Thursday, November 08, 2007

Phoenix's "mushroom" bank and grounds spared...for now

[Source: Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic] -- 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. [Note: For first mention of this brewing issue, click here.]