A new speculative building shows the region’s growth as a desirable place for Tucson manufacturing space and distribution.
Tucson has shown up on the radar of site selectors looking for Tucson manufacturing space to lease or buy, thanks to public and private efforts on several fronts.
The latest is the construction of a 157,500-square-foot speculative building near the Tucson International Airport that Portland, Oregon-based Harsch Investment Properties began last fall.
Once completed at the end of the year, potential tenants will find ready space for manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment operations that is tapped into Tucson’s growing logistics and transportation infrastructure.
“We’re big believers in Tucson and Southern Arizona as a strategic location to continue to grow our business,” says Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch. “Tucson has great success with attracting new businesses, and this speculative building will continue to push the region forward in distribution and logistics operations.”
In the last few years, Tucson has attracted major distribution operations for Target, HomeGoods and Amazon. They take advantage of easy access to Interstate 10 that leads to Southern California ports, the multimodal Port of Tucson, shipping services at nearby Tucson International Airport and direct truck access to Mexico markets.
“I’m looking forward to seeing this new distribution center go up,” Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says of the Harsch project. “It’s located in the right spot, in the heart of our logistics and manufacturing center.”
Massive Industrial Growth
This growing activity around the airport is only part of a massive industrial development effort south of the Tucson metropolitan area. Government officials are working to improve highway and rail circulation that will attract businesses looking for Tucson manufacturing space and distribution infrastructure.
Here are some of the other developments as explained in a Pima County report, “ARC Rail Expansion.”
Aerospace Research Campus. Already the home of World View Enterprises and Vector Space Systems, this area next to Raytheon will continue to focus on the aerospace and microelectronics industry.
Southwest Employment and Logistics Center. More than 1,800 acres on the southeast end of the metropolitan area near the Pima County Fairgrounds will provide large-scale sites for Tucson manufacturing space and other industrial uses. “With several 100-acre or larger parcels available for development in this area, it stands to become one of the county’s primary locations for job growth and new business attraction,” according to the report.
Sonoran Corridor. This mixed-use master plan will incorporate industrial and business parks to attract companies with extensive logistics and transportation needs, particularly for trade with Mexico.
Opportunity zones. A significant amount of vacant land is available for industrial development in what are called O-zones. They are so designated to attract investments in disadvantaged areas through federal tax incentives.
Tech Parks Arizona are not mentioned in the report, but is another element of southside industrial growth. The University of Arizona manages two tech parks—one that is still under development—to foster innovative research and development by startups in high-technology industries.
Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners
The metropolitan area has a lot of land just ripe for customizing Tucson manufacturing space for startups, relocations and expansions. There’s also a strong effort to make sure a well-trained workforce is available to fill specialized industrial jobs.
A group of Tucson manufacturing companies—Raytheon, Airtronic, CAID Industries, Sargent and Johns Manville among them—work with Pima Community College and local high schools to develop curricula and provide internships for future manufacturing workers. SAMP’s work in developing this future workforce was recognized last fall by the Arizona Technology Council, which awarded the group its “Arizona Manufacturer of the Year” award.
The citation hailed the group’s effort “that has shown proven results connecting industry-certified education at the high school and college level with real work experience with local manufacturers.”
I have been closely following these developments and have pulled together information on what’s available now and into the future. Contact me for more information about sites or buildings that will fit your Tucson manufacturing space needs.