Queen Creek is making town-owned land available for retail and hospitality development.
The town has released two requests for proposals for the land.
“We are excited to continue to develop the vision for our downtown core,” stated Economic Development Director Doreen Cott in a press release. “These properties will be key in furthering our Town Center. The downtown core zoning provides flexibility for developers to create walkable uses that enhance the area with specialty retail and dining.”
The first RFP includes approximately 8,050 square feet of land along Ellsworth Road, south of Ocotillo Road.
“That's really located in the heart of downtown core,” said Jennifer Lindley, downtown development manager. “The proposal and the RFP are really looking for development that would include that pedestrian-friendly type of development, shade structures, engaging pedestrian walkways, architectural elements that are really unique to Queen Creek. It's a small parcel, and the hope would be that the proposer would be able to either acquire or already owns the contiguous parcels surrounding the town-owned parcel and it can be encompassed that into a larger development.”
Whether the land houses a large retail store or encompasses a variety of smaller shops and restaurants is up to the proposer, Lindley said.
“Of course, would love to see what we call specialty-type restaurant or retail in the downtown area, but we would be interested in seeing what those proposals encompass and incorporate into the area and kind of see how they fit in,” she added.
Residential uses are not preferred.
The second parcel is larger, including nearly 2.5 acres on the southwest corner of Ellsworth and Rittenhouse roads. The preferred use is the development of a hotel, retail and/or restaurant use. The land adjacent to the Hampton Inn, the town’s only hotel.
“Several years ago, the town issued an RFP for a hotel user, which ultimately became the Hampton Inn,” Lindley said. “There are 2.44 acres left of that site that the town owns, and so we're issuing that remainder of that site. The preferred uses or what we're asking for in the proposals are either development of hotel, retail or restaurant uses.”
The parcel is zoned such that there are restrictions on what can go on the land, “but again, as long as they're retail, restaurant uses and hotels, those would be the proposals that we would consider,” Lindley said.
The town has an active marketing strategy for the parcels and RFPs and have been posting it on various sites.
“We have had quite a few inquiries already,” Lindley said.
More such RFPs could be on the way as Queen Creek owns several parcels of land in the downtown core area. Whether RFPs are issued depends on the town council.
“From the beginning, it really does start from grassroots level with interest,” Lindley said. “So, we start hearing of interest and then obviously with our connections and contacts and meetings that we regularly have with developers and stakeholders in the area that's how the conversation starts and then moves on to the council for council direction
The RFPs are available on the town’s website, QueenCreekAZ.gov. Proposals (electronic submittals only) are due by Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.