SCOTTSDALE, AZ-Following months of continuances and postponements, the city council green-lighted construction of the $600 million, mixed-use Solis Scottsdale Resort and Residences. The council voted 5-2 at a special Jan. 28 meeting to launch all phases, including the controversial relocation of the Salt River Project’s electrical substation.

“It was a long meeting, but we’re elated and excited about moving forward on this,” comments Mark Madkour, whose local company Scottsdale Canal Development LLC is spearheading the 11-acre development at Scottsdale and Camelback Roads. With the council’s permission in hand, Madkour is ready for an imminent launch on the $20 million electrical substation relocation to another site about a mile away.

Rezoning of the property at 68th Street and Indian School Road, also owned by Scottsdale Canal Development, was the final piece of the development puzzle. Though the council was in favor of the project, the substation relocation provided a sticking point as residences and some council members voiced concern. Rezoning approval was originally scheduled for November 18 and pushed to Dec. 9, before being rescheduled for January 27. The council ultimately met on Wednesday to determine the substation’s fate.

Madkour tells the substation relocation will take approximately 18 months to complete. “We’re looking at three months for the design, 12 months for construction and three months to decommission the current site,” Madkour comments. He says once the substation is off the Solis property, construction will begin on the project’s 241-room Solis Hotel. Also on the master plan are 141 condominiums, 16 single-family penthouse residences and retail amenities such as shops and restaurants.

“The hotel flag is our engine, the driver of the project,” he explains. He says with a planned construction launch on the hotel taking place mid-to-late 2010, the timing is good. “We feel fortunate with the timeline,” he notes, adding that as the project comes on line, the markets should come back as well.

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