When commercial real estate broker Kevin Helland started doing more work in Pinal County a couple of years ago, some major users, including Lucid Motors and Nikola Co. had announced plans for the area, but business was “still pretty quiet.”
“A listing I had for 42,000 square feet of industrial didn’t get much traction for the first nine months, but then all of a sudden got a lot of attention from potential suppliers to Lucid,” Helland, senior vice president at Avison Young in Phoenix, said of Casa Grande. “Now, activity has been exploding.”
Helland and Mark Seale, principal and director of brokerage services for Avison Young in Phoenix, have now been brought on by Canadian auction house Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to sell a 125-acre parcel near the confluence of Interstate 10 and Interstate 8 in Casa Grande, which the two said they will expect to kick off another wave of industrial construction in the area.
So far, Helland said, much of the development in the area has been build-to-suit for a specific user, without much speculative industrial development, but he does expect some increase in spec.
“Developers building spec will have to be a little bit pioneering,” he said.
Ritchie Bros. bought the land around the time of the Great Recession, Helland said, and the company has been holding the land ever since, waiting for values to go up. Now, the company is trying to sell the land for $11 million.
When the two brokers first engaged with the owner, they thought the process of selling the land could take a while, but Helland said the two have been pleased to see early interest in the site.
“The next logical place, in our mind, is Pinal County, for industrial development,” Helland said, adding that land prices in the Phoenix area have increased “tremendously” and Pinal County offers a cheaper option that is still accessible to the Phoenix metro, California and Mexico.
Helland and Seale said it is possible a developer might be interested in buying the 125 acres for a multi-building industrial park, and said much of the early interest in the site has been for logistics and distribution type uses. However, the two said they have seen activity from a variety of users in Pinal County, including those in the semiconductor industry that are coming to Arizona to work near Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Intel Corp.
Seale said they expect the land to be sold around the first half of 2022, which is faster than the two would have expected.
“This site has utilities and it has zoning, it’s one of the larger sites in the area that has zoning in place, which makes it attractive,” Helland said.