The long awaited Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley took a step closer to reality Tuesday as a Scottsdale-based developer bought the prime property for nearly $100 million.
Ritz-Carlton officials announced in June plans for a 225-room resort hotel surrounded by luxury homes, town homes and condos, shops and luxury offices to be built on a 123-acre site radiating southwest from the intersection of Indian Bend and Scottsdale roads.
The property straddles the Scottsdale-Paradise Valley border.
Five Star Development said Tuesday it bought the land from an affiliate of Marriott International and will build and own the multifaceted project, which it values at $1.5 billion.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. will operate the resort and community under long-term management agreements.
Bucking the trend to build trendy urban hotels, Ritz-Carlton designed an ultra-upscale, hacienda-style destination retreat aimed at rich, retiring baby boomers and the international travel set.
The elegant hotel, with tennis courts, restaurants and spa, is pegged to use sister property Camelback Inn’s golf course to round out the signature amenities, Joy Berry, Ritz-Carlton senior vice president of real estate, said in announcing the plans a year ago.
The low-slung lodge and one- and two-story casita-style rooms on 23 acres in the center of the site will make up the main resort.
The proposed site plan shows the hotel ringed by 27 1-acre custom home lots, 55 luxury single-family homes, 119 town homes, 30,000-square feet devoted to resort shops — about the shopping space inside a small supermarket — and an unspecified number of time-share units.
The retail and time-share complexes are pegged for the Scottsdale side of the site.
The plan also includes lots of desert landscaping, open space, a variety of courtyards and “fingers of walking paths” to connect the resort with the homes and surrounding neighborhoods, Berry said.
Ritz-Carlton originally hoped to have the resort welcoming guests in 2008.
Five Star Development did not unveil a timetable or say whether it would tinker with the original project site plans.
The local development company, founded in 1978 by Texas real estate developer Jerry Ayoub and now based in Scottsdale, owns and develops projects in Texas, California, Arizona and Mexico.
The company said it has completed 50 projects totaling more than 15 million square feet.
“We are proud to be selected as developer and owner of this exceptional project,” Five Star vice president of development David Schmid said in a statement. “But our most significant role in this project will be as stewards of this one-ofa-kind location and world-renowned luxury hotel brand,” he said.