Plans move forward to build apartment complex - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

Plans move forward to build apartment complex

36 acres of dirt could be developed soon at Chandler Boulevard and 50th Street

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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011 10:55 am | Updated: 1:09 pm, Tue Dec 20, 2011.

Thirty six acres of land off Chandler Boulevard and 50th Street may be transformed into 422 apartments and retail space in the coming years if the city approves developers' plans.

Clark Wayland Builders LC and an out-of-state developer called Investment Property Associates, LLC, have teamed up to develop the vacant lot at the southeast corner of 50th Street and Chandler Boulevard. Phase one of their plan calls for a 422-unit multi-family community to take up about 24 acres of land. The other 12 acres, closest to Chandler Boulevard, have not been planned out yet.

According to Ed Bull, a zoning attorney from Burch and Cracchiolo who is representing Clark and Wayland and Investment Property Associates, they are currently working to get the site plan for the land modified and approved through the city. A site plan that was approved for a different developer in 2005 called for much more than what his clients have in mind, so the plan needs to be modified and updated before they can move forward.

The old plan called for several eight-story buildings with a combination of retail, apartments and office buildings. The new plan calls for a 422-unit apartment complex with a maximum of three stories in phase one. As part of the new plan, 50th Street would be fully developed.

The new plan was discussed with city staff, who recommended approval. Though they weren't required to, the developers sent out a notice to the surrounding property owners and hosted a neighborhood meeting. They received no complaints during that time, Bull said. They presented the plan to the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee and it was unanimously approved.

"We have a vacant piece of dirt with an old development that is never going to happen, a proposed development that we do expect will happen, no neighborhood opposition, staff support, Village Planning Committee unanimous support, and the Planning Hearing Officer's recommendation for approval," Bull said. "So far, so good."

Now, the developers must get the changes approved by the Phoenix City Council, which is expected to happen at the Dec. 14 meeting.

Once the plan is approved, Bull estimates it could take nearly six months to get all the plans submitted and a permit drawn before they can begin construction. Construction could take about a year.

"What we try to do with these developments is put people in close proximity with transportation, jobs and shopping," Bull said. "This being located at the intersection of two freeways and a major street is an excellent location to provide a place for people to live. They have opportunities to live and shop nearby, and can jump onto the freeway without going through neighborhoods. There are some other rentals in the area, but these two companies feel very positive about the strength of the multi-family market in this area."

Bull said there's a chance that as phase one begins, other developers may become interested in building retail or office buildings on the remaining land.

"I think it's a wonderful thing to see real development getting ready to occur in this area," Bull said. "It's real jobs, it's real revenues, and it's additional opportunities for people to consider choosing where they want to live."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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