Scottsdale’s Lucky Plaza located at 3388 North Hayden Road at the southwest corner of Hayden and Osborn Roads is a 41-year-old shopping plaza. It has been controlled by an entity owned by Todd Silver for the past 18 years and has been kept in meticulous condition. The old plaza has become an outdated commercial site and big box retail is extremely challenging. Furthermore, there has been approximately 8,000SF vacant for 10 plus years and the national tenants or local community tenants have not supported renting these vacant spaces. Many times, it appears there are more employees inside the soon to be vacant OfficeMax space than there are customers. Carl’s Junior is not extending their lease and will be vacating by the end of January.
Over the years, Todd Silver has proposed a mixed-use redevelopment of apartments and retail, which will be beneficial to the community and city. Greenbelt88, a 7-acre property, located near the Scottsdale Greenbelt, is being rezoned to a Planned Unit Development. Jason Morris, the zoning attorney on the project, maintains that the Greenbelt88 project fits the city’s General Plan, which calls for mixed-use properties, most of which have featured residential uses due to market demand and very much needed additional housing. Greenbelt88 is being redesigned into a mixed-use development establishing a brighter future for the Scottsdale community by creating a vibrant retail and residential property of 238 units and 28,000SF of new and exciting retail. Ownership is hopeful to retain some of the current restaurants and service tenants in the new development.
The retail stores and apartments will be completely redesigned with upgraded modern architecture designed by the acclaimed Nelsen Partners, a well-known USA firm who does work across the USA and internationally. Jeff Brand, a partner at Nelsen Partners and the lead architect, is a Scottsdale resident who lives walking distance to the proposed redevelopment and has personally invested countless hours to see this project benefit the citizens of Scottsdale.
A few years ago, the initial rezone pre-application by Silver was 388 units and no retail. After community meetings and input the plan was revised to 300 units and 21,000SF of retail. The project received City Staff support. With very costly continuances, delays, outreach and changes, Greenbelt88 at The Design Review Board was approved with 288 units at four floors and 48 feet. Through additional community input and outreach, it was determined that the unit count should be reduced and some of the cantilever and massing should be modified further and the retail should be increased to 25,000SF.
The Scottsdale Planning Commission approved Greenbelt88 with 278 units and 25,000SF of retail along with other architectural changes to the project. Although the immediate surrounding commercial businesses and many in the neighborhood especially within one mile support the project as presented, there have been others constantly trying for change. Ownership has made numerous and very costly design and project changes. Most recently, the project team reduced the units from 278, which was approved by the planning commission down to 253 units. The plan is now being modified down to 238 units, which include eight units of workforce for the benefit of the community. Furthermore, the overall height on the building would be further reduced as additional compromises and concessions. All these changes have been extremely costly to Todd Silver and in part being done to benefit the Scottsdale community. Greenbelt88 will meet all the building requirements of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program; environmentally-sensitive building techniques and has exceeded all the recommendations and requirements of the city.
Prior to moving to the Scottsdale City Council public hearing, there were some community activists concerned with height, density and traffic. The owner’s team has modified and mitigated these perceived issues. The traffic has been mitigated with traffic engineers and the city. Studies show that the mixed-use development will result in less traffic than the current plaza. According to a study by CivTech Inc., licensed traffic engineers, Greenbelt88 would generate fewer daily trips throughout the day than a solely commercial property.
There was a false narrative floating around that the Greenbelt88 project would be a high-rise. It is not a high rise, nor is it a mid-rise. The project is a low-rise development reaching 36 and approximately 48 feet at different points. The development is now being modified down to 45 feet and removing more units from the fourth floor. Thus, most of the outside perimeter of the building facing the golf course will appear to be three floors and approximately 36 feet. Other projects within several miles are substantially higher and denser. The buildings will be staggered in height with a maximum height of three or four floors to allow for sunlight and great views of the greenbelt, golf course, Scottsdale and the Camelback Mountain. The new development will not block any views and the view of the golf course will be enjoyed, and it may become a destination spot and local icon.
