By Brandon Brown for Phoenix Business Journal
A long-discussed entertainment district on Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community land near Scottsdale could finally be taking shape, now that the group that controls the land announced December 27th a partnership with a commercial investment and development company.
The proposed project, which still has many unknowns, would be built on the 125 acres at Loops 101 and 202 controlled by the Solanna Group, an economic development and investment firm owned by tribal members. It would include professional sports facilities, as well as entertainment and media production businesses. Currently Phoenix Rising FC plays in a pop-up stadium on the land.
Solanna partnered with Cameron Colvin and his company CamCo Commercial Inc. on the joint venture, which is being called Akimel 7 Productions.
Colvin said the Akimel 7 project would be an architectural innovation that will be a zero-carbon environment, with its own self-correcting solar power grid and complete loop water recycling system.
“Our aim is to create a dynamic interactive entertainment experience,” Colvin said. “It is about immersion into the alternative reality of going beyond the day to day feeling of being merely human. It is about hope and inspiration.”
Solanna will serve as the project’s landowner and master developer. CamCo will be the vertical developer and financier, said Solanna CEO David Fordon.
While Colvin and Fordon separately told the Business Journal Akimel 7 about some specifics of the project, including that there will be “two or three hotels” on site, they wouldn’t divulge other details. They both said they were in talks or have signed agreements with “numerous operators” but said those agreements were confidential.
A statement issued Friday said the project will be home to entertainment from production studios, futuristic virtual reality immersion theme park and fashion houses. It also said it will showcase medical, A.I. and robotics technology.
Colvin said that there will be more announcements coming in the next few weeks, including an “e-sports venue.”
By mid-2020 Colvin said he expects construction to start on the project’s first phase. Within two years, Fordon said 500KSF will be constructed, and in seven to 10 years the project will grow to 10MSF.
There also will be a big focus on professional sports, Colvin said. A rendering released by Solanna shows a large, open-air soccer stadium with a number of practice fields.
A press release said the entire Akimel 7 is a “multibillion” project, but an exact amount was not given.
Read more at Phoenix Business Journal.