Aerospace, aviation, defense, logistics and distribution are the business sectors targeted for Tucson industrial space in and around the airport.
Site selectors for companies in aerospace and defense, as well as in transportation and logistics, would do well to consider Tucson industrial space and office space near the Tucson International Airport.
The Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) is poised to make 2,550 acres of open land shovel-ready as part of its plan to increase commercial development.
A recently unveiled blueprint has been developed by the TAA and our regional economic development group, Sun Corridor Inc.
Undeveloped TAA-owned property, divided into three parcels, is well positioned to take advantage of other activity in the area, including Pima County’s Sonoran Corridor, Raytheon Missile Systems operations, and distribution centers by HomeGoods, Target and Amazon.
“The Tucson International Airport has historically focused on tourism and passenger traffic,” according to the September 2019 report, “Tucson International Airport 2019 Blueprint.”
“But commercial opportunities are the next horizon and national market trends must be leveraged.”
Benefits to New Businesses
There are several good reasons to take a look at the airport area for startups, relocations and expansions.
Almost all of the airport property is in Opportunity Zones, areas where investment in community and business development are rewarded with federal tax incentives. There’s a movement to establish a Foreign Trade Zone at the airport to defer federal duties and reduce Arizona real and personal property taxes.
Nearby is the Port of Tucson, the region’s only intermodal facility. It’s directly on the area’s Union Pacific rail line. It offers international ocean container rail service with California and Mexico.
The county’s Aerospace Research Campus is growing. It’s where World View Enterprises has its headquarters and it has more than 500 acres ready for development.
There’s a strong employer base to build on. More than 100 tenants in aerospace and aviation industries operate in the area.
Pima Community College is doubling the capacity of its Aviation Training Program to provide highly skilled workers.
Tucson Industrial Space Opportunities
These are the areas that TAA is looking to develop.
South Aerospace Parkway. Near Raytheon are 550 acres that would allow for a concentration of aerospace and defense manufacturers. It’s next to the Sonoran Corridor, which is the county’s master plan to turn the area into a high-tech hub.
The aim is to rehabilitate the land, a former mine, for aerospace manufacturing and associated supply chain operations.
The South Acreage. TAA bought 1,400 acres to mitigate air traffic noise south of the airport. While the Federal Aviation Administration would have to approve any land sales, TAA could enter into long-term leases for logistics and distribution uses.
The county is working to improve traffic infrastructure that will increase its attractiveness to businesses in need of sophisticated transportation.
The 600-Acre Parcel. Airport expansion plans call for a third runway and new passenger terminal on its northeast side. It’s possible that this could be scaled down and delayed for decades, opening the land up for Tucson industrial space.
It’s already prime real estate where logistics companies can complement the growing distribution warehouse sector nearby.
Airside Space. Land already used for airport operations includes 50 acres ready for development by aerospace and aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses. Another 200 acres could extend the aircraft maintenance park as demand rises.
I’m closely monitoring the progress of this great opportunity to increase the inventory of Tucson industrial space and office space.
Go more in depth about these economic sectors that Pima County and the airport are ready to grow. Contact me for a free consultation on how you can take advantage of this centralized location for your business.
Learn more: Tucson International Airport 2019 Blueprint