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Las Aguas Redevelopment Set for McDowell Corridor

AZBEX ExclusiveBy Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Developers in Tempe and Scottsdale could be putting on an Urban Planning 101 course for next economy residential development in the Valley. As some others continue to build last-century sprawling suburban communities, these two East Valley cities are seeing a plethora of urban infill and redevelopment applications. Current projects under review range from three multifamily infill projects on parcels of under two acres to the massive $450M USA Place in downtown Tempe.

Photo Credit: L.R. Neimiec Architects

Photo Credit: L.R. Neimiec Architects

Two projects will result in redevelopment of obsolete commercial sites in Scottsdale. The newest redevelopment application is for Las Aguas, a multifamily community rising from a former car dealership.

Just as America shed some of its brand name autos, shoppers are abandoning auto rows in favor of freeway-connected automalls. East McDowell Road between Galivan Parkway and Scottsdale Row is a testament to changing buying habits. Although a few new car dealers remain and other spaces have been taken by used car dealers and service centers, the old Pitre Buick will be scraped to make way for Las Aguas, 6640 E. McDowell Rd.

The 154-unit community will be built on a 5 acre site at a density of 34 units/net acre. The rezoning process about a year ago was marked with controversy and the city imposed design changes on the project to reduce its impact on the adjoining conventional single family neighborhood. The final layout by L.R. Niemiec Architects uses single-story, residential-style garages as a buffer to single family homes backing the apartments across an alley. A car dealership is on the east and the Crosscut Canal is to the west of the site. The logo and name reflect the canal’s adjacency.

Wespac Construction is building it for owner Chason Development Inc. Groundbreaking is targeted for the fourth quarter.

Las Aguas is a mix of two apartment buildings and 18 above-garage carriage houses. The main apartment buildings are stepped with two- and three-story components and balconies. The buildings sport unique architectural features, including open walkways bridging between portions of the buildings and two extensions of apartments over vehicular access bridging building 2 to the garage/carriage homes on McDowell Road.

West of the main entrance off McDowell Road, the carriage homes feature “waves” in the flow of the building to emphasize the community’s name, Las Aguas, and its wave-like logo. The wave feature is echoed in over-window eyebrows and the way colors are applied to the building. Even the community pool is designed with the wave logo.

In another site redevelopment, Meritage is replacing an obsolete warehouse with townhomes (AZBEX, Sep. 27). Scottsdale is also reviewing a pair of downtown infill projects. Phoenix is getting 11 and 12 Capital Place on East Washington Street.

AZBEX Subscribers can access Las Aguas Residential project plans, and see information on the owner, Architect, GC and the groundbreaking.

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