Glendale agrees to sell land to VAI Resort for parking garage in $7.5M deal

Jun 26, 2024, 12:10 PM

Construction on the VAI Resort is ongoing in Glendale, Arizona....

Construction on the $1 billion VAI Resort project is ongoing in Glendale, Arizona. (VAI Resort Photo)

(VAI Resort Photo)

PHOENIX – The Glendale City Council agreed to sell city-owned land to VAI Resort developers, who plan to build a parking garage on the property.

Under the agreement authorized during Tuesday’s meeting, VAI Resorts, LLC will pay just over $7.5 million for an 8.25-acre parcel near the northwest corner of Montebello and 91st avenues.

The city acquired the property, which is commonly referred to as the Black Lot, in 2015.

“At one time, the city had considered building a parking garage to support the increasing number of guests who visit the Sports and Entertainment District, but we no longer need to consider that option,” Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said in a press release Wednesday. “By owning the land, VAI Resorts can now build and construct a parking garage to support its incredible development.”

Why some Glendale residents opposed property sale to VAI Resort

Not everybody is happy about the deal, which drew opposition from a community group called Worker Power.

“By selling the Black Lot to VAI Resort, the city of Glendale is giving up potential future revenue that would benefit the community,” Ana Martinez, a Glendale homeowner, said in a Worker Power press release.

Taylor Lincoln, another Glendale resident, expressed similar concerns.

“Personally, it feels like Glendale is selling off a public asset rather than thinking about the options for how best to create revenue for the city and residents in the future,” Lincoln said in the Worker Power release. “Keep public property in public hands.”

Why does VAI Resort want land for parking garage?

Despite the opposition, VAI Resort can now move ahead with plans to construct a 4,000-space parking garage. The land is just east of the resort site and south of State Farm Stadium and the Westgate Entertainment District.

“The location of the property is perfectly situated to integrate with our operational plans for the resort,” VAI Resort President Grant Fisher said in the city’s press release. “From the moment our guests arrive on the property to park, they will be greeted with the world-class hospitality that defines the VAI Resort brand.”

The $1 billion VAI Resort, an 1,100-room hotel within a 60-acre entertainment complex, is expected to open in 2025 after multiple delays. The ambitious plans include a temperature-controlled lagoon lined with sand beaches and an 11,000-seat concert amphitheater.

The project includes the Mattel Adventure Park, which is under construction next door. The theme park, which will feature Barbie, Hot Wheels and Thomas & Friends attractions, is planning to debut later this year.

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Glendale agrees to sell land to VAI Resort for parking garage in $7.5M deal