Developers should help pay
Growth costs money, and new developments fuel growth
Of course developers don't want to pay Phoenix's new "interchange development" fees. Who would?
Twenty-seven percent more to build a single-family home. Thirty-one percent more for a shopping center. Dare to build a specialty retail shop, and you'll owe a whopping 418 percent more &
8212; $25,000 instead of just under $5,000.
But here's the deal: Phoenix won't get its congested freeway interchange rebuilt unless it chips in on the $40 million project. It can't chip in without money. It has to get the money from someone. There's a lot of logic to getting it from the people causing Phoenix to grow.
Those people are developers, and after last week's action by the council some of them immediately began suggesting they'll avoid Phoenix if they have to pay the new fees. — We doubt it.
Phoenix isn't an island; it's part of the same runaway train carrying most of the rest of the valley down the development track.
Dirt is already being turned for the Home Depot store to be built just east of the Phoenix interchange. A huge Rogue Valley Manor development is proposed in Medford, just to the north of the Home Depot area. If Medford and Phoenix succeed in freeing the land between them, the cities will grow into each other.
Just ignore the interchange? That would be to Phoenix's peril. The interchange is a pain to navigate now and will get worse when the Home Depot and Manor developments are complete.
Phoenix's share of the interchange is $7.2 million, of which it is attempting to raise $2.6 million with the new fees &
8212; a reasonable sum, it seems to us.
The changes came without much notice from the council, which should have done a better job of discussing its plans publicly before approving them.
But we think the council eventually would have come to the conclusion it did anyway. If the city must fix the interchange, and if it has to raise money, putting more burden on developers is the way to do it.