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Phoenix OKs Land Sale for The Fillmore

Credit: The Arizona Republic

By Dustin Gardiner for The Arizona Republic

Almost two years after Phoenix canceled a downtown land sale over conflict-of-interest concerns involving Councilman Michael Nowakowski, the city finally has agreed to sell the property to a developer.

The City Council voted 5-1 last week to approve the terms of the sale. Trammell Crow Co. is the master developer of a team selected to buy and redevelop the coveted 7.6-acre property.

The company will pay $10M for the land, on Fillmore Street between Fourth and Sixth avenues, but receive up to $3.1M back from the city in reimbursements for building “public-infrastructure improvements.”

Trammell Crow plans to transform the vacant piece of city-owned property into “The Fillmore,” a bustling urban center with about 659 apartments, 20 townhomes, retail shops and office space, sidewalk cafes and plazas.

While the project is poised to transform a sleepy corner of downtown, it was mired in controversy related to Nowakowski’s conduct.

In November 2015, concerns about Nowakowski’s conduct led the city to scrap a plan to sell the property to Trammell Crow and the Cesar Chavez Foundation, a non-profit where Nowakowski is an executive vice president. Trammell Crow successfully rebid for the project without the Chavez Foundation as its partner.

Developer Gets $3.1M Reimbursement

Trammell Crow’s vision for the property calls for a $140.7M mixed-use development that would be the largest residential project downtown, based on the number of units.

The company had originally requested a property-tax break from the city, on the rental portions of the project, but that wasn’t part of the final deal council members approved.

But the city is still providing the company with a valuable incentive — a $3.1M reimbursement for “public-infrastructure improvements.” Trammell Crow’s plans include construction of a new street and pedestrian paseo that will run through the development and connect with surrounding streets.

The company submitted its bid under a subsidiary, High Street Fillmore LLC. Trammell Crow has two primary partners on the project: Principal Financial Group and MetroWest Development.

The project would come in two phases, and construction must start within 18 months.

Read more at The Arizona Republic.

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