A massive parcel of land west of Loop 101 and north of Via de Ventura is now slated to house a business park with at least 4 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, hotel and other commercial space.
The landmark project resulted from a partnership between Mainspring Capital Group, a Phoenix-based developer, and more than 200 Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community landowners.
The project announced Monday involves 209 acres, and the business park will be named Pima Center. Construction on the first phase will start early next year and will include two 300,000-square-foot assembly distribution centers, a 75,000-square-foot office building and infrastructure improvements.
This is the second commercial project announced this year involving Indian community land. In August, the Apex Park at Pima, a Scottsdale-based limited liability company, secured long-term leases on 187 acres of Indian community land between Via de Ventura and Indian Bend Road on the east side of Loop 101. That is slated to house more than 2.5 million square feet of office, retail, entertainment, hotel and other commercial uses.
“The landowners themselves have been working for 20 years to put this together,” said Gerald Blomquist, project director and a Mainspring Capital partner. “We have been working with landowners in Salt River for about seven years to put this together. The intent is a lot of these families are intending that their children and their grandchildren, this is their way to get education and job opportunities, and to further the caliber of life on the community.”
The community has a long-range plan to develop all of its vacant land along Loop 101, and other projects will likely come together as the economy grows stronger, said Hans Klose, the community's director of community development.
“We're pretty confident about the economy,” he said. “Right now the economy may not be able to provide the absorption rates we need for the anticipated uses, but we're confident that over the course of the next decade it will recover and the demand will be there.”
Klose said the leases on both the 209-acre project and the 187-acre project provide for a 10-year build-out. The Pima Center lease includes an extension period for build-out based on occupancy and demand in north Scottsdale, Klose said.
The Pima Center project should attract tenants and developers because of its proximity to freeways, Blomquist said.
“We have good access to the employment bases in the East Valley, in the Mesa-Chandler-Gilbert area, and we have good proximity to the management and executive areas that are farther up in north Scottsdale, all on the freeway,” he said. “Also, the tax structure on the community is roughly 80 percent to 85 percent of what you would see in Scottsdale or Tempe.”
The project should include an even mix of office, industrial and retail, Blomquist said. Many potential tenants and developers are interested in the project, and additional joint venture and tenant announcements should be made within the next few weeks, he said.
Dave Roderique, Scottsdale's director of economic vitality, said the Pima Center project, while not in Scottsdale, will benefit the city's economy.
“These people are going to be looking for places to eat and shop, and places for housing and so on,” he said. “Obviously this is a location of choice in the Valley, and Scottsdale is getting pretty close to build-out and we don't have huge opportunities for a large outlet like this anymore. Scottsdale is headed toward build-out, and Chandler is not far behind.”
In the meantime, the first phase of the Apex Park at Pima project is still scheduled to break ground in spring 2004 with the first buildings completed by spring 2005. That project is being developed by the Alter Group.
“We are currently negotiating some leases, and we are in the process of getting our final approvals in order to start grading at the Indian community,” said Kurt Rosene, the Alter Group's senior vice president of national development.