Earlier this week, applicants of the M7 project, located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 7th Street in downtown Tempe requested for a PAD overlay to let them go vertical, all the way up to 300+ feet. The property was originally supposed to house a Marriot Sports Club Hotel, which is now proposed for a different location.
M7 could potentially have 3 towers on the 1.73-acre lot. A 17-story hotel tower consisting of 240 rooms, as well as two 26-story residential towers boasting 370 units. To fit all of this on the lot, it will require the developers to demolish a few buildings that extend from the vacant lot on the corner all the way east to Myrtle Ave. There is a series of old, dilapidated single or two-story buildings in this small area of Tempe, that in due time, will be completely transformed into a hip, urban energized 24/7 living environment.
The current project proposed the typical ground floor retail extending on 7th street between Mill & Myrtle Ave with residential and hotel above. The developers only went in this past week to request the PAD overlay which is the all-powerful zoning tool that allows a tweaking of the set development standards to fit the needs of higher densities, vertical growth and lower parking standards. In this case, the site is in the City Center zoning district, where the building height is a maximum of 50 feet, parking required for this development would be over 1,600 spaces and the other standards are not specified. Adding the PAD overlay allows the developers to request 306’ instead of 50’ as their maximum height and reduce the parking to 1,129 spaces, as well as customizing their standards for building lot coverage, landscaped area and setbacks.
I know a large portion of this information is new and possibly confusing to many perspective buyers out there. I think that understanding to a certain extent how these things work, how projects get approved, why developers chose to do this is important to the homebuyer. Like I have previously said in many blogs, Tempe has a great “urban focus” for their zoning code, which is why projects like M7, Centerpoint, Hayden Flour Mill, Onyx, Hayden Ferry Lakeside and 100 Mill will rule the urban sky in the valley. I don’t want to rule out Phoenix though, because in short time, a new zoning system will be implemented in the downtown core, called form-based code. It is very new to almost everyone and I will soon fill you in exactly what it does and explain how it works. The main idea is to improve the city approval process for rezoning existing parcels to make way for high-rises. Thus letting great urban projects receive quick approval from the city, speeding up the urban living revitalization of Downtown Phoenix.
If you would like more information regarding the M7 project, please reply to the blog and I will respond with whatever I know. Just remember, the project is early in the city approval stages and the developers have not released any information on pricing, HOA’s, or floor plans yet. As soon as they do, you will be the first to know