Fastest-growing city looks to designate 2,650 acres for industrial growth in Phoenix metro

Fastest-growing city looks to designate 2,650 acres for industrial growth in Phoenix metro

Article Originally Posted By PhoenixBusinessJournal On February 21, 2022

The city of Buckeye is starting the process to designate thousands of additional acres for industrial growth along what it hopes will become another major employment and transportation corridor in the West Valley.

The fastest-growing municipality in the U.S. has introduced plans to redesignate nearly 2,650 acres along State Route 85 for employment, which could include mostly warehouse, manufacturing and business park facilities, city documents said.

Buckeye plans to discuss a major general plan amendment at its Feb. 22 planning commission meeting to redesignate 530 acres from business commerce and 2,118 acres from neighborhood to employment uses, which will also be redefined through the application.

Maps of the proposed changes show the overall industrial area would be located between Broadway and Hazen roads and Bruner and Rooks roads south of Interstate 10. If approved, the 2,650 acres will be added to an existing employment corridor that is slated for projects such as KORE Power’s 1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility and other speculative industrial buildings.

City documents also said that if the application receives approval, properties in the corridor would be eligible to annex and rezone for future development with light industrial and commerce park uses like the Loop 303 area, which has seen dozens of annexations and rezoning applications for industrial growth.

Properties located within the 2,650 acres are currently owned by 34 different entities and are comprised of a mix of land in incorporated and unincorporated Maricopa County, city documents said.

Revision to 'employment' use

The city’s current employment use definition says industrial areas that are closer than half a mile to designated neighborhood property would be limited to light industrial, business park and professional office.

The revision to the city’s employment definition includes “Employment Transition Area,” an industrial property that’s located within a quarter mile of a residential area. An ETA would have “added emphasis” on minimizing impacts to nearby existing or future residential uses with specific design measures, city documents said.

The new employment definition also says that certain primarily indoor heavy industrial uses such as heavy manufacturing may be considered as part of a planned area development or community master plan within an employment area.

The major general plan amendment process includes a 60-day review period; a neighborhood meeting, where interested parties can ask about the proposal; work sessions with the planning commission and City Council; two public hearings held by the planning commission and a public hearing held by City Council.

The Feb. 22 meeting will be a work session, but public hearings for the application will be tentatively held by the planning commission on April 26 and May 10 and by the City Council for final approval tentatively on May 17.

At the Feb. 22 meeting, the planning commission will also vote to recommend an application for a new 323,840-square-foot industrial facility on about 21 acres near Miller Road and Durango Street adjacent to an existing residential community.

The applicant, which city documents said is LGE Design Group, is requesting a site plan approval for its project, called Crimson Canyon. The property is nearby the existing Five Below and Funko distribution facilities.