Elevation Chandler still grounded - East Valley Tribune: News

Elevation Chandler still grounded

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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:22 am | Updated: 5:48 pm, Tue Jun 11, 2013.

City officials are hopeful that construction will resume on an unfinished high-rise near Chandler Fashion Center when financiers auction the property in April.

Elevation Chandler, a planned 15-level tower of luxury condominiums and hotel suites, has sat idle for two years, and the project's note holders are foreclosing on the building for the second time.

The tower's developer - Jeff Cline of Signature Properties West - hopes to obtain refinancing, or an extension on his current financing, said Chandler City Manager Mark Pentz.

Cline had already secured a $25 million bridge loan in late 2006 when debtors first tried to foreclose on the property. Pentz said he had doubts that Cline would be successful a second time around.

"I would be surprised, but I suppose that's within the realm of possibilities," he said.Cline could not be reached for comment.

Elevation Chandler has drawn the ire of residents and city officials.

"People consider it an eyesore, and with other projects moving forward in Chandler, they don't understand why this one isn't," Pentz said.

With no legal recourse to spur action on the stalled project, Chandler hopes the project will reach its full potential under a new developer.

Doug Ballard, Chandler planning and development director, said officials notified Cline that he was responsible for maintaining safety and security around the property after vandals breached the protective fencing and painted it with graffiti last year.

The city also requested and obtained a report on the building's structural integrity to ensure that its exposed flooring wasn't in danger of collapsing as a result of stress caused by extreme heat and cold.

Beyond that, Ballard said city officials have few options.

"If one were to conclude that the structure is unsafe, we always have the option to condemn it as being unsafe and to order it demolished," he said. "(But) there's no evidence that it's unsafe. It's certainly unsightly, and we're certainly concerned about it. But I'm not sure we can make the argument that it's unsafe."

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