Phoenix Mayor Stanton

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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton makes his monthly appearance to the Arizona Horizon set to discuss issues regarding the city of Phoenix, including what might happen to the Diamondback’s Chase Field, which may be sold by Maricopa County.

TED: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. A NEW CNN-ORC POLL SHOWS REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP AHEAD OF DEMOCRAT HILLARY CLINTON BY FIVE PERCENTAGE POINTS IN ARIZONA. ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY, 43% OF REGISTERED ARIZONA VOTERS SIDE WITH TRUMP, FOLLOWED BY 38% FOR CLINTON. LIBERTARIAN GARY JOHNSON IS THIRD AT 12%. THE SAME POLL SHOWS 57% OF ARIZONA HISPANIC VOTERS SUPPORTING CLINTON WHILE 20% SUPPORT TRUMP. OTHER RESULTS OF NOTE FROM THE SURVEY -- 51% OF REGISTERED VOTERS DISAPPROVE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PERFORMANCE AND A POLL SHOWS SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN WITH A SIZEABLE LEAD OVER CHALLENGER KELLI WARD IN THE GOP PRIMARY AND MCCAIN ALSO REGISTERED A DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD OVER DEMOCRAT ANN KIRKPATRICK IN A POSSIBLE GENERAL ELECTION MATCHUP. EACH MONTH, WE WELCOME PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON TO "ARIZONA HORIZON" STUDIOS FOR A DISCUSSION OF CITY ISSUES INCLUDING THIS MONTH, THE POSSIBLE SALE OF CHASE FIELD. IT'S THE HOME OF THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS. HERE NOW IS PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON. GOOD TO SEE YOU THANKS FOR COMING IN. THE COUNTY'S EFFORTS TO SELL CHASE FIELD, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HERE?
GREG STANTON: WELL I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS, UNFORTUNATELY, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS AND THE COUNTY HAS GONE CROSS WIDES OVER WHO HAS TO PAY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE STADIUM. BUT FROM MY PERSPECTIVE EVEN THOUGH WE'RE NOT A PARTY TO THAT AGREEMENT THAT IS AN IMPORTANT PARCEL RIGHT IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN PHOENIX AND THE DIAMONDBACKS ARE AN IMPORTANT ASSET TO OUR CITY, PARTICULARLY DOWNTOWN PHOENIX AND I DON'T WANT TO LOSE THE DIAMONDBACKS NEITHER THROUGH THE COURSE OF THEIR CURRENT TERM WHICH HAS A LITTLE OVER 10 YEARS AGO AND I WOULD LIKE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WHERE THE DIAMONDBACKS COULD STAY IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX FOR A MUCH LONGER PERIOD THAN THAT. WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE OUR GREAT DOWNTOWN ASSETS.
TED: $60 MILLION ASKING PRICE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? IT SEEMS LOW TO A LOT OF FOLKS, OF COURSE YOU HAVE $180 SOME MILLION IN RENOVATIONS AND REPAIRS STILL NEED TO BE DONE. STILL, $60 MILLION FOR THAT FACILITY.
GREG STANTON: I AM NOT A PARTY TO THAT AGREENMENT SO I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE PARTICULARITIES OF THE OFFER, BUT IN GENERAL, IT'S A GREAT DOWNTOWN PARCEL BUT THE BUILDING IS BUILT FOR A SINGULAR TENANT. THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS, IRONICALLY, ONE OF THE DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE DIAMONDBACKS AND THE COUNTY IS HOW WELL THE STADIUM HAS BEEN MANAGED ON NON-BASEBALL GAMES AND NIGHTS. AS A CITY, WE WANT AS MUCH ACTIVITY IN THAT BUILDING AS POSSIBLE AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE ACTIVITY ON NON-BASEBALL DAYS JUST LIKE YOU SEE AT TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA WHERE THE SUNS PLAY, THAT BUILDING IS BUSY OVER 200 NIGHTS A YEAR. IT'S A HUGELY IMPORTANT ASSET FOR DOWNTOWN. AND AS WE WORK TOGETHER ON A SOLUTION, ONE OF THE SOLUTIONS HAS TO BE THAT THAT BUILDING GETS ACTIVATED ON A MUCH MORE REGULAR BASIS IN THE HEART OF OUR CITY.
TED: WITH THAT IN MIND, WHAT'S KNOWN ABOUT THE BUYER. BEFORE YOU ANSWER THAT, ARE YOU CONCERNED THERE'S ONLY REALLY ONE BUYER HERE?
