The Phoenix City Council approved two projects on Weds., July 1st that could signal a turning of the economic tide for development and construction in the Valley of the Sun. The Arizona Republic reported that several projects are nearing plan approval by the Phoenix City Council, and this week zoning approval was granted. The most prominent are the Jackson Street Entertainment District and an expansion of the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Arizona Biltmore Resort.

The Jackson Street Entertainment District will revitalize a multi-block historic area along Jackson Street surrounding Chase Field and US Airways Center. The mixed-use project aims create a high density landscape of renovated and new buildings with retail, nightclubs and restaurants at street level and upper floors housing offices, residential and hotels.

According to the development’s websitenew buildings will wrap portions of the arena and parking structures to reduce their massive scale. Plans also call for renovation and preservation of multiple structures, helping to appease vocal community activists in preserving the character of one of Phoenix’s oldest commercial areas.

The project will be pursuing LEED certification, likely an easy goal due to the revitalization of underutilized urban land, proximity to light rail and usage of rooftop gardens to reduce the heat island effect. While it could cost JSED LLC and Future Cities (members of the project's consortium of local developers and planners) up to $300 million to build, the project’s urban nature will aid in breaking it up into multiple phases and funding sources.

blog post photo
The Jackson Street Entertainment District wraps around the existing Chase Field
and US Airways Center. Rendering by Future Cities

The second project, also estimated at $300 million, will allow for up to 300 new rooms at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. A 26,000-sq-ft spa addition, new landscaping and 44 villas are also on the drawing board. The project recently overcame a major hurdle by winning the near unanimous support of the Camelback East Village Planning Committee, an advisory board made up of community members from the prestigious Phoenix neighborhood.