Tempe could become home to the state’s second Artspace housing development, following a unanimous Tempe City Council vote authorizing the city to enter into negotiations with the Minnesota-based nonprofit real estate development firm. Artspace Projects specializes in affordable live/
Mesa Artspace Lofts, the firm's first development in Arizona, opened in June 2018. Located at 155 South Hibbert in downtown Mesa, the development includes 50 units, including many where artists have both living and studio space. Several well-known artists in Arizona call Mesa Artspace Lofts home, including Christine Cassano, Travis Ivey, and Katharine Leigh Simpson.
The Tempe vote, taken during a meeting on Thursday, September 12, came after the city issued a request for proposals to develop affordable housing on about five acres of land located at Apache Boulevard and Dorsey Lane. The property includes two parking lot currently used by New School for the Arts & Academics and Valley Metro Park-and-Ride.
According to city council meeting materials, three developers submitted qualified proposals: Brinshore Development, Gorman and Company, and Artspace Projects. Brinshore is an Illinois-based real estate company whose sole Arizona development is located in Flagstaff. Gorman is a Wisconsin-based firm with offices in Phoenix; its developments include The Lofts at McKinley in Roosevelt Row.
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The evaluation committee recommended Artspace based on scoring in five areas – experience, maximization, organizational capacity, project design, and financial strategy.
“The evaluation committee recommends Artspace Projects, Inc. be selected to negotiate the terms of a Development and Disposition Agreement for the development of affordable housing and workforce housing on the two parcels at Dorsey and Lemon,” meeting materials also state.
The item was unanimously approved. Now, all eyes will be on Tempe as it moves forward with the process of bringing a second Artspace affordable housing development to the city.
Artspace conducted extensive community outreach before opening Mesa Artspace Lofts. So, Tempe community members can expect to have several opportunities to learn more about the project and offer their input along the way.