Construction begins on Central Station redevelopment

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A planned redevelopment of the central transit station in downtown Phoenix broke ground last week. The project will include a hub for light rail and buses, along with apartments, restaurants, and retail space. We learned more from Phoenix Community and Economic Development director Chris Mackay.

The project is located just south of Civic Space Park, on the corner of North Central Avenue and Van Buren Street.

The current station, originally built in the early 1990s and later modified to function as a light rail station in 2008, has long been little more than a place for people to switch between busses and trains. This re-development aims to change that.

“Think about enhancing the transit experience. Right now you get off light rail onto a sort of concrete patio, if you will, and now you’re going to be able to get off and grab a coffee or a bagel or a sandwich,” Mackay said. “This is going to be incredible for that particular area. When you approach it now it’s just a concrete pad, with some trees or benches that sit on it, and now we’re gonna have 3000 people that are living or working or shopping there on any single day.”

Beyond just the spot it’s built on, the development is part of a wider goal of revitalizing the downtown Phoenix area.

“As we look at all the investment Phoenix has made in mass transit whether it’s busses or light rail, we really want to do things that move people back into the central city to take advantage of those amenities, to take advantage of the build infrastructure that’s here,” Mackay said. “So as you continue to grow your urban downtown, you look back to 1970. Downtown Phoenix was the place everybody came to.”

The project was originally proposed in 2013, but the death of a developer resulted in the project being withdrawn until 2017 when the planning for the current iteration of the project began. It is expected to be finished by the end of 2024

 

Chris Mackay / Phoenix Community and Economic Development director

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