By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Quail Run Building Materials, Inc., a leading Southwest manufacturer of steel framing and building accessory materials, will construct a 40KSF facility on eight acres at the Santa Cruz Commerce Center near Maricopa.
Founded in 1986, QRBM produces cold-formed steel drywall and structural framing components and a line of galvanized products for roofing and stucco, as well as custom metal shapes used in building construction.
After entering into a partnership with the Ak-Chin Indian Community three years ago, the firm is currently 51 percent Native-owned. That will soon transition to 100 percent, according to company CEO Kyle Clark.
The commerce center has approximately 600 acres of land for development and lease and markets itself by offering tenants significant savings on lease rates, taxes, utilities and public services. In addition, businesses are incentivized under the Indian Employment Tax Credit with up to $20k per employee for every Native American worker hired under the program’s guidelines.
QRBM currently operates from a 10KSF facility in the Deer Valley area of north Phoenix and will keep that space in addition to the new development. Construction is planned to commence in approximately 18 months and take around nine months to complete.
Additional investment and development is already planned, with two more buildings totaling 40KSF and 150KSF slated for construction by 2021.
Clark is excited about the partnership with the Community and the advantages it brings to the area. While the various financial incentives associated with building and operating on Native American land are significant, the real draw is the depth and breadth of the workforce.
Native Americans make up more than 40 percent of the company’s current 36-person workforce, a percentage that will increase as operations expand. The projected growth is ambitious, with plans to increase to 50 workers next year, all the way up to 400 by 2025.
“The ready labor is a wonderful advantage, I believe,” Clark said. “They have such an untapped market with people that work hard and are looking for opportunities. There’s just a ton of stuff out there.”
He adds that the partnership with the Community has exceeded all expectations.
“When the building is finished in Maricopa we will have a lot more candidates for the positions we need. We are all very excited here about the future and thankful for all the tools we currently have to be successful,” Clark said. “Working with the Ak-Chin Indian Community has turned out to be even better than we had hoped. The professionalism, work ethic, caring for family and community, eagerness to teach and learn, and overall attitude is an inspiration, and we are proud to be associated with Ak-Chin.”
Stroh Architecture is handling design for the new facility. The GC will be put out to bid in six to seven months.