It’s been just over a year since Glendale City Council gave the nod to activate the Loop 303 Corridor. Since then, much has changed. Red Bull’s announcement to build their first manufacturing facility in North America at Reems and Peoria Roads with an investment of over $280 million dollars for the 750,000 square-foot building served as a catalyst for development in this dynamic area of Glendale.
Thanks to the all-important sewer and water infrastructure investment the project is bringing to the area, its on- and off-ramp connectivity to I-10, and Northern Parkway construction north of Luke Air Force base, the area is poised for additional projects and continued growth.
The corridor’s accessibility and rail connectivity make it a prime location for businesses to call home. The surrounding area’s housing and retail boom will provide additional skilled workforce with improving lifestyle choices due to proximity to quality employers and the ample amenities Glendale has to offer.
Earlier this year, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties’ Developer/Owner of the Year Lincoln Property Company, announced the development of Park 303, a Class A industrial park with over 1.5 million square feet of spec industrial which quickly expanded to 4.5 million which reflects the level of interest in the marketplace.
There has been unprecedented activity in the entire corridor that include land sales, annexations and planned area developments, with applications filed on more than 20 properties along the Loop 303.
The rise of the Loop-303, or as Glendale dubs it “The New Frontier,” did not happen overnight. The City of Goodyear spearheaded the development in the area immediately south and served as a case study to prove the area was primed for development. In 2011, Wisconsin-based luxury appliance manufacturer Sub-Zero moved into a building that had been vacant for three years after it was built. Sub-Zero opened a 500,000-square-foot fabrication manufacturing center. The plant was the first to move into the Loop 303 corridor.
Dick’s Sporting Goods followed suit in 2013 when the company opened a mammoth 624,000-square-foot high-tech distribution center along the first leg of the recently completed freeway. That bold move to 60 acres of lightly populated farm land and cotton fields has since paved the way for the area to serve as a highly successful, transportation artery for companies to conduct business across the Western United States and beyond.
Companies often cite the Loop-303 location and I-10 adjacency, proximity to Southern California, an ample and skilled workforce, select Foreign Trade Zone tax status, and cooperation and incentives by local cities as a winning combination for their bottom line.
As Dick’s Sporting Goods’ investment proved successful, other businesses followed suit like, as did fellow sports outfitter Seattle-based REI with its 400,000-square-foot warehouse complex. In October of 2016, Sub-Zero completed a $34 million expansion which brought their facility to nearly 700,000 square-feet.
Online pet products distributor Chewy, United Parcel Service, Bimbo Bakeries, online retail behemoth Amazon and food storage and aluminum can manufacturer Ball Corporation continued the 303 parade soon thereafter. Ball will now supply Glendale’s new Red Bull beverage distribution facility.
“The Goodyear distribution center enables us to continue to focus on the needs of customers by moving our gear and apparel more quickly and efficiently, now and into the future,” said Rick Bingle, REI’s vice president of Supply Chain, noting that from its new 303 location the company now reaches 20 percent more customers with two-day ground service.
“At this point West Valley cities are doing a lot of things right and being as strategic and forward-thinking as possible,” says Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps. “Not just in our city but our neighbors, state and county partners. We are investing in the necessary infrastructure to attract the types of businesses and entities that are positive for our citizens to create durable, lasting change that benefits the region for generations to come.”
But more than that, are quality of life issues that draw companies to the West Valley and 303. Recent Arizona Republic analysis shows that Glendale enjoys some of the lowest commute times in the Valley of the Sun at just 26 minutes, followed by Avondale and Peoria at 29 minutes and Surprise at 34. The growth in the Western area of Glendale complement the current activity taking place in the Sports & Entertainment District, Downtown and Arrowhead.
The adage of location, location, location is holding true once again. With so much going for it, Glendale and its portions of the Loop-101 and 303 are in high demand and not expected to slow down any time soon. The expectation is that everyone will continue to hear about its successes as companies continue to choose and grow with Glendale.