McKeighan: Great Hearts investment offer is one worthy of exploration

By Jace McKeighan | Scottsdale Independent

What would you say if someone offered to pay $4.5 million to develop a public park on city-owned parkland at no cost to taxpayers? “Wow, that’s great” would seem to be the obvious answer. This is actually being proposed for approximately 13 acres adjacent to DC Ranch.

DMB, the developer of DC Ranch, deeded this land at 91st Street and Trailside View to the City in 2003 for a park. The site has been vacant ever since, except for a sign announcing the park’s future development. Great Hearts Academies is offering to pay $4.5 million for the development of the park.

Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Great Hearts in working with the city to help develop a public park.

Great Hearts is a public charter school that operates nearby Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. Scottsdale Prep does not have any dedicated outdoor athletics facilities. Students travel far on a daily basis for practices and games. To help its students with a field, Great Hearts bought land in DC Ranch catty-corner from the city-owned site. By state law, a public charter school is permitted to develop its own site without regard to zoning and similar restrictions.

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