Builder seeks variance for high-rise - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Builder seeks variance for high-rise

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Posted: Sunday, August 6, 2006 6:37 am | Updated: 4:26 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The One Scottsdale project developer is preparing to ask the city for a height variance to construct at least one high-rise building, upsetting an activist group fearful of setting a new precedent.

Karrin Taylor, vice president of entitlements for the developer DMB Associates, said there’s a “good probability” DMB will seek a variance for its urban, mixed-use project northeast of Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road. She would not disclose how high DMB would like to be able to build or how many buildings would be affected.

But Bob Vairo, president of the Coalition of Pinnacle Peak resident group, said he was told by DMB representatives the tallest building request will be for 120 feet, or about 10 stories. The current maximum height is 60 feet.

“We’re obviously disappointed, surprised and we can’t support it,” Vairo said. “This is something the City Council should take a long look at and say ‘OK, if we allow this, then what’s next?’ “

The motivating factor is for design purposes, not to make the project more profitable for the developer, Taylor said.

Any application would not seek an increase in density, but “simply take what we already have from an architectural standpoint and raise it to the level of excellence deserving of a place like the city of Scottsdale,” she said.

The 110-acre project will be on the east side of Scottsdale Road, between Loop 101 and Thompson Peak Parkway, and across the street from planned high-rises on the Phoenix side of Scottsdale Road. One Scottsdale is expected to include 1.8 million square feet of office and retail uses, 1,110 residences and 400 hotel rooms. Any request for additional height would be limited to the southern half of the development, south of the project’s Center Drive, Taylor’s said.

Kroy Ekblaw, Scottsdale’s executive assistant for strategic projects, said, “We knew they (DMB) were out talking to people, but we have nothing in hand saying this is what they want to do.”

Any request for a height variance would trigger public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council, which would make the final decision.

The project already has its zoning and master plan approved. Construction is scheduled to begin next year, with the project opening in 2009. One Scottsdale recently announced Dial will build its new headquarters there. Scottsdale-based DMB has previously developed DC Ranch and Silverleaf in north Scottsdale, along with Verrado in Buckeye.

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