An East Valley developer says he and a booming building market are to blame for construction delays at a mixed-use residential, retail and hotel project near Chandler Fashion Center.
Called Elevation Chandler, the 10-story project is being built just south of the mall, west of Loop 101 and east of Designer Shoe Warehouse.
Plans for the city’s tallest building call for a high-end full-service hotel, with a distinctive bar and restaurant, a fitness club, retail shops and condominiums on the upper two floors.
Construction began in November but stopped in late April, when crews had built up to the eighth floor of the hotel, said Signature Properties chairman Jeff Cline, the project’s developer.
Because the project includes commercial and residential components, separate sets of engineering plans had to be submitted.
Cline said his team had hoped to submit plans for the condominium portion of the project to Chandler officials in November, but that wasn’t done until March.
“The condo plat submittal was submitted late by my engineering team. The delay was totally my responsibility,” Cline said.
That delay became more pronounced as fast-moving crews put construction on the hotel six weeks ahead of schedule.
Construction teams “were on the eighth level and we were not able to go to the ninth since the plan hadn’t been approved,” Cline said.
After the condominium plans were approved by the city, they were officially recorded by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office in May. That official move allows construction to proceed, Cline said.
The delay in submitting the condo plans wasn’t because of any overall changes to the project but was instead because of a busy group of engineers, Cline said.
“This is the No. 1 construction market in the continental U.S. Everyone is working 24/7 and they weren’t able to get everything done,” Cline said.
The project now has all of the needed approvals and construction will resume within the next two months, Cline said.
Building should then continue until the project is done in late 2007 or early 2008, Cline said.
Westcor, owners of the nearby Chandler Fashion Center, would not specifically speak about the project’s delay, but said they support the project.
“We feel that the way the project is designed is very complementary to Chandler Fashion Center. We’re excited to see it move forward,” said Westcor spokeswoman Rebecca Stenholm.
Cline said that in addition to needed approvals, permits have already been issued for the building’s interior work. Although they sit at Chandler City Hall, they haven’t been abandoned, Cline said.
“It’s standard operating procedure to pick up permits as you need them. We won’t be starting on interior finishing work for many months,” Cline said.
Calls to Jeff Kurtz of the Chandler Planning Department were not returned.