Approved with one dissent a retail and condo building on the southeast corner, with preservation of the Chase Bank building. Public opponents said the project would put up a wall between their neighborhoods and the intersection, agreeing with Commissioner Tom Awai.
Passion high over 44th/Camelback proposals
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 31, 2007 12:02 PM
The Phoenix City Council will tackle three of the most controversial zoning cases in years next week, when proposals for three corners of one intersection come up for a decision.
The intersection of 44th Street and Camelback Road is in the heart of Arcadia, one of Phoenix's most established neighborhoods. Large numbers of residents have been showing up at meeting after meeting to criticize the projects.
"These cases are particularly high profile," said Councilman Greg Stanton, whose district covers the area. "People are passionate. My office has received hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of calls, e-mails and letters."
The projects include:
• A major redevelopment on the northwest corner, where the CamelSquare office complex now sits. Developer M3 Companies hopes to build what it calls "a residential resort" that would be home to 100-foot-tall buildings and hundreds of residents in single-family homes, townhomes and condos.
• On the southeast corner, Opus' project consists of a three-story building with retail and condos on vacant land behind the Chase Bank branch.
• On the southwest corner, Grace Communities plans a mixed-use development with buildings as high as four stories.
Criticism of the projects has focused on building heights, number of people they would house, and amount of traffic they would generate.
In addition, preservation of the bank building, with its distinctive design, is a key aspect of opponents' demands.
Proponents of the projects point to rundown buildings and underused land.
The Phoenix Planning Commission approved the projects on the south side of Camelback without changes, but recommended the top heights of the M3 project be lowered to the height of the Londen Center across the street.
The City Council will take up the proposals at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Phoenix City Council to vote on high-profile Arcadia plans
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 7, 2007 12:00 AM
The image of one of east Phoenix's most high-profile intersections could change from a low-key, low-rise area to a live-work-play hotspot depending on a City Council decision tonight.
Phoenix council members are scheduled to vote on three mixed-use developments proposed for separate corners at the intersection of 44th Street and Camelback Road.
The site has been the epicenter of a months-long debate in which neighborhood groups have squared off with developers over the building's heights and their compatibility with the surrounding area.
Here are the proposals:
• Scottsdale-based Grace Communities wants to build office buildings, restaurants, retail and a boutique hotel on the southwestern corner.
• Phoenix developer Opus West Corp. wants to build a luxury condominium and retail development where Chase Bank has its famous mushroom-shaped bank. This is on the southeastern corner.
• M3 Cos. wants to redevelop an office buildings on the northwestern corner into a resort-style complex with single-family homes, condos, retail, office space and a hotel.
The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in City Council chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St.
Reporter Michael Clancy contributed to this article.
Controversial Arcadia project gets approved
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 7, 2007 07:33 PM
One redevelopment project at a controversial Arcadia neighborhood intersection got the green light, but two others were curbed by decisions of the Phoenix City Council on Wednesday evening.
The council decisions end for now a long and argumentative process for redevelopment of three corners at Camelback Road and 44th Street.
The council approved the project proposed for the southwest corner, where Grace Communities wants to erect nine buildings topping out at four stories that would house 175,000 square feet of retail and office, as well as 42 condominiums and a 125-room hotel.
The project will wrap around the Londen Center, a four-story building, and replace an aging strip mall, two office buildings and a handful of single family homes.
On the southeast corner, the council denied a proposal from Opus Corp. and Chase Bank for a three-story building with retail on the ground floor and condos above, on vacant land east of the bank building, widely recognized for its unusual design. But failure to win an agreement to preserve the bank building for longer than 10 years led to the denial.
On the northwest corner, M3 Companies withdrew its proposal for the CamelSquare site after the council rejected a request for more time that M3 said it needed to redesign the project in conformance with the Phoenix Planning Commission's recommendation a month ago that the buildings go no higher than 70 feet.
New proposals can be filed with the city after a year from the original filing.
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