November 10, 2004
A proposed downtown Scottsdale luxury condominium complex is being touted as cutting-edge, environmentally conscious, urban-infill development for a desert climate.
Optima Camelview Village is to use rooftop gardens and landscaping as key elements in an energy-efficient ecosystem design for 750 residential units on 13 acres north of Scottsdale Fashion Square.
The Scottsdale City Council on Tuesday will consider approval of a site plan for the project, which is to include some retail and office space along with condominiums ranging in price from $250,000 to $1 million. The plan does not require rezoning of the property at Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard.
The Planning Commission last month voted to recommend council approval after hearing support for Chicagobased Optima’s blueprint from architect Doug Sydnor, speaking on behalf of the Scottsdale/north East Valley section of the American Institute of Architects.
He noted the developer’s goal of having Optima Camelview Village meet some of the highest environmental standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.
"That’s something rare that doesn’t happen often (in urban infill development) . . . This is not the same old predictable, mundane multifamily residential project,’’ said Sydnor, a former member of the city’s Development Review Board and Historic Preservation Commission.
Optima architect Todd Kuhlman said the project’s parklike, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere will be achieved by putting parking underground, leaving about 75 percent of the site as open space with landscaped and shaded courtyards and passageways amid the planned 11 to 13 buildings.
The environmental design highlight will be what Optima calls a "green ecoroof system,’’ Kuhlman said.
Buildings ranging from two to seven stories will be constructed in a step configuration, allowing rooftops to become garden terraces for individual residential units.
By storing moisture, the soil and plants will produce natural evaporative cooling, reducing the urban heatisland effect that can raise ambient temperatures. Rooftop soil also will function as a natural insulator for the buildings.
The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2006, with a third and final phase to be built in 2008.