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Sky Harbor International softens opposition to new Arizona Coyotes arena

Officials from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport have softened their opposition to a proposed new Arizona Coyotes arena after meetings with the project developer.

Officials at Sky Harbor had expressed opposition to the project, saying construction would impact flights utilizing the eastern flight paths and create housing in an area subject to airport noise. That stance has been cited by the city and opposition to the project within Tempe.

But now that the project was been unanimously approved by the Tempe City Council, subject to referendum, the Sky Harbor opposition to the project has been pulled back. From Arizona Sports:

The department said Wednesday that the developer protections after negotiations include: “consultation on crane heights and mitigations should any crane create performance issues for our airlines, full indemnification against litigation over noise and vibrations caused by aircraft, noise mitigation and insulation, noise disclosures, avigation easements, wildlife studies, traffic mitigation studies and funding, glare/reflectivity mitigation, good neighbor agreement, and restrictions on events that may impact the operation of Sky Harbor.”…

On Wednesday, the City of Phoenix Aviation Department said it is currently “working with Tempe to seek a permanent resolution on our differences in interpretation of the binding Intergovernmental Agreement that exists between our two cities.

“While the City of Phoenix Aviation Department still officially opposes the incompatible residential component of the Tempe Entertainment District development, we are grateful to the City of Tempe for taking actions to largely mitigate potential impacts of the development to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport,” the statement added. “We will continue to work with Tempe and the developer to move forward on the commitments made.”

The proposed $2.1-billion development calls for the new Arizona Coyotes arena, almost 2,000 apartments and an entertainment district with the usual offerings (retail, restaurants, etc.) on 46 acres of Tempe land west of Town Lake. The Coyotes ownership would pick up the cost of construction with private financing, backed by some $100 million on tax breaks on revenue that wouldn’t exist without the development. The site is currently used as a city operations yard and before that a municipal landfill. Despite that provenance, the site is a relatively attractive one for development due to its size and location.

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