Project near Fashion Center would bring 529 new apartments –

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Showers this evening becoming less numerous overnight. Low 76F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Updated: May 17, 2023 @ 10:41 pm
A total 529 apartment units would be spread across two buildings near Scottsdale Fashion Center under a proposal submitted to the city. (City of Scottsdale)

A total 529 apartment units would be spread across two buildings near Scottsdale Fashion Center under a proposal submitted to the city. (City of Scottsdale)
Developers have big plans for a big hole in the ground on 3.73 acres of prime real estate near the intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, next to the Arizona Canal and the Scottsdale Fashion Square.
After sitting fallow for years, the site is on course to become the home of the Hazel&Azure multi-use facility with two buildings, 12-stories and eight stories, that together would house 539 apartment units and 14,610 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.
The plan calls for the Hazel to be 12-story tall with 178-higher-end apartments and 960 square feet commercial space. The Azure’s eight stories would house 362 medium-priced apartments with 13,650 square-feet of retail.
That would bring the density of the project to 142 dwelling units per acre.
The 837 parking spots will be concealed in an underground garage.
The project has its roots in the early 2000s when developer Bruce Gray first had a vision for the site.
By 2011, Gray managed to get the land zoned to allow three 12-story towers with 749 residential units. He started the preliminary earth moving in 2013 that gave birth to the hole before financial issues forced him to put the project on hold.
ZOM Multi Family Living purchased the property and has proposed scaled back the project.
Cutting back on it was intended to attract a more mature crowd, said Jason Morris, an attorney for the developer.
“It was a conscious decision to restrict size for the betterment of quality,” Morris said.
The city Design Review Board still needs to approve the location of public art on the site.
The project will include five open spaces for the public, including areas known as the urban pedestrian street, a central plaza drive, linear greenway, Sonoran oasis, and a canal park.
A brochure on the project states, “The public realm improvements occurring with the proposal will vastly improve the existing conditions, provide sorely lacking connectivity between sites and uses, and help create the desired walkability and sense of place.”
The Hazel&Azure project incorporates several design elements that align with the City’s goal of sustainability including recessed windows, deep roof overhangs, use of low water use plant species, and use of low energy consumption lighting.
In addition, the proposed buildings will be designed in accordance with the United States Green Building Code’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification standards.
Councilwoman Linda Milhaven loves the project and called it gorgeous.
The size doesn’t bother her, she said, stating, “It’s not as tall as the Water Front Towers kitty corner to it.”
Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield said she has no problem with the design of the buildings, but said they are simply too tall.
She would like to see no buildings in the Old Town area be taller than three stories, “but they wouldn’t make as much money that way, so there you go,” she said.
Councilwoman Betty Janik said the buildings are going to be nice and added the current council had no say on how tall the project is.
Councilwoman Tammy Caputi said the Hazel and Azure is a project worthy of its location downtown.
“It meets or exceeds all our strict standards and guidelines for projects and fulfills many of our General Plan goals for housing,” Caputi said. “It will be using the highest quality construction materials, it’s less tall and less dense than it’s entitled for, and it activates pedestrian access along the canal.
“This project provides the live, work, and play options we are looking for in our downtown, and best of all, it moves a project forward that’s been in our pipeline for 12 years!”
Mayor Ortega said the project originally called for 1,250 apartments so he is pleased with the lower count as well as the covered walkways along Scottsdale Road.
“I commend the design team and expect any deficiencies to be resolved,” Ortega said. “I look forward to groundbreaking.”
ZOM was founded in 1977 by Joost P. Zyderveld, a Dutch oil company executive who targeted Florida for real estate investment, the company’s website states.
“ZOM’s investment activities were initially broad in scope,” it says. “The company invested in land and developed both single-family residential, as well as commercial, office, and retail projects.
By 1990, it refocused its activity on apartment complexes in Orlando before branching out across Florida. It began the 21st by expanding across the country and boasts involvement in the development of more than 22,500 apartment units, gathering 180 industry awards along the way.
“ZOM’s success through the years is largely owed to the trust placed in us by our shareholders and capital partners,” it says.
“We have rebranded the company to ZOM Living, as our projects are more about experience and emotion than bricks and mortar. Demographic trends continue to deliver a steady flow of new renters into the housing market, primarily millennials and aging baby boomers, who find rental housing more attractive than homeownership,” it continues on its website.
“Recent changes in U.S. tax law will further encourage renting instead of owning. We have also moved confidently into senior housing, as the leading edge of the baby boomers are now in their 70s. These aging seniors are also attracted to urban living, and are looking for higher levels of service and lifestyle amenities, which is what ZOM Senior Living is all about.”
It adds that its tradition involves “delivering well-conceived, design-driven living spaces that stir the emotions of our residents.”
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