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Scottsdale split on future of tall, dense buildings

Posted by   /  June 3, 2017  /  2 Comments

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Scottsdale Waterfront Condos:Scottsdale Daily Photo blog

By Joshua Bowling | The Republic

Since 2012, developers can construct tall buildings in exchange for public benefits. Some council members want to see that change.

Two Scottsdale City Council members are calling for the city to significantly change or completely do away with a policy that allows developers to build tall, dense buildings.

Although outnumbered, councilmembers David Smith and Kathy Littlefield objected Tuesday to Scottsdale’s practice of letting developers build taller buildings in exchange for upgrades such as pieces of public art or sidewalk improvements intended to benefit the public.

They see the tall buildings as detracting from Scottsdale’s desert views, while others see them as signs of economic vitality.


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  • Published: 10 months ago on June 3, 2017
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  • Last Modified: June 3, 2017 @ 3:23 pm
  • Filed Under: Real Estate


  1. Marcia Karasek says:

    Perhaps if the Council Members could understand the benefits of more dense development, public art and walkability vs. the economic drag and the true cost of the suburban model they would have a basis for their opinions. There are true costs to the City for not getting real numbers and facts to support their decisions. If Councilmembers and leaders would focus on the quality of the development and not just be reactive to reductionist concepts like height, they would not miss the opportunity to be leaders in creating an amazing and beautiful city for ALL of their citizens to enjoy.

    There are many people who can provide the impact analysis that will help them overcome the fallacies and weaknesses of an approach that fails to take into consideration actual economic, social, and long term benefit of creating higher buildings which can subsidize the street level and public spaces around them. if Councilmembers want to be effective leaders then they should seek knowledge, information, understanding and tax basis, job creation, cost to the city, and real estate value impact for their positions on real estate development. Cities should start to be transparent about project economic impact rather than making assumptions.

  2. Reggie Blonstein says:

    All of the new apartment buildings and condos are hiding all of the beautiful mountains!!! Those are what make Scottsdale a beautiful and desirable city in which to live.

    Can’t all of these money decisions at least leave the mountains?????

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