It would be far more forthright for developer Jerry Ayoub, who wants to build a dense subdivision in Paradise Valley that happens to include a Ritz-Carlton hotel, to level with the good people in town rather than his current silly rhetoric.
It would go like this: I paid way too much for the large property at Scottsdale and Indian Bend during Arizona’s real estate heights. I spent too much on lawyers and lawsuits to keep the property. And now I have to pay whopping interest payments to Bob Parsons for a cash infusion I needed to hold on. If you want a Ritz in the shortest term I may be able to deliver one. But you have to bail me out of my quixotic adventure with development rights not tendered in the locale’s history. Not by a little bit. But by a lot.
So do town officials want to violate everything the community stands for just to get a Ritz now?
The citizenry likely won’t after the political con job behind the proposal becomes more well known. So let’s discuss and revisit.
Ayoub says the 4-story Scottsdale-approved apartment complex at Lincoln and Scottsdale Road is now causing him to go up, in violation of town principles. Granted, this was approved by Scottsdale not Paradise Valley but Ayoub as an adjoining property owner could have forced a supermajority vote on the matter, likely killing it. He didn’t by design. For reasons we are hearing now. Surely it was no coincidence that both projects share the same zoning attorney either.
The Ayoub camp is actually saying another Scottsdale approval, that for a 4-story condominium project on the old Borgata site influences its proposal too. What? That’s like half a mile away.
And then there’s the proposal to go to 58-feet, two stories higher than anything else existing in Paradise Valley.
But the best political chicanery of all is the claim that the new plan is comparable to that approved by the Town Council and voters in 2008. The only reason it can be said with a straight face is that their application did not include all of the property’s acreage. While we admire the Obi Wan Kenobi “these are not the droids you are looking” for approach, its allegiance to truth rivals Hillary Clinton’s rationale about emails.
One of the best things about Paradise Valley is the sophistication of its Town Council. They are peers of the well to dos proposing things in town. They are not overly impressed by wealth or flash. This fortitude and experience has protected the community for generations. It is a jurisdiction, unlike most others, where it is most often better to say no than yes.
In this case a desperate developer who once viciously attacked the immediate past Mayor of Paradise Valley, is asking for an obscene subsidy. Not with a GPLET or other financial rebates typical in other cities, but with the development allowances never before awarded.
It is not and should not be the job of the Paradise Valley Town Council to bail out Ayoub. It should wait him out. Patience is a virtue and if Parsons eventually gets the parcel at a cost basis half to one third of Ayoub the project will be far more better than the odors now emitting from the town’s eastern flank.