Source: North Scottsdale Independent
By: Terrance Thornton
The trapped value of land where the iconic Mountain Shadows Golf Resort once stood may soon be realized by a joint venture between Westroc Hospitality and the Woodbine Development Corp.
Rod Cullum, owner of Cullum Homes, at the Jan. 24 McLarens, Martinis & Models at The Village at Mountain Shadows event announced the dual effort bringing a top-flight resort product to the Mountain Shadows property.
Crown Realty & Development Senior Vice President of Property Acquisition Rick Carpinelli has confirmed the deal is done and a luxury resort will be built and operated through a 50-50 partnership between Westroc and Woodbine.
The duo is expected to close escrow in late January on the resort portions of the Mountain Shadows prop-erty on the southwest corner of 56th Street and Lincoln Drive, according to Crown Realty officials.
Plans call for construction to begin in summer 2015 on a full-service boutique resort featuring 175 guest rooms in a two-building complex, an adjacent building containing 31 hotel-condominium units, and a corner neighborhood market.
The Mountain Shadows Golf Course, an 18-hole course well-suited for today’s golfers, will be rehabilitated as part of the project. Developers intend to retain the Mountain Shadows name when the new resort opens in 2017.
Scottsdale-based Westroc owns and operates Hotel Valley Ho and Sanctuary on Camelback, while the Dallas-based Woodbine Corp. is responsible for multi-use development at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, among a host of other properties.
“Woodbine has had its eye on this piece of property for years, knowing how much potential exists to restore Mountain Shadows to its former glory,” said Woodbine President and CEO John Scovell in a prepared statement.
Westroc CEO Scott Lyon, a Paradise Valley resident, agrees the potential to create a new icon is immense.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to blend the history of the property with a fresh, contemporary design that will lead the resort into the future,” he said.
Crown Realty is retaining 11 acres of the Mountain Shadows project to be designed and developed as res-idential units that are closely integrated with the resort elements including fitness, spa, pool and golf.
Crown officials say details on the plans for the development of the balance of the residential portions will be released over the next several months.
Confirmation of plans
Paradise Valley Town Council unanimously approved a special-use permit April 18, 2013 to give Crown Re-alty & Development, the owner of the property, the green light to begin revamp efforts.
The resort property, at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive, has been vacant since September 2004, but has re-mained the centerpiece to an affluent subdivision known as Mountain Shadows east and west, which con-tains just under 120 homes.
Paradise Valley SUP guidelines require a 100-key resort hotel product be built and operational while resi-dential, to a certain density degree, be built around the new resort.
The formal plan, among other things, calls for buildings as high as 36 feet associated with only hotel struc-tures on the west side of the property, divided by 56th Street at Lincoln Drive.
The maximum height of residential units will be 28 feet, Crown officials say.
The east side of the proposed development is planned for 40 single-family lots on about 11.5 acres of land. Crown officials, however, say all homes built adjacent to existing homes will be one story in height and a minimum 10,000 square feet.
“This is just confirmation the plans are really going to happen,” said Mr. Cullum in a Jan. 27 phone inter-view. “There is a lot of caution in the market as it relates to Mountain Shadows. This has been a very long and drawn-out process.”
Officials say the hope is to have the resort operational by the end of 2016.
Mr. Cullum points out much of the credit is due to Robert Flaxman, owner of Crown Realty & Development, and the Town of Paradise Valley.
“The promise is being delivered,” he said.
Cullum Homes has been the first to break ground –building a community to be known as The Village at Mountain Shadows –at the resort site at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive in the Town of Paradise Valley.
A subsidiary of Scottsdale-based Cullum Homes purchased the 40 residential lots –just over 9,500 square feet with a value of $575,000 per lot –with intentions to ceremonially break ground Monday, Sept. 8.
Crown Realty & Development has also made good on its promise of dedicating $1.6 million to allow the Town of Paradise Valley to completely rebuild a rundown stretch of road at 56th Street at Lincoln Drive with construction underway at the soon-to-be resort entryway.
More than new revenue
Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins says both hoteliers have proven track records.
“We know West Roc to be a leader in developing and managing luxury properties that blend with their set-ting while standing apart from the competition,” he said in Jan. 27 written response to e-mailed questions.
“We know Woodbine for integrating local historical and cultural information into everything from the archi-tecture and interior design to the naming of key structures and facilities. The combined team of West Roc and Woodbine would make for an exciting partner to the town.”
So far, Mayor Collins likes what he sees. “I saw no surprises and found them to
be largely consistent with the terms set forth in the SUP and development agreement,” he pointed out.
Redevelopment of the Mountain Shadows site is less about revenue potential than it is the rejuvenation of a blighted resort property, Mayor Collins says.
“It was always more about finding a compromise development solution than generating long-term revenue,” he said of town council’s motivations to see a resort property rebuilt. “But every little piece helps and reve-nues from the redeveloped resort property are certainly needed.”
Mayor Collins calls the coming West Roc and Woodbine resort product a win-win for the community.
“Not only could we get a known and trusted resort developer and resort operator, we could erase a blemish in the center of our community that has plagued us for years,” he said.
“It was a big accomplishment to get the deal done. Now hopefully we will start to see the beginnings of a renewed Mountain Shadows brand and quality redeveloped resort asset in the town.”