TEMPE, AZ — Tempe city leaders have approved a plan to purchase the Apache Pollack Center for $10.7 million.
The purchase included an abandoned Food City which closed earlier this year forcing residents to use other more expensive stores further away.
The city said they plan to turn the three-acre property into a mixed-use development with affordable housing units.
“Anyone who wants to live in Tempe should be able to," said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods.
"We are working hard to make that a reality for more people and more families," he added.
The property is located on Apache Boulevard, near Dorsey Lane.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring a grocery store back to the neighborhood, along with more community services that benefit current and future residents in the area," Woods said.
The city's announcement comes as rental prices in Tempe continue to skyrocket.
According to ApartmentList.com, the average price to rent jumped 32% in the past year to $1,741.
The city already announced plans to add 375 affordable housing units to the Apache Blvd. area. This project will be in addition to that.
Meantime, businesses already leasing the property will have their leases honored. After that, the city said it will work with business owners to address the situation.
Officials said it's unclear when the project will be finished.
However, the mayor said they'll start talking about the request for proposal and solicit community input in the near future.
"We'll have to come out and walk the site and do some mockups and decide what makes sense in terms of the right housing mix here and in terms of how many units you can fit on this site," said Woods.
"We'll obviously be getting input from the neighborhoods and public on what they want to see," he added.