Scottsdale officials Tuesday hired a private law firm for $150,000 in preparation for an upcoming trial in which a local office complex is suing the city for up to $11.3 million for contributing to flooding.
The City Council voted unanimously to hire the firm Holloway, Odegard, Forrest & Kelly prior to the trial's Oct. 20 opening in Maricopa County Superior Court. The suit also names the Arizona Department of Transportation and HDR Engineering, a Nebraska-based firm that worked on Loop 101.
The Perimeter Center, an office park between Union Hills and Princess drives on the west side of Loop 101, is home to such companies as Taser International, Meritage Homes and a Hilton Garden Inn.
Lawyers for Scottsdale Perimeter 1, the investment group that owns the Perimeter Center, said the city's decision to kill the $100 million Desert Greenbelt storm-water drainage project in 2000 increased the volume of floodwater the site gets during storms.
The Desert Greenbelt proposal called for an 11-mile system of channels, retention basins and levees in north Scottsdale to handle storm water.
ADOT's construction of Loop 101 then forced the flow into narrow channels, the lawsuit alleges. Consequently, the water has gouged out new washes across about 16 acres of vacant property within the complex, rendering the land undevelopable, according to the lawsuit.
The city denies responsibility for the flooding and contends that the Perimeter Center's claims are barred by statutes of limitation and because the city possesses sovereign immunity.