While it may not be as high-profile as the Entertainment District or Downtown Glendale, the Loops 303 area could be a prime economic development area for Glendale.
The pace of development here is “shocking,” said one at a recent workshop.
Fueling this pace, a few big projects are looming in west Glendale. This is the same hot area commercial property sales site loopnet.com describes as:
“The Loop 303 Manufacturing Corridor is a premier location that meets the increasing demand for industrial and commercial space. The Loop 303 provides direct access to Interstate 10 (5 miles south) and Interstate-17 (29 miles northeast). The corridor is a key location providing access to the western and southwestern regions of the United States.”
On Nov. 12, Glendale City Council held a workshop concerning “Loop 303 Development and Annexation.”
Chris Anaradian, assistant city manager, introduced the workshop as addressing “a continued wave of interest in development along our freeway corridors.
“It’s a shocking and surprising pace of rapid change that has come about,” Anaradian said. ”What is happening is very positive.”
Councilwoman Joyce Clark asked what the area will look like in five years.
City Manager Kevin Phelps said, while it is hard to project out that far, things are happening in the near future: “Property deals are being transacted, construction documents are being created, there’s actual money being spent.
“In five years the 303 Corridor is going to look substantially different. A half-dozen projects will be vertical in the next 18 months,” Phelps said.
According to the agenda for the workshop, the purpose of it was “to update City Council on current and upcoming development along the Loop 303, including the status of multiple annexation applications.”
Since a similar workshop in December, according to the agenda, “development in this area has progressed more rapidly than originally projected. Largely due to expansion of the EPCOR (a utility provider) wastewater sewer main, which was kicked off by the new Ball, Rauch, and Red Bull production facility.”
The Red Bull production center is on Reems and Peoria avenues, roughly 1 mile from the 303.
In anticipation of the area growing quickly, the agenda recommended forward-thinking:
“Annexation and development in the Loop 303 region will allow the city of Glendale to control land uses and development patterns in and around Luke Air Force Base. Job creation, employment opportunities and private sector investment will be realized long term in this area as Loop 303, and the Northern Parkway are developed.”
The workshop focused on annexing and rezoning two large development properties within the Loop 303 region:
•The Barclay Group, 97 acres south of Glendale Avenue on the west side of the Loop 303 Freeway.
•The Moss Property, 76 acres at the northeast corner of Sarival and Maryland avenues.
Both are in Maricopa County. Glendale is looking at moving forward from pre-annexation agreements to bring both of those areas within the city limits.
On the Barclay property, the workshop agenda states city council approved “a Pre-Annexation Development Agreement (PADA)” on Aug. 27.
Moving forward with annexation and rezoning to planned area development (PAD) would facilitate development plans, according to the workshop material.
“The 7 acres along Glendale Avenue will include potential office, hotel, retail and similar commercial-type uses.”
The other 90 acres are to be developed with industrial buildings.
The Moss land is proposed project is for warehouse and office space of approximately 1.25-million-square-feet.
Lisa Collins, a city planning administrator, gave a Powerpoint presentation to council on both projects.
“We’ve been working closely with Economic Development to get them moving along quickly,” Collins said.
For both properties, Glendale’s Planning Department staff was “requesting City Council provide direction to move forward on the annexation and rezoning processes.”
Regarding the Barclay project, two councilors were enthusiastic.
“I’m very supportive of this project,” said Clark.
“I’m very supportive of this project as well,” agreed Councilman Ray Malnar. “It’s going to provide high-tech jobs that are going to help our community.”
In a newsletter he sent out a few days after the workshop, Malnar wrote, “We received information that thousands of additional acres of land are being considered for development. Most of this land is within the Luke Corridor and has restrictions on residential building, thus may become the commercial and industrial mega zone in the West Valley.”
No action was taken as the potential annexations will be presented at city council meetings.