Monday, September 17, 2012

City closer to Waterfront apartment-plan OK

The $54 million final phases of the Scottsdale Waterfront moved another step toward final city approval Wednesday and the developer is ready to start construction as soon as possible.

The Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend Development Review Board and City Council approval of the site plan for Broadstone at Waterfront, which will include 259 apartment units and 10,000 square feet of retail-restaurant space.

Commission Chairman Michael D'Andrea withdrew from the case because he is a member of the development team.

The site plan is tentatively scheduled for consideration by the board Sept. 6 and then by the council Oct. 2.

A separate proposal for elevations and landscaping is tentatively set for board consideration Oct. 4.

The final phases will encompass all of the land between Marshall Way and Goldwater Boulevard. The site plan includes a single building that wraps around a center courtyard, with restaurant and retail on Marshall.

Alliance Residential Holdings, the developer, also is developing Broadstone on Lincoln, a 264-unit apartment complex northwest of Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive.

Commissioner Erik Filsinger made the motion to recommend approval and commended Alliance for working with nearby residents to gain their approval. No residents spoke at Tuesday's meeting.

"I think this is a project that's a splendid one for Scottsdale and has spoken well to what the city, and with input from citizens and other members of the community, have been able to obtain," he said.

Filsinger also said it makes sense that the project includes apartments as opposed to condominiums.

"It's really important that Scottsdale, to stay vibrant, listens to the marketplace," he said. "If we are to achieve the goal of Scottsdale having a healthy live-work-play atmosphere, it isn't just a residential bedroom community. It's a place where we have people who live here, work here and hopefully recreate here and the market can help dictate what types of housing are necessary to achieve that proper balance."

John Berry, a zoning attorney and project spokesman, said the project will bring 259 "high-income" rental units to the downtown area.

There's a list of people waiting to rent units at the Waterfront's current condominium towers, so there's clear demand for apartments in downtown and at the Waterfront, he said.

"There are a lot of people who are high income who don't want to be in a home, who want a different lifestyle, who maybe can afford a home but don't want to put down a substantial down payment on a condo," he said.

"There are people who may be in transition, they've gone through a divorce, they're looking for a place to stay where they don't have to take care of everything, and so a rental is a better product for them."

There are no specific tenants yet for the retail-restaurant space, but it's likely to be businesses comparable to those already at the Waterfront, Berry said.

In early 2011, a divided council approved a maximum building height of 135 feet to allow a taller building on the east side of the property.

However, the maximum building height in the site plan is 65 feet along Marshall Way.

"The important part of it was to provide the 259 units, so the prior approval allowed the 259 units with (greater height)," Berry said. "It provided the flexibility for a user to use that height if they needed it, but we don't need it."

Alliance Residential Holdings is ready to begin construction as soon as all approvals and permits are obtained, he said.

The Broadstone complexes are among 18 apartment projects that would add about 5,700 apartments citywide. Optima Sonoran Village, a condo complex that will include some rental units, is the only one under construction.

by Edward Gately - Aug. 10, 2012 The Republic |

City closer to Waterfront apartment-plan OK

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