Voters in cash-strapped Fountain Hills have an opportunity to create millions in new revenues for the town by voting “yes” on two ballot measures that would permit the building of the Daybreak luxury apartment project along Shea Boulevard near North Palisades Boulevard.
With local small businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the town facing a $64 million budget deficit, voting Yes on Propositions 427 and 428 will provide much-needed revenue relief for the town, protecting services like public safety and improving quality of life for residents.
According to an economic study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, approval of Props 427 and 428 and the building of Daybreak will be a huge boon for the town over the next 10 years, creating:
- $42.7 million in Resident Consumer Spending
- $19.6 million in Local Employment Income
- $2.2 million in Local Sales Tax Revenue
- $1.7 million in Local Rental Tax Revenue
The project was approved by the Fountain Hills Town Council 5-2 last November before being referred to the ballot by a small group of angry residents. These residents have indicated they favor the building of a massive resort on the site. However, no developer has expressed in the project, despite the land being zoned for a resort about a decade ago.
According to the Arizona Republic, Councilman Dennis Brown said at a meeting in November that “rhetoric had escalated to the point where some opponents were encouraging residents to bring guns to town meetings.”
“If that isn’t a vigilante move, tell me what isn’t,” the Republic reported Brown saying at the November meeting. “The group that (residents) put together has been extremely aggressive.”
According to the Republic, Councilman Art Tolis, who voted for the project, argued that approving the development agreement was the only way to retain benefits promised by the developer, including potential traffic improvements and a shuttle service for project residents.
“We need to allow this to move forward,” Tolis said last fall, according to the Republic.
The builders behind the project, Jeremy Hall and Neil Ginsberg, have a long record of civic engagement and success in Fountain Hills.
Hall has been active in real estate development for over 30 years, including 18 years with MCO Properties, master developer of Fountain Hills. He spent 12 years as President of MCO. His Fountain Hills projects include Adero Canyon, Eagles Nest, FireRock Country Club and SunRidge Canyon.
Ginsberg has been involved in real estate development and brokerage for over 30 years. He has been involved in building more than 60 projects, including the Copperwynd Resort & Spa in Fountain Hills. Copperwynd, a Four Diamond resort, has been rated by Conde Naste Traveler as the state’s highest-ranked resort in all categories except location and by Travel & Leisure as #8 among the Top 500 resorts in North America.
Opponents of the project have been accused of stealing more than 170 campaign signs posted by the Yes committee. That theft is being investigated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which has yet to make arrests.
Voters in the all-mail election must have their ballots in by May 19th, 2020. The Yes on 427/428 committee has posted additional information about the project at YesOnDaybreak.com.