Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Opus West hopes Phoenix neighborhood negotiations put project back on track

[Source: Jan Buchholz, Phoenix Business Journal] -- Opus West, which had its plans for a mixed-use development project on the southeast corner of Camelback Road and 44th Street shot down at the July 10 meeting of the Camelback East Village Planning Committee, has decided to renegotiate with neighbors and delay meeting with the Phoenix Planning Commission until September. "We pushed that out 30 days. We want to assess where everybody's at," said Jeff Roberts, Opus West vice president of real estate development.

Opus West hoped to rezone a 1.4-acre parcel of land to the east of the current Chase Bank building (pictured) to allow for a four-story condominium project with boutique retail, but the neighborhood planning committee, which makes recommendations to the Phoenix Planning Commission, voted 11-5 against the proposal. "We were a little disappointed. It was obvious after the fact that people had made up their minds before we made our presentation at the meeting," Roberts said. After talking with members of the planning commission and city staff, Roberts said Opus executives are willing to try to come up with a compromise plan. "There's a leadership group being put in place that we can negotiate with," Roberts said. Roberts said the city is putting together the group that will include neighborhood representatives and historic preservationists who remain concerned about the future of the Chase Bank building, which is considered a design icon of the 1960s. "We'll try to find some common ground," he said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Walt Lockley.]