Monday, February 18, 2013

Tuscany


Sadly, this isn't a sign that I'm headed back to Italy.  This actually is a Scottsdale landmark known as The Borgata, a shopping complex built in 1981 to resemble the Tuscan village of San Gimignano.  When it opened, it housed many upscale and high-end retail stores and restaurants but, lately has fallen on hard times with only 13 out of the 40 retail spaces filled.  I'm not sure why it has suffered so.  It's location is surrounded by well known resorts and it's right next door to another thriving shopping complex of the more traditional kind.  Last September, the property was sold to a developer who moved from Florida to here with plans to build a residential community.  However, rumor has it that the developer could not get approval for the plans so now things are up in the air again for the few remaining tenants.
I stopped here on Sunday to walk around and take a few photos.  Now that I've actually been to San Gimignano, I can certainly see the resemblance.

14 comments:

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

This is close to our house, yet we rarely go here, despite its architectural charm.

I think that the problem is that it is rather closed to the street. If you drive by you can't see what is inside and you don't think of stopping. The parking is on the outside of the complex, so it is more of a walk.

In contrast, a more traditional strip mall, the Hilton Village Shopping Center, just across the street does very well. You can drive in and quickly park near the store or restaurant you want to go to.

Sadly, it appears that less creative commercial architecture does better than creative architectural gems.

A residential complex would be a good reuse for the Borgata. An even better use would be to make it a new museum or arts complex. It has such charming public spaces, as you have shown.

Lowell said...

This is so sad. I love the look and feel of the place. Dave probably hit on the problem...if people can't get in and out easily with their vehicles it ain't gonna work.

P.S. Watch out for developers from Florida. Some have been know to bring old Florida swamps with them to sell under another name! :-)

Birdman said...

I guess, even 'tuscany' is feeling the pinch.

glenda said...

I wish they would find a way to revive the Borgata. It is quite unique. But it is difficult to get into.

Judy said...

That is a lovely complex. I hope someone comes up with the right idea to get it going again. Maybe the right kind of restaurant would do the trick along with Dave's idea.

RedPat said...

Sometimes it is so hard to predict what works and what doesn't but it would probably make a great residential location. It doesn't really say "commercial" does it?

Karl Demetz said...

I really thought this is Tuscany!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

What a beautiful landmark...I think I would like living there ...Peace, Mary Helen

Jack said...

This is a sad situation. It is a lovely property. Dave is perhaps right, but it is a sad commentary about how lazy we have become. This property just cries out for some creativity.

Randy said...

I used to love the Borgata. My favorite store used to be the Shakespeare and Company bookstore.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

i think they are planning to demolish and build condos. it is such a perfect location to live at.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Planning approval can be so tricky..you should see the problems I've had just getting council approval for a new carport, so frustrating!

Kate said...

How wonderful that you could see both the Italian architecture and this one, and I lament with you that you're not back on your way to Italy. Great country, isn't it? Very sad to hear about the decline of the center and it's shops.

JM said...

You almost fooled me, Sharon! :-)))