Write to Reply: Five Star offers response to ‘Home for the holidays’ article

Five Star Development President Jerry Ayoub, on left, and Herve Humler, chairman emeritus of The Ritz-Carlton sign the first key for the property in early 2018. (photo by Five Star Development)

The Town of Paradise Valley Independent ran a story on Nov. 21 titled “Home for the Holidays: Rosen family compromise likely at Azure Paradise Valley” where Five Star Development and The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley were mentioned numerous times.

However, the newspaper never sought comment or fact checking from anyone at Five Star to give a fair and balanced account of the issue stated in the story.

As such, we are looking to clarify a number of statements and respond to quotes from the story:

The Rosen’s Certificate of Occupancy

The Town of Paradise Valley would not issue a certificate of occupancy for the Rosens because they said the Spine Road needed to be completed at The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley site. However, even if Five Star completed the road, it runs directly through the construction site, so once finished, it would have been promptly closed. There is absolutely no reason the Rosen’s occupancy should be affected by this road.

Shea Homes, the developer of Azure, was well aware the town would require completion of the Spine Road years prior to issuing any certificates of occupancy. Further, since Shea Homes and the town have long been aware of the status of the Spine Road, they should have worked together to create a resolution to this issue long before the Rosen’s closing date.

From Mr. Dalke:

“The town recognizes there is a conflict of occasion by the delay by two private companies, the delay is potentially impacting the ability for the Rosens to achieve a Certificate of Occupancy for their new home. Therefore, the town would like to continue to try to facilitate a mutually agreeable path forward. We understand that time is of the essence.”

Five Star Reply:

This isn’t about a conflict between two private companies. There is no conflict between Shea Homes and Five Star; the conflict is between Shea and its homebuyers.

From Mayor Collins:

“We are behind about a year in this due to the delays with Five Star”, he said of the construction timeline. “We have really held this project for two years due to Five Star being unable to prove they are far enough along.”

Five Star Reply:

These delays are not Five Star delays, they are as a result of off-site road improvements yet to be completed by the town. According to Mayor Collins himself, he was not referring to completion of the hotel in the above statement.

From Mayor Collins:

Mr. Collins asked town officials if they still believe a hotel will be built.

Five Star reply:

Mayor Collins said he was misquoted here and has no doubt the hotel will be built. Since the beginning, the Mayor has been intimately involved in the construction process and understands the time lines, process, deliverables and investment made thus far. Five Star regularly updates the mayor and council on construction milestones and site work via email, along with drone video footage. Also, we have made it clear on numerous occasions that the mayor and council have open invitations to tour the site and ask questions at any time. To date, no one has taken us up on this offer other than the mayor.

From Jerry Bien-Wilner:

“Can you remind us if there is anything in the development agreement that keeps it on track?” he asked of Mr. Miller. “The plan, the minor amendment to reconfigure the hotel is approved. So, they will be submitting the hotel plans at-risk?”

Mr. Miller confirmed that is the case:

“For the developer to make their money they had to sell those homes,” Mr. Miller said of the Spine Road linchpin within the development agreement. “Now, we have seen three different amendments to the hotel to get what they need, I think that has been the reason for some of the delays.”

Five Star reply:

The SUP and Development Agreement contain multiple assurances with regard to completion of the hotel and other improvements in the project. When it comes to a development of this magnitude, it is a normal occurrence to have multiple amendments along the way to account for enhancements and updates allowing the project to meet the highest of standards.
What is not normal is the amount of time it takes the \town to process each amendment. This has been the main reason for the project’s delays. We have been through multiple town managers, planning directors, mayors and cuncilmembers since the beginning of the process. What takes a couple days in other jurisdictions, takes weeks, and even months with the Town of Paradise Valley.

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