Five Star Development to bring to market one-of-a-kind Arizona luxury experience

Scottsdale resident and Five Star Development founder Jerry Ayoub looks upon the forthcoming Ritz-Carlton development ultimately bringing a new view of affluence to the Phoenix metropolitan area. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Over the span of roughly 5,475 days, the highs and lows of local politics and one Great Recession, Scottsdale resident Jerry Ayoub maintained one singular focus: Build the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley.

A view of the current state of affairs at the Five Star Development parcel on the municipal borders of Paradise Valley and Scottsdale. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Confusion and community consternation has surrounded the forthcoming one-of-a-kind luxury resort and retail spectacle due to starts and stops of construction, shifting opening dates and most recently the outcome of entitlements garnered through a municipal development agreement.

But in early August, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company formally announced its expected summer 2020 opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley.

“The whole project seeks to be the best in class at every level,” said Mr. Ayoub, Five Star Development founder, at Scottsdale Spectrum, 6720 N. Scottsdale Road, Monday, Aug. 19. “You have top-of-the-line architecture inside and out. We have spent a lot of time to be able to accommodate the changing needs of the market — we want to market this as a worldwide destination.”

The Ritz-Carlton development site — a more than 100-acre luxury development effort an arrow’s shot from Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive — has more than 500 full-time construction professionals working around the clock. Nearly 300,000 square feet of concrete has been laid, Five Star officials confirm.

As of Monday, Aug. 19 it appears the majority of hotel infrastructure is in place and the magnitude of the project including its underground facilities is staggering.

Mr. Ayoub confirms to Independent Newsmedia, the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley will be built — and when it is, people will come.

The development entitlements granted to Five Star Development by Paradise Valley Town Council is broken into seven development-area characteristics:

  • Area A: 200-room resort on 18.1 acres.
  • Area A1: 94 resort-branded villas.
  • Area B: 66 single-family homes on 31.3 acres.
  • Area C: 39 resort-branded, single-family homes on 17.2 acres.
  • Area D: 53 townhomes on 8.8 acres.
  • Area E1: A 54,000 square-foot luxury retail center on 7.2 acres.
  • Area E2: Influx design as the use of 5.7 acres is yet to be determined

Last February, Five Star Development hosted a private groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the initial phase of the retail and restaurant component of The Palmeraie, apart of the estimated $2 billion master-planned community that will span a total of 122 acres.

A view of the ongoing construction at the Five Star Development site. (Independent newsmdedia/Arianna Grainey)

Scottsdale City Council has voted to allow for a mixed-use development — now known as The Palmeraie — within Scottsdale city limits that can consist of 141 residential units in 170,000 square feet, a maximum of 150 hotel units on 134,000 square feet, 226,000 square feet of commercial space and 80,000 square feet of office space.

“It connects in both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley through The Palmeraie,” Mr. Ayoub said of the regional significance of the luxury retail component.

“The idea is to keep people on site. During high season, it is not hard to get people here. But we wanted to focus this idea of an outdoor spa and we have outdoor components to be able to host events on site.”

The initial phase of The Palmeraie encompasses approximately 160,000 square feet of high-end, mixed-use space on 18 acres at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend, bordering the Town of Paradise Valley.

Home to more than 60 luxury and specialty boutiques, The Palmeraie will also incorporate a variety of dining destinations featuring local and international chefs. International luxury brand, Fendi, is also launching its Private Residences line, which will be a 30-acre destination point for those seeking the best in residential class, promoters contend.

“The clientele we are looking to attract are those who are not necessarily looking to downsize, but instead don’t want to worry about the maintenance of their home anymore,” Mr. Ayoub said. “In addition to The Palmeraie development, this will be the first Ritz-Carlton built in North America in the last 10 years.”

— Jerry Ayoub, Five Star Development

Despite the ups and downs, Mr. Ayoub remains steadfast to the assertion he is getting this done.

“We have been very successful and I am very proud of this,” he said. “The whole project is going to be unique and special — this is our ocean-front property, you know?”

