SOUTHWEST VALLEY DEVELOPMENT

No slowdown for Goodyear industrial boom

Pandemic problems haven’t derailed construction

Posted 9/15/20

Some large-scale industrial developments scheduled for completion by the end of the year in Goodyear are the result of a more than a decade of forward-thinking by the City Council, staff and developers, the city’s economic development director said.

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SOUTHWEST VALLEY DEVELOPMENT

No slowdown for Goodyear industrial boom

Pandemic problems haven’t derailed construction

Posted

Some large-scale industrial developments scheduled for completion by the end of the year in Goodyear are the result of a more than a decade of forward-thinking by the City Council, staff and developers, the city’s economic development director said.

“Industrial development is booming and will continue to boom. What you see now is not something that happens overnight,” Lori Gary said during a telephone interview Aug. 31, referring to millions of square feet of industrial buildings either being built or occupied in Goodyear. “We had lots and lots of land but no infrastructure” when the city began working with developers 12 years ago, Ms. Gary said. “It was an unproven market.”

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At the time, most developers looking at the area wanted to wait for lease commitments from companies before building in Goodyear, but EJM Development Co. decided to take a chance with a speculative project, building what is now the 350-acre master-planned Airport Gateway at Goodyear industrial park off Bullard Avenue south of Interstate 10, adjacent to both the Phoenix Goodyear Airport and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

“That started everything,” Ms. Gary said.

Speculative projects are those developed before formal tenant commitments are in place.

Ms. Gary said the first company to commit to the industrial park was Michael Lewis Co., an Illinois-based airline supplier that operates a 292,000-square-foot distribution center at the site. The project cost was not available.

At build-out, Goodyear Gateway South will feature 3 million square feet of office, warehouse, distribution and industrial space, and Goodyear Gateway North will feature 2.5 million square feet of upscale retail, hotel, office and medical space, according to EJM’s website.

Angela Woods, Goodyear economic development marketing coordinator, said Sept. 9 that two speculative buildings have been completed at 143rd Avenue and Van Buren Street. “Several companies currently looking at them,” she said.

Additionally, Quetico LLC, a California-based logistics company, is building a 719,20-square foot industrial logistics building with warehouse and office space on 30 acres at 143rd Avenue and Yuma Road. The company announced in August 2019 it had partnered with The Fullmer Co. LP to invest $45 million in the project and would move its Chino, California, logistics operation to the site.

The facility is expected to employ 300 people when it opens early next year.

The Loop 303 corridor

Palm Valley 303, a 1,600-acre master-planned business park offering 20 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space along the Loop 303 between Thomas and Camelback roads, also began as a speculative project, Ms. Gary said.

Today, the Sunbelt Holdings/Merit Partners’ complex is home to the 400,000- square-foot REI Inc. and 720,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods distribution centers as well as a 705,000-square-foot Sub-Zero manufacturing and distribution facility, and more are in the works.

“Many companies want to get in and up and running quickly,” Ms. Gary said. “They know it’s zoned properly and they can customize the inside. That’s exactly what happened with MLILY.”

Mattress and memory foam product manufacturer MLILY announced in August it leased 643,798 square feet of industrial space at 3350 N. Cotton Lane in First Park at PV303. The facility is expected to open by the end of the year and employ 300 people.

Robin Vitols of the Phoenix-based public relations and marketing firm the Rodie Co. said via email Sept. 8 the developer declined to release the project cost.

Other large facilities scheduled to open this year include:

Amazon robotics center

With an 855,000-square-foot footprint and 2.3 million square feet spanning four stories, Amazon’s high-tech fulfillment center under construction at Bullard Avenue and Yuma Road is the largest building ever built in Goodyear.

The facility, one of two Amazon robotics centers in the state and the only one in the Valley, is expected to bring 1,000 jobs to the city when it opens in December.

Employees at the site will work alongside robots to pick, pack and ship items such as books, toys and kitchenware to customers.

Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Guinn said via email Sept. 8 the company is not disclosing the project cost.

“We just can’t get enough Amazon in Goodyear,” Mayor Georgia Lord said in August when the city announced the robotics center. “Amazon recognizes Goodyear as a top choice among cities in which to do business. Despite the pandemic, development in our city is thriving. The future is very bright in the city of Goodyear and we are thrilled that Amazon will contribute to our continued growth.”

Amazon opened its first Goodyear facility a decade ago, and recently paid $19.85 million for 91.5 acres at Indian School and Cotton Lane, where it plans to build a cross-dock terminal to receive large inventory shipments for distribution to fulfillment centers across the Valley. Once it opens, Amazon will become Goodyear’s largest employer, with about 3,000 workers at five sites.

Fairlife milk facility

Fairlife, a Chicago-based milk distributor, and its partner the Coca-Cola Co., broke ground in March 2019 on a $200 million, 300,000-square-foot production and distribution facility at Cotton Lane and Thomas Road in PV|303. The company expects to open by the end of the year, employing 140 people in jobs ranging from processing, filling and packaging technicians to maintenance, quality control and IT personnel and more.

“We are working right now with Fairlife to promote virtual job fairs,” Ms. Gary said.

The company will source milk from local dairies.

Andersen plant

Minnesota-based Andersen Corp. broke ground on a $105 million, 500,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse facility on Buckeye Road and Cotton Lane in January 2019 as part of the first phase of its planned manufacturing campus.

Ms. Gary said the company began warehouse operations with 20 employees. The manufacturing plant, which will manufacture 100 Series window and patio doors, according to the company’s website, is expected to begin operations shortly after the first of year with 100 employees, and ultimately will employ 415 people.

“They have purchased the property and anticipate building a campus with a much larger facility,” Ms. Gary said, noting when she was discussing the project at a gathering last year, a Minnesota native told her the company would be a good employer in Goodyear.

“It was exciting to hear that,” she said.

For more information on development under way in Goodyear, visit developgoodyearaz.com.

Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at kosullivan@newszap.com or 760-963-1697.

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