Residents submit signatures opposing Scottsdale Fashion Square expansion

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

With more than 12 million visitors a year, Scottsdale Fashion Square is among the 25 busiest malls in America.

The mall’s owners are seeking permission to expand the retail and dining facility with high-rise towers, offices and a hotel, but the plans have some neighbors concerned.

The developer has asked the city for permission to build up to 150 feet, similar to the Scottsdale Waterfront Residences and the AmTrust office tower. The mall is currently zoned for 90 feet.

A group of residents in Optima Camelview Village, near Scottsdale Road and Highland Avenue, filed hundreds of signatures Friday in opposition of the request with the Scottsdale City Clerk’s office. 

Residents noted that 150-foot buildings proposed along Highland Avenue would be about twice as tall as the 76-foot Optima, a complex covered with plants in landscaped terraces and gardened rooftops.

“The building itself will cast the whole south side of the complex in shade. Wherever there's a 150 foot tall building, we're going to be in the shade. And the plants just can't take that -- not to mention the residents!” said Optima Camelview Village resident Kevin Gambill.

If enough signatures are valid, the move would force the developer, Macerich, to secure a three-fourths majority of the City Council to approve requests for additional height and setback variances. A setback is the distance a building sits from the street.

The Optima residents say they might support development above 90 feet if the developer agreed to additional setback distances.

The city council is scheduled to vote on the matter August 29.

Representatives of Macerich were unavailable for an interview Friday, but Assistant Vice President of Development Andy Greenwood sent the following statement:

“We have been working with neighbors, businesses, retailers and the Scottsdale City Council for some time to ensure that Scottsdale Fashion Square’s expansion moves forward in a manner that’s best for everyone. We remain committed to the project, and to the community, and look forward to continuing to work together to execute the best plan for the shopping center's expansion, for downtown, and for the great City of Scottsdale.”

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.