GREG STANTON: THAT'S REALLY AN ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY AND THE DIAMONDBACKS, SO I GOT TO BE CAREFUL NOT TRYING TO INTERFERE WITH THIS POTENTIAL CONTRACT AND AGREEMENT. WHAT I'M MOST CONCERNED ABOUT AS I MEET WITH THE BUYER ORGANIZATION AND I WILL IN THE NEAR FUTURE, THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BUYER INVESTMENT GROUP. I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS PARCEL IS TO DOWNTOWN PHOENIX AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR THE TEAM TO STAY HERE FOR THE LONG HAUL. OBVIOUSLY, IF THE ENTITY IS SUCCESSFUL IN BUYING THE BUILDING, WHICH THE DIAMONDBACKS HAVE TO SIGN ON SO IT HAS TO BE A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE LANDLORD AND TENANT, IF YOU WILL, INEVITABLY, A PORTION OF THE DEAL IS GOING TO BE COMING TO THE CITY AND ASKING FOR SUPPORT FOR MUCH MORE DEVELOPMENT ON-SITE. SO I THINK IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, OVER THE LONG HAUL, IF WE'RE GOING TO KEEP THE DIAMONDBACKS IN DOWNTOWN FOR A LONG PERIOD, AND I WANT THEM TOO, THE CITY OF PHOENIX IS GOING TO HAVE TO ALLOW MUCH MORE DENSE DEVELOPMENT ON-SITE. THE DETAILS OF THAT OBVIOUSLY ARE TO COME BUT GETTING GOOD QUALITY DEVELOPMENT IN OUR DOWNTOWN IS A GREAT THING. THE MARKET IS HOT FOR IT RIGHT NOW AND IF WE CAN WORK AN ARRANGEMENT WHERE IT ALLOWS THE DIAMONDBACKS TO STAY THERE FOR A LONG PERIOD, THAT'S A WIN FOR EVERYONE. THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO BE WORKING ON.
TED: SO IS PHOENIX READY TO TAKE ON SOME OF THESE RENOVATION COSTS?
GREG STANTON: NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO PAY A SINGLE PENNY TOWARD THOSE RENOVATION COSTS. THAT WILL HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT IN THE ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY AND THE DIAMONDBACKS, THE POINT I'M TRYING TO MAKE TO YOU, THE REASON THIS MIGHT BE A MORE ATTRACTIVE ASSET TO A POTENTIAL BUYER, WHY WOULD YOU BUY AN EXPENSIVE BUILDING WHERE THERE'S ONLY A SINGLE TENANT, BY THE WAY THAT TENANT IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE IN 10 YEARS UNLESS WE CAN WORK OUT A LONGER ARRANGEMENT, THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A STRONG FINANCIAL AGREEMENT. IT ONLY MAKES SENSE IF THEY LOOK AT THAT LAND MORE AGGRESSIVELY THAN IN THE PAST. IF THEY LOOK AT IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO THINGS LIKE HOTELS OR OFFICES OR CONDOMINIUMS AND OTHER RESIDENTIAL RETAIL, REALLY TURN INTO A SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO BE TALKING TO ME ABOUT IF THEY'RE ABLE TO ACQUIRE THE STADIUM, THEY CAN PAY FOR THESE IMPROVEMENTS, UTILIZING REVENUE FROM NEW DEVELOPMENT ON-SITE. VERY CLOSE TO WHAT ASU DID FOR PAYING FOR A FOOTBALL STADIUM WHERE THEY USED REVENUE FROM OTHER DEVELOPMENTS TO HELP TO PAY FOR THOSE FOOTBALL STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS WITHOUT GOING DIRECTLY TO TAX PAYERS. I WON'T PAY ONE PENNY OF CITY RESOURCES FOR IT BUT WE'LL WORK WITH THEM IF THEY CAN WORK AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE DIAMONDBACKS FOR APPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT ON-SITE.
TED: THE REASON I ASK, SOME FOLKS SEE THIS AS THE COUNTY UNLOADING THIS THING AND THE CITY NOW WILL BE THE NEXT IN LINE FOR THE DIAMONDBACKS OR THE NEW OWNERS OR WHOEVER, COME TIN CUP IN HAND, SAY ALL RIGHT, WE NEED PUBLIC SUPPORT. IF THEY ASK PHOENIX VOTERS TO HELP SUPPORT THIS, WOULD YOU GO ALONG WITH THAT?
