Bruce and Kim Raskin decided to ask for help designing their 90k square foot storage project on Turney Avenue after several area residents opposed more storage.
“(The Raskins) held their (mandatory) outreach meeting miles away from this neighborhood,” explained Pam Pawlowski, a Melrose activist. “It was attended by about forty people who all pushed back.”
In response, the Raskins hired three local design firms to present to a panel of Melrose neighborhood leaders in a competition-style design charette.
Creative teams from Local Studios, 180-Degrees, and Don Andrews Design Group each displayed renderings.
Proposed concepts varied in color, texture, size, and shape. Ideas ranged from hanging gardens to flexible wind panels. Each design reached at least three stories.
“This was an opportunity that allowed us to be creative,” said Kim. “This wouldn’t happen in Scottsdale.”
The charette was held August 26th in the event space of the Newton, at 3rd Ave. and Camelback Road.
“All that I’ve done in the past 20 years, I’ve never been part of a design competition,” said John Anderson of 180 Degrees. “Melose is unlike any other district in Phoenix.”
Five judges, including Seventh Avenue Merchants’ Association Membership Director Kenyatta Turner, and Grandview Board President Pam Pawlowski, were asked to score the proposals on design, community inclusion, and feasibility.
Encanto Village Planning Committee member Rebecca Wininger, who also sits on the Phoenix Planning Commission, was also a judge at the charette.
“This was unprecedented,” said Turner. “It’s really cool the Raskins came in and chose to listen.”
About twenty people attended the competiton who were not directly involved.
“Good development is done with me,” Pawlowski said in an interview with This Melrose Life in August. “It’s not done to me.”
Pawloski said she’s not aware of any other private developers who’ve held a public design competition, or asked for input from non-government leaders.
“(The Raskins) really stepped up here,” Pawloski said. “No one else is doing this.”
Interview with Bruce and Kim Raskin:
Interview with Don Andrews: