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June 15, 2012

Contact: Robert Johnson 602-402-1294 

Venida Complex Purchase

Would be Home for Franklin Pierce University and Maricopa County Library Expansion, New 911 Call Center

Goodyear City Council Plans Work Session Tonight on Proposed Purchase of Venida Office Complex. 

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – The Goodyear City Council will hold a work session tonight to discuss details of the proposed purchase of an 11 acre office complex partly leased for city offices but slated for major expansions of a local university, the Maricopa County library branch and a new state of the art 9-1-1 emergency call center.

The work session begins at 5 p.m. in the Goodyear City Council chambers, 185 N. 145th Ave, Goodyear, AZ 85338, one of the buildings in the complex that the city now rents.

The proposal would spend $12.2 million to acquire the campus of five office buildings plus developable land from Cornwell Corporation and convert city lease payments to annual mortgage payments on the property.

City officials say the acquisition will save Goodyear taxpayers over the proposed ten year financing period for the purchase, and would bring amenities the public has wanted for some time.

"Goodyear residents have said in our community surveys that they want more education options and expanded library services," Brian Dalke, Interim City Manager said. "This proposal delivers on those expectations and saves tax dollars at the same time."

Today, Franklin Pierce University leases about 8,500 square feet in space adjacent to City Hall. Under this proposal, the university would nearly double in size and relocate to become a tenant of the city at the new location. The move would allow the school to expand its current Doctorate of Physical Therapy and add a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor’s of Integrated Studies, attracting more students to the area.

Goodyear's current library branch operated by Maricopa County would more than triple in size, and finally have the space needed for programs and an expanded on-site book selection.

Goodyear police and fire department offices would remain on the campus, but the city would use land south of the complex for construction of a modern 9-1-1 emergency call center providing a state-of-the-art facility to improve emergency coordination and response.

The City's current lease with the Cornwell Corp. expires in five years, making an even stronger case for buying the campus and locking in the city’s real estate expenses for at least ten years.

"This purchase costs the City the same as our annual lease payment today and guarantees our costs will hold steady for a longer period of time," said Dalke

City officials propose to pay the bill using a combination of funds related to various uses on the property.

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America also has expressed interest in expanding its footprint on the site, potentially generating additional revenue back to the city if the deal is approved by Council.

Estimates of revenue from the property are expected to show significant increases with the addition of tenants helping pay the bill.

In addition to the purchase price, the city would invest about $2.55 million in building improvements to make portions of the property ready.

Construction of the new 9-1-1 call center would cost about $3.3 million and would be funded using impact fees.

The city spent considerable time addressing the purchase price for the complex because of two widely different appraisals that had the property worth between $9.2 and $12.8 million. The higher appraisal commissioned by the current owners argued that comparable office space in Goodyear is limited due to renewed demand for commercial property leases in the area.

Officials believe both appraisals had shortcomings but agreed that the shrinking market makes this deal both attractive and necessary.

"The numbers support the purchase based on the public amenities we can provide at this location and the tax dollars that will be saved by moving the city from being a tenant to being the owner of the facility," said Dalke.

Depending on the outcome of the work session tonight, plans call for Council consideration and action on the proposal at its June 25 regular meeting. 


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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749