Agricultural Innovation Center Coming To South Phoenix
Start writing a post

Agricultural Innovation Center Coming To South Phoenix

In 2022, the former Rio Salado landfill will transform into Phoenix's first agricultural innovation center.

Agricultural Innovation Center Coming To South Phoenix

The Del Rio landfill at 1150 E. Elwood St., which closed in 1981, has been inactive for 40 years, but will now become home to Phoenix's first agricultural innovation center. The developers met with the Phoenix City Council's Workforce and Economic Development Subcommittee on September 23, 2020 to discuss the details of the upcoming project.

Arizona Fresh Holdings, LLC, entered into a license agreement with the city back in June, according to Phoenix City Council reports. They will begin production of the Arizona Fresh: Agri-Food Innovation Center in phases, with the first phase expected to roll out in 2022.

Four other proposals, including a golf concept and a solar research facility, were considered, but the Arizona Fresh Center was ultimately chosen for the mixed-use opportunities and the benefits it provides to the south Phoenix community.

"The panel did select Arizona Fresh really based on its ability to provide the most areas that the community was interested in receiving," said Christine Mackay, the City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director.

Mackay expanded on some of the benefits the planned phases bring. Phase one developments will include a wholesale produce farmer's market, educational programs and potentially a pedestrian community park. Both national and local sellers will have the opportunity to distribute produce at the Arizona Fresh Center. In the following phases, south Phoenix residents can expect to see an agricultural food research center, an incubator and test fields as well as additional space for offices, restaurants and retail businesses.

Phase one will also introduce research centers focusing on sustainability, nutrition, food safety and food innovation. Mackay said several Arizona universities have already committed to on-site research collaboration centers with Arizona Fresh.

"Think of this landfill now as a living lab for a farm to market supply chain," Mackay said.

A community events and entertainment center, including a public amphitheater, will also be included in phase one.

This type of center has long been a desire for the south Phoenix area.

"It's something amazing," said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski of District 7. "It's something that is really needed for south Phoenix, especially on the banks of the river. Ever since Congressman Pastor allocated all that funding for Rio Salado, this is one of those projects that I think he would be very proud of."

Councilman Nowakowski was not alone in mentioning Congressman Ed Pastor, whose legacy still impacts Arizona and helped make a concept like this achievable.

"I would be remiss if I didn't state that it all started with Congressman Pastor and his vision to bring funding into the Rio Salado area," Mackay said.

Councilwoman Laura Pastor, the daughter of the late congressman, also mentioned her father's impact.

"This was a dream of my father's," Pastor said. "I didn't realize that until the last two years — in talking with my mom — that this was his vision that started in college."

A study done by Elliot D. Pollack & Company, an economic consulting firm, showed that the Arizona Fresh: Agri-Food Innovation Center will generate 1,500 jobs and an estimated $868.6 million annually for the city.

"The fact that this is an agricultural center that has the ability to integrate that into the community, especially in our South Mountain community where that's important. … It's exciting to see," Pastor said. "I'm grateful that we were able to partner up with a great collaboration and partners to continue the vision. I'm very excited."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less

This Holiday Season, Choose To Be Eco-friendly And Reduce Pollution

Many of us have old magazines lying around, fully read and not of much use anymore. However, we can use their bright colors and prints as a stylish and trendy wrapping paper!


It can be overwhelming to see the detrimental effects of climate change and pollution on the news, from animals dying and forest fires spreading, but there are smaller changes that we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, and it begins with our gifting season.

On average, Americans throw 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years, which translates to 25 million tons of garbage. That's 1 million extra tons per week.

Keep Reading... Show less
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments