The Arizona Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes submitted the only proposal to the city of Tempe for a mixed-use project incorporating a professional sports franchise and entertainment district.

The Coyotes acknowledged their submittal in a short statement to the press. 

“We are pleased to have submitted a proposal to the city of Tempe. As regulations surrounding the RFP process dictate, we cannot comment any further at this time, but we remain incredibly excited about this extraordinary opportunity,” the Coyotes said. 

The two parcels of city-owned land total 46 acres at the northeast corner of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway. As of Sept. 2, the proposal was being evaluated, and that process could take months.

The city of Tempe said in a statement “the two city parcels involved in this RFP represent an important area of the city, near Tempe Town Lake and the Tempe Center for the Arts, and adjacent to neighborhoods and employers. These people and places also will be top of mind during evaluations of RFP responses.”

According to state procurement law, only the names of entities responding to an RFP can be revealed when the RFP closes. The name in this instance is Bluebird Development LLC, according to a statement from the city of Tempe. While the submittal is evaluated and the city engages in intensive due diligence, Tempe representatives cannot discuss the matter.

Staff members are following preset evaluation criteria. The evaluation will include projected economic impacts, job creation, public benefit, neighborhood considerations and traffic impacts. Due to the complexity of the evaluation, the city is likely to turn to third-party consultants for assistance in aspects of its evaluation, according to Tempe’s statement.

At this end of the evaluation process, if the city staff team determines that negotiation with the proposer is warranted, it will recommend that the city council start discussions. The council has the authority to accept or reject this recommendation through one or more public meetings.  

Third, if the council agrees to enter exclusive negotiations with the proposer, that will begin a new process that could take several more months. This would involve direct negotiations between city staff and the developer. 

Negotiations would be aimed at determining whether it is possible for the parties to agree on a development and disposition agreement, which is a legal document that would formalize the entire relationship. After the council votes to accept a party to negotiate with, the original RFP submittal becomes accessible as a public record, excluding any confidential information that must be withheld.

Finally, if the development and disposition agreement is successfully negotiated by staff and the proposer, the city council would ultimately vote in a public meeting to accept or reject it. Only upon the approval and subsequent execution of the development and disposition agreement is it deemed complete. 

During any negotiations, the firm may also begin the planning process with the community development department. Entitlements such a general plan amendment and zoning action may also be needed depending on the firm’s submittal. Any entitlements will also be brought to the city council for consideration at one or more future public meetings.