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ASU selects developer for district to fund athletic facility improvements

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TEMPE – Arizona State University has selected a developer for a 330 acres of residences, offices, restaurants and more designed to generate money to renovate Sun Devil Stadium and other athletic facilities.

ASU President Michael M. Crow said Catellus Development Corp., based in Austin, Texas, will achieve the school’s goals of developing world-class athletic facilities, adding to downtown Tempe’s economy and fostering sustainability.

“Catellus has been defined a developer capable of operating on all three of those parameters at the same time,” he said at a news conference.

The university has launched a $260 million renovation of Sun Devil Stadium, committing $210 to the project and launching a campaign to raise the remaining $50 million.

The site, which includes the stadium, Wells Fargo Arena and ASU Karsten Golf Course on the north side of the Tempe campus, has been designated an athletic facilities district that will generate lease revenue for the university. ASU expects development on the site to take between 10 and 20 years.

ASU won’t have to pay property taxes for the land, and Tempe and the state of Arizona will receive sales taxes from developments in the district.

Ted Antenucci, CEO of Catellus Development, said his company excels at public partnerships, pointing to the redevelopment of Austin’s airport as an example.

“ASU joins other organizations such as the cities of Austin, Alameda, and San Francisco, where together we have transformed an under-utilized space into productive, green, energetic developments that quickly become popular places to live, work, learn and play,” he said.

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said the athletic facilities district will provide more than just financial benefits for the city.

“We know it’s going to be a tremendous partnership,” Mitchell said. “Not only will the district contribute to our tax base but it’s going to create thousands of jobs.”

One area slated to change is ASU’s golf course, Crow said.

“We have a plan; we’re working toward another golf course that’s going to be a fantastic golf course, better than the golf course that we have,” he said. “The golf course that we have will be there until it’s not.”