Greenbelt88 has complied with the recently improved parking codes and will have abundant parking in a concealed parking garage that will not be visible from the street. Plus, there will be convenient surface parking near the retail and restaurants. Additionally, the development will exceed the requirement on parking and will also accommodate extra guest parking. According to data from CoStar/ESRI, Scottsdale has a retail per capita ratio of 90.1SF. This study indicates that Scottsdale has the most over-served retail plazas in the Valley.
According to a study by the Wall Street Journal, the United States is millions of housing units behind current demand. In Arizona, this translates to a pre-pandemic need of 230,000 new units with the majority of the need in Maricopa County, where Scottsdale lies. Scottsdale has 250,000 residents with 10% growth and needs more than 20,000 apartments to meet the growing population. According to this WSJ study, a 250-unit multifamily development’s construction generates $1,219,800 in municipal income, with an estimated additional $415,410 in ongoing annual revenues. The Greenbelt88 apartments will create more competition allowing the rental rates in the area to be competitive.
Redevelopment of Greenbelt88 will ensure ability to contribute for the city to pay for preserves, parks, police and fire departments, amenities and may help keep property taxes low and property values stable. By adding apartments to the Greenbelt88 development, Greenbelt88 is contributing to the ease in which renters can rent modern homes at competitive rental rates. Additionally, adequate housing generates more employment opportunities in the community.
The project team envisions this quality mixed-use development as one that the community will enjoy and one that will be an asset to the city. Greenbelt88 includes retail, restaurants, modern apartments, a bike friendly path, shaded areas with benches, paseo, ample parking and an overall focus of quality living, recreation, and shopping.
There are numerous benefits to the community with the redesign of Greenbelt88. A new public paseo would include a landscaped biking and walking path that will run along the greenbelt to connect Hayden Road at the southeast corner of the property to Osborn Road on the northwest corner, very convenient to Old Town, Scottsdale Stadium, Honor Health Hospital, Civic Center Park and the library. The new pathway will increase public access alongside the west side of the greenbelt and will provide pedestrians, strollers and cyclists access to safer and more user-friendly traveling than the existing street-adjacent walkways.
Other benefits include no short-term rentals, new traffic turn signals at the expense of the owner, new deceleration lanes, huge amount of city fees, ongoing property tax fees, a non-gated apartment complex with free-flowing open space to the community, two public art displays, walking paths that will be lit, benches, nice landscaping, added guest parking, additional outdoor living and open space over and beyond city requirement. The first two floors of the overall structure will be built with upgraded material and the retail space will be built with high ceilings to add to the ambiance of the quality development.
Greenbelt88 will be a place of rejuvenation and enjoyment. The aesthetics and luxurious well-planned landscaping will afford visitors and residents the opportunity to bask in the glowing sun or to enjoy the shade. Residents and visitors will have an opportunity to relax on the lit-up shaded paseo with the gorgeous view of Camelback Mountain. The sunsets are outstanding. The property backs up to a beautiful golf course that will have a new restaurant facing the golf course, a walkway, lighting, and benches.
The owner on their initial ask to the city of the rezone asked for a lot less than other developments around the city and the owner has put in a lot more as far as community changes, modifications to the project, benefits to the city, dedication and more. The ask has been less and the giveback has been far more. Immediate and surrounding businesses and residents have expressed their complete support for the project. Despite some anti-developers and activists living miles away voicing their opinions, it is our understanding that they do not voice the opinions of all as there have been many others who have let the owner know that they support the project.
To keep the economy bustling and the community thriving for decades to come, Greenbelt88 is one way to ensure that Scottsdale remains the city we know and love for decades to come with quality redevelopment. Additional information could be found on our website at Greenbelt88.com or on our Instagram page instagram.com/greenbelt88?utm_medium=copy_link. In general, new housing creates more competition and better pricing. Supply and demand! And living on the Greenbelt would absolutely be a healthy choice! You are invited to complete the short survey at https://rb.gy/ll2utj.
About the Author
Frayde Yudkowsky, LSW, LMSW, CCTP is a one-time resident of Scottsdale who loves the vibe, landscaping and aesthetics that the city has to offer. It is her dream to call Scottsdale home once again.