|SALT RIVER COMMUNITY – The Loop 101 corridor between Tempe and Scottsdale is filling fast.
Business parks along a 9-mile stretch within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community are emerging between Via Linda and McKellips Road.
“Our commitment continues to be that this development is done cautiously, and with care for the future,” aid Diane Enos, the tribe’s president.
And the Salt River Community has done that.
As much as 10 million square feet of development is under construction, according to the tribe’s economic development department.
“We hope to be able to benefit the tribe in tax revenue, significantly more employment opportunities for the area and also for our community-member owned businesses. While we are ambitious about development in the corridor, we are also being conscientious,” Enos said.
$700 million join venture project
Near Pima Road and Via de Ventura, Opus West Corp and MainSpring Capital Group are developing Pima Center, a $700 million project that will be one of the largest commercial developments on tribal land.
The mixed-use development will offer 3.5 million square feet of buildings for business parks, hotels and retail.
By next year, about 1 million square feet of commercial space will be built, said Curtis Brown, a principal with Ross Brown Partners, which is leasing the Pima Center.
So far, a good portion of the center includes tenants such as Bear Stearns, Bosch Home Appliance, Medicis Pharmaceuticals, Hojoca Corp., Thomas & Co., Strictly Wholesale Inc, The Fiesta Bowl, European Window and Door, Passport Accents, and Rising Sun Restaurant Group.
While the Valley home market is slower than in recent record years, commercial development continues to grow, especially in proven locations.
“Our location is an infill. The base that we are appealing to is already established,” said Brown, referring to Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. “The access to the freeway allows the employees from all parts of the Valley to get to the center.”
Within Pima Center, three new projects will be under way within six months. Included will be an 180,000-square-foot medical office and two conventional Class A office buildings of 75,000 square feet and 150,000 square feet. Another project at the center is a 140,000 square-foot building that could be used for offices or warehouse space.
Improvements to Pima Road and Via de Ventura are underway and will ease traffic at Pima Center. The $2 million road project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Other Loop 101 corridor projects
Other projects in the freeway corridor include:
Riverwalk Arizona, a 187-acre mixed use development by the Alter Group is home to the Arizona Design Center. It will soon make room for Medicis Pharmaceutical Group and others. The business park offers 1.5 million square feet of office space.
Calendar Stick, another development of Opus West was completed in 2005. It is home to Cold Stone Creamery, Hacienda Builders, Rural/Metro Corp. and SHPS Inc., a health management provider.
Expansion at Chaparral Business Park is underway. Texas-based Lincoln Property Co. signed a 65-year ground lease with the Santeo family and Salt River Devco, a tribal-based developer, to build on land north of the Chapparal Business Center.
Chaparral Business Park’s sixth building, which faces Loop 101, is near completion. Its first tenants will be a national insurance company and a homebuilder.
Plans to build the last two more buildings at the park will be completed some time next year, said David Krumwiede, executive vice president of the company’s West region.
Windstone, a $50 million retail shopping center planned by Phoenix based Grosvenor Holdings, LLC. The 40-acre project near Loop 101 and 90th Street is expected to include Lowe’s, Circuit City, Staples, Golf Galaxy, Del Taco, Comerica Bank and Jack in the Box.
Development a model for others
“The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community thrives through business ventures and innovative economic development strategies that have created a sustainable, diversified tribal economy,” says Ken Robbins, chief executive officer and president of the Mesa-based National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
“For more than two decades, they have been, and continue to be, one of the most innovative and successful tribal communities in the nation in terms of business development and economic diversification,” Robbins said.