Developer: Paradise Valley can expect the Ritz-Carlton

Representatives of the Ritz-Carlton development project met with Paradise Valley community members at a Feb. 12 “Community Conversation” to discuss project goals and keys to success.

Jerry Ayoub, owner and president of Five Star Development Inc., answered questions about when residents could expect to see a pre-application filed and what company will manage the completed resort.

First approved in 2008 by an overwhelming majority of town council members and Paradise Valley residents, the Ritz-Carlton project’s original special-use permit application came into question when the project developer, Five Star Development, requested changes to the original SUP, Independent archives state.

The original application included a 225-room resort complete with spa, restaurants and meeting space, archives explain. The 105-acre lot also included 100 resort patio homes, 46 luxury detached residential homes, and 15 one-acre estates.

In the town’s first-ever brainstorming session before a development or redevelopment project, Paradise Valley community members came together to express their concerns and voice their opinions about the potential for a new Ritz-Carlton project.

Most residents at the meeting were cautious in their support for the project. A number of concerns were expressed, including traffic congestion, home density, project quality and preserving the character of Paradise Valley.

The 105-acre lot is the largest undeveloped property in Paradise Valley, Council member David Sherf reminded those in attendance.

“We’re used to 5-, 10-acre projects. The name on this should not drive the project,” Councilman Sherf said at the meeting, explaining that not only should the resort be world-class, the entire 105 acres must be a high quality development.

“It will be world-class,” Mr. Ayoub assured community members. “I want you to be proud of it,” he continued, stating that Five Star Development holds a 30-year contract with Ritz-Carlton to manage the hotel.

Residents can expect to see a pre-application filed with the town in the next 10 to 14 days, Mr. Ayoub said.

Resident opinions were varied as to the ideal density of the residential homes, with some worried that building multiple homes on one acre could mar the character of Paradise Valley — a community proud of its longstanding one-home-per-one-acre tradition.

Financial need was another concern addressed by the council, but is not something that necessitates the construction of a Ritz-Carlton resort hotel, said Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins.

“Forecasted budget statements suggest the need for additional revenue in the town, but while the development project is certainly a solution, it is not the only one. We want to ensure the product is not based on financial or developmental need, but on what’s best for the town.”

Community members can track project developments by registering with the CodeRED notification system or by signing up for “Notify Me” e-mail notifications. Both can be found on the Paradise Valley website home page.

Editor’s Note: Ms. Walker is an editorial intern at Independent Newsmedia.

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