Land Exchange:

Phoenix Indian School Development Plan Adversely Affects Property Value

GGD-91-111: Published: Jul 25, 1991. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 1991.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO analyzed the development proposals and rezoning process for the Department of the Interior's Phoenix Indian School site in Arizona, focusing on: (1) alternative development plans considered; (2) the plan's effect on the potential value of the property; and (3) how the plan affects the government's interests.

GAO found that: (1) a land use planning team, the Phoenix Planning Commission, and the Phoenix City Council proposed nine development alternatives for the Indian School property; (2) the alternatives proposed varying amounts of commercial space, parkland, hotels, and residential housing; (3) the Phoenix City Council accepted a specific plan, different from the nine alternatives, which proposed lower amounts of commercial development than some other proposals and would limit downtown development, increase residential housing, and maximize the amount of city parkland; (4) the City Council's plan adversely affected the Indian School property's potential value, since it allows relatively less commercial space than had been granted in past zoning decisions; (5) the government could have realized more than the $80-million minimum price had Phoenix allowed as much commercial development as deemed reasonable by Interior's contract appraiser and the GAO consultant; and (6) GAO did not estimate the property's value due to the specific plan's potentially costly requirements for reducing traffic impacts and improving open space.

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