The City of Maricopa recently bought just under nine acres of land in the Copper Sky development area.
As a rule, it is probably a bad idea for cities to just take whatever falls from the sky.
The $2.65 million purchase at the corner of State Route 347 and Bowlin Road took place for one reason. The city may now determine who will and won’t be part of the development at Copper Sky, next door to its $30 million Copper Sky multicultural complex and park.
“We are focused on that property and we are determined to help it happen,” said Jennifer Bostian, economic development specialist for the City of Maricopa. “We are looking for complementary uses to the Copper Sky complex that’s right next door. We expect the senior living complex will need a couple acres. There will very likely be a second hotel.”
A developer has already announced plans to construct a La Quinta Inn.
“We want to make sure that corner is used for sit-down restaurants and restaurant-type venues that are complementary to the hotels,” Bostian said. “It will be a great mix of retail, residential, office, hotel, recreation and senior living. It will be a great new asset for the city.”
Bostian said there is work on assembling the master plan for the Copper Sky district.
“Nothing has been finalized yet, but it is very close,” she said. “Basically, it looks like Copper Sky recreation center and all the surrounding fields will have hotels, apartments with mixed-use retail. That hard corner (next to SR 347) will probably be the second hotel and restaurants.”
While some design mock-ups have been unveiled, the final plan is still being worked out.
“Nothing has been formally approved yet, but it is well underway,” Bostian said.
She said the city is trying to maintain a vision of the Copper Sky area.
“As a rule, it is probably a bad idea for cities to just take whatever falls from the sky,” she said.
The purpose for the city to spend $2.65 million on this land purchase is simple – they want to sell it. By purchasing it, city leaders can control who buys and develops the property.
“That is the bottom line,” Bostian said. “We do want it to all look like it goes together. There is a lot of heart and soul going into this development.”
City spokesperson Adam Wolfe said this is a way for “the city to control positive sustainable growth in that area.”
Wolfe added that Copper Sky represents growth in the City of Maricopa and, with the addition of the SR 347 overpass, future development will be spurred in the southern part of Maricopa.
“I think we’re going to see a boom in the south, just like we saw in the north side because now you can get there. You don’t have to wait on a train,” Wolfe said.
Bostian said the city seriously needs apartments and a “walkable” community, and the Copper Sky development directly answers these needs.
“There are a couple apartment complexes that are really showing some interest in moving forward,” she said. “Copper Sky represents some things the city has been wanting for, for a long time. The first hotel has been an unmet need for some time. Study after study shows how important walkable communities are. This will really be a way for us to do that.”