A group of developers recently purchased a prime central Phoenix site north of Burton Barr Library, where they plan to build a five-story residential and office project called the Willa.
A partnership of Ryan Cos., Tilton Development and Hunt Investment paid $4.54 million for the 1.56-acre lot at the northeast corner of Willetta and Central avenues.
“This site is extremely well located for a residential development,” said Collier International’s Chaz Smith, who negotiated the land deal with John Finnegan and Ramey Peru for the buyers.
Plans call for more than 220 apartments or condominiums and two office suites in the development.
"We are excited about acquiring a high-quality development site in downtown Phoenix,” said Tyler Wilson, director of real-estate development at Ryan. “We have started our site work and look forward to going vertical on the project.”
A vertical, residential building spree started in central Phoenix last year. This site, across the street from the Spaghetti Company, is one of the last pieces of vacant land on Central Avenue in downtown or midtown Phoenix.
The seller, a Detroit firm called SW Central LLC, paid $7 million in 2008 for the property, which includes a small office building, according to public real-estate records.
A few years ago, Ryan teamed with Sunbelt Holdings to develop State Farm's 2 million-square-foot regional headquarters in central Tempe.