Apache Junction City Hall rang with applause Tuesday night after the council voted unanimously to approve the Crossroads Redevelopment Plan designed to reshape the city’s downtown.
City officials said they expected some residents to oppose the project. Most attending the meeting, however, said they were excited about the idea.
Apache Junction resident Carol Urich offered the only criticism, but nonetheless urged city officials to continue with the project.
“I would like to see more of a Western flair and a horse-friendly idea,” she said. “Go to it.”
Apache Junction Town Centre, LLC, a group of private developers, owns most of the 100 acres downtown that would be affected. Initially, the developers would pay for the project’s infrastructure, such as sewer and water lines. Later, the city would repay the group, using a special tax fund set aside nearly a decade ago.
The downtown vision dates back to 1998, when the city created a tax fund specifically to pay for the project. Tax money that would have paid for other city services was diverted to redevelopment projects.
The Superstition Mountain campus of Central Arizona College is one of three agencies that lose tax dollars to the project. But Bob Salmon, dean of the campus, said he supported the project because it would keep young Apache Junction residents in the city as they grow up — and perhaps increase CAC enrollment.
By approving the proposal, the council agreed to change the appearance of downtown Apache Junction by adding a network of pedestrian walkways throughout the area, an observation tower overlooking the city and even 75-foot buildings.
Amy Malloy, a city project manager, said she was overwhelmed by the community’s support.