Mar 4, 2024 - News

New development aims to transform former Motorola site in Phoenix

A partially demolished industrial complex.

Salvage work being conducted at the former Motorola facility at 52nd Street and McDowell Road. Photo: Small Giants, LLC/Courtesy of Baker Development Corp.

The final phase of demolition is underway at a massive former Motorola semiconductor plant in Phoenix, and redevelopment is underway.

The big picture: Exactly what businesses will fill out the industrial park remains to be seen.

  • Chicago-based Baker Development Corp. says it hopes data centers, manufacturing, warehouses and distribution-type companies will take up residence.

Baker president and CEO Daniel Slack announced in February that the company delivered one of the site's four parcels to an unnamed data center.

  • He said it's also in discussions with "other well-known companies" attracted to its electrical power access, potential Foreign Trade Zone tax benefits and other advantages.

Driving the news: Baker began the final phase of demolition at the site a couple of weeks ago.

  • Phoenix's Camelback East Village Planning Committee is scheduled to hear the developer's request for rezoning today.

Flashback: The Motorola facility was established in 1956 as the company's first semiconductor plant.

  • With more than 3,000 employees, it was Phoenix's largest employer for a time, according to Baker.

Catch up quick: Baker bought the property at 52nd Street and McDowell Road, just north of Loop 202, in 2021 and 2022 from Onsemi, formerly branded as ON Semiconductor, which spun off from Motorola in 1999.

Between the lines: The Environmental Protection Agency added the site to its Superfund program in 1989 due to groundwater and soil contamination, and remediation began in the early 1990s.

  • Baker has "unique expertise" in redeveloping superfund and brownfield sites "to zero-risk properties," CEO Warren Baker said in a press statement.

Zoom out: The developer is behind a number of other projects in the Valley, including warehouses and other industrial sites in Phoenix, Goodyear and Surprise.

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