Commerce park near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport could bring 2,000 jobs

Construction could begin this year on the first phase of a large-scale commerce park near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport that could eventually bring 2,000 jobs in aerospace, e-commerce and manufacturing to the booming Southeast Valley transportation hub.

Scottsdale-based Marwest Enterprises has submitted plans for a $100 million employment complex on an 80-acre site near Ray and Hawes roads in Mesa, about a quarter-mile north of Gateway’s runways.

Conceptual designs for Marwest at Gateway show space for nine industrial buildings ranging in size from 24,000 square feet to 250,000 square feet. The plan also includes a 24,000-square-foot office building, a restaurant and a 122-room hotel.

The actual building arrangement may change, however, when the developer submits a firm site plan for the project’s first phase. David Martens, chief operating officer for Marwest, said the company is pursuing build-to-suit projects this year, with potential completion coming in 2016.

In all, the commerce park can handle about 1.2 million square feet of building space and as many as 2,000 jobs, Martens said. Potential tenants include companies in e-commerce warehousing and distribution, aerospace and light manufacturing.

A proposal to change the property’s zoning from agriculture to industrial won approval from Mesa’s Planning Commission last month and is scheduled for a City Council vote on Jan. 26.

Mesa Economic Development Director Bill Jabjiniak called the project a proactive step toward encouraging development along Ray Road in the Gateway area. For now, the corridor remains largely undeveloped between Power Road on the west and Ellsworth Road on the east.

“This is a very positive step,” Jabjiniak said. “Today’s development community doesn’t wait. We need to be ready.”

Marwest Enterprises is also a partner in the Park Lucero industrial project under construction along the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Gilbert, acting as a capital advisor for real-estate investment trust Artis REIT.

That development features six light-industrial buildings directly east of Crossroads Towne Center, a sprawling retail complex that straddles the Gilbert-Chandler line.

By Parker Leavitt, The Republic | azcentral.com

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