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Phoenix-area council to consider affordable loft project for artists

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A long-awaited plan to provide affordable living and working spaces for artists in downtown Mesa will be considered by the Mesa City Council on Monday, according to city documents.

The council will decide whether to approve a development deal with the non-profit Artspace to build at least 48 affordable housing lofts on a vacant lot on South Hibert. A council resolution suggested the development is viewed as a complement to the kind of downtown city leaders want.

“An innovative, art-centered, quality-focused, eclectic blend of old and new and to build on the City’s investment in the Mesa Arts Center and its museums,” the proclamation read.

According to city documents, the $13.5 million project has been in the works since 2012. Most of the funding will come from an allocation of low income housing tax credits through the state, and $1.5 million from private sources.

Under the proposed deal, Mesa would provide about two acres of land, and will provide reduced utility rates. The city has already invested $45,000 for environmental studies, boundary studies and appraisals.

Artspace has developed 35 similar projects around the country. The Mesa Artspace Lofts would provide below-market rents for artists and their families with lower incomes. A variety of rental units will be available, including studios, one, two and three-bedroom units.

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