Maricopa Looking to Develop Copper Sky

Credit: City of Maricopa

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange 

The City of Maricopa is looking for a developer “to transform the Copper Sky Commercial Site into a high quality mixed-use destination.”  

It issued “RFP18-ED01242018 Copper Sky Commercial Site Development” outlining its desires for the project. Proposals are due March 22. 

The property to be developed is approximately 18 acres on two parcels on SR 347 and Martin Luther King Boulevard. More than 1,100 feet fronts the highway. The city expects the zoning to be Mixed-Use – General with a Planned Area Development overlay. It intends to either sell or ground lease the site. According the project background information, all utilities are already stubbed to the location. 

The site is next to Maricopa’s 120-acre Copper Sky Recreation Complex. The complex features a 52KSF activity center and the 98-acre Copper Sky Regional Park. The city touts the complex as a year-round draw that attracted 500,000 visitors its first year and has become a hub of activity for the area.  

In the scope of work for the RFP, the city makes a clear case for the project’s need. “Commercial development has not kept pace with the community’s rapid growth and there is a critical need for new space. Maricopa has incredibly low vacancy rates in all commercial disciplines; in the 4th quarter of 2017, Co-Star reported vacancy rates for office, industrial and retail space as 0.0 percent, 0.3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. Additionally, there is an estimated retail leakage of more than $368M per year with leakages in most retail categories. Maricopa residents have grown tired of traveling to other cities for the goods and services they need. With a median household income of more $66K, Maricopa residents are looking to spend their money close to home.” 

To combat that leakage and provide retail and entertainment solutions for residents, the city wants, “a destination that can provide hospitality amenities, dining options, attract new retailers to the community while creating a sense of place in the City for people to congregate, enjoy and spend disposable income.” Ideally, it is looking for a development firm or team with mixed-use retail experience and expertise in restaurants and nationally-branded hotels.  

Specifically, the city’s wish list includes a hotel, at least 70KSF of retail/restaurant, office and residential space, a high degree of walkability and interconnectedness, and public gathering spaces. One goal of the voter-approved initiative that led to the creation of Copper Sky was the establishment of a destination district along the lines of the Heritage District in Gilbert and the Melrose District in Phoenix. 

Submissions are due March 22, and initial review will start on the 29th. Vendor presentations are tentatively scheduled for April 9. Selection and evaluation staff expect to name the contractor or team April 12, and the award date is targeted for June 19.  

Interested groups can download the full RFP here. 

NOTE: Paid subscribers receive additional project details in our twice-weekly PDF publication, including project stakeholder information and valuable project bidding leads. Find out more about AZBEX subscriptions or contact Rebekah Morris at or (480) 709-4190.

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