Freeway prompts project on Gila land at 40th Street Light Industrial Buildings

This rendering shows the type of light industrial buildings planned for an area on the Gilber River Indian Community near 40th Street once the South Mountain Freeway is opened.

The South Mountain Freeway has spawned its first major development along its Pecos segment at the end of the same Ahwatukee street where a controversial gas station proposal is still hanging.

Trammell Crow Company last week said it will build a 48-acre speculative office park on Gila River Indian Community land at the end of 40th Street and build one to three buildings totaling about 700,000 square feet.

The development is positioning the freeway’s 40th Street interchange to become one of the busiest along the stretch that runs through Ahwatukee.

The owner of a lot at the corner of 40th Street and Cottonwood Way — about 350 feet north of the interchange — wants to put a QuikTrip gas station.

That plan seems to be going nowhere for now, though many residents of the Foothills Paseo II development remain wary of the proposal because the gas station would sit at the only way into or out of the subdivision.

Trammell Crow said its “commerce park will be built on the southeast corner of the freeway and 40th Street and that construction would start in December, the same time the 22-mile freeway is scheduled to open.

“The South Mountain Loop 202 submarket is a newly emerging submarket given the 22- mile expansion of the Loop 202 Freeway, but already boasts tenants from a breadth of industries,” Cathy Thuringer, a principal with TCC, said in a release.

“This new access to and from the Southwest Phoenix and Southeast Valley submarkets will change the dynamic of travel for tenants and visitors to the area and provide excellent opportunities for product type optionality. This location benefit, along with the fact that supply and demand are in strong balance, signal to us that this new commerce park will be well received.”

The company is currently soliciting tenants, saying it would build the new buildings according to their preferences and that loading docks could be provided.

“Depending upon the configuration, buildings will feature a combination of ramp-up and dock-high loading with clear heights ranging from 28 feet to 36 feet,” Trammell Crow said.

“TCC is very excited about the opportunity to be the first development on the Gila River Indian Community after opening of the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway,” said Joe Ihrke, a senior vice president with Trammell Crow who is overseeing the development of the project. 

“We are working hand in hand with GRIC representatives and are collectively eager to deliver a project that will be attractive to occupiers that bring quality jobs to the community and be a catalyst for further development along this strategic new corridor within Metropolitan Phoenix,” Ihrke added.

Company Vice President Cooper Fratt also said the project will try to take advantage of the older nature of light industrial buildings along I-10 south of Phoenix.

“Industrial product in the South I-10 corridor is well-leased but dated — the average building age is 25 years old,” said Fratt. “The introduction of new inventory with this commerce park will meet future tenants demands for Class A space, a segment that has been largely unmet in this well-located section along Loop 202 Freeway.”

Trammell Crow Company is one of the nation’s leading developers and investors in commercial real estate and is currently involved in more than $12 billion in projects in 17 cities across the country.

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