REIMAGINING ORO VALLEY MARKETPLACE : NOW ORO VALLEY VILLAGE CENTER
Town West Realty (with partner HSL Properties) acquired the 114-acre Oro Valley Marketplace from Phoenix-based Vestar in Sept 2019. The Center, located at the southwest corner of Oracle Road & Tangerine Road, was renamed Oro Valley Village Center.
The original design for the Oro Valley Marketplace included approximately 803,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space. At the time of Town West’s acquisition, 30 percent of the site remained undeveloped & the remaining 70 percent included a number of vacant storefronts. According to Staff & the applicant, the population density in the area never increased to the point necessary to support the Marketplace. The demographics couldn’t support it.
Their solution in 2020 was to reimagine the center to accommodate a mixed-use development comprised of two hotels & two apartment complexes with retail & a central gathering place.
The changes involved four separate but related applications involving:
The establishment of an Entertainment District in the reconstructed central open space area to serve as a community gathering and recreational area zoning credit for the proposed apartments.
Newly proposed buildings adjacent to Entertainment District with potential hotel, residential, retail, and/or restaurant space. The northernmost buildings may either be mixed or single use.
Potential for four (4) apartment areas and three (3) hotels to foster a live, shop and play environment. The proposal does not specify a commitment to build any hotel(s).
All proposed buildings maintain required setbacks. Permitted building heights are maintained except for a 10' proposed increase for potential hotels (Areas 2, 3, and 4) and the northernmost buildings adjacent to the Entertainment District in Development Area 3.
Addition of two (2) drive-thru restaurants.
Changes to associated pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
Approximately 115 residents & interested parties attended the first Neighborhood Meeting on March 10, 2020. The project request included an increase in building height & reduced buffer yard standards along the scenic Tangerine & Oracle corridors.
In August 2021, focus area meetings were conducted for specific neighborhood areas (Catalina Shadows,, Rams Canyon & Rams Pass subdivisions, Palisades & Palisades South subdivisions & homes near the intersection of Oracle & Tangerine Roads) to enable a more in-depth discussion of the issues affecting them.
In September 2021, a second community-wide neighborhood meeting was held to bring together the feedback received during the Focus Area meetings and allow the applicant to present updated information.
PLANNING & ZONING/COUNCIL MEETINGS
The Planning & Zoning Commission & the Town Council considered the applicant's proposals during multiple meetings. You can read Staff’s responses to specific questions & inquiries here.
Staff received approximately 500 letters and signatures on petitions in support & opposition to the revitalization. The two primary concerns raised by residents were traffic and potential view impacts. Town West’s petitions in support included numerous residents that live outside OV in Marana, unincorporated Pima County, Tucson, Oracle, Catalina, etc. You can read the correspondence here:
At the Feb 16, 2022 meeting, Council expressed concerns with building heights & reduced setbacks. It appeared that the applicant sensed they didn’t have enough votes for approval of the project & requested a continuance. Council voted to grant the applicant's request, subject to the applicants noticing Council of their wishes to return, so when the applicant returned to Council, they would bring back a proposal within existing building heights and building setbacks.
The applicant returned for a study session on May 18, 2022, with two "concept design options" to obtain Council guidance on minimizing view impacts (building heights & setbacks), distribution of apartments & the Entertainment District as a community amenity.
Town Council considered the applicant's requests at a Public Hearing at the November 2, 2022 regular session.
The requests included:
Item A: ESL Zoning Map Amendment
Item B: Request use of the ESL Mixed-use Flexible Design Option
Item C: Rancho Vistoso PAD Amendment
Item D: Revised Master Development Plan/Conceptual Site Plan
Items A and B were approved by Town Council. Items C and D were continued to the November 10, 2022 Special Session to enable the applicant and other Council members time to review multiple conditions proposed by Vice Mayor Barrett.
The following conditions were approved on Nov 10, 2022. As written & assuming they are not revised by a future council, (HSL made substantial campaign contributions to challenger candidates that supported the original plans: Sharp, Rodman, Erceg & Hurt in the 2022 OV Council campaign) they will ensure that the Village Center is more than a “sea of apartments.” The conditions also reduced the apartment height from 4 and 5-stories to 2 or 3-stories to preserve the Tangerine view corridor.
1. All structures associated with apartment development in Area 1 shall be 2 and 3-stories as shown on the plans, and buildings shall not be any closer to Tangerine Road than currently represented. All 2-story multi-family buildings within area 1 shall be limited to 29 feet inclusive of architectural features. All 3-story multi-family buildings within area 1 shall be limited to 39 feet, inclusive of architectural features.
2. The hotel in development area 2 shall be located as shown on the revised plans dated November 10, 2022 (south of the drive through restaurant use), and the 49’ plus 10’ for architecture is only permitted for a hotel use. The applicant agreed to the following condition: The additional 10 feet of height for architectural features for the Tangerine Road Hotel is limited to the Porte Cochere/Entry area of the hotel.
a. If apartments are approved for Area 2, the apartments are permitted to be 3-stories, but limited to 39 feet inclusive of architectural features and will be not closer to Tangerine Road than currently represented.
b. If Area 2 is to be developed without a hotel or apartments, Area 2 can be retail/restaurant as shown on the approved Development Plan along with one drive through not subject to a CUP, but subject to the staff traffic review as stated in the PAD amendment.
3. In development area 4, the 49’ plus 10’ for architectural feature height allowance is permitted for hotel use only.
4. THE HOTEL IN AREA 4 in the project must receive a certificate of occupancy prior to the certificate of occupancy being issued for any apartments IN AREA 4.
5. Regarding the two buildings proposed in the northeast portion of development area 3, the following restrictions apply:
a. If only retail is viable, then retail/restaurant shall be permitted.
b. If hotel or multi-family is viable, then the building must have retail/restaurant OPEN TO THE PUBLIC within first-floor space(s), with either multi-family or hotel permitted using part of the first floor and then on the remaining floors.
c. The 49’ plus 10’ for architectural features height allowance is permitted for only the mixed retail/restaurant and either hotel or multi-family use.
6. The portions of the Entertainment District area that must be constructed in a form accepted by the Town and in place prior to certificate of occupancy for any apartment development are those required to fulfill the Town Code open space recreational requirement for the apartments. Developer may apply for an economic incentive agreement with the Town to facilitate the additional amenity construction within the Entertainment District.
7. No senior care uses are permitted on the property.
8. Architectural features for hotel(s) may comprise no more than 20% of the roofline as viewed from any 1 side, except for parapet walls used only to screen mechanical equipment.
9. All amenities shown within the Entertainment District will be subject to the public/private partnership and a separate agreement with the Town, which could WILL include public engagement by the Town OF ORO VALLEY citizens to identify the amenities per that agreement.
10. Revise Condition #14 first sentence to state: “The Area 2, Option B (Apartments) must include an open space/dog park/ramada/playground and other small outdoor active amenity space (not including a pool) THAT IS COMMENSURATE to reflect amenities within Area 1.”, MINUS THE POOL AND INDOOR CLUBHOUSE.
If interested, you can read all the details in the final Staff report here.
NOTE: A Hampton Inn Hotel has been proposed for the Oracle Hotel site.
Source: Town Manager’s Executive Report to Council, May 2023