Stetson Plaza / South Canal Bank Project
|Strategically located within the Marshall Way/5th Avenue District, this project is envisioned to be a catalyst for the District's revitalization. The project is comprised of:|
- Underground public parking garage
- Privately owned mixed-use office/restaurant/retail buildings
- Public restrooms
- Public Plaza and Canal bank improvements (under construction)
- Utility undergrounding and relocation into Stetson Drive to accommodate Canal improvements and public parking garage
Alignment with Downtown Vision Principles
Development in downtown Scottsdale is required to conform to the design standards expressed in the Downtown Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines. These standards include general guidelines for all of downtown and guidelines specific to "specialty" districts within the downtown area. The general design goals for Downtown include:
- Strengthen pedestrian character and create new pedestrian linkages.
The use of underground parking will maintain uninterrupted street level pedestrian activities, and will create new pedestrian linkages between Stetson Drive and the Arizona Canal.
- Create a diverse mix of activities.
Retail shops and restaurants will be the predominant uses on the ground floor, with offices above. These uses will complement existing and proposed development in the area to create a variety of destinations for residents, tourists, and visitors.
- Create a high level of quality in downtown architecture.
The Project Site Plan Guidelines and Restrictions dictate that the quality of materials and design be consistent with Class "A" properties developed in the area, such as DC Ranch Marketplace and the Royal Palms Hotel. In addition, building height along the Stetson Drive frontage is to be a maximum of 26 feet (measured one foot above the top of curb) within a distance of 30 feet from the curb line. Along the canal bank, maximum allowable building height will be 36 feet (measured from a reference point one foot above the top of the canal).
- Improve access to convenient downtown parking.
This development proposes to construct an estimated 227 underground parking spaces on the site with entrance ramps on both the east and west ends of the property. 209 of these spaces will be publicly accessible 24-hours a day. The underground parking structure will be designed to accommodate expansion if future development on nearby properties warrants. There are 57 existing parking spaces in small surface lots and in the alley along the canal that will be removed if this proposal is approved. The Developer will also be providing approximately 66 surface plaza/street level parking spaces as a part of the Stetson Plaza/South Canal Bank project.
Development within the Fifth Avenue specialty district, which has a unique character and charm, is also encouraged to:
- Improve the potential of the Arizona Canal frontage as a walking promenade with shops, restaurants and other activities carefully linked to Fifth Avenue.
This project will connect to planned improvements along the canal, including abandonment of the existing alley and elimination of the difference in grade between these properties and the canal bank. New active space will be created in an area currently functioning as a utility corridor servicing the rear of buildings fronting onto Stetson Drive. There will be at least 8,000 square feet of restaurant space within the project for at least 5 years.
- Strengthen Fifth Avenue's specialty shopping environment by maintaining active street frontages with continuous shops and frequent building entrances.
The history of the Fifth Avenue area is one of upscale shops and stores to serve both residents and tourists. Art galleries, jewelry and fashion shops, salons and restaurants have anchored the business core in this area. More recently, entertainment has also become an element of the market. Replacing retail shops and small business that leave downtown is crucial to the long-term health of the Fifth Avenue district.
- Maintain the appearance of narrow storefronts.
Instead of one large building, the site plan illustrates that this project is a series of smaller tenant spaces, consistent with the historical pattern of narrow lots and continuous storefronts along the street. Recruiting small businesses helps maintain the "storefront" appearance that is synonymous with downtown Scottsdale.
- Utilize covered walkways, street furniture, courtyards, and street trees in new development.
Providing shaded walkways is important to creating year-round businesses in downtown Scottsdale. Street trees and covered walkways, patios and courtyards, benches, rest rooms, and water fountains are amenities that make pedestrians comfortable and create street activity. The location of this project at the bridge crossing make those amenities especially important. Special attention has been and will continue to be paid to these details.
March 2005 Update
Significant work is occurring as this project moves past the conceptual design of the garage and utilities and into the actual work. Asbestos abatement on existing buildings recently began, and the demolition of the former Cat Eye Lounge building is slated to occur for the area APS line to be moved from the alley out into the Stetson right-of-way. The utility work is part of an effort to upgrade existing utilities in this area in anticipation of current and future demand.
A redesign of the private and public garages has taken place as a part of the extensive work with APS, the developer, staff and adjacent property owners. The new design has enabled the City to save approximately $400,000 in the utility construction work, creates nearly 100 new privately funded parking spaces beyond what was originally agreed to in the Development Agreement, and allows the adjacent property owner the opportunity to connect to plaza level parking for easier access to a project currently in the design phase.
The new design and subsequent adjustments to the Development Agreement are anticipated to come to the Council in April. If approved, construction will begin this summer, with a planned 2006 opening.