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COVID-19 Not Slowing Growth Along the Loop 303

PARK303 July 2020 progress

Multiple construction projects along Loop-303 have given rise to an unprecedented number of ecommerce and national brand distribution projects in the West Valley. Despite the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis, many projects along the 303 corridor are continuing to push forward.

“We see the industrial build-to-suit markets continuing to see high demand,” said Derek Wright, president of Suntec Concrete, which currently has more than five industrial projects along the 303 moving forward. “We are encouraged by the tenants expanding and relocating their operations to AZ. The 303 loop and far West Valley continue to be the epicenter of growth with 70% of our projects being tenant driven builds.”

Willmeng Construction, for example, has more than 3 million square feet under construction and programmed industrial work within a 10-mile are along the 303 corridor. “We have multiple projects ongoing and breaking ground including both build-to-suit (BTS) and speculative,” said James Murphy, CEO of Willmeng Construction. “The average building size continues to get larger to meet the needs of the user.”

Willmeng is the general contractor for Park303, the major master-planned industrial development for Lincoln Property Co. in Glendale. Murphy noted that the development can handle a single user up to 1.2 million square feet. “This is really about speed in market and accelerating the end user into a space whether speculative or BTS,” he said. “It has been interesting to see the parallel paths the developers are taking both achieve the same outcome. The Valley is equally benefiting from both.”

Rusty Kennedy, senior vice president, CBRE, also cited some of the reasons construction along the 303 is moving forward during COVID-19. “The Loop 303 corridor has continued to attract companies from not only the Southwest U.S. but from across the country,” he said. “The unparalleled labor force; access to 30 million plus people within a single day’s truck haul; new and convenient infrastructure; clean, reliable and affordable utilities, and an overall great quality of life for employees, are some of the reasons this area has continued its momentum through these challenging times.”

VanTrust Real Estate recently closed on more than 75 acres at the 303 and Bethany Home with a speculative industrial building ready to being construction and a second phase right behind it, both over 500,000 square feet. According to Keith Earnest, Executive vice president VanTrust Real Estate in Phoenix, the 303 corridor was enticing to them to being a speculative development exceeding 600,000 square feet, located at the 303 and Bethany Home Road to take advantage of the ‘4 L’s’ the area delivers – labor, location, logistics and land. “The adjacency to skilled workforce, several of the Valley Freeways including Interstate 10, Loop 303, and the Northern Parkway make it one of the most accessible locations in the Western United States,” he said.

Sintra Hoffman, president and CEO of WESTMARC, added that, “Loop 303 has a successful track record of attracting household name companies largely in the industrial space but we’re also seeing tech related investments such as Microsoft.” Hoffman noted that while the southern portion of Loop-303 is focused on industrial development, “as you travel north, the focus on high-end retail is much more prominent. We know that investment will bring more big names and great paying jobs. Manufacturing and distribution jobs are highly automated today and pave the way for upskilling and management opportunities.”

“These brand names are increasingly turning the spotlight on the West Valley and taking advantage of our professional workforce in fintech, management, engineering, etc.” said Hoffman. “Given the diverse workforce in the West Valley we’re excited that large companies are looking West.”

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