Local News

Stilo Showdown: Will Stilo Put up Or Shut Up

March 21, 2013

By Mike Scerbo

Stilo’s long list of broken promises has led to a showdown with the Italian developers who have yet to identify a water supply, or donate land for Tusayan workers.

Stilo execs met with town leaders in late March following some heated email exchanges. At issue is the fact that Stilo is out of compliance with its development agreement with Tusayan. The town has the option of getting tough with the developer or surrendering Tusayan's ability to revert the zoning grated Stilo. Lawyers are both sides are dealing.

Tusayan gave the Italian developer new zoning that would create three million square feet of commercial space and add thousands of new homes. That new zoning enables Stilo to turn a huge profit on its land holdings, by making the land far more valuable. In exchange, Stilo is supposed to give Tusayan 40 acres of land for low income housing at Kotzin and or at 10-X.

Public records obtained by the Watchdog show tense exchanges between Mayor Bryan and the Italian developer.

On February 12, Bryan wrote to Stilo Executive Federico Pellicioli voicing his displeasure with local Stilo representative Tom DePaolo’s failure to deliver basic elements of the development agreement.

Here are some portions of the letter:

After listening to Tom's presentation and the Council's concerns on February 6, I continue to be worried about the process being dragged out.

I recognize your feeling that the Town may be trying to get the acreage and then stifle your efforts to move forward with the development . I don't understand the distrust.

We are reviewing the PADA with our team and will make some suggestions, but before either of us spends a lot of time and money in doing so, I am asking are you going to give us the 20 acres now? If so then we can move forward and consider changes to the agreement.  If not, then we don't need to waste the time or legal fees. 

I am trying to be supportive and keep this deal alive. My feeling is that without your commitment to give us the 20 acres at Kotzin now, the Council is not going to be willing to move forward and make any changes. Please help me help you.

Stilo’s Federico Pellicioli is not willing to give the town of Tusayan the land at this point. In fact Stilo won’t even commit to donating land at Kotzin, even though they originally said the Town could choose between Kotzin and 10-X or both. Instead of taking responsibility for its mistakes, Stilo blames the Town of Tusayan. Here are some excerpts from a letter Pellocioli wrote to Bryan.

Your letter simply repeats your suggestion that we make this donation without offering any recommendations that might limit our concerns.

The Stilo crew wants to eliminate the reversion clause in the zoning agreement which would leave Tusayan with no credible enforcement tools should Stilo remain out of compliance.  Without the reversion clause there could be no immediate land donation.

Federico Pellicioli’s letter continues:

From one of our earliest meetings negotiating the PADA, we made it clear that our thinking was that we were all working toward the same goal and that was one suggesting that we either all won or we all lost.  There was not much middle ground and we were unwilling to convey any property if we were not reasonably assured that we could develop our property.  The PADA sets forth what measures are available to the Town in the event of default.  Let's cast that as the "no" above.

On February 25th Bryan write back to Stilo, concerned about the new hard line tactics taken by Stilo’s new attorneys. Here is a portion of his letter:

We believed what your team told us you could do.  Now we are faced with what seems like new perspectives from your new attorneys and different expectations and terms being offered or requested.  We haven't done anything different than we committed to do and feel like we have fulfilled what has been asked of us to assist your project.  It does not feel like we are moving forward in a very timely manner.  What will happen when you hear something new from a different "highly qualified" new attorney or planner?


Bryan then took his concerns to another Stilo partner, Vittorio Pellicioli, saying if Stilo is unwilling to donate the land now, the zoning would revert. Here is a portion of his March 7th letter:

We have waited and counted on your team to move forward in a mutually agreed upon schedule or process and trusted that you would do what you committed to do. That trust has been eroded and we find ourselves at a crossroads. Do we continue to wait and hope that you will eventually get things done, or do we take action. The Council has chosen to take action.

In earlier emails with Federico we asked a simple preliminary question - are you willing to give the Town 20 acres at Kotzin now? If the answer is NO, then we have little to discuss and we will need to officially advise you of being in default and begin the process outlined in the PADA for reversion of your zoning . If the answer is YES, then there is merit in us meeting to discuss your requests for changes in our Agreement.


Here is a link to all of the documents quoted in this article