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ASU Picks Developer for 10MSF, 330-Acre Athletic Facilities District

P&D ASU Stadium

Sun Devil Stadium renovations are only a small part of what will be a $1B to $1B Athletics Facilities District. Rendering courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics

By Luci Scott for the Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Catellus Development Corp. of Oakland, Calif., has been chosen as the master developer of the Arizona State University Athletic Facilities District, a planned 330-acre, 10MSF mixed-use development worth an estimated $1B to $2B.

“There will be several opportunities for developers, contractors, architects and engineers,” said Ted R. Antenucci, the company’s president and CEO.

The selection of Catellus was announced Oct. 8 at ASU.

The project, at the northeast end of ASU’s Tempe campus, is expected to include homes, offices, shops, restaurants, athletic facilities and parks.

Catellus has hired MVE Partners of Newport Beach, Calif., as the planner, Weaver said, and  land planners and engineers will be hired to assess infrastructure, Antenucci said.

They will study water, sewer, power, soils and evaluate what needs to be done with streets.

ASU owns the land, and some of it may be sold to developers.

“We’ll work with the university to identify the right uses and best opportunities to get that land developed,” he said. “We’ll include other developers and build-to-suit users.”

ASU spokesman Jay Thorne said the next nine to 12 months will involve planning, studies and public hearings. Phase One will focus on infrastructure, and Phase Two will include a market study to determine the best uses in the district.

A big focus in developing the district will be sustainability.

“Green building is on everybody’s radar screen – cities, universities and users,” said Greg Weaver, executive vice president at Catellus and the man who will oversee the development of the ASU district.

He currently is overseeing a 700-acre mixed-used project in Austin, Texas, called Mueller, which includes 4.4MSF of retail and commercial, 140 acres of parks and open space and 5,900 homes.  Mueller is built on a former municipal airport.

Two of the company’s other mixed-use projects include 303-acre Mission Bay in San Francisco and Santa Fe Place in San Diego, which contains 3.3MSF of residential, retail and commercial space.

ASU President Michael Crow said the ASU District will provide capital to maintain world-class athletic facilities and generate employment (not only during construction but long-term), and it will demonstrate “what new cities should look like,” especially in terms of sustainability.

Catellus was chosen because is capable of working within those three parameters, Crow said.

The land covered by the district includes Sun Devil Stadium, where renovation work will begin in January (AZBEX, Jan. 17, May 6, Sept 22).

The site also includes Wells Fargo Arena, tennis courts, Karsten Golf Course, soccer and softball stadiums, and Packard Stadium, formerly a site for baseball.

The future of the facilities on the site is not yet known.

“Whatever we do, elements of those will be integrated, or if they’re replaced, it will be with something better than we have now,” Crow said.

A golf course “will be better than we now have,” he added. Karsten Golf Course “will be there until it’s not. We won’t be disrupting it until there’s a reason to disrupt it.”

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said Catellus has a “tremendous reputation,” and that it’s known for incorporating sustainable products.