By Philip Haldiman, Editor-in-Chief | Dealmaker
(Editor’s Note: Rose Law Group represents Peter Sperling in supporting the Arcadia Community in their fight to preserve their long standing residential character)
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio has taken a stand on the David and Gladys Wright House, which has drawn conflict between its owner and surrounding neighbors.
DiCiccio, who represents the Arcadia neighborhood of east Phoenix where the house is located, told around 200 residents at the Arcadia Camelback Mountain Neighborhood Association’s annual meeting, May 9, that he is firmly opposed to the commercialization of the Wright House.
Arcadia needs to be a residential community, DiCiccio said.
“The preservation of this neighborhood needs to be preserved the way it is right now. I’m not opposed to commercialization when it is in an area that needs to be commercialized, but not here in Arcadia, “ he said. “This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen happen.”
What happens in Arcadia could happen in other parts of the city, DiCiccio said.
“Not only do I have to protect this community here … We have other parts of the city of Phoenix that could be impacted by what we decide here,” he said. “It could create a precedent for other homes, other properties, or other historic properties in other communities.”
Developer and Attorney Zach Rawling bought the property in 2012, saving it from possible demolition, and wants to develop it as a concert venue, café, wine bar and about 40,000 square-feet of underground meeting space. However, the vast majority of Arcadia residents are opposed to commercial use of the property.
According to Frank Lloyd Wright’s granddaughter in her 2010 thesis, the house was originally designed for a couple to build their home in New Jersey, but it was never built there.