Outside the Lines (OTL), a design-build construction company that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind water features, rockwork and themed environments, has announced its role in the construction of an architectural fountain for the central plaza of The Grand at Papago Park Center, a new 3.2 million-square-foot, Class A mixed-use project on the last developable parcel within the 350-acre Papago Park Center business park in Tempe, Arizona.

Located at 1151 W. Washington St. in Tempe, Arizona, The Grand at Papago Park Center at build-out will total 60 acres with over 2.3 million square feet of Class A office space built by Lincoln Property Company, Alliance Residential’s Broadstone at The Grand luxury apartments, and complimentary hotel, retail and restaurant space.

One of the main features of the Center is a recreational pathway featuring four stunning steel bridges to accommodate walkers, runners and bikers. The pathway also features sophisticated LED lighting design that won an IES Illumination Award and lighted signage that features historic quotes from Theodore Roosevelt and others who helped build the legacy of the Valley.

GBtwo Landscape Architecture has designed the property’s centerpiece roundabout park, featuring a signature water feature designed by WET Design. The fountain is a tribute to the Theodore Roosevelt Dam (which is located on the Salt River 70 miles northeast of Tempe) and its place in Arizona history. Situated just yards from the Grand Canal, a source of water from the Salt River to the Phoenix valley since the 1870s, OTL is installing the water feature’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems which will simulate the energy and power of a dam releasing water.

The water feature project is being built by general contractor JE Dunn Construction Company, who has assembled a stellar team of local subcontractors to handle trades such as concrete, waterproofing, and masonry. OTL’s experience in building complicated fountains will ensure that the specialized fountain equipment designed and manufactured by WET delivers the project’s desired effects.

“Having previously built WET fountains, OTL is able to anticipate areas of concern, which can be planned in advance with the general contractor and the other trades performing the work in concert with our crews,” says Wick Zimmerman OTL’s co-founder and CEO.  “This very complex water feature requires high levels of coordination amongst the entire team. Hard work and experience are required to meet the demands of this project successfully.”

Zimmerman adds that each aspect of the fountain is designed to hide all visual traces of equipment and the intricate mechanical system used to create the effects, so that viewers can focus purely on the water, the finish materials, and the effects created where the two interact.

OTL’s project executive in charge, John Cunningham, and project manager Kevin Bright are working closely with JE Dunn to ensure proper sequencing of the different trades and tasks involved. One of the more atypical coordination items the project team had to address is the fact that the project sits below the water level of the adjacent Grand Canal; in order to avoid risking water from the canal flooding the work areas, the water level in the canal has been dropped in conjunction with the construction schedule.

To provide flexibility for the developer and owner, WET has designed the water feature in such a way that one of the reflecting pools at the base of the “dam” is able to quickly drain away to a storage tank so that the flat deck can be used for a variety of purposes.

“The fountain will provide an iconic focal point for the entire development because it is capable of creating large-scale water-release effects that are visually stunning,” says Zimmerman. “The water feature has a prominent location in a central traffic circle, meaning that it will be visible from several of the newly built Class-A office buildings.”

With approximately one-half mile of frontage on the Red Mountain 202 Freeway, The Grand at Papago Park Center has near-immediate access to Arizona State University and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Interstate 10, the Loop 101 and State Route 51 freeways are all within minutes of the site, providing easy access to all of the area’s major commercial corridors and residential communities throughout metropolitan Phoenix.

The Grand also has a light rail station at its northern boundary, and the Center Parkway station is within walking distance. Arizona State University is just moments away using one of the two light rail stops within the project, providing easy access to a highly educated labor pool.

Papago Park Center is home to the corporate offices of Salt River Project and First Solar. Other regional offices include DHL, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Sonora Quest Labs, WSP USA (formerly WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff), and State Farm Insurance. Nearby amenities include Papago Park, Rolling Hills golf course, Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, Tempe Town Lake, and Mill Avenue restaurants and shopping. The area surrounding Papago Park Center is a high-growth region. With Class A office vacancy rates below 2 percent, Tempe is one of the most in-demand office markets in the Valley.