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Goodyear Ballpark development finally on track?

Goodyear Ballpark

When Goodyear officials moved forward with Goodyear Ballpark, the goal was attracting investment and development of an entertainment district. Now, a decade later, development seems to be on the way.

Goodyear Ballpark and an adjoining training camp for the Cleveland Indians opened in 2009, with the Cincinnati Reds arriving a year later. When the Indians first arrived, city officials went forward with a $108 million investment with a vision of a ballpark village surrounding the facility, creating a year-round destination with plenty of bars, restaurant, retail and hotels.

But that development never happened in the ballpark vicinity, with the land changing hands and no developer having the ability to pull off any new construction. There has been plenty of growth in the area–lots of housing has been built west of the ballpark–but in terms of retail and entertainment, all the growth has come north of the ballpark, closer to I-10. The issue: without enough people in the ballpark area generating economic activity, no developer wanted to make an investment. It didn’t help that neither the Reds nor the Indians have been a huge draw at the box office, either.

Now, however, city officials say they are seeing some potential investments in a growing part of the Valley–but those investments are coming in the form of apartment buildings. Once enough new residents live in the ballpark area, the feeling is that the entertainment district will follow, as explained by Goodyear City Planner Karen Craver at a recent city hearing. Instead of a developer looking at building office space, they are changing course and building apartment complexes. From the Arizona Republic:

Four apartment and home rental complexes are currently under construction or in the planning phase at Ballpark Village and Ballpark Village South….

After a seemingly disappointed commissioner asked what happened to the original vision, Craver said the city was “anxious” to bring development and people.

“It’s not what we originally thought, but we’re optimistic,” she said. “We’re hopeful (the rental developments) will get us some other things we want around the ballpark.”

We could see some of these apartment complexes online as soon as summer 2022.

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