Downtown Developers Get Another Year To Win Phoenix Money

Published: Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 5:05am
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Developers with eyes on downtown Phoenix have another year to convince city leaders to help them out.

Since 2012, Phoenix has used a process for downtown development called RFP — it stands for requests for proposals. It allows a private property owner to pitch a project to the city and ask for financial help.

Phoenix’s Economic Development Director Chris Mackay says high-rise projects are expensive to build and often require the city’s help.

“We’re dealing with historic issues, pre-historic issues, we’re dealing with environmental issues,” she said. “We’re dealing with lots of challenges in a very tight urban site.”

Mackay says smaller projects like four- and five-story apartment complexes can make it on their own without city support, but leaders are focused on the long-term outlook for downtown.

“Our City Council is looking at this through a very visionary lens and saying 'let’s build the city that we want today without having to put buildings into landfills and create new construction sites in the future when we can build the urban density with the population that we want today,'” she said.

Last year, the council approved two projects that are expected to add four high-rise towers with more than 800 apartments. The Goldwater Institute is suing Phoenix over one of the projects for giving the developer a multimillion-dollar tax break.

The downtown redevelopment area generally runs from Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue, and McDowell Road to Lincoln Street.

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