By Eric Jay Toll for The Arizona Builder’s Exchange
More than 220 acres of Scottsdale’s environmentally sensitive desert will be converted from a paper subdivision into a spa and resort community, if the owners of New York’s Rockefeller Center have their way with the planning commission this fall. A 350 unit spa and resort is being proposed for the property adjoining the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Sereno Canyon Spa & Resort will be the first development into a subdivided, but generally undeveloped area, between Pinnacle Peak and Happy Valley road alignments west of 125th St. in north Scottsdale. Envisioned as a major regional resort destination, Sereno Canyon’s designers, LVA Urban Design Studio, see the property developed on a par with similar sensitive-land resorts. The proposal is compared to The Sanctuary, Paradise Valley, The Boulders, Scottsdale, and Enchantment Resort, Sedona. No renderings or design has been submitted to the city yet.
Currently zoned and subdivided at an approximate three acres per unit density, the proposed resort will convert the center 222 acres of a 350 acre ownership into the spa and resort, retaining estate residential lots east and west of the hospitality property. The estate residences will buffer the spa from adjoining residential development when it occurs.
To be developed by Crown Community Development, the resort will be owned by the family-held Henry Crown Companies. The company has a 3,500 acre residential community in Aurora, Ill., owns the Rockefeller Center, New York City, and has developments on Chicago’s North Shore and the Florida Gulf Coast.
The proposal will designate the property’s general plan classification as “Resort Star” with a companion request for R4-R ESL zoning, Resort/Townhouse Residential, Environmental Sensitive Lands. The subject property is set on the northeast slope of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and slopes downward towards the north.
If approved as envisioned, a combination of residential and resort uses will include a combination of 96 resort estates in the existing outlying residential parcels. Between the estates and the resort complex, 102 villas are proposed along with 108 resort casitas. The villas separate the estates from the casitas. A maximum building height reduction to 29 feet is proposed.
After going through a public review and comment process, the resort will be reviewed by the Scottsdale planning commission later this year.
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