ARIZONA NEWS

Omni breaks ground on 16-story hotel at ASU in Tempe

Sep 21, 2021, 4:05 AM | Updated: 7:30 am

PHOENIX – Tempe and Arizona State University officials have broken ground on a $125 million hotel that is the subject of a lawsuit review by the Arizona Supreme Court.

The 16-story, 330-room Omni Tempe Hotel is slated to open at Arizona State University in spring 2023, the city said at a ceremony last Friday.

The hotel at Mill Avenue and University Drive includes 11 suites, four dining options, an elevated pool deck with a lounge and “largest, continuous ballroom in Tempe, at over 15,000 square feet,” city officials said in a press release.

Hat tips to the ASU campus will be placed all around the hotel, with abstract artwork of library books, artwork from local artists and alumni and library-style tables in the lobby bar area.

“This hotel is not only a collaborative effort that will have a significant benefit to our community, but this prominent corner will ultimately be developed into a thriving and bustling space,” Mayor Corey Woods said.

It’s a hotel Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been fighting against the state Board of Regents and developers since 2019.

He argued the deal was an unconstitutional gift to developers because building the lodgings on university land would make it exempt from property taxes.

Two lower courts ruled against the lawsuit but last week the Arizona high court agreed to review the decisions.

The Court of Appeals in April upheld Tax Court Judge Christopher Whitten’s ruling that Brnovich’s office didn’t have legal authority to file the original lawsuit and later expand it after a one-year statute of limitation had expired.

The regents said the transaction wasn’t one-sided because it benefited the university by providing rental payments and a needed conference center and hotel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Omni breaks ground on 16-story hotel at ASU in Tempe