by Jim Nintzel
TW contributor Dave Devine gives us an update on city efforts to gain ownership of some of the warehouses along Toole Avenue:
While state lawmakers are still debating the fate of the Rio Nuevo downtown revitalization effort, the city and the Arizona Department of Transportation are taking steps toward a proposed development along Toole Avenue downtown. (For more details, see “East Side Story,” April 9.)
The city would give up a piece of property next to the Interstate 10 frontage road near Congress Street. In exchange, ADOT would hand over two historic warehouses and parking lot on Toole.
If the swap were to go through, the Toole structures would be renovated and a new housing complex for artists would replace the parking lot.
Unlike the city’s earlier offer to give ADOT three parcels of worthless property for 15 downtown warehouses, the I-10 property is valued at $550,000. The Toole parcels may be worth more than that, with an appraisal putting a $652,000 price tag on the parking lot alone, but those values are now under review.
If the two sides can come to terms, the City Council could finalize the swap in July. By that time, we might even know the future of Rio Nuevo.