Friday, April 20, 2012

Scottsdale City Council clears way for beach club

Aerial view of Triyar Entertainment's Scottsdale Beach Club.
Triyar Entertainment Aerial view of Triyar Entertainment's Scottsdale Beach Club.

The Scottsdale City Council this week cleared the way for development of a new beach club in the city's entertainment district.

Two applications related to the proposal submitted by property owner Shawn Yari gained council approval Tuesday despite initial objections from other businesses in the area.

Two nearby property owners -- PS Investment LLC and Shoeman LLC -- had filed legal protests to force a 6-1 supermajority council vote for approval of the applications.

However, both protests were dropped before the council's meeting, which meant the council could approve the applications with a simple majority.

"Shoeman rescinded their protest," said Tim Curtis, city planning director. "They said they spoke with the applicant and were convinced that this was a good project. PS didn't meet the land area and location requirements for a legal protest."

Yari plans to develop Scottsdale Retail Plaza on the block that now houses Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane and Suede restaurant/bar on Indian Plaza.

The council approved applications to rezone two strips of land within the site from parking to commercial use, and to abandon a public alley right-of-way to remove one of two alleys on the site.

Demolition of the existing buildings, including Myst and Suede nightclubs, could begin within a few weeks, said David Leibowitz,Yari's spokesman.

"We're trying to meet an end-of-the-year deadline (for completion)," he said.

The complex will include an indoor/outdoor pool club in the center, a separate building with restaurant and bar space on the western side, and a three-tenant building intended for restaurant and bar use on the eastern side. The complex also could include some retail space.

The complex will encompass an entire block with the exception of the southwestern corner, which now houses the Swiss Consulate.

Councilman Bob Littlefield was the only council member to vote against the applications. Councilman Ron McCullagh was absent.

Adding more bars to an already crowded bar district doesn't qualify as economic development, Littlefield said.

"How about we crack down on the problem bars and get rid of them?" he said.

Mayor Jim Lane and all other council members said the project will be positive for the entertainment district and downtown.

Vice Mayor Linda Milhaven said she's "thrilled" about the project, that it will be better than what's there now and that it will attract a different clientele.

Jason Morris, a zoning attorney representing Yari's Triyar Entertainment, said the complex will be a "better version of what exists today" and will attract Scottsdale's "premiere clientele."

No other zoning change is required because all of the proposed uses already are permitted on the site, he said.

"We are not talking, despite all the rhetoric, about some vast change," he said.

But critics of the area's bar scene and problems associated with weekend crowds said the project will only aggravate the situation.

Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale's Quality of Life, said this project will "smash" any hope that nearby residents will have any peace and quiet. He has been an outspoken critic of Yari and his developments.

"Why won't this council listen to the voters and protect our quality of life?" he said. "This is the deal that's going to change everything. It's going to increase our parking problem, it's going to punish the neighbors with noise and it's going to increase crime."

However, Casey Cutter, who also lives nearby, said the entertainment district is important to the city because it "brings in young professionals." He said noise emanating from the district is not an issue for him.

"I sleep very soundly at night," he said.

by Edward Gately - Apr. 19, 2012 08:27 AM The Republic |

Scottsdale City Council clears way for beach club

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