By Rebekah Morris for AZBEX
Arizona is the location of many planned mega projects, each valued at $1B+ total construction cost. Perusing DATABEX for a current list reveals 27 such projects.
Come along as we recap the largest projects going on in the state. One caveat to mention upfront; Since BEX covers the commercial and infrastructure markets, single-family residential is specifically excluded. Also excluded are projects on hold or canceled.
Data Centers & Master Planned Campuses Prevalent
Looking at the types of projects on the list includes a heavy concentration of both master planned campuses and data centers. Data centers are typically valued at a very high capital investment, although most of that is the equipment and cabling structures within a well-constructed box with robust power and cooling capacities.
Data centers are often phased projects, where a series of identical buildings can be constructed as the market demands. The value of the overall project easily reaches into the $1B+ range, but the individual phases are much smaller.
Master planned projects are similar in nature – from grandiose plans including Akimel 7 Master Plan to the Novus Innovation Corridor – very large land acreage will be split into smaller phases and delivered as the market demands. Individual parcels may change uses as the market evolves – what was once envisioned as an office parcel might just as easily change to a multifamily project if the market warrants it.
Occasionally the ‘pop’ of a media announcement quickly fizzles and the realities of a decades-long development and complicated real estate entitlements will drag on. For example – the Payson University and Dreamport Villages projects have essentially ground to a halt.
Public Infrastructure Includes Major Investment in I-11, Rail
Public investment occasionally reaches the $1B+ mark – most notably in the large highway projects and the proposed rail connection between Tucson and Phoenix.
The largest infrastructure project currently under construction in the state is the South Central Light Rail project, valued at $1.4B.
Currently in early planning, the interstate connection between Phoenix and Las Vegas, I-11, will be the largest infrastructure project in the region, shortening delivery times and providing a critical path for goods and services to make their way from Mexico all the way to Canada.
Casa Grande, West Valley to Benefit from Investment in Mega-Projects
Casa Grande has landed several mega projects. From this list of $1B+ projects they are the location of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, the Nacero Gasoline Manufacturing Plant, and the Attesa Motorsports Center. Beyond these mega-projects, Casa Grande already has significant building activity in process at the Lucid Motor Factory construction project, which was just outside of the mega-project threshold since it is valued at only $700M.
The West Valley has developed a cluster of data centers, with the Microsoft Technology Center leading the way. Compass and Vantage followed close behind. Already the hotbed of industrial development for big box distribution centers, the West Valley is increasing its prominence as a development hotspot with these data centers.
Arizona continues to be a prime location for significant capital investment due to a large and ready skilled workforce, low cost of land and reliable energy, a lack of natural disasters, and the ease of travel to the West Coast.