Paving a path to future growth in Peoria

City eyes properties for development

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Peoria officials are taking steps to secure new commercial, office, mixed-use and industrial development within its boundaries.

The city is targeting more than 650 acres in properties for these uses — some in Old Town and the rest in north Peoria.

The city council recently approved $45,000 for the national firm Dekker/Perich/Sabatini to provide real estate development consulting services for those strategic parcels.

The firm will analyze the sites so the city can make them into “shovel-ready parcels,” with build-to-suit capability for commercial and industrial products in the city.

Real Estate Development Officer Scott Whyte said the due diligence efforts will include undertaking various technical studies, including traffic impact analysis, infrastructure assessment, utility assessment, topographic and land surveys, as well as conceptual land use plans and site planning.

The study will include:

  • 462 acres of Arizona State Land Development land at Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road,
  • 103 acres of ASLD land at northeast corner of Loop 303 and Lake Pleasant Parkway,
  • 70 acres of ASLD land at the northwest corner of Loop 303 and Lake Pleasant Parkway,
  • 20 acres of ASLD land at the northeast corner of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Deer Valley Road,
  • Grand Avenue corridor on the west side of Grand Avenue from Peoria Avenue north to 87th Avenue.

Mr. Whyte said these properties could “bring transformative new opportunities to the city.”

He said the parcels at Loop 303 and Lake Pleasant Parkway could be developed as mixed-use commercial for a future employment corridor. 

Additionally, the 462-acre property offers a huge future development opportunity, Mr. Whyte said.

“It is a pivotal piece. When I look at that corridor, there are a number of freeway frontage parcels. It could be envisioned as mixed-use office, for employment generating opportunities as part of a future employment corridor, as well as a recreation opportunity,” he said.

“A wash runs through the parcel and the Vistancia Discovery Trail could be expanded as a nice recreational open space spine to add to connectivity. It has a lot of versatility.”

The 145-square-mile Mesquite District is the largest of Peoria’s six council districts, encompassing Lake Pleasant Regional Park and the master-planned Vistancia community. Four of the targeted properties are within that district.

Councilwoman Bridget Binsbacher, who represents the district, said the city is always looking at how to best position Peoria for successful and thoughtful growth.

“As we plan for the future of the Mesquite District, it’s important to work toward a balanced community that blends employment opportunities close to home, along with retail and lifestyle amenities that add to our exceptional quality of life. One does not succeed without the other,” she said.

Earlier this year, city staff collaborated with residents and community leaders through a series of public meetings to hear input about the revitalization of Old Town Peoria. The feedback was compiled and given to Dekker Perich Sabatini, who created a conceptual design plan and 3D renderings for what Old Town could look like.

This vision, along with the nearly complete construction of the new 127,000-square-foot West Valley Primary and Specialty Care Center at Grand Avenue and Cotton Crossing, has provided southern Peoria with some momentum, Mr. Whyte said.

“Now the thinking is — take that visioning effort from where the Old Town development concept left off ... up to 87th Avenue,” he said.

To create a road map to bringing more business into Peoria, the city council approved the Economic Development Implementation Strategy in September 2017.

The Real Estate Development Office was created in early 2018 to focus entirely on land acquisition, extensive pre-development work, and visioning efforts for key strategic parcels. The office works closely with other departments including planning, engineering, and public works, as well as the Arizona State Land Department and the development community to bring new development into the city, Mr. Whyte said.

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, phaldiman@newszap.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

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