Vision of Paradise Valley Ritz-Carlton development focusing through Scottsdale approval

Lanyards like these were donned by supporters over the last several months of deliberations in late 2015 as the Ritz-Carlton proposal was moving through the Town of Paradise Valley. (File photo)

When Paradise Valley Town Council approved a development agreement with Five Star Development in January 2016 it set into motion efforts that will ultimately lead to the creation of a Ritz-Carlton resort community and subsequent sister retail and hotel project that is now being fully realized.

In the last few weeks, two major developments have occurred: Five Star Development sold 23 acres of land to Shea Homes within the Ritz-Carlton community in Paradise Valley and 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 Ritz-Carton resort community.

The new shopping center got the go-ahead by a unanimous vote from Scottsdale City Council Tuesday, March 21 as it approved the rezoning of a 20-acre site at 6990 N. Scottsdale Road from resort/townhouse residential to planned regional center.

In all, Scottsdale City Council approved three different measures for the zoning change with one being a $408,000 contribution to the municipality from Five Star Development for the city to use to assist in constructing and maintaining the city’s drainage system.

The approved measures will allow for a mixed-use development that can consist of 141 residential units in 170,000 square feet, a maximum of 150 hotel units on 134,000 square feet, 226,000 square feet of commercial space and 80,000 square feet of office space, according to the March 21 staff report.

Meanwhile Shea Homes has announced the homebuilder is set to debut a new high-end brand called, Shea Signature, in the Town of Paradise Valley that will appear on a 23-acre portion of the Ritz-Carlton project where 66 single-family luxury homes will be built.

The housing stock planned at the Ritz-Carlton resort portion continues to exceed pricing and sales expectations. Last year, all 91 villas, priced from $1 million to more than $5 million, were released as the first phase of sales. Record success was achieved with all units selling in a day, totaling over $250 million in real estate.

Five Star Development, owned by Scottsdale resident Jerry Ayoub, is represented by Jason Morris of Whitey Morris PLC in this matter. Construction is expected to begin in July 2016 with the resort opening in late 2018.

A panoramic view of the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley construction site. (Submitted photo)

‘Sister project’

The proposed 160,000-square-foot retail center will sit directly to the west of the Ritz-Carlton project in the Town of Paradise Valley. Scottsdale Principal Planner Brad Carr referred to The Palmeraie as a “sister project” to the nearby luxury resort community.

Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips made the motion on each measure — the zoning change, subsequent development plan and developer gift — that passed unanimously.

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield said prior to the vote she is excited for the impact this project will have on Scottsdale.

“I really think that this is kind of retail we want to see in our downtown,” she said during the March 21 public hearing.  “It’s a win-win situation for both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley and I’m hoping that it will work out as we are all hoping that it does, which will be great.”

The Palmeraie development is being proposed in two phases.

The first is the southern 10 acres of the site to develop as retail and office space. Specifically, Mr. Morris of Withey told city council Five Star plans on making this portion primarily retail and restaurant with a small office space in the middle.

Mr. Morris also said parking would be underground, leaving a significant amount of open space for the development.

“Virtually from the front door to the hotel, both the guests and any of the patrons at The Palmeraie units are led between the retail up against Scottsdale Road,” Mr. Morris said.

The only talking point for council was Councilwoman Littlefield inquiring about potential traffic concerns at the intersection of Scottsdale and Indian Bend roads.

As a whole, the 20-acre site is close to two signalized intersections: Scottsdale and Indian Bend roads as well as one further south on Scottsdale Road.

Mr. Morris said there will be full access movement at those intersections and in between the signalized intersection. He also said there will be right in and right out access directly to Scottsdale Road with deceleration lanes.

“In terms of having access, it’s not only plentiful but it provides access without interrupting existing access on the east side of Scottsdale Road and it also doesn’t interrupt the flow of traffic going southbound on Scottsdale Road because there’s deceleration lanes,” Mr. Morris said.

The second phase of development on the 20-acre portion is likely to include residential, office, hotel and retail uses.

Five Star Development Project Manager Richard Frazee points to where he intends to build the most innovative Ritz-Carlton design in any market worldwide. (File Photo)

Development in Paradise

The Paradise Valley special-use permit — which was approved by a 4 to 3 vote in early 2016 — entitles Five Star, through an investment of $130 million, to build a Ritz-Carlton branded resort community that includes seven development-area characteristics that, at the time, included:

  • Area A: 200-room resort on 18.1 acres
  • Area A1: 94 resort-branded 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

Paradise Valley Councilman David Sherf says he is encouraged to see Five Star moving forward with their vision for the luxury development.

“The Palmeraie project as recently approved by Scottsdale seems dense in comparison to neighboring projects and what will be built to the west on the Paradise Valley portion of their land,” he said in a March 28 statement.

“Five Star is an astute developer and I would think their massing and building placements will take into account the expensive housing product being developed on their land within the Town, so as to not diminish the value of this land.”

Councilman Sherf says the recent approval in the neighboring municipality of Scottsdale coincides with what Five Star representatives were saying before the Paradise Valley approval was granted.

“During our negotiations with Five Star in late 2015, they shared their vision for the high-end retail and possible tenants and restaurants now approved and also mentioned their desire to add a small hotel and some residential within the Palmeraie project,” he said. “I do not recall office space being mentioned within this project but it may have been.”

A view of what the pool scene might be at the Paradise Valley Ritz-Carlton resort community. (Submitted graphic)

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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