By Garin Groff for East Valley Tribune
The crumbling Escobedo Neighborhood in Mesa generated 780 police calls last year — a number that’s even more stunning when one considers the area hasn’t been home to a single resident since 2007.
Mesa is working on a $23 million plan to bulldoze most of the city-owned neighborhood of 101 apartments and revive the area with housing for low-income and moderate-income families. The plan includes space for social service organizations and having a private developer manage the property.
Mesa’s City Council will likely approve a deal July 9 to redevelop the property in stages. The city would remain involved for at least 30 years with restrictions that Escobedo is reserved for low-income families.
Wisconsin-based Gorman & Company Inc. would lead the effort, starting with a 70-unit phase that would begin in November. Gorman would raze part of the Escobedo area, which is on the north side of University Road, taking several blocks between Center Street and Mesa Drive. The developer would also build a social services center on a sliver of land south of University.
Gorman will receive about $15 million in tax credits over 10 years from the Arizona Department of Housing. But Mesa estimated 99.9 percent of the funding will come from private investors, who will recoup their money through future rent.
Gorman plans to develop the remainder of the Escobedo land in 2013 and 2014. Gorman will only tear down part of the property this fall. An agreement with Mesa requires it to fence the remaining area and maintaining the property until it starts the next phase.
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