopefully things will level off by fall all around.

This project has some pretty significant public subsidies that have timelines attached to them.  For example, the multifamily portion of Santa Fe Square has to start by Sep 1 or they start to encounter penalties with their TIF.  I don't know the specifics of the PAC Annex TIF.

I am worried how the potential elimination of the grocery tax will affect the grocery store sales tax receipts tied to the TIF for this site. 
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swake
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« Reply #70 on: July 06, 2022, 02:27:34 pm »

This project has some pretty significant public subsidies that have timelines attached to them.  For example, the multifamily portion of Santa Fe Square has to start by Sep 1 or they start to encounter penalties with their TIF.  I don't know the specifics of the PAC Annex TIF.

I am worried how the potential elimination of the grocery tax will affect the grocery store sales tax receipts tied to the TIF for this site. 

That law would impact state sales taxes, not local sales tax. No impact.
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« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2022, 07:53:35 am »

Hearing this is still moving forward, albeit slowly, due to redesign associated with the grocery store operator.  I would expect to see a spring groundbreaking.
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« Reply #72 on: July 15, 2022, 10:58:30 am »

This project has some pretty significant public subsidies that have timelines attached to them.  For example, the multifamily portion of Santa Fe Square has to start by Sep 1 or they start to encounter penalties with their TIF.  I don't know the specifics of the PAC Annex TIF.

I am worried how the potential elimination of the grocery tax will affect the grocery store sales tax receipts tied to the TIF for this site. 

I don't believe the city has bonded the TIF for this yet so not sure if there's any specific timelines on this one.

Santa Fe though has already been bonded when they started the office portion so that's why they have specific timelines on it. The TIF for Santa Fe was calculated based on ad valorem and sales of both the office and residential portions. So if they backed out of the apartment portion it was be a pretty significant issue (not saying they would I think they are pretty eager to start once they have the office building far enough along and it's no longer a staging issue).

I don't think the PAC developer is being held to anything at the moment, I don't think the city will issue the bonds until they're within a month or two of breaking ground and have permits, etc.
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