Charles Miller Square Project To Break Ground In Downtown Scottsdale

A downtown development that includes the home of Scottsdale forefather Charles Miller is expected to break ground this week.

Developer Richard Funke received two long-awaited permits to move the Charles Miller Square project forward.

Delays have kept Funke from moving two 1950s-style houses on the property at First Street and Goldwater Boulevard onto permanent foundations.

Funke envisions the development as a mixed-use project that clusters five vintage homes and the Charles Miller House into space for restaurants, shops and offices.

“You’ll never see a sight in downtown Scottsdale with six vintage houses in one place,” Funke said.

The centerpiece of Charles Miller Square is the 1915-era bungalow that belonged to one of Scottsdale’s early civic leaders.

Miller, for whom Miller Road is named, is credited with bringing electricity to Scottsdale and donating land for the city’s first high school.

The collection of low-slung houses at Charles Miller Square is a contrast to some of multistory developments going up in downtown Scottsdale. While the “underdevelopment” of the property might not be the most profitable, Funke said, it’s more important to preserve the historic and vintage character of the homes to create an unusual development.

“I don’t think you’ll ever see anything in the entire city of Scottsdale that will ever compare,” Funke said.

Longtime Scottsdale resident and activist George Knowlton recently toured the Miller House with Funke. Knowlton said Charles Miller Square could become Scottsdale’s version of Heritage Square, a block of historic Victorian homes in downtown Phoenix converted into museums, shops and restaurants.

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