Tempe reaches out to developers to remake old store into affordable housing

Mar 17, 2023, 11:59 AM | Updated: 12:00 pm

Pollack Apache Center, home of the former Food City. (City of Tempe Photo)...

Pollack Apache Center, home of the former Food City. (City of Tempe Photo)

(City of Tempe Photo)

PHOENIX – City leaders in Tempe are taking the old and plan to make new affordable housing opportunities along a corridor near Arizona State University.

The East Valley suburb recently issued a request for proposal to find a development partner on a mixed-income housing project along Apache Boulevard between Rural Road and slightly east of Loop 101 Price Freeway, Mayor Corey Woods told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Future redevelopment could involve repurposing other city-owned sites.

“This is why the city actually got into this place of owning this parcel and acquiring other parcels as they became available. We have the ability to control that piece of land and get the kind of housing that our residents actually need,” Woods said.

The Apache Central Center proposal for the site includes 400 residential units and a grocery store, which would replace a Food City that closed in September 2021.

The city paid about $10.7 million for the nearly 8-acre property in December 2021 with affordable housing development in mind.

“Our request for proposal actually stipulates that city respondents have to respond based on what is in that (RFP) – affordable housing … has to be part of the development,” Woods said.

Another Tempe-owned property next to the Food City shopping center has potential to become another housing site to go along with some of the restaurants already in place.

Woods said restaurant and shop owners at the strip mall voiced their concerns about being displaced after the city bought the property for $4.4 million.

“The city purchased that site for the purpose of trying to save those businesses but also for its affordable-housing opportunity,” he said.

Tempe has also sunk $1.8 million into environmental remediation (removal of pollutants or contaminants from ground and surface water and soil) on five parcels to prep them for future affordable housing RFPs, Woods said.

“We’re looking at our current asset inventory and trying to find ways to maybe repurpose some of those sites to see if we can get more housing there as well,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Luke Forstner contributed to this report.

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Tempe reaches out to developers to remake old store into affordable housing