Princess Receives Meeting Space Fit for a King; City Tentatively Expanding the Sonoran Preserve

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor A major expansion will be undertaken by one of the Phoenix Metro area’s largest resorts. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is set to receive a regal makeover that would add a whopping 52,000 square feet to it, [...]

A major expansion will be undertaken by one of the Phoenix Metro area’s largest resorts. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is set to receive a regal makeover that would add a whopping 52,000 square feet to it, leaving the resort with a total of 150,000 square feet of meeting space. The expansion, which is set to finalize October 2012, will provide 350 temporary construction jobs, the Phoenix Business Journal reports.

The resort will benefit from the new conference center that will be anchored by 23,000 square feet of ballroom space. The resort currently offers 649 guest rooms, spa services, and dining options such as LA Hacienda by Richard Sandoval, Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak as well as entertainment venue Stone Rose Lounge. The addition of the 52,000 square feet better positions the Princess as a mega-resort and it’s bound to count the hospitality center into metro area’s royalty.

The city of Phoenix is planning on accelerating its purchase of land to add to the Sonoran Preserve. Right now, a 592-acre parcel is under consideration by the Phoenix City Council. The property is not yet available; it is scheduled for sale at the Arizona State Land Department at the end of November. The land—and the Apache and Cave Creek washes—will be evaluated by the city.

The required amount of money for the two adjacent parcels is $10.4 million according to The Arizona Republic. This total amount will be secured by means of the voter-approved Phoenix Parks and Preserves Initiative which will be matched by a state Growing Smarter Grant that facilitates cities’ buying land for open space. Also, the price of $17,500 per acre sits around the same rate the city paid in 2010 for a 270-acre lot, and stands well below the peak price of 2008 which was $62,000/acre in December 2008.