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Couple Creates Design Competition Around Phoenix Self-Storage Proposal

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When property owner Bruce Raskin got pushback from residents and businesses on the initial design for a self-storage facility he wanted to build in the trendy Melrose District of Phoenix, he and his wife took the feedback and created a design contest for the project. The facility is proposed for Turney Avenue, just east of 7th Avenue, in a distinctive area of the city known for its vintage-style buildings, according to the source. The site is also surrounded by historic neighborhoods.

"This community is very interested in creating a sense of place, and so for us, that gave us an opportunity to step back and say, ‘OK, it doesn't have to look like another apartment complex,’” Raskin told the source.

Pamela Pawlowski, president of the Grandview Neighborhood Association, indicated residents wanted a building that would fit aesthetically within the area. "I think now we're looking for maybe something that sports a mural or has a bit of neon, but has that edge so it's a little bit more futuristic but still keeps in mind our retro aspect," she said.

Three firms presented their designs on Wednesday in front of a panel of judges that included community members and property owners. Andrews Design Group Inc. was announced yesterday as the winner. Its design is a mix of modern and retro styling, and includes neon accents atop a large circular portion of the structure, which would serve as the main entrance.

A mixed-use component to the design features an art studio, community office, exhibition space and outdoor seating. A multi-purpose room is designated for lectures, theater events and other gatherings, according to the design submission.

Community members were pleased with the prospective designs and appreciative of being included in the decision process. "It's like doing something with the community instead of to the community, so I think it will be extremely well-received," Pawlowski told the source.

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