Tidal Wave

Wow.  Just wow.

Over the past several political cycles the Scottsdale City Council has taken a decided turn towards “slower growthers.”  Indeed, the body now has a clear 6-1 majority that leans in this direction.

There are a variety of reasons but perhaps the biggest is the realization of the electorate that Scottsdale is indeed a pretty special place and just doesn’t need a bunch more stuff.  Redevelopment should and does get a bit more benefit of the doubt but new development is now shrouded in skepticism.

Everywhere but Hayden and the 101 that is.  Add up what has been approved or is being proposed for the area and there is a reason residents there may be believing a tsunami or The Apocalypse is at hand.

Just add it up:

To the west Optima was recently approved and is about to start construction on 1,300 units, the largest apartment project in city history.  On one corner of Hayden and Loop 101 lies Nationwide’s very big and expanding campus.  To the south Axon’s proposed corporate headquarters is now looking to become Apartmentville, dwarfing Optima with a proposal for over 2,300 units.  Then there is Mack’s 1.2 million square foot industrial project, one of the largest in city history, just to the east.  And in the middle of it all Banner comes along and wants to build a large hospital with a helipad.

Funny, we don’t recall residents being upset with healthcare in Scottsdale between Mayo and HonorHealth.  Or that residents are dying for a repeat of the kind of traffic one experiences near 92nd and Shea where HonorHealth’s North Campus lies.

Then again Banner’s real reason for adding fuel to this fire – having had no real presence in the community forever, was revealed last week in the Phoenix Business Journal.  They want a North Scottsdale hospital to complete their “ecosystem.”  Translation: It’s the only part of the Valley they don’t own and need to continue their plan for market dominance. That and their hope to serve the “50,000-100,000 new residents” they see coming to the area, according to the same article.

That must be music to nearby residents, others in North Scottsdale who hardly want this kind of growth and the elected officials who were put in office not to cater to the whims of developers and corporate interests but the residents who put them there in the first place.

Thus far this City Council has done a commendable job approving some things and rejecting others.  But what is now happening at Hayden and the 101 is a corporate gold rush.

It will be fascinating whether the Scottsdale City Council stays true to its campaign commitments, or makes previous councils look cautious when it comes to specious growth.