GREG STANTON: NO THAT'S NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY WE HAVE A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PHOENIX SUNS, TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA IS OWNED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF PHOENIX. THAT'S A LONG-STANDING PARTNERSHIP, I'VE TAKEN A PUBLIC POSITION AS THE COYOTES AND SUNS ARE BOTH BEGINNING LOOKING AT THEIR FACILITIES IT MAKES NO SENSE TO HAVE AN ADDITIONAL BUILDING SOMEWHERE IN THE EAST VALLEY, IT MAKES THE MOST COMMON SENSE FOR EVERYONE TO WORK TOGETHER ON A LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP. BUT THAT'S MY FIRST PRIORITY AS IT RELATES TO THE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY. THE POINT I'M REALLY MAKING IS IF, IN FACT, THE COUNTY ENDS UP FULFILLING THIS AGREEMENT WITH THIS OUT OF STATE INVESTMENT ORGANIZATION, THE DIAMONDBACKS HAVE TO SIGN OFF ON IT, INEVITABLY, THE LOOK AND FEEL OF CHASE FIELD IS GOING TO CHANGE. IT'S GOING TO BE MUCH MORE OF A SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT TYPE CONCEPT UTILIZING THE REVENUE FROM NEW DEVELOPMENT TO HELP TO PAY FOR THE STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS. IF THAT HELPS FACILITATE TO KEEP THE DIAMONDBACKS IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX FOR A LONG HAUL, FOR MUCH LONGER THAN THEIR EXISTING LEASE TERM, I THINK THAT WOULD BE A POSITIVE THING FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX. AGAIN, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT UNDERUTILIZED ASSET AS IT SITS THERE -THE TEAM THERE FOR THE LONG HAUL, WELL BEYOND THE 10 YEAR LEASE TERM AND THAT'S THE ROLE THAT THE CITY IS GOING TO PLAY IN THIS SOLUTION.
TED: SO BASICALLY THE RULE IS TO HELP FACILITATE THE DISTRICT, HELP OUT AS YOU CAN, BUT NOT SPECIFICALLY TO RENOVATE THE STADIUM.
GREG STANTON: THAT WOULD NOT BE THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF PHOENIX.
TED: WHAT DOES THIS DO AS FAR AS THE SUN STADIUM DOWNTOWN? DOES THIS AFFECT THE DYNAMIC HERE? ANY IMPACT HERE?
GREG STANTON: LOOK, I DON'T WANT TO START NEGOTIATING ON THIS SHOW. AS MUCH AS I LOVE THE VIEWERS OF HORIZON, BUT WE'LL BE LISTENING TO WHAT THIS INVESTMENT GROUP IS THINKING ABOUT. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE. OBVIOUSLY, THE DIAMONDBACKS HAVE TO BE ON BOARD. BUT IF THEY'RE GOING TO GO MUCH LARGER TO A SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT INEVITABLY, MR. SARVER AND OUR PARTNER THE PHOENIX SUNS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE PART OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS. LOOK, I WANT THE PHOENIX SUNS TO STAY IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX, FOR THE LONG HAUL, THIS IMPORTANT ASSET, THE DIAMONDBACKS NOT DOING GREAT ON THE FIELD THIS YEAR, BUT WILL IN YEARS FUTURE, THAT'S A GREAT ASSET FOR OUR COMMUNITY AND I WANT DURING MY TIME AS MAYOR, TO WORK AN ARRANGEMENT TO SECURE THE LONG-TERM FUTURE OF BOTH TEAMS IN OUR CITY.
TED: VERY QUICKLY THE SALE OF THE TGEN BUILDING, CITY OWNS THAT. THAT SALE FELL THROUGH THE BIOLLIONAIRE ENTREPRENEUR, WHY DID HE SOUR ON THIS SALE? I THOUGHT IT WAS CLOSE TO A DONE DEAL.
