Tucson moves forward with annexation of future retail project area
Tucson moved closer to annexing a 163-acre dirt parcel that city officials hope could one day become the home of a 1.3 million-square-foot retail development and bring about $37 million into city coffers within the next decade.
The City Council unanimously approved a pre-annexation agreement for the Century Park Marketplace parcel Tuesday night.
The parcel is east of South Kolb Road and along East Valencia Road.
City documents show the first retail business at the site is expected to open in March 2015, and one new business would open every other month through 2022.
Michael Farley, manager of Valencia Kolb properties, sought an annexation after a falling out with Pima County officials over who would pay for a new road alignment around the property.
Farley sued the county after it refused to finance a rerouting of Valencia to run along the south side of his property. Valencia currently bisects the property.
County officials objected to paying for the new alignment because they said it would cost at least $8 million more to build a new road than to fix up the current Kolb and Valencia intersection.
The county removed itself from the road project in 2012 and the Regional Transportation Administration took it over.
To date, the RTA hasn’t decided whether it will build the new alignment. RTA Executive Director Farhad Moghimi said the authority’s board might vote on it in April.
Farley said he wouldn’t comment on specific plans for the Century Park Marketplace until after an RTA decision is made.
Some city officials originally held reservations about the annexation after details of an earlier draft proposal showed Tucson might be on the hook for building the approximately $24 million road and other costs.
“The rewrite of the agreement takes the city out from under what was originally a serious financial obligation,” said Councilman Steve Kozachik. “We (would have) had to build the road, concede permit and other fees — it was a total giveaway.”
Continue Reading the Arizona Daily Star article by Darren DeRonco