By Tasha Anderson for AZBEX
The City of Phoenix is preparing to issue a Request for Proposals sometime in the next couple of weeks for the redevelopment of a 1.68-acre city-owned parcel downtown.
The property, located at 723 W. Polk Street, currently houses the Luke-Greenway American Legion Post No. 1 building; however, they were under a 99-year lease which ended on February 20th. In September 2018, an 18-month lease extension was approved to let the Legion celebrate its 100th anniversary at its original location.
Phoenix City Council gave authorization to issue an RFP for the selection of a developer at its June 26th meeting.
The city is looking for a mixed-use, mixed-income development with at least 60 percent of the project being workforce or affordable housing with a preference for veterans, according to Christine Mackay, Phoenix’s community and economic development director. Mackay also noted that the chosen developer has the option for a long-term lease or to purchase the property.
The successful firm is required to provide at least 3KSF of veterans’ services amenity space and “include an interpretive feature documenting the history of the Luke-Greenway American Legion Post No. 1,” according to the council report.
Mackay noted that a minimum of 25 VASH – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing – vouchers will be provided for the project.
While not a minimum qualification of the RFP, the desired project will consider preserving elements or a portion of the larger building on the site, according to Gretchen Wolfe, the Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department’s Procurement Manager.
‘Western Gateway for Downtown Phoenix’
The city is calling the site, “The Western Gateway for Downtown Phoenix,” Mackay said, noting Grand Avenue to the south of the site with the “revitalization of the Grand Avenue Arts District,” a high-density residential project Wood Partners completed a couple of year ago across the street, and another high-density residential project that Trammell Crow currently has under construction.
“There’s lots of really good stuff happening around the American Legion Property. It used to be that downtown was this really linear thing that ran along side Central Avenue. But we’ve seen ASU, U of A, and new residential pull downtown to the east, and now we’re seeing tremendous residential and opportunities pull downtown to the west.”
And Mackay sees continued growth downtown. “I don’t see the growth slowing down on downtown. I hear from the development community that downtown is a place that they’re all kind of circling looking for their right opportunity.
The RFP, once released, will be open for approximately 60 days. Interested firms can receive notifications about the RFP by going to Phoenix.Gov/EconDev and clicking on the “Hot List” button on the page.