Plans to advance Eastline Village, a seven-story mixed-use development, were approved Thursday evening at Tempe’s City Council Meeting.
The DMB Associates Inc. development is located at 2025 E. Apache Blvd. along the light rail and will be a multi-phase project.
Council members unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance for a Zoning Map Amendment from a Commercial Shopping and Services, Transportation Overlay District, and Multi-Family Residential General to a Mixed-use, High Density District. The City Council approved a Planned Area Development Overlay for the 13.56 acre development which includes 698 living units and 59,466 square feet of commercial space, according to the council meeting agenda.
Tempe also approved the Development Plan Review for Phase I, the initial development that will including the first 9.43 acres with 450 units and 35,709 square feet of commercial space.
Trevor Barger, founder of Espiritu Loci, a Scottsdale based planning and development assistance firm, said the project, which will be perpendicular to Apache Road rather than parallel, will include living spaces, performance space, shops and restaurants and will make it possible for residents to live, work, and play in the same setting.
Barger said that the project is designed to be “long-term residences”.
“DMB is incredibly good at getting people to move in and having a wonderful sense of community there such that there is no reason ever to want to leave,” Barger said.
Eric Carlson, senior vice president of DMB Associates Inc., said the goal of the development is “to create a vibrant, fun, mixed-use community”.
He said the Eastline Village will not be geared towards attracting students, though the campus is less than 2 miles from the development, but is “geared much more toward [being] where [students] live after they get out of college” stating that Tempe is “one of the top markets for job creation”.
Carlson said that DMB is aiming to help keep students in town after graduation. He said Tempe is an “emerging city that someday will be a lot like Portland, Seattle and Austin” and that Tempe is about “ten years behind those cities”.
Carlson said jobs, university, research and quality housing is “critical to keeping the talent wanting to stay in Tempe and not wanting to move” and Eastline Village will be an attractive option to graduates.
Councilmember Joel Navarro said he is excited about the project and how the area has the potential to blossom.
“I’m excited about integrating with the area down by Escalante, and really enhancing the use of what we have: the Escalante Center, the park, the brand new football field.” Navarro said.
Councilmember Kolby Granville and Councilmember Lauren Kuby both shared concerns about the area north of the project.
“We need to consider that north of [the project] is amongst the poorest housing in Tempe,” Kuby said.
Both council members approved the design and quality of the project despite their concerns.
Councilmember David Schapira said that though he shares some of the same concerns of his colleagues, he always envisioned the light rail to be a “tech corridor” and he thinks the Eastline Village project is a “great step in that direction.”
“There is that eclectic feel on Apache and with a project of this magnitude… [it] is really fitting for that area.” Mayor Mark Mitchell said.