We Don’t Get It

The expansive Ritz-Carlton project in Paradise Valley passed a couple of years ago on the closest of Town Council votes, 4-3.

While the vote of the elected officials was closer than the favorable public opinion that existed for the project there’s no questioning the compelling arguments that existed on both sides.

But that should now be over and those that may not have supported the Ritz should now be rooting for its success.

After all, the project has the chance to expand the notion of luxury in Paradise Valley. And that’s hard to do. It has the chance to generate more tax revenue than all of the other commercial properties in town . . . combined. And it is already resonating with existing town residents as a staggering number of buyers of new Ritz residences hail from the locality itself.

With the hotel’s construction well underway including its rooms, pools and lobby, everyone should be doing everything it can to help the hotel open in Spring, 2020.

No more slow walking inspections. No more bureaucratic delays. No more game playing.

A lesson from Scottsdale can be instructive.

Los Arcos Mall once occupied the corner of Scottsdale and McDowell. Voters approved a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes there, accompanied by a mixed-use project, but the City Council couldn’t get it done. A subsequent proposal involved a Walmart Supercenter. But that too was nixed. So along came ASU and a vision for a technology campus for corporates. It became known as SkySong. A recipient of generous city assistance, unlike the Ritz, the ASU plan was opposed by two councilmembers. One was named Jim Lane, who now is Scottsdale’s Mayor.

Lane understood, and he talks about this periodically, that a council majority had made a decision and later, when he became Mayor, it was his job to make things in his city successful. So that is the approach he adopted with SkySong. And since Lane became Mayor look at its performance. Six office buildings. New residences. New restaurants. Simply put, it’s been a real shot in the arm delivering for his southern city what was contemplated many years ago.

Along the way there have been changes at SkySong. That’s not because they are greedy, evil developers seeking to screw the city. Instead things in business, like life, can change. The marketplace ratifies your original concepts or forces audibles. In general, Scottsdale and SkySong have enjoyed a cordial and collaborative approach benefitting the community. That shoud be the case in Paradise Valley with the Ritz.

Currently a construction site resembling a beehive of activity, the Ritz project will be a success. It’s just a matter of when not if. So we wonder why Paradise Valley wouldn’t prefer this sooner than later?

After all, when the Ritz and its associated elements are up and running it will forever eliminate the talk and need for the first-time imposition of a property tax in the town. And that’s something everyone should get. And applaud.