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City Council OKs plan for high-rise tower, more at Phoenix transit center

(Gould-Evans/Medistar Rendering)

PHOENIX – The City Council approved an ambitious plan for a mixed-use development, including “workforce housing” and a high-rise tower, at the main transit hub in the heart of downtown Phoenix.

“The project is going to bring huge revenue, huge activation and significant excitement into downtown Phoenix,” Christine Mackay, the city’s director of community and economic development, told KTAR News 92.3 FM after the Central Station project was adopted Wednesday.

The plan features a 30-story building with 300 apartments, a 150-room InterContinental Hotel and 35,000 square feet of office space at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Van Buren Street.

The development also will include 217 units of workforce housing, which is defined as being affordable for households at 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income.

The ground floor will have retail, restaurant and grocery space.

“We have about 2 million riders between our buses and light rail that experience this site each year, and it will really enhance their transit experience,” Mackay said.

The approved proposal was made by developer Electric Red Ventures and selected over two other submissions last year.

The property will be leased for 99 years, at which time the development will revert back to the city.

The annual lease payments will generate a total of $171.5 million for the city’s transit fund, and Mackay said the development is projected to create $1 billion in revenue.

Because of the complexities of the location, construction isn’t expected to start for about two years.

“This is the single most complicated site for redevelopment in downtown Phoenix,” she said, with 340 buses coming through daily, transit offices that will need to be temporarily relocated, light rail tracks on two sides and utilities to be connected under the tracks.

After development agreements are finalized, the plans will be submitted for approval to the Federal Transit Authority.

“We have had our initial meetings with them, and they were very excited to find the details of this project,” Mackay said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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