Trammell Crow Company (TCC) has commenced construction on Akimel Gateway, a new Class A development along the recently constructed extension of the Loop 202 Freeway on the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC).

The 59-acre project – located at the southwest corner of the Loop 202 and 40th Street – will comprise five buildings. Four buildings will be developed speculatively in a joint venture between TCC and Allstate Insurance Company. The fifth building will be the new corporate headquarters and distribution center for hometown appliance giant Spencer’s TV & Appliance. TCC has been retained by Spencer’s to manage the development of that project. 

“The Loop 202 freeway extension already has proven to be a game-changer for businesses that require easy access to the East and West Valley without having to cut through downtown Phoenix,” said Cathy Thuringer, Managing Director of TCC’s Phoenix office. “Akimel Gateway, sited adjacent to the full diamond interchange at 40th Street, will leverage its strategic location, prime freeway visibility, leading-edge design and high-quality construction like no other project in the Valley. We’re thrilled to welcome Spencer’s to Akimel Gateway and we look forward to more high-profile names joining us here in the future.” 

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Rick Biederbeck, President of employee-owned Spencer’s TV & Appliance, said the company will use the commerce park as a distribution point and corporate headquarters to service Spencer’s 10 retail locations located throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“The Valley has grown up with Spencer’s during the nearly 50 years we’ve been in the appliance business,” said Biederbeck. “When you’re serving customers to the east in Mesa and Gilbert and to the west in Glendale, Goodyear and Arrowhead, a site that provides access to the greater Phoenix metro area is a must.”

Thuringer says the commerce park’s name reflects the degree to which TCC intends to continue to work with the GRIC and its leadership and to honor the Community’s centuries-old culture. “Akimel” is an O’otham word that means “river.” The project name was chosen after consultation with members of the Community.

Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis pointed to the project as an example of the significant economic expansion gaining momentum in the area near Wild Horse Pass south of Ahwatukee.

“The South Mountain Loop 202 corridor continues to attract enormous interest in multiple contexts,” said Gov. Lewis. “Trammell Crow’s Akimel Gateway project is an exciting development, along with the recently announced 3,300-acre master plan development of Wild Horse Pass, the Community’s ongoing casino and hotel expansion and the new soccer stadium being built to accommodate the Phoenix Rising Football Club. I can’t think of a more dynamic spot in the Valley right now – or a better location for business.” 

TCC’s capital partners for the project include investor Allstate Investments and lender Alliance Bank of Arizona. Carrie DeWees, Managing Principal at Allstate Investments, said speculative development at Akimel Gateway is “the right project at the right time” given present market conditions. 

“With Spencer’s as an early adopter, we expect Akimel Gateway to be extremely well received by the marketplace. The demand for Class A space continues to run high and this prime location can only add value to the project,” said DeWees. “There is just nothing else like this in what promises to be an explosive growth corridor in metropolitan Phoenix.”

The four speculative buildings together will measure 519,000 square feet. Depending upon configuration, the buildings will feature a combination of ramp-up and dock-high loading with clear heights ranging from 28 to 32 feet, making them especially suitable as sites for light manufacturers, electrical, mechanical, HVAC, plumbing and lighting suppliers, as well as e-commerce centers.

TCC and Allstate Investments are proud that Akimel Gateway is a female-led effort by both partners in the joint venture. Butler Design Group is serving as the project architect, HILGARTWILSON is the civil engineer and Wespac Construction is the general contractor. Senior Vice Presidents John Werstler, Cooper Fratt and Mike Parker with CBRE are responsible for the leasing and marketing of the project. Construction is scheduled for completion by December 2021.