The new owners of the former Motorola semiconductor plant in Mesa hope to begin demolishing the buildings within 60 days to prepare the site for redevelopment as an industrial park.
“Mesa lost a lot of jobs when that plant closed, and our plan is to replace a lot of those jobs,” said Kenn Francis, president of Pacific Realty Advisors of Phoenix, one of the partners in the project.
The 72-acre site was purchased by Broadway 101 Venture LLC, a partnership of Pacific Realty, a real estate investment group; Lincoln Property Co., a Dallas-based developer; and RREEF America, a real estate advisory company owned by Deutsche Bank Group.
The value of the deal, which closed on Friday, was not disclosed. Motorola ended microchip manufacturing at the site, located at the northwest corner of Broadway and Dobson roads, in late 2002. The company operated at the site for more than three decades, producing semiconductors.
About 50 acres will be devoted to new industrial buildings while the rest could be transformed into retail and residential development, Francis said.
“Or we could end up with industrial on everything. It just depends on the market,” he said.
The land is attractive for redevelopment because it's close to interchanges on the Loop 101 and 202 and U.S. 60 freeways, Francis said.
Also making the site interesting are plans for a new light-rail transit line on Main Street, half a mile to the north.
“We're thinking it could become a live-work environment, a part of the new urbanism,” Francis said. “We'd like to see that whole area rejuvenate.”
Site clearing will take six to nine months, during which time the developers will work with Mesa planners to determine the zoning and types of development that will be allowed, he said.
The site currently is zoned for industrial use and would have to be rezoned to accommodate commercial or residential uses.
Motorola will retain an easement near the northwest corner of the property that it will continue to use for a groundwater cleanup project.
Motorola will install a treatment unit on the corner, then make the treated water available to Mesa.
The city will then inject the treated water back into the aquifer near the Salt River, said Tom Suriano, remediation program manager for Motorola.
He said the water treatment, which is taking place under the supervision of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, could continue for another 10 years, or as long as is needed to satisfy clean water requirements.
Motorola agreed to undertake the project because of past chemical releases from the plant, Suriano said.
“The concentrations are low, but we're trying to get the job finished up,” he said.