What Will Camel Square Develop Into?
Back in May, the Phoenix Suns of the NBA and the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA announced a project to build a new practice facility to share.
This facility was to be built on the west side of 44th St facing Camelback Mountain, with construction starting in August. A poll consisting of surrounding residents were mostly in support of the new facility and thought it would be a great addition to the neighborhood. The project is estimated to cost between $25 and $50 million. Renovations are estimated to take place through 2021.
RED Development announced that in addition to the practice facility, they want to build retail shops, office buildings, a hotel, and storage facility on the 18-acre property. It is possible that surrounding neighbors may now change their mind about being supportive of the project.
The current height allowance in this area is 56 feet. The hotel RED plans to build will be 5-stories and over 75 feet thanks to a restaurant planned for the top of the hotel. Residents fear that if this 75-foot project is allowed, other developers will follow suit.
“The feedback from our unified neighborhoods is that we support development but oppose any of the 75-foot height requests,” said ACMNA President Tristahn Schaub. “This over-height request is not only for the hotel, but for the office space bordering Camelback, 20 feet off the road. It will forever change the landscape and views of Camelback traveling eastbound and our goal is to preserve the character and uphold the zoning.”
This change in height allowance could make a huge impact on Arizona as a whole, not just this one neighborhood.
“Eighty percent of the neighborhoods were opposed to the 75 feet issue,” ACMNA member Marvin Borsand said. “Not only that, but the corner of 44th St. and Camelback will become like the sidewalks in New York or L.A. It won’t be like a neighborhood.”
According to a survey of the surrounding area, 79% were opposed to the 75-foot height for the building and hotel; 37% were okay with the hotel height but not with the office building, while 73% want to keep the height allowance at 56 feet for all buildings.
In July, RED Developers held an open house for the neighborhood to get an inside look at their plans for Camel Square.
“Traditionally people think more height means more density. In regards to our proposed plan, it is the opposite,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner of RED Development. “We are asking for one more floor of height, which will allow for less site density, wider setbacks, and a superior pedestrian experience including more open space with landscaping, shaded areas and detached sidewalks.”
According to developers, Camel Square will reduce traffic, enhance landscaping, open the space, create more shaded areas and generate 1,700 permanent jobs.
“We would like to have final approval by the end of this year. We are eager to create an iconic development at the corner of 44th St. and Camelback, which is what we believe is one of the most iconic intersections in the state,” Ebert said.
Click here for more information on this neighborhood.
Camel Square Meeting
Sept. 9 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85016