Jun 7, 2022 - Real Estate

Phoenix will replace downtown ASU parking lots with new project

Illustration of a construction crane lifting another crane, which is lifting another crane, which is lifting another crane.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Phoenix is gearing up to build on one of the prime pieces of undeveloped land left in downtown through a land swap with Arizona State University.

  • The often-busy ASU parking lots south of McKinley Street between First and Second streets are at the heart of the deal.

Why it matters: Downtown Phoenix has added more than a dozen high-rise residential, hotel, commercial and university buildings to its skyline in the past decade, eating up much of the vacant land once commonplace in the center of the city.

Between the lines: The city of Phoenix owns the parking lots, but had an agreement with ASU that would have allowed the university to build on the property.

  • Phoenix plans to amend the contract to transfer development rights back to itself, according to plans outlined by economic development staff at a subcommittee meeting last week.
  • In return, ASU gets to keep its Mercado building, which was set to transfer to the city under the original agreement.

What they're saying: Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay told the development subcommittee last week the land is ripe for commercial development.

  • She said the city owns another piece of land nearby that could enhance development opportunity.

What's next: The full city council will vote on the land swap in June.

  • If approved, the city will put out a request for developers to pitch their ideas for the land this summer.

📣 Sound off: What do you want to see on these lots? Let us know at [email protected].


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