Phoenix approves sale, development, preservation plans for American Legion site

Phoenix approves sale, development, preservation plans for American Legion site

Article Originally Posted By PhoenixBusinessJournal On August 26, 2021  

Phoenix City Council accepted a proposal this week that will make way for an adaptive reuse and redevelopment project at the city-owned American Legion site on 7th and Grand Avenues.

Council voted on Aug. 25 to sell the property, located at 723 W. Polk Street, to Cardinal Capital Management Inc., a Wisconsin-based developer, which now plans to develop a mixed-use building on the site that will create 132 housing units. The project would include affordable housing, workforce housing and market rate units, which will give a preference to veterans.

In total, 70% of the units will be income restricted in some way, with 36% of the units designated for those earning 50% or below of the area median income, 17% for those earning below 80% of the AMI, and 17% for those earning at or below 120% of the AMI.

Preserve historic building

The project will also require Cardinal Capital to do its best to preserve the portions of the building that were constructed before 1949, which is about half of the existing building, said Chris Mackay, community and economic development director for the city of Phoenix. The developer is required to have veterans’ services offices on site, some of which will be used by the American Legion. The preserved building will remain in use by the Legion for meetings and other events. The building’s bar area will also be retained.

The new residential portion of the building will be built on the current parking lot, which will have frontage on Seventh Avenue and will extend around the southern portion of the site.

The city released a request for proposals for development on the site in 2019, because the American Legion’s 99-year lease agreement was ending. Mackay said it is the first 99-year lease she has seen expire in her career, and the original document was written on a typewriter and handwritten.