TEMPE, Ariz. — Some Tempe residents are trying to put a stop to a proposed apartment complex in their neighborhood.
It would be located on Apache Boulevard near McClintock Road, where Gracie’s Thrift store sits now.
Adam Stacks shops there. “It helps a lot of people who are less fortunate,” Adam said. “But the people in the neighborhood believes there is crime do to the less fortunate.”
The store is surrounded by two neighborhoods who have recently received “historic” designations. Gracie’s is owned by Grace Community Church, which is working with the development company Gorman and Company to redevelop the site.
It wants to build a four-story “Gracie’s Village,” which would feature 50 apartments with retail space for the thrift store on the bottom level.
Phil Amorosi is chairman of Hudson Manor Neighborhood. He told KTAR that Gorman’s original plan called for a six-story building with 75 apartments, and that Gorman scaled back the project because of neighbors’ concerns. Amorosi thinks the proposed four-story building is still too big for the area.
“When you have a four-story building, people can look down into those neighborhood’s backyards,” said Amorosi. “Their existing thrift store is 10,000 square feet. The building they want to build is 93,000 square feet on the same two-acre parcel. That is eight to nine times as big. You’re talking a huge, imposing building.”
Amorosi said the new complex would put 200 people living on a two-acre parcel of land, and that will cause problems for the neighborhood.
“You’re going to have increased traffic and increased noise,” said Amorosi. “Let’s at least give those neighbors a break when it’s up against them.”
He wants the Tempe City Council to reject the plan when it votes on the project May 31.
Amorosi said that the neighborhoods around the area have earned their “historic” designations and have done much to improve their communities. But driving around at least one of the neighborhoods directly behind Gracie’s, one can see that there’s still a lot that needs to be done.
Anti-Gracie’s Village signs in the front yards of several homes were difficult to read because of tall grass in yards haven’t been mowed.
Amorosi attributes the poor upkeep to homes being rented out to college students by out-of-state owners.
He said that since the historic designation was announced, more live-in owners have bought homes in the area and are starting to take better care of them.
As for Gracie’s Village, an attorney who represents Gorman and Company on the project did not return calls asking for comment.