Panel Approves Site Plan for Big Downtown Complex

Article originally posted on HERE on June 20, 2022
Panel approves
This 70-foot-tall building proposed for N. 70th Street and Goldwater Boulevard won approval from the Scottsdale Development Review Board last week. (City of Scottsdale)


The Scottsdale Development Review Board approved the site plan for a mixed-use development that contains a 70-foot-tall building, 7,000 square feet of commercial space and 40 condominiums near the intersection of N. 70th Street and N. Goldwater Boulevard Thursday.

The board voted 6-1 to approve the site plan for the project known as the Goldwater despite concerns Mayor David Ortega raised about it.

Ortega does not sit on the board but attended part of the meeting to voice his concerns. In particular, he did not like the fact that the facility does not have over-hangs to provide shade to the sidewalks.

“I’m saying covered walkways is just the way we do it … That’s one of the basic things we’ve been working on for the last 40 years,” Ortega said.

Ortega also did not like the fact the top story of the building is not stepped back, calling the project “top heavy.”

Karin Santiago, an architect for the developer, said the building’s shape and landscaping will provide ample shade for the sidewalk.

“We are going to be working very hard to be finding more shade,” Santiago said the following the June 7 meeting. “We want it to become a true asset and something that is a delightful thing for the people who are going to be using it every day. That is the most important thing that this is an asset.”

She also addressed the concern the top floor’s step-back by stating the project has one less floor than what was originally planned.

“The first thing we did to try and mitigate the scale was rather than just look at the limited scope of stepping back, let’s go further and reduce the scale of the building over all, so rather than six stories we have five stories,” Santiago said.

Commissioner Michal Ann Joyner commended Santiago for removing one story, stating, “I love that and I’m sure home owners around there will like that too.”

Commissioner Jeff Brand called the project “an important edge to the downtown area.”

He applauded the way the building is designed to create shade on the side walk.

“I think this building does a great job just the way it’s set up,” Brand said.

When asked by Brand what she envisioned in the commercial space, Santiago said she would like to see a restaurant go in part of the space. “The patio’s and the large suite scream brunch to me,” Santiago said. “Hopefully, someday, I can have some brunch here with my kids.”

Commissioner Barney Gonzales cast the lone vote against the project.

He said he did not like the fact the building did not have over hangs for the sidewalks and felt some of the renderings of the proposed building were inadequate. He particularly did not like the fact that the renderings did not show a required stair well.

“I have a hard time passing on stipulations without them being presented in a rendering,” he said, also asking if the building would allow short-term rentals in the condominiums. He dropped that line of questioning when a representative from the city attorney’s office said state law does not allow the city to approve the project on the basis of whether short-term rentals would be allowed.

Santiago said Tuesday that she did not foresee any short-term rentals going into the space.

The facility will boast a High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) on N. Goldwater Boulevard.

The 1.2 acre site was rezoned by council to accommodate the project in 2019, so Thursday’s vote was the last step in the development process.

The developer hopes to begin construction sometime in the fall but has no hard date for that, said Santiago.