Sunday, October 23, 2011

Massive West Valley development to launch

Two Phoenix-area developers, John F. Long Properties and the Alter Group, are planning a massive mixed-use commercial development in the West Valley that will span Phoenix, Avondale and Glendale.

The project is made up of three separate parcels totaling 1,500 acres and likely will take decades to complete, the developers said.

Long Properties has owned much of the land involved in the project for years but did not create specific development plans for it until recently.

Over the course of its development, the project is expected to create 3 million square feet of employment space, generate at least 10,000 West Valley jobs and rake in $500 million in construction costs, they said.

Most important, the project will make it easier for employers to relocate or expand to the West Valley, because its developers have designed a number of shovel-ready projects that could be built relatively quickly, Alter Group and Long Properties representatives said.

"If that phone rings, we can be ready for them," said Jim Miller, property manager for Phoenix-based Long Properties.

Construction is set to begin before the end of the year on a 60,000-square-foot medical office building at one of the three sites, said Kurt Rosene, senior vice president of national development at Skokie, Ill.-based Alter Group's Scottsdale office.

An 80,000-square-foot medical office building and a retail center already exist nearby on the site.

The developers said they have a client lined up to occupy the planned building but would not disclose the company's name, saying they would announce it at a groundbreaking ceremony later this year.

That project will be part of Algodon Medical and Office Park, northeast of Thomas Road and Loop 101 in west Phoenix, one of three distinct office and light-industrial parks involved in the West Valley development partnership.

Miller said Algodon ultimately would be part of a larger, mixed-use development called Algodon Center that will span 1,000 acres in Phoenix and Avondale, bisecting Loop 101 and stretching north from Thomas Road to Campbell Avenue, just south of Camelback Road.

A second, smaller park called Aldea Centre will be developed on 150 acres at the southwestern corner of 99th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix, Miller said.

The massive project's third component will be a 300-acre commercial park next to the Glendale Airport called Copperwing Business Park, southeast of Glendale and 115th avenues, in Glendale.

Long Properties, the master-plan developer for the three commercial parks, owns all 1,500 acres and has obtained mixed-use commercial zoning on all the land from the three municipalities in which it is located, Miller said.

Long Properties owns the land outright and has invested $7.5 million in infrastructure development such as power and sewer hookups, he added.

The Alter Group will market the properties and develop individual structures as they are needed, Rosene said.

Rosene and Miller said their expectations for the project's total development cycle were conservative and realistic.

"If we were the only developer in the Valley doing office, it still would take 20 years," Miller said.

Rosene said the project's greatest benefits to the West Valley would be realized not overnight but over a long period of years.

The project's existence should make it easier for quality employers to choose the West Valley when scoping out locations for a new office building, manufacturing plant, retail center or other commercial facility, he said.

"We're not just trying to get in and out in a few years, build some buildings and make some money," Rosene said.

by J. Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic Oct. 21, 2011 03:57 PM

Massive West Valley development to launch

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