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Peoria to buy 2 Old Town parcels with intent to revitalize area

Posted 6/19/17

Peoria is buying two Old Town parcels with the intent to revitalize the area. By Philip Haldiman, Independent Newsmedia

The city just took a step closer to revitalizing Old Town Peoria.

The …

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Peoria to buy 2 Old Town parcels with intent to revitalize area

Peoria is buying two Old Town parcels with the intent to revitalize the area.
By Philip Haldiman, Independent Newsmedia

The city just took a step closer to revitalizing Old Town Peoria.

The Peoria City Council on June 13 authorized the city to buy two downtown parcels with the intention to create shovel-ready sites to attract developers, and ultimately improve the area.

The city will buy the former dry cleaners and the Toni’s Beauty Shoppe sites located along the west side of 83rd Avenue south of Washington Street.

The sales are expected to close in July, according to the purchase agreement.

“I’m so happy that the city is moving forward in the acquisition of important properties in the core of Old Town,” said Councilwoman Vicki Hunt, who represents the area. “I’d like to see businesses come to the area that cater to families — medium-priced products, family friendly atmosphere, such as a pizza parlor or a barbecue cafe.”

Peoria Cleaners & Laundry, an Arizona corporation, is selling its parcel for $53,475.

Irene Mae Bodenstedt, Trustee of the Irene Mae Bodenstedt Revocable Trust, is selling the Toni's Beauty Shoppe parcel for $144,300.

Peoria spokeswoman Jennifer Stein said having control over these two parcels moves the city closer to redeveloping the Washington Street block.

“The city has not decided whether we will develop these parcels on our own or enter into a development agreement to improve them with a private entity,” Ms. Stein said. “We are currently planning to remediate these buildings, which could include abatement and demolition of the buildings similar to what occurred on the southwest three parcels of the block.”

An environmental investigation has been completed to address possible contamination from the former dry cleaning business. Ms. Stein said the city conducted extensive environmental studies on the soils around the buildings.

“While there was evidence of contamination, it did not meet environmental limits that would impact future development on the parcel,” she said.

The agreement to purchase Toni’s Beauty Shoppe hits home for resident David Sandoval, who sits on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board. His aunt, Toni Lebario, was the former owner of the business, which actually made her the first female Hispanic business owner in Peoria. She has since passed away, but Mr. Sandoval remembers visiting the shop as a child every Saturday while his mother got a hair cut. Most trips also included a drop-off or pick-up from the dry cleaners next door.

Mr. Sandoval said he supports responsible development to revitalize Old Town in a way that maintains its rich history while adapting to the 21st century.

“For me, whatever we can do to continue respecting the rich history of our city while acknowledging the future, that would make me happy,” he said.

It is unclear at this point if the buildings will be preserved.

Peoria Planning Director Chris Jacques said preservation would depend on a number of factors.

“We don’t really know about the future state of the building,” he said. “But if there is a marketable use and a developer could meet with the vision of the city, preservation could be a possibility.”

City Council approved a series of actions, May 17, 2016, that set into motion the acquisition of several parcels, property abatement/beautification and further environmental investigations for the parcels in the area.

The two purchases are part of a greater strategy to attract businesses to the area bounded by 83rd Avenue, Washington Street, Jefferson Street and 83rd Drive.

Earlier this year, a $146,450 contract was finalized with consultant Michael Baker International to work on the strategy to redevelop and brand the area, to include elements such as signs, monuments, street furniture, landscaping and possible art.

The consultant is conducting a market analysis to determine the highest and best use for city-owned Old Town parcels, but also the regulatory framework in the city to make development easy. A final report is expected to be complete later this summer, and a draft available in the fall.

The report will include market-based redevelopment options, assess interim condition and adaptive reuse possibilities, as well as technical recommendations related to infrastructure, zoning, parking and building/fire codes.

Chris Lucidi, owner of nearby Lucidi Distillery, said any step the city takes in revitalizing Old Town Peoria is a benefit to the community.

“They have already completed so many important steps in removing blight, enacting some simple code enforcement, and the general beautification of Washington Street,” he said. “I feel their actions will attract high-end developers that share the vision for Old Town Peoria, while preserving its history, charm and character.”


A new Old Town
Peoria is continuing to move forward with a plan to revitalize the downtown area.
The city has spent more than $800,000 to do so, with funds going to the purchase of a number of Old Town properties and about 1.2 acres set aside for new developments.
Past purchases include the Pentecostal Church of God, 8326 W. Jefferson St., and the property owned by Abel-Patterson/Peoria, 8318 and 8320 W. Jefferson St., as well as Kosier’s Hardware, 10440 N. 83rd Ave.
At a public meeting June 13, Council agreed to move forward with the purchase of two more parcels in Old Town. For more details on the purchase, see below.

10450 N. 83rd Ave.
Seller: Peoria Cleaners & Laundry, an Arizona corporation
Buyer: City of Peoria, an Arizona municipal corporation
Price: $53,475
10456 N. 83rd Ave.
Seller: Irene Mae Bodenstedt as Trustee of the Irene Mae Bodenstedt Revocable Trust dated July 1, 1998 (1/2 interest), Marlin G. Bodenstedt (1/4 Interest), Harlin C. Bodenstedt (1/4 Interest)
Buyer: City of Peoria, an Arizona municipal corporation
Price: $144,300