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          Front Page




3 Six-Story Buildings in Project

By Rory McClannahan
Journal Staff Writer
    The West Side could be home to three six-story buildings in the next couple of years.
    Interstate Development Co. is proposing to develop a 426,000-square-foot village center called Fountain Hills Plaza on 36 acres near the intersection of Paradise and Eagle Ranch. The development, which would be done in six phases would include retail and office space, a hotel and two condominiums. The hotel and condos are proposed to be six-story buildings, according to plans submitted to the city's Planning Department.
    The developers plan to unveil their plans and take comments at a public meeting scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Taylor Ranch Community Center.
    William Nelson, a partner with Interstate Development, did not want to comment on the development Friday.
    "In all fairness to our situation as the developers, we would prefer to withhold any comment until after we have presented this to the public," Nelson said. "Anyone is welcome to come to the public meeting."
    Interstate Development submitted its site development application to the city on Jan. 7. Included in the application is a summary of the proposed project compiled by CP Architects. The site development plan has to be approved by the city's Environmental Planning Commission before construction can begin. The commission is scheduled to hold a hearing on the project March 17.
    The tract is zoned for special uses that allow commercial development.
    According to the project summary, the proposal includes 17 separate buildings on the tract in an "integrated circulation pattern." The layout would allow the development to accomplish two goals: permit easy entrance, movement and parking within the center, and make it pedestrian friendly.
    Possible retail uses could include a grocery store, restaurants and other stores. There would also be professional office space, the summary states. The plan also calls for two upscale condominium towers to meet a "market void" on the West Side.
    The plan also includes a central plaza that would include a large fountain and serve as an outdoor meeting space that could be used for entertainment and arts events, the summary states.
    "It is the developers' intent to minimize the impact upon the physical, visual, noise and traffic conditions currently established in the neighborhood with tasteful, desirable and contributing land uses to maintain and improve the quality of life for the area," the summary states.
    Interstate Development would also widen Paradise to accommodate extra traffic on the road.
    The developers hope to start construction on the first phase of the project by the end of June with businesses moving in by the beginning of 2006.
    The site development plan submitted to the city is to "obtain conceptual site approval only," the summary states. Specific building approval would go through the city's Design Review Board.