City Weighs 100-Acre Sale to Liberty Property Trust

The City of Tempe is looking to create a partnership with Philadelphia-based Liberty Property Trust on the development of circa 100 acres of land which could create approximately 6,500 new jobs over the next decade. The deal has yet to be up for council vote on February 7, 2013. If approved, construction is expected to begin early summer.

The Tempe City Council is scheduled on Feb. 7 to consider a proposal by Liberty Property Trust to acquire and develop up to 100 acres of city-owned land, the Phoenix Business Journal  reported.

 Under the proposed agreement, Liberty would buy 81 parcels of city-owned land at the intersection of Priest Dr. and Rio Salado Parkway near Tempe Town Lake in phases. A 21-acre public works yard located on the northeast corner of the site would be relocated if the Malvern, Pa.-based REIT exercises an option to buy the parcel.

In all, Liberty would develop more than 800,000 square feet of office, flex or industrial buildings. Liberty would start construction during the first half of 2013 and build out the site over the next nine to 12 years, the city said in a statement late last month. The firm was selected in Feb. 2012 from candidates responding to a request for qualifications.

“Now more than ever, job creation is a top priority, and developments like these will get us to an ever better place as a community,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell commented in a statement. The deal would generate an estimated $11.9 million to help fund city projects, such as a new dam at Tempe Town Lake that must be completed by Dec. 2015.

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