City plans Tempe Town Lake development

The city of Tempe and the Liberty Property Trust are in the planning phase of a new business and industrial development near Tempe Town Lake.

The future development will be located at South Priest Drive and West Rio Salado Parkway.

Liberty Property Trust is purchasing approximately 109 acres of land from Tempe for $11.9 million.

Councilman Kolby Granville said the development's construction is expected to create close to 6,500 jobs.

“It’s a good deal for the city,” Granville said. “We get paid for the land, and they’re required to develop the land.”

Alex Smith, acting economic development manager for Tempe, said construction of the development will begin in March and continue during the next nine years.

“The land is vacant and a very challenging piece of property,” Smith said. “This will bring more opportunity to Tempe.”

He said the city issued a Request For Proposal that went out to various businesses in the city. Five businesses responded to the request.

Councilwoman Shana Ellis said the responding businesses go through the procurement department and are scored by a panel of qualified individuals, who are chosen based on their profession and relation to the discussion topic. After scoring, the panel gives the council its recommendation on which business to partner with.

The council initiates two hearings after the recommendation for citizens to comment on the partnership.

The partnership with Liberty Property Trust will go through its final hearing Feb. 7. Although it has not been finalized, Ellis said she is confident the partnership will be approved.

“This is a huge piece of city land that we kind of had a vision for in the RFP,” Ellis said. “We have looked at different things over the years. There are so many offices that are so successful going up in that area that we felt that would be the best use of it.”

Ellis said construction will focus on industrial buildings. The location of this new construction will interest businesses, she said.

“This is one of the main entrances in Tempe,” she said. “This area has become very valuable to businesses wanting to locate an office there.”

Ellis said the city expects to make a net revenue of $9.6 million. This revenue will help with the reconstruction of the Tempe Town Lake dam that broke in 2010.

“We hope to reduce the price of the dam by millions and millions of dollars using this money,” Ellis said. “I think that's key. We really want to get the price of that dam and the cost to our citizens down.”

Smith said the new development will benefit Tempe and will put use to the vacant area along Rio Salado Parkway.

“This will be establishing the Rio Salado Parkway as a border-to-border employment corridor in the valley,” he said.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @whitneyparis10

Editor's Note: Due to copy editing negligence, a slang phrase used in a derogatory manner was added at the end of Councilman Kolby Granville's title. It has since been removed, and the copy editor's work is under review.

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