Huge downtown project approved by Scottsdale City Council

Phoenix, Arizona (AP) 2-08

A mammoth project consisting of apartments, offices and retail has been approved for the downtown area of Scottsdale by the City Council.

The development at 5th Avenue and Goldwater Boulevard is the latest project in Scottsdale’s multibillion dollar building boom that also includes the Scottsdale Waterfront and the Optima Camelview.

There were concerns voiced about conventional and unimaginative architecture, but the council voted 5-2 to grant new zoning for Hanover R.S. Limited Partnership of Scottsdale.

“I don’t see this as destroying the character of downtown,” said Councilwoman Betty Drake, who voted to approve the project along with Mayor Mary Manross and council members Wayne Ecton, Jim Lane and Ron McCullagh.

Councilmen Bob Littlefield and Tony Nelssen voted against it.

They said the developer wanted too many zoning concessions without giving enough back to the community - either in architecture or public space.

“This is a big corner. This is a big important project,” Nelssen said. “At least five of (the council) thinks this is what the future of Scottsdale should look like.”

The city’s Development Review Board has the final say on what the buildings will look like.

Hanover would include street-level retail and 230 luxury apartments in a 6.1-acre triangle bordered by 5th Avenue, Indian School Road and Goldwater Boulevard.

A nearby hotel and restaurant would be demolished according to the developer’s plans.

Zoning attorney John Berry calls the Hanover project “another example of the ripples of redevelopment” that have put Scottsdale on the international map.

John Washington, who opposes the project, characterized Berry’s “ripples” of redevelopment as a “tsunami threatening to wipe out the character of the city.”

Some speakers said they didn’t like the plain look of the buildings.

“What we see here is not consistent with what, for 100 years, has made us famous,” said resident and opponent Sam West.