Sunday, September 18, 2011

Council OKs 3.74-acre sale

The Scottsdale City Council on Tuesday agreed to sell a 3.74-acre parcel of city-owned land to Mark-Taylor so the developer can build a 24-acre, 536-unit apartment complex east of SkySong, the Arizona State University Innovation Center.

The council voted 6-1 to accept $1.22 million for the property, just south of the closed Los Arcos Crossing shopping center on 74th Street. Vice Mayor Bob Littlefield voted against the sale, saying the city should put the property up for public bid to better ensure it gets a fair market price.

"We always buy high and sell low," he said. "I'm not arguing that it's illegal, but I am arguing that it's foolish."

Dan Worth, public-works executive director, told the council that an appraisal for the city valued the parcel at $1.3 million, while Mark-Taylor's appraisal placed the value at $1.14 million. City staff and Scottsdale-based Mark-Taylor then reached a negotiated price of $1.22 million, Worth said.

"We have a provision in our code that allows us to negotiate a sale directly with an adjacent property owner, and that's the provision we were using for this sale," he said. "We have to do it at a market value, which is the purpose of the appraisal."

A second provision requires a public benefit and city staff believed that uniting the parcel with adjoining parcels serves that purpose, Worth said.

"We felt that allowing that proposed apartment-complex development to go forward would be an asset for the McDowell corridor and aid in the revitalization of that corridor," he said. "It will provide new, attractive housing. It will provide additional residents who will further support the need for retail, which is what the Southern Scottsdale Character Area Plan calls for and what the residents are looking for."

Mark-Taylor holds options to purchase three adjacent properties: a roughly 14.3-acre parcel owned by ML Manager, a nearly 2.8-acre parcel owned by the Los Arcos United Methodist Church and a 4-plus-acre parcel owned by Shubert/ATl. The properties are in separate escrows.

by Edward Gately The Arizona Republic Sept. 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Council OKs 3.74-acre sale

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