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  AGENDA ITEM: 4.       
Meeting Date: 01/06/2020  
Requested by: Bayer Vella
Case Number: 1902937

SUBJECT:
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING PROPOSED CONCEPTUAL ARCHITECTURE FOR TWO ORACLE PLACE, ALSO KNOWN AS THE FORMER PLATINUM FITNESS SITE, LOCATED AT 7315 N. ORACLE ROAD, APPROXIMATELY 1/4 MILE NORTH OF THE ORACLE ROAD AND INA ROAD INTERSECTION
RECOMMENDATION:
Staff recommends approval.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
The purpose of this item is to consider a conceptual architecture application for a property located west of Oracle Road approximately 1/4-mile north of Ina Road (see image at right). The property, known as Two Oracle Place, is approximately 3.7-acres in size and is part of a larger complex encompassing a total of 6.7-acres approved in 1976. The site was originally developed as a Gold's Gym and most recently served as a Platinum fitness. The applicant has purchased the property and intends to redevelop the site as a mix of office, retail and restaurant space (see proposal in Attachment 1).

The proposed changes are architectural only and no substantive to changes the site layout (e.g. building layout, vehicle circulation, etc.) are proposed. As a result, the site layout and elements such as loading zones, sidewalks, parking lot elements, landscaping etc. are not the subject of this agenda item. The actionable focus is entirely on the changes to architectural exterior of the structures. 

Over time, the architecture for the center has become dated and does not meet many of the design standards found in the Town's current zoning code. As such, due to the outdated architectural style of the center, rather than pulling design elements from surrounding buildings (as typically provided), the design theme proposed by the applicant will serve as the foundation for future changes to other buildings within the center. The applicant's proposal (Attachment 1) represents a marked improvement from the existing design and includes a contemporary and modern mix of colors and materials. A summary of the proposed changes is included below:
  • Four-sided architecture (e.g. all four sides of the building incorporate similar colors, materials and architectural fenestration)
  • Mechanical equipment screening
  • Metal and wood accents
  • Energy efficient windows 
  • Reducing the scale of the building by incorporating design elements to break up the mass of blank facades, specifically on the north and west elevations. 
Conceptual architecture applications are reviewed for conformance with both the design principles and standards of the Zoning Code. These criteria are used to evaluate everything from the design and scale of the building to facade articulation, screening and the colors and materials used. A detailed discussion of the proposal's conformance is included in the Background or Detailed Information of this report. 

The proposal is consistent with the design principles and standards of the zoning code and staff recommends approval. 
BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
The purpose of this item is to consider a conceptual architecture application for a property located west of Oracle Road approximately 1/4-mile north of Ina Road. The property, known as Two Oracle Place, is approximately 3.7-acres in size and is part of a larger complex encompassing a total of 6.7-acres. All three properties, the other two being under separate ownership, were approved as part of the original development plan in 1976. The site was originally developed as a Gold's Gym and most recently served as a Platinum fitness. The applicant has purchased the property and intends to redevelop the site as a mix of office, retail and restaurant space (see renderings in Attachment 1). Please note, the proposed changes are architectural only and no substantive changes to the site plan (e.g. building layout, vehicle circulation, etc.) are proposed. The developer intends to use the current footprint while upgrading the architectural design only.

In time, the architecture for the center has become dated and does not incorporate many of the high design standards found in current code. Typically, a key focus of architectural review is to “pull-in” quality design elements of surrounding developments to enhance compatibility with the area. However, when a development is outdated (such as in this instance) or doesn’t have quality design elements that should be pulled into adjacent buildings, the Zoning Code enables setting a new design aesthetic for the development.  As such, due to the current outdated architectural aesthetic of the center, the design theme proposed by the applicant will not be pulling in any outdated elements, but instead will serve as the foundation for future changes to other buildings within the center. The applicant's proposal (Attachment 2) represents a significant improvement and distinct change from the existing design and includes a modern mix of colors and materials, while still staying true to the Sonoran Desert color palette. A summary of the proposed changes is included below:
  • Four-sided architecture (e.g. all four sides of the building incorporate similar colors, materials and architectural fenestration)
  • Mechanical equipment screening
  • Metal and wood accents
  • Energy efficient windows 
  • Reducing the scale of the building by incorporating design elements to break up the mass of blank facades, specifically on the north and west elevations. 
Conceptual architecture applications are reviewed for conformance with both the design principles and standards of the Zoning Code. These criteria are used to evaluate everything from the design and scale of the building to facade articulation, screening and the colors and materials used. A summary of the architectural design principles (italics), followed by staff commentary is provided below. 

