City Council highlights: Light rail and housing developments

City Council approved the $50 million that will be used by Valley Metro to fund the final design and pre-construction activities for completion of the Federal Transit Administration Engineering phase of the South Central light rail extension project. (Nathan Thrash/DD)

Phoenix City Council approved several agenda items impacting downtown Phoenix during a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Council Election

City Council approved an amendment to ordinance S-39341, which would amend voting precincts within Phoenix by district for all elections. Amendments were requested for precincts in all eight of the City Council districts to reflect recent changes in the areas. Precincts are small geographic areas that towns and cities are divided into for voting purposes. Phoenix’s voting precincts are based on combinations of county voting precincts. There are 125 precincts, and the changes approved did not change that number.

Process begins to develop 13 vacant, city-owned lots

City Council approved a request for proposal to select development teams and begin negotiations for the sale and residential infill of 13 vacant, city-owned lots in the Garfield neighborhood through the Garfield Neighborhood Initiative. Through this initiative, the Garfield Organization advocates the for single-family residential housing development. According to the City Council agenda, with this request they look to eliminate blight, develop vacant land, reactivate property and create sustainable homeownership opportunities in the Garfield neighborhood. Over the past 21 years, through the Slum and Blight program, the Neighborhood Services Department acquired property in Garfield looking to redevelop it.

City approves tax incentive for three high-rise residential towers

City Council approved a request to enter into a development agreement with developer Clark Street Holdings. The development will consist of three high-rise, multi-family residential towers on the northeast corner of Third and Pierce streets.

This development will be constructed on a 55,979-square-foot piece of land. They will create 612 units. The first building will have 252 rooms. The second will have 204 rental residential units. The third building will have 156 rental units.

In six months, the developer will enter into a Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) agreement where the city takes over ownership of the land and the developer does not have to pay normal property taxes. Each lease phase will have benchmarks for the construction. The project has three phases: Phase 1 will be 20 years, and phases 2 and 3 will be eight years. The estimated cost of the entire project is $174 million dollars.

$2.4 million South Central TOD grant RFP approved

City Council authorized a request for proposals to find partners to assist with the use of the $2.4 million dollar South Central Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) grant.

The light rail will be expanding by 5 miles by 2023 on Central Avenue between Jefferson Street and Baseline Road. The grant will be awarded to the city to provide early assistance for the businesses in the South Phoenix community.

City Council approves light rail funding agreement

City Council approved the $50 million that will be used by Valley Metro to fund the final design and pre-construction activities for completion of the Federal Transit Administration Engineering phase of the South Central light rail extension project.

According to the City Council report, the funding agreement of $50 million is what it typically costs for a project like this. The overall light rail project will cost $704 million, according to the City Council report.

Contact the reporter at Richard.Walton.1@asu.edu.