Three months ago, the developer behind a luxury hotel and condominium highrise near Chandler Fashion Center boasted the project was well ahead of schedule.
But work on Elevation Chandler stopped nearly a month ago, and city officials have begun asking questions. The building, slated to be the city’s tallest, is just an eightfloor skeleton awaiting completion.
“Our department hasn’t heard from the developer,” Chandler planning and development director Doug Ballard said. “But certainly, the site seems to be completely decommissioned.”
Ballard sent a letter June 7 to developer Jeff Cline of Signature Properties West, asking for a schedule for completion of the 10-story project.
“We kind of wanted to know what to expect,” Ballard said. “We’re getting a lot of questions.”
But concerns over the project or the developer are unfounded, Cline said in a letter to the Tribune.
“Neither Elevation Chandler, not the developer, are bankrupt or are filing for bankruptcy,” Cline wrote. “Full and complete financing is in place to complete the project.”
The developer also hasn’t picked up or paid for four building permits that will be needed before work continues. The cost of those permits, including impact fees, runs close to $700,000, Ballard said.
“There’s absolutely no problems,” Cline said, calling the construction halt simply a result of a delay in getting the building’s upper-level condominium portion approved by the city.
The top two floors of the building required separate city approval because they will house the project’s residential units. Cline said plans weren’t approved as quickly as expected and delayed the rest of the project.
Ballard warned that construction on the project cannot go much further under the current permits, which expire in September. The unpaid permits will expire July 24, he said.
There is no set date to resume work, Cline said, but he expects construction to start sometime in the next few weeks.
“The permits will be taken out as we need them,” Cline said. “You wouldn’t go out and borrow $600,000 if you didn’t need the money yet.”