By Parker Leavitt for The Arizona Republic
A Starwood-brand hotel could soon join the growing list of tenants at south Scottsdale’s SkySong development, where a mix of mid-rise office towers, apartments and restaurants are rising around the complex’s iconic tent-like canopy.
Arizona State University Foundation officials in early July told city leaders they’ve landed a hotel for the mixed-use project, but needed City Council approval before the deal could move forward. The council signed off with a 6-1 vote on July 6, with Councilman David Smith casting the dissenting vote.
Hotel could bring 120 rooms
The new SkySong hotel is expected to be a Starwood brand, according to Don Couvillion, vice president of real estate for ASU Foundation. The hotel developer paid $75,000 for a franchise agreement with Starwood and wants to move forward quickly to avoid complications from Starwood’s impending merger with Marriott International, he said.
The hotel is planned for the southwestern corner of the SkySong complex, near Scottsdale Road and Enterprise Drive.
Sharon Harper, CEO of Plaza Cos., said about half of the current tenants at SkySong use local hotels on a weekly basis and thousands of people visit the complex each month for meetings and conferences.
ASU Foundation will pay additional rent to the city — about $42,000 per year for a 100KSF hotel — if the foundation enters into a lease with the hotel developer by July 6, 2017.
City keeps 1.5-acre parcel
While most of the 42-acre project is leased to ASU Foundation for development, Scottsdale retains a 1.5-acre lot within SkySong for its own use. Before ASU could lease property for the new hotel, however, it needed the City Council to clarify where that 1.5-acre parcel will be.
The council decided to reserve its land, which could be used for a public project or sold to a private developer, at the southeastern corner of McDowell Road and Innovation Place, according to the July 6 vote.
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