High-Rises Proposed For Downtown Phoenix Transit Hub

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, April 1, 2019 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, April 1, 2019 - 8:31am

Rendering of two towers for Central Station
City of Phoenix
Rendering of proposed high-rise towers project for Central Station in downtown Phoenix.

A major bus hub and light rail stop in downtown Phoenix could be getting a major makeover.

The 2.564-acre city-owned site at Central Avenue and Van Buren Street is home to Central Station. It was appraised at $12,286,000 in October 2017.

Now, a developer, Medistar, wants to build two high-rise towers on the parcel. A 30-story tower would feature apartments, a hotel and office space while an 18-story tower would offer student housing and ground floor amenities for the public.

“We’ve already received pretty strong interest on this site from another grocery that is interested in being downtown even before the first one opens as well as a number of restaurants,” Christine Mackay, economic development director, told a council subcommittee in March.

This fall, Fry’s is expected to open the only full-service grocery store downtown as part of a project dubbed, “Block 23”. It will also include an office building, apartments and restaurants.

Under the proposal for the Central Station site Electric Red Ventures, a subsidiary of Medistar Corporation, would enter a 99-year lease with Phoenix. The first year’s payment would be $614,300 and increase to $3,650, 867 by the end of the lease. Payments would total $171.5 million and go to the city’s transit fund.

Current bus and light rail routes would remain and because federal dollars built the Central Station, the Federal Transit Administration must agree to the development.

$231 Million Project Highlights:

30-story tower

  • 300 apartments.
  • 150-room Intercontinental Hotel.
  • 35,000 square feet of office space.

18-story tower

  • Student housing.
  • 9,000 square feet of public transit office space.
  • 45,000 square feet of ground floor restaurant, retail and grocery uses.

Both towers sit on top of three floors of underground parking.

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