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Five Star Development Planning a 225 room Ritz Carlton Resort and a Residential Community
 in Paradise Valley, Arizona
By Donna Hogan, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Apr. 12, 2008 - The Paradise Valley Town Council unanimously approved its portion of the $1.5 billion proposed Ritz-Carlton resort and residential community Thursday.

Scottsdale-based Five Star Development plans to build the ultra-upscale complex on 123 acres southwest of Indian Bend and Scottsdale roads. The project spills about 16 acres over the town's border into Scottsdale.

A new boutique urban hotel brand, Edition, is planned for the Scottsdale portion. It will be one of the first sites for the new brand -- a collaboration of Marriott International Chairman Bill Marriott and Studio 54 and Morgans Hotel Group co-founder Ian Schrager.

But Paradise Valley gets Arizona's first Ritz-Carlton resort. Phoenix has a Ritz-Carlton urban hotel at 24th Street and Camelback Road. It's elegant and pricey, but lacking resort amenities.

Plans for the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley resort and the upscale homes surrounding it have been tweaked a bit since plans were first announced nearly two years ago.

The 225-room resort hotel, with spa, restaurants and meeting rooms, is still the centerpiece of the project, but the type and number of homes have been reduced to address neighbors' concerns.

The just-approved version includes 100 resort patio homes, 46 luxury detached homes and 15 one-acre custom home lots.

Five Star plans to start construction this summer with completion for the entire master-planned community and resort hotel by summer 2010, said Brendan Mann of S&P Destination Properties, sales director for the project.

Canada-based S&P Destination Properties, a resort and luxury real estate company, is on board to handle home sales and marketing.

"The number of inquiries about the development's ownership opportunities on a local, national and even international level has been overwhelming. Calls and e-mails come in every day with people interested in being part of the first Ritz-Carlton master-planned community," Mann said. "It's a limited opportunity within a prestigious city known around the globe as a top resort destination. Potential home buyers see this as a collectible piece of real estate."

He said pricing for the Ritz residences will start at $2 million for the villas or patio homes. The single-family homes will be priced initially from $3.5 million to $6 million. And for the homes built on custom sites, the sky's the limit, he said. Paradise Valley's ritzy residents are apparently still divided over the Ritz's plans, and could try to stop the project through a referendum.


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