Landowner hopes to stop Gateway foreclosure - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Landowner hopes to stop Gateway foreclosure

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Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:47 pm | Updated: 2:49 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A landowner near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is betting on going green to make some green - and hopefully stave off an impending foreclosure.

With a July 31 deadline to auction 100 acres owned by SEDCO Corp., president and CEO E. Thomas Layton said his company was applying for federal stimulus funds and banking on new partners to make up the capital before the auction.

The newly formed SEDCO, which stands for Sustainable Eco-Green Development Company, owns more than 1,000 acres of land along the southern-most portion of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The company, which incorporates smaller businesses such as Paragon Properties, is part of a Foreign Trade Zone tied to the airport and numerous other area businesses.

The company faces foreclosure connected to more than 300 acres tied to a $35.1 million debt owned by a New York finance company, said Zach Bowers of Ion Data, which publishes a foreclosure report. He said the foreclosure was filed with Maricopa County on April 21.

Brian Sexton, spokesman for the airport, said the company was part of numerous local businesses that played a role in an initiative called "Arizona Direct." Sexton characterized it as a way to market the Gateway area as a shipping depot the likes of California, only in the desert.

"We still are partnering with property owners and businesses to market the area as a commercial cargo destination," Sexton said.

Layton said his company is determined to stop the foreclosure and auction. "We have no intention of letting it get taken from us," he said.

Layton said accepting the loss of any land could result in affecting more people than just his company.

"One of our real thrusts is that we're trying to create jobs for the city of Mesa and for the Valley," said Layton, who identified his company's No. 1 goal as raising funds to retain control of the land.

To that end, Layton said, the company recently joined with Scottsdale-based GreenWindSolar, to start a solar energy field on the land.

"Through that company we are working to attract businesses and opportunities," he said. "We are specifically targeting renewable energy linked to the stimulus, and we are very strongly looking at producing solar energy with pieces of our land."

Layton said his company had no definite answers at this time as to how they would avoid foreclosure but that he was committed to the task.

"It is not simple," he said.

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