GREG STANTON: ANY TIME THERE'S A REAL ESTATE DETAIL, IT CAN BE -- DEAL, IT CAN BE COMPLICATED. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IT'S A GREAT LOCATION RIGHT ON OUR BIOMEDICAL CAMPUS, RIGHT IN THE HEART OF IT. WITH GREAT TENANTS AND THERE'S INTERESTED ENTITIES TO PURCHASE THAT BUILDING, I'M CONFIDENT AS I SIT HERE, THOUGH IT WON'T BE THE ORIGINAL PURCHASER, THERE WILL BE OTHER PURCHASERS WHO WILL PAY THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF MONEY SO THE CITY OF PHOENIX CAN TAKE THAT OFF OF OUR-- IT WAS A GREAT INVESTMENT. TGEN HAS BEEN ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS THE CITY OF PHOENIX HAS EVER MADE NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH AND LIVES SAVED AS A RESULT OF THE MEDICAL RESEARCH GOING ON THERE, BUT IT REALLY -- THAT INVESTMENT, THAT STATEMENT BY CITY WE'RE GOING TO INVEST IN THE VERY BEST IN SCIENCE AND RESEARCH THAT HELPED TO BRING U OF A MEDICAL SCHOOL TO THE HEART OF THE CITY, THAT HELPED TO BRING THE U OF A AND ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL CANCER CENTER WHICH OPENED RECENTLY. WE HAVE A GREAT DENSE BIOMEDICAL CAMPUS AND TGEN BUILDING HAD BEEN IN THE HEART OF IT. IT'S BEEN A GOOD INVESTMENT AND NOW IS THE APPROPRIATE TIME AFTER THIS MANY YEARS FOR US TO FIND A PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNER TO PURCHASE IT.
TED: IT'S BEEN AN INVESTMENT THAT WAS PAID FOR WITH BONDS YOU'VE GOT $71 MILLION IN PNI ANNUALLY THROUGH 2035. YOU HAVE TO SELL THAT THING, MAYOR. DO YOU HAVE FOLKS READY TO GO WITH THAT? THIS HAS BEEN MONTHS NOW.
GREG STANTON: THE GOOD NEWS IS IT'S A GREAT BUILDING WITH WET LABORATORY SPACE READY TO GO. TRY AND FIND THAT AROUND THE METROPOLITAN PHOENIX AREA. IT'S VERY DIFFICULT. YOU DON'T FIND NEW SPEC WET LAB BUILDINGS. IF YOU WANT TO BE IN THE BIOSCIENCE SPACE, THIS IS THE BEST IN THE VALLEY WITH MANY EXISTING TENANTS THAT ARE THERE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. THE POINT I'M MAKING IS IT'S AN ASSET WITH REAL VALUE. THOUGH IT DIDN'T WORK OUT WITH REASONS I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT ON THE AIR WITH THE PREVIOUS BUYER, THERE ARE MANY OTHER BUYERS WHO ARE ACTIVELY LOOKING. AND I'M CONFIDENT IN THE NEAR FUTURE WE'LL ANNOUNCE A NEW PURCHASER. THAT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE PART OF THE BACKING UP OF THE BONDS WAS THE USE OF THE SPORTS ARENA FUND. IT WASN'T BACKED UP WITH GENERAL FUND MONEY SO THIS WILL ENABLE US TO BE A LITTLE MORE FLEXIBLE AS WE WORK ON OUR LONG TERM PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SUNS, POTENTIALLY COYOTES, AND OTHER ENTITIES IN THE HEART OF OUR CITY.
TED: YAY OR NAY HOW ABOUT THAT SHERATON HOTEL? ANYONE LINED UP TO BUY THAT THING?
GREG STANTON: YES THAT'S GOING VERY VERY WELL. THE DUE DILIGENCE PERIOD WITH A BUYER WE ANNOUNCED PREVIOUSLY AND AGAIN, DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE DETAILS OF REAL ESTATE DEALS THAT THE CITY MAY BE WORKING ON NOW, OTHER THAN TO SAY THAT INDUSTRY IS GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. DOWNTOWN PHOENIX IS HOT. THE LONG-TERM FUTURE OF THAT HOTEL IS GREAT JUST LIKE THE CONVENTION BUSINESS IS FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX. WE HAVE MANY PURCHASERS LOOKING THAT THE AND IF THIS ONE FALLS OUT, I'M CONFIDENT WE'LL GET A GOOD BUYER OF THE SHERATON IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX.
TED: HOW COME YOU DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT REAL ESTATE DEALS ON THE PROGRAM WE GOT A LOT OF REAL ESTATE FOLKS ON THE SHOW. WE COULD HELP YOU OUT THEIR MAYOR WE COULD MOVE THIS ALONG!
GREG STANTON: WHEN WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF NEGOTIATIONS WE NORMALLY RESERVE THAT FOR EXECUTIVE SESSIONS UNDER STATE LAW.
TED: ALL RIGHT. MAYOR GOOD TO SEE YOU.

Greg Stanton: Phoenix Mayor

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