The drive along the 36-mile length of the Loop 303 freeway in the West Valley takes well under an hour. The trip goes fast, but not quite as fast as the land along the 303 is being gobbled up by developers and filled with massive manufacturing and logistics facilities.
“Developers from all parts of the country have been planting flags in that area. For the most part, that corridor is spoken for,” said John Lydon, vice president at JLL, who represented one of those newcomers to Arizona, CRG, which purchased land near Reems Road and Northern Avenue in Glendale, near the intersection of the 303 and Northern Parkway. CRG, which is based in Chicago, is teaming up with Phoenix developer Bird Dog industrial to build a 5.5 million square foot industrial park called The Cubes at Glendale.
From the freeway’s southern origin at the I-10 north to Olive Ave., major developments are underway. The 1,600-acre PV | 303 was the first development along the freeway and has since gotten company with other major developments like Park303, Camelback 303, Woolf Logistics, West 303 Logistics and Sarival Logistics all planning to bring many millions of square feet of development.
“You could start calling that area the West Valley Empire, similar to the Inland Empire over in California,” added Lydon. “Its a fair comparison with the amount of growth and the amount of corporate activity that seems to just keep going.”
Currently, all of the activity along the 303 is industrial and logistics, but a recent announcement could shift that trend. At the other end of the 303, where the freeway meets up with I-17 in north Phoenix, global giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM) purchased 1,129 acres of former State Trust Land just north of the 303 and south of Hwy 74 and revealed plans to build a $12 billion factory.
“We zoned 3,500 acres over the summer, so we zoned the land that has boundaries including the 74 and the 303 and the 17 and Dead Man’s wash,” said City of Phoenix Economic Development Director Christine Mackay. “That we zoned for economic development purposes. TSM was the successful bidder at the auction most recently, so they got close to 1,200 acres. That is of course our anchor tenant and it’s exactly the anchor tenant that you would want. Someone that is globally recognized in advanced industries. It unlocks the potential of the balance of that 2,300 remaining acres as a science and technology park, as high-end office, as flex tech and manufacturing that is along that technology front.”
With the arrival of TSM, the story of the 303 adds a new chapter, one of huge economic impact that stretches the full length of the freeway.