Tempe approves proposal to create $1.8B resort-style lakeside neighborhood

Feb 25, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm

PHOENIX – The Tempe City Council has approved a proposed $1.8 billion project to transform blighted waterfront property into a resort-style neighborhood.

Plans for a mixed-use development named South Pier at Tempe Town Lake call for 2,300 apartments and 160 condos to house 3,500 residents, along with 520 hotel rooms and office and retail space.

A Ferris wheel, pier and pedestrian bridge, among other amenities, will be part of what the development agreement calls an “entertainment destination within an urban setting.”

Per the city ordinance authorizing the project, construction will begin by Jan. 31, 2023, with seven phases of development over 15 years.

City officials laid out the details of the proposal, which has been in the works for three years, before council members unanimously approved it during their Feb. 10 meeting.

The development will be located on 12.5 acres covering a combination of city and privately owned plots east of Rural Road between Rio Salado Parkway and Tempe Town Lake.

The property will be expensive to develop because it’s in such poor condition, according to city officials. Multiple previous proposals have fallen through.

Developer South Pier Tempe Holdings, subsidiary of McBride Cohen Management Group, will pay the market rate of $36.5 million for city’s plots.

As part of the deal, Tempe will cover more than $25 million in government property lease excise taxes, while the developer will pay the city about $27 million to be used for affordable housing, transit, schools and other public amenities.

The developer will also be responsible for about $7 million in assessments the city would otherwise owe on the property.

Tempe won’t have any future expenses related to the project, which city officials said will generate an estimated $5.7 million annually in tax revenue.

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Tempe approves proposal to create $1.8B resort-style lakeside neighborhood