Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley breaks new ground seeking Five Star excellence


On a picturesque February morning in the Town of Paradise Valley, local dignitaries gathered to celebrate Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley’s site dedication.

The event has been years-in-the-making, resort, development and municipal officials all agreed during a Feb. 20 event held on the 122-acre Ritz-Carlton construction site at 7000 Lincoln Drive.

Offering an ice sculpture to pour mimosas, fresh baked breakfast items and a hot air balloon to view the property from 100-feet in the air, Five Star Development officials set out to live-up to Paradise Valley standards.

Future homeowners, Scottsdale City Council members, Paradise Valley Town Council and local Realtors attended the event where the first key for the property was ceremoniously signed by Herve Humler, chairman emeritus of The Ritz-Carlton and Five Star Development President, Jerry Ayoub.

Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins, Vice Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner and United States Rep. David Schweikert also spoke during the event.

“My family always had this running dispute of why nothing had been built here, my mother’s theory was it was an Indian burial ground, my father’s theory was they couldn’t get enough money for it — and my theory was we hadn’t gotten the Ritz-Carlton here yet,” Rep. Schweikert said jokingly, noting that he had his first kiss nearby the construction site.

“This is a big deal for those of us who have lived in this neighborhood our whole lives.”

The forthcoming Ritz-Carlton community includes the following zoning stipulations:

  • Area A: 200-room resort on 18.1 acres
  • Area A1: 94 resort-brand-ed villas
  • Area B: 66 single-family homes on 31.3 acres
  • Area C: 45 resort-branded, single-family homes on 22.5 acres
  • Area D: 53 townhomes on 8.8 acres
  • Area E1: A 54,000 square-foot luxury retail center on 7.2 acres
  • Area E2: Influx design as the use of 5.7 acres is yet to be determined

In 2017 Five Star announced all 91 villas, priced from $1 million to more than $5 million, were released as the first phase of sales. Record success was reportedly achieved with all units selling in one day, totaling over $250 million in real estate.

Two additional major developments have occurred on the property as well: Five Star Development sold 23 acres of land to Shea Homes within the Ritz-Carlton community in the Town of Paradise Valley meanwhile the city of Scottsdale has approved a new shopping center coined, “The Palmeraie” that will, in part, encompass 20 acres of land adjacent to the forthcoming resort community.

“I know you’ve been through a roller coaster, but the tenacity, and then when I see the plans — this is a big deal,” Rep. Schweikert said. “This is one of the most amazing pieces of ground in the country.”

The future Ritz-Carlton will sit just west of Scottsdale Road, on the corner of Lincoln Drive and 68th Street.

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.

Mr. Ayoub says he expects the project to be finished in fall 2019.

Five Star Development President Jerry Ayoub, on left, and Herve Humler, chairman emeritus of The Ritz-Carlton sign the first key for the property. (photo by Five Star Development)

“As you can see we moved about a million cubic yards of dirt, we just now received our permits to pour concrete,” Mr. Ayoub said, explaining the next steps of the project. “We will start going vertical and you’ll start seeing construction going rapidly. We want to deliver the hotel in fall of 2019.”

The villas are expected to open around the same time, he said, and the Palmeraie is expected six months after the opening of the hotel.

“We have flagship retailers that are coming in — the first to the market — 12 world-class restaurants coming in. It’s going to define experiential shopping,” he said. “It’s all connected up to the residences and the hotel, it will be a very exciting project.”

Mr. Ayoub shared some artist renderings with the crowd of what the expected estate homes will look like.

“I know I speak for the entire town council when I say we are thrilled to be here and recognize this big milestone,” Vice Mayor Bien-Willner said during his time on the mic.

“A deep thank you to Five Star Development, and Jerry Ayoub, his family and his team. We appreciate your significant investment and efforts, we look forward to what is to come at this property. We also look forward to many great events and celebrations at this location.”

Vice Mayor Bien-Willner acknowledged the work Mayor Collins has done with the development, since before he became mayor.

“Mayor Collins has worked tirelessly to help bring us to this day. He made the Ritz project one of his highest priorities, even before his term began as mayor,” Mr. Bien-Willner said.

“Those of you who know Mike are therefore not surprised at all that we are at this ground-breaking. Our mayor is certainly a person of action and results. I know that he is very proud to be here today to mark this important event, and we are grateful for all the positive work he’s done in Paradise Valley, and particularly with this historic development.”

The fact that the new Ritz-Carlton resort will carry the name Paradise Valley in its title, is a change from the norm, Mayor Collins says.

“Even though we have many, many world class resorts and fine hospitality properties here in the Town of Paradise Valley, I often chide them because most of them include the city of Scottsdale in their names,” Mayor Collins explained.

“I always tell them — you’re missing out. You don’t understand what is really, truly special about being here and being in this town, and I think the Ritz-Carlton does.”

A group of Scottsdale and Town of Paradise Valley officials post for a photo on Feb. 20. (photo by Town of Paradise Valley)

Mayor Collins believes the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley will signify the brand, quality and commitment to community the municipality maintains.

“For those of you who don’t know, I was on the Planning Commission from 2007 to 2010, and worked on the Ritz-Carlton project at that time,” Mayor Collins explained of his enthusiasm to be at the ground-breaking event.

Mayor Collins explained to the ground that after serving on Planning Commission, he was elected to town council and then took-on the mayor’s seat in 2014.

“I had a good friend of mine, Dan Schweiker, and I went to Dan, and I said ‘I know we approved that Ritz-Carlton project over there but it didn’t get built, so my No. 1 priority is going to be getting this project off the ground,” he said.

A dinner meeting was set between the future mayor and Mr. Ayoub, and the rest is history, Mayor Collins says.

“There’s been a lot of work on this project in the past, and there’s going to be a lot of work moving forward. Those of you who know Paradise Valley know that we embrace our hospitality industry, we work closely with our industry so that our residents don’t have to pay local property tax. We’re very proud of that.”

The guest accommodations for the resort are expected to offer lush courtyard gardens and shaded walkways — evoking the sense of a village. Large windows with deep overhangs will promote the resort’s indoor/outdoor living ethos, and unobstructed views of Arizona’s idyllic sunsets.

The main pool, spanning nearly 400 feet, will be one of the longest resort pools in North America, according to a press release.

An artist’s rendering of a master bedroom. (submitted photo)

A specialty dining concept will harvest seasonal produce from the resort’s anticipated herb garden and citrus orchard. Rounding out the offering will be a 16,000-square-foot spa with indoor/outdoor treatment areas, a 2,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art health and fitness center, indoor/outdoor meeting and event space and a grand lawn with stunning views of the iconic Camelback, Mummy and McDowell mountains.

The Estate Homes and Villas make up the residential offering for a total of 120 Ritz-Carlton branded, serviced and managed residences.

Residence owners will experience a “resort within a resort” as they will have their own Clubhouse that will encompass a spectacular common lounge area along with a junior Olympic sized-pool; gym facilities; private, beautifully landscaped grounds; a dedicated director of residences; concierge; priority access to hotel amenities, and a host of a la carte services such as in-residence dining, housekeeping and engineering services.

News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be reached by e-mail at mfittro@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MelissaFittro

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