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Tempe Eyes 8.4-Acre Rio Salado Retail

Courtesy of City of Tempe

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Last week, the Tempe City Council approved a Planned Area Development proposal to create a restaurant and retail center on 8.4 acres adjacent to Tempe Marketplace.

Under the request, developer SJJ Development would build the eight-lot complex at East Rio Salado Parkway and South Smith Road. Lots 1, 2, 6 and 7 are proposed as drive-thru restaurants, lot 4 as a sit-down restaurant, lots 3 and 5 as mixed retail/restaurant/commercial and lot 8 as a convenience store and fuel station.

The proposal seeks to revitalize the currently dilapidated and cluttered property into a retail location in keeping with other developments in the hub surrounding Tempe Marketplace and the Loop 101-202 interchange. The site is within a 10-minute walk from several multifamily developments and a six-minute bicycle ride from the nearest light rail station. In addition, a bus stop location is planned for the location.

Requested parking totals 366 spaces, 31 more than required by regulations. According to the proposal, this excess is intended to prevent the overflow of patrons parking in surrounding developments. Sixty bicycle parking spaces are also included.

Building design will keep to a contemporary style in fitting with the smaller buildings in Tempe Marketplace. Insulated stucco will be the primary finish system, and colors will include a variety of desert greys and tans with accents of rust, blues, metal and stone veneer.

Palo brea is planned as the primary street side tree, along with muglia, sophora and others throughout the property. All proposed plants are low-water use and include royal purple bougainvillea, turpentine bush, Cimarron sage and Tecoma orange jubilee.

Council will next consider the site plat request at its Oct. 27 meeting.

Current owners are Boyle Revocable Trust, Allison Family Living Trust, PGK LLC, Eugene and Marion Stevenson Family Trust and Farrington Family Trust. The future owner will be Sonoran Son Development, LLC. SJJ Development is the developer. Architecture is by Bollinger Consulting Architects, Inc. Design Ethic provided the landscape design.

No GC has been chosen, and no construction timeline has been established.

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