Massive industrial park near Mesa Gateway Airport breaks ground
Real estate giant Greystar broke ground Tuesday on a 2 million-square-foot industrial park near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
- It's the latest in a series of major economic development wins for once-sleepy east Mesa.
Why it matters: The project is expected to bring high-wage jobs to the southeast Valley and spur additional employment opportunities in the Pecos Advanced Manufacturing Zone south of the airport.
Flashback: The Air Force shuttered Williams Air Force Base in the '90s. It later became the regional airport now known as Mesa Gateway.
Mesa Mayor John Giles tells Axios the city staved off residential development around the airport with the hope of transforming the area into an economic development hub so residents wouldn't have to drive to other cities for work.
What he's saying: "It's fun now to see that planning bear fruit and see these jobs arrive so Mesa is not a bedroom community any longer."
Details: Dozens of aerospace facilities, advanced manufacturing companies and data centers have popped up around the airport.
- SkyBridge, which is developing a 23-building facility for joint U.S.-Mexico customs, anticipates bringing 17,000 long-term jobs.
- Apple and Meta are building data centers in the nearby Elliot Road Technology Corridor.
- Bridgestone Americas opened a $70 million advanced rubber research and development facility in 2014.
Giles says the Gateway area is benefiting from the under-construction Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in north Phoenix and Intel facilities in neighboring Chandler.
- Companies that supply chemicals and other products for those plants are choosing the Gateway area because of its abundance of undeveloped land and easy freeway access, he said.
For example: Fujifilm, which completed an $88 million expansion in the Pecos zone earlier this year, supplies solvent needed to produce semiconductors, Giles says.
What's next: Union Pacific will soon begin construction on a 6-mile rail spur to provide railroad access to the regional airport and Pecos.
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