Like spring flowers popping up in gardens and lots around town, what can be called “Industrial Mesa” is in bloom.
In the southeastern corner of the city, big chunks of land remain undeveloped – but not for long.
Development plans zipped through approval phases for multiple projects that will throw up huge warehouses and other industrial buildings.
Mayor John Giles, Economic Development Director William Jabjiniak and others have joked about “landing some big fish” with recent deals.
Google, the prized marlin, has been hard to reel in.
Earlier this year, Jabjiniak said he expected Google to break down on a massive campus near Sossaman and Elliot road this spring.
Now, he’s not so sure.
“They are very close to their vest,” Jabjiniak said of Google. “Originally, we were told (construction would start) this year. Now, they’ve put it back a little.”
Jabjiniak noted Google has huge needs for electricity: “When you see heavy electrical (construction), that will be the first sign.”
Back in mid-2019, Giles bragged “this is home run,” after Google signed a tax-incentive agreement to build a massive data center in the Elliot Road Technology Corridor.
Using Google’s project code name “Project Red Hawk,” the Salt River Project noted on its website months ago something was in the works:
“SRP has received a request to provide energy to a commercial customer on its new 187-acre parcel for a data center located in east Mesa.”
Things looked like they were moving quickly at the end of 2019, when SRP announced the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a certificate of environmental compatibility for the project.
Last month, the Tribune asked SRP to provide details on the project.
“While SRP continues to work on design for this project, construction has been postponed at the customer’s request,” Scott Harrelson of SRP responded. “We will wait for a green light to begin that activity and will notify customers and landowners in the area when that occurs.
“SRP is not able to discuss certain details about the project, including the customer,” he added.
Though Google continues to wait until the water is right, other projects are flopping into Jabjiniak’s boat.
One under-the-radar project is Metro Mesa, which Mesa City Council quietly approved as part of the consent agenda last month.
This was the third phase of the development of 47 acres south of Highway 60 bordered by South Hobson, South Horne, East Auto Drive and East Baseline roads.
The plan builds on the southern half of the property. Two buildings on the northern half are occupied by Amphenol Aerospace and Johnstone Supply
“These four buildings, which can be easily combined to meet the demands of today’s manufacturers, are a welcome and a much-needed addition to west Mesa,” said Jabjiniak.
He acknowledged much is percolating across town in east Mesa:
“There’s a lot of interest in the Elliot Road Tech Corridor, but nothing specific yet,” he said.
Multiple projects surround the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, including Gateway 202.
“Gateway 202 is a mixed-use development in the very early stages. Not really anything to talk about yet,” said Jabjiniak.
Both the east and west sides of Ellsworth Road south of Elliott Road are preparing for major projects.
Eastmark received clearance for a “large-scale, campus type buildings for employment use” on 325 acres on the east side of Ellsworth Road between Elliot and Warner Roads.
Jabjiniak said this project is also in its early stages.
Though hardly as eye-catching as Google or Apple centers, several hearty developments are sprouting.
One, on Power Road off the Loop 202 near Roberts Tire, is rolling.
“They have three industrial buildings going up, 300,000 square feet total. And they’ve already had a couple offers,” Jabjiniak said, “I think more employment bases, employers need space for combination.”
Another industrial development is rooting on McDowell and Recker roads in northeast Mesa.
And, back in the southeast corner of the city, Jabjiniak said plans are underway for another industrial development on Hawes and Elliott roads.
“It’s going to be 1 million square feet,” he said.
On April 12, the Design Review Board listened to preliminary presentations on several industrial projects, including a 40-acre development south of Elliot Road on the east side of Power Road. The plan includes four buildings with three driveways leading to Power Road.
The board also heard about a “high-end business park” called Ryan at PMG on the northwest corner of Ray and Ellsworth roads. The 35-acre industrial development with a proposed five buildings “will bring employment to this rapidly developing area,” according to the developer’s pitch.
Also in the hot southeast corner of Mesa, the board was told, is a 235,000-square-foot industrial building between Ray Road and the airport.
As these were preliminary review cases, the board only gave comments and feedback and did not approve or deny any of the cases.