June 11, 2004
A divided Scottsdale City Council went into a closed session Thursday to discuss lease terms for the proposed $300 million ASU Scottsdale Center for New Technology at the old Los Arcos mall site.
The council voted 4-3 to go behind closed doors for the project, which will be the largest investment in city history. Scottsdale will kick in $86 million.
City Manager Jan Dolan said the meeting was necessary so negotiations could be completed and a contract released to the public as soon as possible.
The council is scheduled to endorse the deal June 28. The land must be purchased by July 30.
"We’ve got a major issue here. Obviously, one of the largest transactions that the city of Scottsdale has ever taken with taxpayer funds and I’m very concerned about the perception of the public that we would, in fact, be doing something in secret," Councilman Jim Lane said.
Councilmen Kevin Osterman, Bob Littlefield and Lane voted against the session, while Mayor Mary Manross and council members Wayne Ecton, Betty Drake and Ron McCullagh voted for it.
Scottsdale will buy the 42 acres from the Arizona State University Foundation and lease it back to them. The stark lot at Scottsdale and McDowell roads will be used for office, research and retail.