A failed mixed-use project in downtown Tempe that once promised a condominium high-rise and a Whole Foods grocery store is being revived.
Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Alberta Development Partners LLC paid $6.1 million for less than 2 vacant acres at the northwest corner of University Drive and Ash Avenue in a deal that closed this week, according to a statement from CBRE Inc. Brookfield Asset Management was the seller.
The company plans to spend another $80 million to $100 million erecting a mid-rise or high-rise apartment tower there with a ground-level grocery store over the next several years.
Nearly a decade ago, the 1.86-acre parcel was slated for a similar project dubbed Mosaic that called for a high-rise condo tower and ground-level Whole Foods. The developer at the time, KML Development, never got the project off the ground due to the downfall of its lender, the now-defunct Mortgages Ltd.
The announcement of this new project comes at a time when commercial development, especially high-end multifamily, has been exploding in Tempe’s urban core. It would also fill a void for the downtown area’s growing number of residents, who currently do not have a nearby grocery store.
Don Provost, founder and principal of Alberta Development, declined to name the grocer, but sources close to the deal who did not want to be named said Whole Foods has signed letter of intent to occupy the space. Whole Foods representatives did not immediately return an email late Wednesday afternoon about the possible store.
Provost also declined to say how large the retail space would be and whether the grocer would occupy the entire space, so it is unclear whether there will be enough space for a full-scale Whole Foods like those sen in Scottsdale and Chandler. A smaller Whole Foods in Tempe is about four miles from the new project.