|By Donna Hogan, The Tribune, Mesa,
Ariz.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Sep. 12, 2008 - Paradise Valley is pegged to get Arizona's first Ritz-Carlton resort, pending the results of a Nov. 4 vote that could screech the project to a halt.
But Scottsdale is likely to get the first Arizona version of Marriott's new lifestyle boutique hotel brand Edition on its 16-acre chunk of the property.
"We're talking to a couple of people in this market (about an Edition)," said Stephen Mudge, Marriott International executive vice president for mixed use development.
One of the developers in those talks is Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley developer Five Star Development, which owns the land that straddles the Scottsdale-Paradise Valley border, southwest of Indian Bend and Scottsdale roads.
While all the attention has been on the Ritz and the residential component that is planned for the 100-acreplus Paradise Valley portion of the land, Five Star is moving forward with plans for shops, offices, condos and a hotel on the Scottsdale side, said David Schmid, Five Star's vice president of development.
Schmid said Five Star has zeroed in on the Edition for its urban-style luxury hotel. But Schmid and Mudge said that as of now, no deal has been signed, although it could happen very soon.
Edition is the product of an odd collaboration of Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager and Marriott Chairman Bill Marriott.
Besides fame from his bawdy '70s New York nightclub, Schrager is widely credited with pioneering the concept of the boutique hotel, loosely defined as an intimate and distinctive luxury property with high-level customer service.
Schrager and Studio 54 partner Steve Rubell opened the Morgans Hotel in 1984. Schrager furthered the concept with a dozen or so more upscale hotels with resort amenities. They include the Delano Hotel in Miami and Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, the precursor to Scottsdale's Mondrian.
When Schrager and Marriott announced the Edition in January, they said they planned to debut the brand worldwide as soon as 2010 in such world capitals as Paris, Madrid, Costa Rica, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.
Nobody knows what the hotels will look like. There are no renderings because each property will be designed differently, Schrager said.
"We will have different designers, and different locations will require a different approach," he said at the time. "A 300-year-old building in Paris will look and feel quite different from a new build in Los Angeles. Each property will have its individual style, but some things will be universal with Edition -- a common attitude and DNA."
More definable characteristics common to all planned Editions are size -- about 200 rooms -- and a residential component, Mudge said.
Schmid said Five Star hopes to submit preliminary plans for the entire Scottsdale portion of the project to the city before year's end. But first he has to get the Paradise Valley plans back on track, he said.
"We feel the need to focus on the Ritz-Carlton right now, so 98 percent of our efforts are on that," Schmid said.
While the Ritz has all the required town approvals, a group of residents trying to stop the residential villas that are a central part of the plan, have forced the issue to a vote on the Nov. 4 ballot.
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