By J. Graber | Daily Independent
If the three rules of real estate are location, location, and location, then where is Scottsdale?
Once thought of as one of the Valley’s hotspots for growth, Scottsdale seems to be cooling.
Just six rezoning requests for new development have crossed the city planners’ desks from Jan. 1 to Aug. 15 of this year.
That’s down from 11 for same time period per year for the past three years. In the pre-COVID era, there was 14 for the same time period in 2019 and 16 in 2018.
There could be a number of reasons for the downturn.
City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, who is often called a “no-growth” council member, blames much of it to unstable economic times.
“A lot of the country is worried about facing a recession,” Littlefield said. “They don’t quite know what’s going to happen in the political arenas across the nation, and I think that is reflective on how much money developers and others, individuals also, are willing to risk renovating or redoing or building large businesses.”
She also says part of it is there is less prime real estate to develop in Scottsdale than in the past.
“As you build up, the available land becomes less … If I were a developer I would look at ‘What land can I buy at that location and at that price,’ and ask ‘Can I make a profit if I do what I want to do on it?’” Littlefield said.
But political and economic uncertainty do not seem to be holding back developers with projects already been approved by the city council.
Through the first seven months of 2023, developers pulled 122 building applications for projects already approved by the city council. That compares with 46 projects for the same time period in 2022 and 33 for the same time period in 2021.