The site of the largest demolition project in Mesa’s history is now also the site where one of the world’s heaviest concrete walls was tilted into place.
Hardison/Downey Construction built and lifted the wall — which weighs more than 313,100 pounds, and spans 46 feet high by 42 feet wide, and 16 inches deep as part of the six-building first phase of the Broadway 101 Commerce Park development. The complex is being built on the north side of Broadway Road west of Dobson Road.
The first phase will include office and light retail space along Broadway Road, with general industrial and distribution space in the buildings farther back. When fully occupied, it should house a work force of more than 1,000 employees.
Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial is leasing the project.
"We are currently working with 20 to 25 different prospects to lease space at this project," said Mike Haenel, senior vice president of Grubb & Ellis/BRE. "The activity has been tremendous and we look to make lease deals within the next 60 to 90 days."
The gradual leveling of the more than three-decades old former Motorola plant at Broadway and Dobson ended this summer, and construction is now taking place on the complex, which includes more than 400,000 square feet of building space.
It will be completed in May, said Tim Snider, project manager for Hardison/Downey.
"This is pretty much what we call an industrial park type of atmosphere where it’s office-warehouse," he said.
Seventy percent to 80 percent of the space will be allotted to warehouse, while the remaining space will be allotted to office-retail, Snider said.
The second phase, which will be equal in size, will be under construction as leasing "starts to pick up" on the first phase, he said. Future development is anticipated for the acreage along Dobson.
"We’ll know better on the timing of the second phase at mid-year 2006," Haenel said.
"We expect very strong leasing activity because of pent-up demand for new industrial space in this particular market. It’s a great location with close proximity to three different freeways.
The former Motorola factory employed nearly 2,000 people when it closed in late 2002 after Motorola ended microchip manufacturing at the site.
The site was purchased by Broadway 101 Venture LLC, a partnership of Pacific Realty, a real estate group, Lincoln Property Co., a Dallas-based developer, and RREEF America, a real estate company owned by Deutsche Bank Group.
"The landscape is definitely changing here," Snider