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Realtor Juan Pesqueira
A vacant downtown Scottsdale property that was cleared for a luxury hotel and condominiums is scheduled for a trustee sale next week.
A development group headed by Mark Madkour of Scottsdale Canal Development had plans to build the 240-room Solis Scottsdale hotel and 140 condominiums on the 10.57-acre property.
But the lender foreclosed on the property and Scottsdale Canal Development filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall.
The site northeast of Scottsdale and Camelback roads and east of the Arizona Canal has been vacant for nearly three years. Madkour’s group tore down aging apartments along 73rd Street to prepare the property for development.
Madkour said Scottsdale Canal Development might bid at the trustee sale.
“We still feel we are the best one to move forward with this project,” he said. “There’s been interest in the northern portion for multifamily development but that doesn’t help the situation.”
Scottsdale Canal Development had an ambitious $600 million project pegged for the site with a 72-foot hotel, underground parking, six condo buildings, walking paths and two bridges over the canal. The company also planned to move a Salt River Project electrical substation from the site to a spot northeast of 68th Street and Indian School Road.
Most of the opposition centered on relocation of the substation.
Tony Viti, who lives north of the site in Villa Monterey Unit 1, said he hopes the property gets developed but he is not sure he will ever see it.
“It doesn’t look good,” he said. “It’s just sitting there with some graffiti on the fences.”
Still, the vacant property is an improvement over the apartments that had been on the site, said Viti, who is vice president of the Villa Monterey Unit 1 homeowners association.
“We had all kinds of people walking through our neighborhood,” Viti said. “We had guys sleeping back by the canal.”
Scottsdale Canal Development defaulted on a series of loans for the project.
Boulder Capital is owed more than $12 million, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.
Madkour said he is trying to line up other investors for the project.
“We have three strong candidates that could come in and help us with a joint venture,” he said.
“It’s been extremely challenging,” Madkour said. “We didn’t walk away because we really believe in the project…I firmly believe in the location.”
Madkour said he has been trying to lure investors over the past two years but they are hesitant.
“Arizona is just so tarnished by this imploded real-estate market,” he said. “It really is on a black list for some people.”
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