That ocean-front property in Arizona is found in Paradise Valley, where community values are held high — and Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner takes that charge seriously.

“In 2015, I did not vote for the deal passed by a 4-3 margin on that Town Council, principally because I was concerned that the proposal had too much density — particularly the 91 stacked condos and dozens of townhomes that were permitted in a relatively small area — and because other terms of the agreement strayed from many of our traditional town standards,” Mr. Bien-Willner told the Independent Newsmedia in early August.

“Since the deal was approved, however, I and all others at the town have worked in good faith to keep the town’s commitments under the agreement, and have looked for ways to support the prompt and successful completion of the project in ways consistent with the terms of the development agreement.”

A picturesque view of The Palmeraie groundbreaking, which will be the luxury retail component of the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley found in the City of Scottsdle. (File Photo)

A place on the map

Scottsdale public relations executive Jason Rose contends the project has the opportunity to create a unique ambiance around both Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“I don’t think there has been enough attention given to the vision of what this project truly represents — this is not a project just in Paradise Valley,” he said.

One of two underground parking structures where tons of cement is being poured around the clock at the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley development site. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

“It is not just my firm or anyone else’s that is making this project important — its the Ritz-Carlton and it is now time to put the politics aside and lets get behind this project. Hopefully, as a community we can now take a different approach.”

Rose+Moser+Allyn Public and Online Relations receives compensation from Five Star Development, but the sentiment of opportunity appears to be organic.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ritz-Carlton to Scottsdale and Paradise Valley in the summer of 2020,” said Experience Scottsdale President and CEO Rachel Sacco.

“Ritz-Carlton and the larger community of The Palmeraie will be great additions to the luxury product offered in the region, aligning well with the luxury travel brand that Experience Scottsdale promotes to leisure visitors, meeting planners, travel professionals and media around the globe.”

Under a 501(c)6 nonprofit umbrella, the private company known as Experience Scottsdale holds contracts with both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley to conduct marketing efforts on behalf of the municipalities.

A photograph in an attempt to capture the massive size of the two underground parking structures and pipielines allowing the luxury development to come to fruition. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

The idea the Ritz-Carlton — along with established luxury retail brands along for the ride at The Palmeraie — carries a certain kind of clientele is not that far-fetched, Ms. Sacco says.

“Ritz-Carlton has a dedicated customer base, and these customers will appreciate the wide array of amenities Scottsdale and Paradise Valley have to offer, both in the future shopping center at The Palmeraie and beyond,” she said.

“Like many of our visitors, they will enjoy our renowned arts and culture, our fine dining restaurants, our golf courses and more. We hope Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley, introduces new travelers to the Scottsdale area, as well as provides another fantastic accommodation option for our returning visitors.”

Furthermore, Ms. Sacco points out those travelers help cover the bottom line of both municipalities.

“And, as is the case with all of our local hospitality businesses, both Ritz-Carlton and The Palmeraie shopping center will funnel important visitor-paid, bed- and sales-tax dollars into Paradise Valley and Scottsdale to the benefit of both communities,” she said.

Rob Millar, Scottsdale economic development director, says one-of-a-kind retail opportunities is where Scottsdale shines.

“The Ritz-Carlton project itself is on Paradise Valley land,” he pointed out. “Having a resort on the border of Scottsdale and the types of clients who will be using the Ritz-Carlton adds to the mix of offering we have in Scottsdale. And, retail is where Scottsdale shines. We are excited about the Ritz-Carlton coming online.”

— Rob Millar, Scottsdale economic development director

Mr. Millar explains both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley will benefit once both retail and resort components are active.

“The retail piece that is in the City of Scottsdale, that is about 200,000 square feet of retail, which is going to have pretty unique retail experiences,” he said.

“Obviously, that sales tax revenue will come directly to the City of Scottsdale — collectively developing that entire complex rising tide raises all ships. It will have a positive impact not in Scottsdale alone, but the Phoenix metro area as a whole.”

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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