Design: building architectural design shall be appropriate for the climate and characteristics of the Sonoran Desert, including indigenous and traditional textures, colors, and shapes found in and around Oro Valley. All development shall maintain and strengthen the high quality of design exemplified in Oro Valley through project creativity and design excellence.

Much of the design and scale of the building was determined when originally built in 1976. Again, the architecture has become out-dated and is in need of refreshment. The applicant’s proposal incorporates an updated modern aesthetic and incorporates colors, materials and textures of the Sonoran Desert. The overall design of the building is being significantly improved as part of these architectural changes and the applicant’s proposal meets this design principle.



Scale, Height and Mass: building scale, height and mass shall be consistent with the Town-approved intensity of the site, designated scenic corridors, and valued mountain views. Buildings shall be designed to respect the scale of adjoining areas and should mitigate the negative and functional impacts that arise from scale, bulk and mass.

Again, the building scale and height were primarily established as part of the original design. The proposal incorporates new patio space oriented to take advantage of the mountain views to the east, windows to increase the amount of natural light and other architectural elements to help break-up the building mass. The request meets this principle

Facade Articulation: all building facades shall be fully articulated, including variation in building massing, roof planes, wall planes, and surface articulation. Architectural elements including, but not limited to, overhangs, trellises, projections, awnings, insets, material, and texture shall be used to create visual interest that contributes to a building’s character. 

The facade articulation and building roof and wall planes were similarly established as part of the original design. Again, the applicant is re-purposing the existing building for a mix of office, retail and restaurant uses. Each space has incorporated additional articulation, fenestration and materials and textures to add interest and architectural detail where blank walls previously existed. The applicant's design enhances all four sides of the building, where previously only the street-side elevations had been treated. The design meets this design principle. 

Signs: sign colors, design and placement shall be complementary and integral to the project’s architectural and site design themes.

The applicant’s proposal is solely focused on updating the existing architecture for the building. Signs will be addressed through a separate sign application at a later date. No sign approvals are part of this application and all signs shown in the applicant’s proposal or purely representative. 

Screening: building design and screening strategies shall be implemented to conceal the view of loading areas, refuse enclosures, mechanical equipment, appurtenances, and utilities from adjacent public streets and neighborhoods.


The applicant’s proposal includes increased mechanical screening to ensure all mechanical equipment is fully screened, specifically from Oracle Road. Currently, the rooftop mechanical equipment on the southern portion of the building is clearly visible and is now proposed to be fully screened from view as part of the applicant's request. This is a significant improvement to the existing street-scape and the proposal is consistent with this principle. 


In summary, the proposal represents a significant improvement from the existing design aesthetic and will serve as the architectural foundation for any other future changes within the center. Moreover, the design changes will help rejuvenate the center to be more attractive for potential users in the future. Lastly, the proposal is consistent with the design principles and standards of the zoning code and staff recommends approval. 
FISCAL IMPACT:
N/A
SUGGESTED MOTION:
I MOVE to recommend approval of the proposed conceptual architecture for the Two Oracle Place development based on a finding it is consistent with all applicable design principles and design standards of the Zoning Code. 

OR

I MOVE to recommend denial of the proposed conceptual architecture for the Two Oracle Place development based on a finding that __________. 
Attachments
Attachment 1 - Applicant's Submittal


    

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