(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Vestar.)
By 12News Phoenix
PHOENIX — Laveen Village is being transformed from a farm town into a boomtown.
The area largely known for its dairy farms and agricultural past is the focus of developers, who are taking notice of the population growth in the 48-square-mile community that spiked 65% since 2010, according to Census data.
A new shopping center with retail, dining and entertainment areas, to be named Laveen Towne Center, is the latest development to begin construction near 59th Avenue and Dobbins Road.
“It’s an ideal location,” said Kean Thomas. “There’s not a lot of supply in the area and that’s driven retailers to ask for more space and we’re seeing the demand.”
Thomas is the director of finance at Vestar, the company that is set to develop the Laveen Towne Center. The $130 million project will feature about 400,000 square feet of retail space on 40 acres.
The Phoenix City Council approved the plan last month. As part of the deal, Vestar will revitalize and repurpose the 100-year-old historical Hudson Farmhouse that currently exists on the site.
“I think it’s important to balance both the history of Laveen and what residents really want for a thriving community,” said Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari, who represents this district. “The majority of residents that I talk to always talk about wanting more amenities in the area.”
The extension of the Loop 202 south of South Mountain completed in 2019, has been a significant driver for developers, Ansari and Thomas said.
Vestar said the project will be designed to complement the agrarian atmosphere of the Laveen community with rustic architecture, a new look for its portfolio of shopping centers that include Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace.
The plan for the Hudson Farmhouse is to turn it into a restaurant, possibly a wine bar. In a December community meeting while discussing the project, Chris Mackay, the economic development director for the city of Phoenix, said the new restaurant will be called the Hudson to honor the historic farm.
Thomas said the name was not finalized as the tenant that takes over will choose the final name.