Developer aims to restart condo project

A Dallas-based developer wants to revive a condominium project north of Scottsdale Fashion Square to build hundreds of high-end apartments. JLB Partners is requesting city approval of its plan to build 369 apartments at what had been called Portales Place, a project that was to include 126 condos priced from $800,000 to $4.5. million. Scottsdale-based Grace Communities started excavation of the project in December 2005 but did not get far. The failed development left behind a dust bowl and a vacant 10-acre site at Goldwater Boulevard and Highland Avenue. JLB Partners would build apartments of up to four stories and two-story carriage-house apartments with attached garages, said Kevin Ransil, JLB's Arizona regional partner. "It's an eyesore for the city of Scottsdale in a prominent location," Ransil said of the site. "We can get that hole filled up that's a reminder of a failed project." Luxury-apartment projects have replaced condos as the housing choice of Scottsdale developers. The city has approved or is considering plans for 4,900 apartment units, including 700 units for Gray Development's Blue Sky project northeast of Camelback and Scottsdale roads. The Portales apartments would give residents access to the same lifestyle amenities that downtown condo owners enjoy without having to invest a half-million dollars for a condo, Ransil said.

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