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Developer Sues Phoenix for Suns Arena Plans

Andy Berg

A real-estate developer is suing the city of Phoenix for information related to the renovation of the Talking Stick Resort Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns.

According to AZ Central, Bramley Paulin, a downtown real estate developer, has requested documents and information about the city’s plans for the arena, noting that most of the discussions about how the facility will be renovated have happened outside the public sphere.

Phoenix denied Paulin’s initial request for "all feasibility reports, concept reports or consultant studies prepared by or provided to the city by the Phoenix Suns or the Arizona Coyotes pertaining to the purchase, lease or renovations of the Talking Stick (Resort) Arena or any other sports facility, including any draft conceptual renovation information provided to the city by the Suns."

Phoenix cited a nondisclosure agreement with the Suns as its reason for not providing Paulin with the information he requested. Paulin has since filed a lawsuit, asking the court to force Phoenix to allow inspection of the records.

Paulin’s lawyer, Alexander Kolodin, said in an interview that the nondisclosure agreement is not sufficient reason to keep the documents under lock and key. "The public has a right to know what's going on so they can have a say in the process," Kolodin said.

Julie Watters, a spokeswoman for Phoenix, said the Suns have shared confidential documents about the renovation of the arena with the city and exposing those plans could prevent the city from getting the best price for the work when things proceed. "Generally, state law protects the procurement and negotiation process of public-works projects — like renovations of the city-owned (Talking Stick Resort Arena) — against public-records requests until a final contract has been awarded,” Watters said. “When negotiations conclude, the procurement/negotiation file would be available as a public record.”

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