Once opposed to a Tempe arena proposal for the Arizona Coyotes and Arizona State University, a real estate group has changed its position on the plan.
The Coyotes recently announced plans for an arena complex and adjacent development in Tempe, with the proposal utilizing the site of the Karsten Golf Course. Along with a 16,000-seat venue for the Coyotes, the project features an adjacent 4,000-seat arena for ASU hockey, and a mixed-use development that includes a hotel.
When it was first revealed, the real estate group NAIOP Arizona expressed serious concerns about the proposal and the special taxing district that would be needed to bring it to fruition. However, after meeting with the Coyotes, NAIOP Arizona president Tim Lawless said that his organization is now neutral on the plan.
Lawless said one of the key areas that was addressed was the hotel, which to his relief would not be constructed in the first phase of the development. Furthermore, Coyotes co-owner, CEO and president Anthony LeBlanc told Lawless that the proposed special taxing district would not be used for other projects. However, he said that he will still track the progress of the plan as more details emerge. More from the Phoenix Business Journal:
Private groups have been and are planning several new hotels in Tempe near ASU, Mill Avenue and the planned arena to the east.
That created some worries about the Coyotes project getting the advantage of private and market-based hotels coming online in Tempe.
But Lawless said his group is keeping an open mind to the Tempe arena.
“We see the synergies. We see the vision,” he said.
Still, Lawless said NAIOP will be watching what is proposed at the Arizona Legislature to help get a new Coyotes arena built.
“The devil is in the details,” Lawless said.
The Coyotes first revealed plans for the arena in November. It is slated to cost $400 million, with the team contributing $200 and the remaining costs covered through a special taxing district. The Arizona State Legislature will consider the taxing district proposal in 2017. The arena, if approved, would open for the 2019-2020 NHL season.