Another major downtown project, Transition 17, is expected to come before Council this month for consideration of a memorandum of understanding with developer Mira Vista Holdings.
Jeff McVay, manager of downtown transformation, said the agreement is an important first step that will allow the developer to invest money and time into designing and marketing the long-empty area at Mesa and University drives.
Formerly known as Site 17, the city obtained the 27-acres for redevelopment through eminent domain in 1992 and razed 63 homes at a cost of $6 million.
But one redevelopment plan after another fizzled, including a resort with a water slide proposed by a Canadian developer, leaving the land vacant for decades.
Transform 17 would include housing, employment, and businesses that will cater to new residents who will live someday in a complete neighborhood within walking distance of downtown.
“Its about finding the right balance,’’ McVay said. “What’s happening in Site 17 should complement downtown. The real goal is a highly-connected neighborhood.’’