Those who heard the Planning and Zoning Board review of a huge industrial park at South Sossaman Road and East Warner Road, just north of the Loop 202, may have thought, “Right, AirPark.”
Not us, say the AirPark people.
“This one is next to us,” Ed Grant said.
Indeed, two industrial parks in the works may radically change the landscape just north of the Loop 202 in southeast Mesa, combining for a “flip” from dairies and farmland to warehouses and offices.
Grant is executive vice president of Scottsdale Investment Management, which is developing the 100-acre AirPark.
The P&Z Board just approved a request to rezone 112 acres right next to AirPark; Sossaman 202 Industrial Park plans nine buildings.
Grant’s company plans to spend nearly $200 million for six industrial buildings and 1 million square feet, next to a new neighbor that is even larger, with nine buildings combining for 1.5 million square feet. “It’s bustling out there for sure,” Grant said.
AirPark is slightly ahead of Sossaman 202 in the industrial park race.
“We got our Council approval at the end of August for the site plan, zoning, preliminary plat and development standards,” Grant said.
“We’re out talking to capital partners now and looking for a general contractor.”
He said he hopes AirPark will be up and running in the spring of 2022.
“The partnership with the city of Mesa has been great,” Grant said. “This is zoned agricultural. This land not all that long ago was being farmed.”
Airpark 202 is on the east side of Sossaman; Sossaman Industrial Park is on the west side of the arterial road, which ends at Warner.
But there are tentative plans to extend Sossaman Road past Warner, with a connection to Ray Road (just south of the Loop 202) “a critical element to our value...It provides another connection from the tech corridor to the airport,” Grant said.
Similarly, the Sossaman Industrial Park plan emphasizes location and transportation.
“This proposal will bring a vibrant, innovative industrial business park to the Mesa Gateway Area,” the rezoning pitch said. “The combination of office, warehousing, manufacturing and logistics operations creates a micro community of industrial uses that are self-sustaining and attractive to residents…It is proposed as a master planned business park development that will support industrial, warehousing, manufacturing and logistics operations.”
The Sossaman Industrial Park narrative presented to the P&Z Board also mentioned plans for new roads:
“The site also enjoys being directly adjacent to the future Sossaman and Warner arterials, which will provide convenient access to the site and the various buildings...these roads will be extended adjacent to the property in conjunction with each phase of the project, or as requested by the city at the time of development.”
At its Monday night meeting, Mesa City Council will hear the Sossaman Industrial Park proposal — as well as a proposed $6.2 million “new road with four lanes, plus a center turn lane, to connect Ray Road to Warner Road in the inner loop area.
The project will also install curbs, gutters, sidewalks, two bridges/crossings and bike lanes. It will include relocation of streetlights and utilities.”
That would essentially extend Sossaman Road, providing the giant, twin industrial parks easy access to the Loop 202 and south side of the highway.
All but about $500,000 of the Sossaman extension would come from Maricopa Association of Governments funding.
City Council will also consider another major road project near Eastmark: A “six-lane roadway including curbs, gutters, streetlights and sidewalk on Elliot Roadfrom the East Maricopa Floodway (located to the west of Sossaman Rd.) to east of Ellsworth Road.”
This $25 million project would be a 50-50 cost split between MAG and the city.
The project seems to be on a fast track, with a pre-submittal meeting with the City of Mesa planning staff held March 20.
“Staff reviewed the application and recommended that adjacent residents and nearby registered neighborhoods be contacted,” according to the developer.
On May 18, a letter was sent to neighbors:
“The purpose of this Citizen Participation Plan is to inform citizens, property owners, neighborhood associations, agencies, schools and businesses in the vicinity of the site of an upcoming application.
“The site is located at the southeast corner of Sossaman Road and Warner Road. We have filed an application to rezone the site to LI AF PAD and Design Review Approval to allow for the development of an industrial business park,” the letter stated.
It also advised a “virtual open house” was scheduled for May 25. No neighbors attended the Zoom meeting.