What was once a major urban landfill on the south side of Phoenix may soon see the construction of a unique food production and innovation facility.
As proposed, the Arizona Fresh Agri-Food Innovation Center will go up at the site of a city-owned landfill running along the south bank of the Salt River between Seventh and 16th Streets.
The company, Arizona Fresh Holdings LLC, says it wants to build a modern, one-story facility that would include a farmer’s market as well as a 210,000 square-foot food distribution center.
A construction schedule for the project, which is currently in the environmental and feasibility assessment phase, has not yet been announced.
The Phoenix-based company has said that it is willing to pay for all costs regarding an environmental assessment of the Del Rio Landfill site.
That site is part of a larger Phoenix initiative designed to assist in the transformation of such sites into properties that can be used for food production.
The 156-acre triangular-shaped landfill was closed in the 1981 by the city and eventually capped with imported soil.
Securing funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, Phoenix subsequently put together the Del Rio Area Brownfield Plan, which served as a blueprint for the redevelopment of the site.
In early 2018, Phoenix issued a Request for Proposals asking for ideas on how to redevelop the site. In January of this year Arizona Fresh Holding’s proposal for the property won the backing of the city.
Officials with company have said that the food innovation center will be particularly geared to address the needs of south Phoenix residents lacking in grocery store options.
By Garry Boulard
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