Developer would turn Sheraton in Ahwatukee into apartment complex

A Scottsdale real estate investment company is seeking a zoning change from Maricopa County to repurpose the Four Points by Sheraton Phoenix South Mountain at 51st Street and Elliot Road in Ahwatukee as an apartment complex and build additional units on the 8-acre site.

Caliber Company of Scottsdale – which has made huge investments in other parts of the Valley, particularly Mesa, repurposing underused buildings – is seeking the zoning change “to allow the development of a multi-family residential community and reuse/conversion of the existing hotel tower to multi-family units,” according to a county summary of the application.

Neither the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee not Phoenix city government have any say in the proposal because the site is a county island, subject to Maricopa County zoning regulations. It is not clear when the county will hold hearings on the plan.

The application was submitted by Earl & Curley P.C. on behalf of Elliot & 51st LLC and UpTown Square LLC. Caliber is the managing agent of the Uptown Square LLC, state records show.

Although Caliber did not return a request for comment, media reports said a developer would convert the 180-room hotel into 100 studio and one-bedroom apartments while demolishing the hotel convention center for an additional 88 apartments.

Caliber has been playing a major role in downtown Mesa’s redevelopment after buying eight properties in 2018 that are located in so-called federal Opportunity Zones, which entitle large investors to significant tax breaks for putting money into the development of low-income areas.

Recently it signed an agreement

with former state Sen. Robert Worsley to convert one of its Main Street properties in Mesa into the state’s first apartment complex created from Arizona-made two-bedroom and studio homes stacked and connected together like LEGOs to form two five-story midrise towers.

“We appreciate Caliber’s investment and commitment to our downtown,” Mesa Mayor John Giles is quoted as saying on Caliber’s website.

Caliber describes itself as “a leading vertically integrated asset management firm whose primary goal is to enhance the wealth of investors seeking to make investments in middle-market assets.

“We strive to build wealth for our investor clients by creating, managing, and servicing proprietary products, including middle-market investment funds, private syndications, and direct investments.”

The timetables for county approval and developer’s construction schedule were not immediately available.

If the rezoning request is approved, the project would be the second hotel-to-apartment conversion in that part of Ahwatukee.

Less than a mile away on the north side of Elliot Road just north of a small strip mall, another developer is converting the old Clarion Hotel on E. La Puente Avenue into apartments.

Quinn Holdings is already has zoning approval for turning the hotels 188 rooms into 96 one-bedroom and 14 studio units. The one-bedroom units will be approximate 600 to 620 square feet, eight studios will be “micro studios” with about 300 square feet of space while the other studios will be about 500 square feet.

“These will be at market rate, not subsidized,” attorney Larry Lazarus told the Village Planning Committee during a hearing, indirectly addressing again concerns by neighbors that the complex would be Section 8 housing. “The rents project will be in the range of $1,200 a month.”

Lazarus had touted the site’s location to nearby retail as a perfect place for young professionals and young adults who preferred to walk or bike to their job.

Reports related to the Caliber’s conversion plan also have cited Intel’s ongoing $20 billion Chandler campus expansion and Ahwatukee’s proximity to that site.

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