By Wayne Schutsky for Scottsdale Progress
The developer behind Museum Square continues to work with local gallery owners to address concerns over the project’s impact on parking downtown.
Developer ARC Scottsdale Holdings and the City of Scottsdale recently agreed in principle to have the city pay for an extra level of underground public parking with 151-168 spots in the garage planned beneath the hotel at Museum Square.
That deal initially appeased gallery owners, but they became concerned when they learned the length of time the developer has to build the hotel and parking, gallery owner Bob Pejman said.
Under the agreement, the developer must begin construction on the public parking project within 10 years of signing or risk losing the land.
That 10-year timeline led to concerns that the developer would build the four residential buildings pitched for the development first and hold off on the hotel indefinitely, meaning the new public parking promised by the city and developer would also be delayed, Pejman said.
However, at a recent meeting between the two parties, gallery owner French Thompson suggested a pragmatic interim solution until the hotel is built and the developer appears on board with the plan.
Thompson suggested that the developer turn the land northwest of the intersection of Marshall Way and Second Street – the eventual hotel site – into a temporary parking lot until construction on the hotel begins.
The idea makes sense, according to Thompson, because the developer already plans to clear the future hotel site to stage construction for the apartment building on the east side of Marshall Way that is also part of the larger Museum Square development.
Once the apartment building is built, the future hotel site would then easily convert to temporary parking, Thompson said.
According to Thompson, the developer plans to build the apartment first and then start construction on the hotel immediately following.
When the hotel will actually go up is unclear, though.
If the developer does not build the hotel within 10 years, the city can retake possession of the North Parcel – the site of the hotel – for just $10, according to the proposed amendment to the purchase agreement.
The developer already owns the land for the apartment building and is in the process for purchasing the rest of the land for the development from the city for the hotel and condominiums.
The new temporary parking proposal would deal with gallery owners’ concerns that initial phases of Museum Square would eat away at public parking until the hotel – and its underground parking garage – is built, Pejman said.
The Museum Square zoning case is scheduled to go before City Council on October 15th.
Read more at Scottsdale Progress.