PhoenixMart delays cause change in permit; positive attitude urged

slabBy Phil Riske, managing editor

With Friday’s Casa Grande’s approval of a permit to pour the foundation slab for the PhoenixMart, the world expo center is a move closer to rising from the ground, but the permit does not authorize vertical construction.

The project is a year behind schedule because of delays in the EB5 investment program, which permits preference to foreign nationals for green cards who invest at least $1 million in a U.S. project.

Delays brought a change Thursday in a permit to attach banners along a chain link fence outside the construction site to promote the project. The city reduced to two years from five years the length of time the banners could be up after concerns expressed by Planning and Zoning Commissioner Paul Zalewski.

“If [PhoenixMart] isn’t going to happen, why are we going to sit there and look at this thing for five years,” Zalewski said at the commissioners meeting.

Spokeswoman Kayla Fulmer told Rose Law Group Reporter last week the city remains confident PhoenixMart would be completed, adding, “This project has gone through the normal development process, which includes a number of open meetings and public hearings. There has not been a substantial amount of community feedback shared at those meetings, though it is always welcome.”

P&Z Commissioner Stephen Gentzkow said commissioners should try avoiding ‘negative connotations” when discussing or voting on matters involving PhoenixMart, the Casa Grande Dispatch reported.

There has been no statement from the FBI as to why the agency seized materials from PhoenixMart’s parent company, Az Sourcing.

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December 2015