The Tempe City Council voted unanimously to authorize South Pier at Tempe Town Lake, a $1.8 billion mixed-use development project on Tempe Town Lake with South Pier Tempe Holdings.

South Pier at Tempe Town Lake will be a mixed-use entertainment destination that will include apartments, condos, retail, a hotel, offices and central green and plaza areas, according to Tempe Economic Development Program Manager Maria Laughner.

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The site is located at 1190 East Vista Del Lago Drive, south of Tempe Town Lake, one of Arizona’s most visited tourist destinations. In 2019, The city issued an RFP for the site and South Pier Tempe Holdings was chosen as the successful respondent for the development of the property.

The development, which is projected to be built in seven phases over 15 years, will provide guaranteed public benefits, with a contribution of $10 million to affordable housing, $4.7 million to public transit and $250,000 to Tempe schools, according to Laughner.

“We are talking about total direct benefits to the city,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said. Council member Lauren Kuby motioned to postpone the authorization until the city council meeting on March 3 to give Tempe residents more time to hear about the details of the project. “I think we err more on community engagement not on less,” Kuby said.

The motion failed 3-4.

A new motion was received to approve the development and the council voted unanimously to authorize the development of the project. “The amount of public benefit we are getting in return outnumbers the GPLET that we’re giving by about $2 million and tangible public benefit,” Woods said.

The site has had multiple failed development projects and currently costs the city $7.1 million of annual financial implications as it sits undeveloped, according to Laughner.

“We cannot continue to go down a path that has failed consistently, we have to try something different, this council tried something new and innovative, and it has worked and it is continuing to work,” said Woods.