SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Old Town Scottsdale won't be looking old for long. A developer has a 10-year plan to tear down old buildings and put up new ones. Spring Creek Development wants to put in a hotel, retail space, offices, and residential areas between the canal and Fifth Avenue in Old Town Scottsdale. "The south side of the canal from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater is the general vicinity," said Carter Unger, the president of Spring Creek Development.

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The project is called SouthBridge 2.0. "We're doing all this to bring in high-paying -- good jobs in the area -- so they can go shop and frequent other restaurants and places in the area," Unger said. "Then, we're putting in the residential and hotel."

Janet Wilson owns buildings in Old Town Scottsdale and likes the area just like it is. She's owned properties in the area for more than 40 years. "It's going to be really hard if they do this," she said.

The Scottsdale City Council this week approved zoning changes for the project. Unger says it will help Old Town thrive. Wilson says it will hurt surrounding businesses. "It's the mess," said Wilson. "It's the construction. It's the disruption of our tenants."

"Construction is never a fun thing," Unger said. "I wish to God we could snap our fingers, and it could be done, but we can't. And so we're going to work with our tenants to help them move into different locations and phase it in a way that impacts the area as minimally as possible for construction."

Wilson and other property owners say they are so against it that they're spending about $100,000 to collect 12,000 signatures to stop this. "We filed a referendum after the vote, and we [the Committee for the Preservation of Old Town Scottsdale] have headquarters here behind The Herb Box on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way."

"It will go on a ballot, so voters in Scottsdale will have the opportunity to vote if we want this project or not," said Emily Austin, who is helping to collect signatures. Austin created a Facebook page called Save Scottsdale for the signature collection. "The outrage is so great that I think it's going to work, and I pray it does," she said. "But it is going to be something we're going to have to put our hearts and souls into."

 


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