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  #1  
Old Posted May 31, 2013, 11:54 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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PhoenixMart

Has anyone heard of this before? Seems like a pretty big deal though today is the first mention I've heard of it. I'm not even quite sure what it is, looks like a giant mall from the renderings, but apparently they just got some sort of federal approval and are going to break ground in the fall. It's located in Casa Grande and supposed to generate more than 7,000 new jobs in Arizona.

Could this actually be a negative for Phoenix with the possibility of pulling jobs/conferences/etc away or would Phoenix stand to benefit more as being the transportation hub for this?

http://phoenixmart.com/extensive-eco...b-5-approvals/

Good video explaining what it's all about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHMpgS5kWNc

And lots of renderings from their Facebook page. Looks like a whole new city!












Last edited by HX_Guy; Jun 1, 2013 at 12:16 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 4:30 AM
dtnphx dtnphx is offline
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It's gotta be a joke or a crazy concept. Firstly, there's no way to build such a giant, organic proect considering the infrastrcture needed. And, Casa Grande (have ya been there?). Secondly, we'res the news stories on this? And lastly, starting in late 2013 and opening in 2014? Not bloody likely!
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 4:40 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Apparently it's pretty real, there is a long discussion about it here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/phoen...sa-grande.html
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 4:45 AM
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phxSUNSfan phxSUNSfan is offline
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That monstrosity would create more horrid sprawl. This state just doesn't learn. The car dependency is going to create tremendous problems for these people and they better hope that commuter rail comes online if this project is at all real.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 4:48 AM
Socalzonie Socalzonie is offline
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 5:03 AM
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Leo the Dog Leo the Dog is offline
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I'm not sure I understand the name, Phoenixmart. Also the renderings glamorize the landscaping. We all know it won't turn out that green and lush. This is a tactic often used to gain support for a project.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 4:12 PM
dtnphx dtnphx is offline
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Still nothing in the press. Press release aggregators and forums doesn't make it legit. Besides, the entity behind this: how are they going to get financing to build all that office space and retail without the skilled labor and population need to support it? I remember all the glossy materials produced by lots of developers before so I'm still skeptical.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 12:10 AM
Socalzonie Socalzonie is offline
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These are old, but the press did report on this project. Don't see recent updates in the mainstream though.

http://www.azcentral.com/business/ar...nclick_check=1

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region...to-casa-grande
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 4:21 PM
SunDevil SunDevil is offline
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It's like some one decided there should be a Boise or Montgomery sized town between Phoenix and Tucson, just because. Weird.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 4:35 PM
KevininPhx KevininPhx is offline
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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
It's like some one decided there should be a Boise or Montgomery sized town between Phoenix and Tucson, just because. Weird.
Actually, it's pretty basic urban planning to create a central district in the middle of no where. It helps prevent sprawl, in theory. The idea is that people are moving to these areas. Without a central spot to draw jobs and those people, then sprawl would be out of control.That's how cities like Irvine became cities. Anyway, I suspect this is strategizing for the future more than it's a concrete plan.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 4:55 PM
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phxSUNSfan phxSUNSfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevininPhx View Post
Actually, it's pretty basic urban planning to create a central district in the middle of no where. It helps prevent sprawl, in theory. The idea is that people are moving to these areas. Without a central spot to draw jobs and those people, then sprawl would be out of control.That's how cities like Irvine became cities. Anyway, I suspect this is strategizing for the future more than it's a concrete plan.
No, this actually encourages sprawl. If most of Casa Grande wasn't single family home and had some kind of transportation, I would buy your theory. If there was commuter rail between Phoenix/Casa Grande/Tucson then what you say would make more sense. Given that this project would be auto dependent, sprawl would be inevitable and one reason I hope this project is a joke. I also don't think it is the smartest idea to locate this project in haboob/dust storm central in Pinal County...disturbing that much desert soil all at once will be problematic. The long-term consequences from so many cars kicking up that much dust in the region will mean more unhealthy air.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 6:38 PM
alexico alexico is offline
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casa grande? really. those pics remind me of something like you would see in a Middle sized FL city like Jacksonville, FL etc
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 10:47 PM
sh9730 sh9730 is offline
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New here - nice forum. I have posted a lot about this on City-Data. First off, this project is very real - is there still a chance that it wont be built? Sure...lots of things still need to be finalized - working with ADOT and nearby property owners about the costs to improve the main roadway structures out to I-10 about 4 miles away from the project location - about a mile of it is already pretty done due to the mall already in place and the Sam's Club to break ground this month. The other is still all to be decided. Also, they are still working to get enough vendors to fill the spots...though my understanding is that they are getting more all the time.

All of the city approvals of the GENERAL plans have already been approved etc. Of course final designs will still need to come before council before building will be started - but the developers have been working with the city pretty closely so there should be minimal issues when those come up.

Next, remember, the drawings (and there is a video also) represent the ENTIRE built out project. The INITIAL phase is only the 1.5 million SF convention/display building and then a couple of apartment complexes for workers and a general purpose hotel. All the residential shown, and office buildings are all future phases as needs warrant. The developers believe, based upon their experience in Dubai is that once the center goes in, the other facilities will be needed within 5 years or so as logistics etc related to the activity of the Phoenixmart itself. Then will be the residential to support that activity. The higher end resort will also be a future phase...but like Phase II because CG lacks a real high end hotel right now.

Remember, this is NOT A RETAIL project. This is in essence a full time convention center. A typical vendor would display SAMPLES of their available product line in one of the 2000 booths at the center, a WHOLESALE buyer would examine them their, and then place orders - typically in larger quantities. Manufacturing (especially initially) will likely NOT be occurring anywhere near Phoenixmart, though again in Dubai, many vendors did eventually move shipping and logistics operations close to the center, which may occur here...

A quick example would be a Holiday Inn hotel purchasing agent who doesn't want to travel all over to look at 10 vendors products they need to buy for hundreds of hotels. They would fly into PHX, drive to CG ONCE, stay here, spend a couple of days visiting all the vendors in one place and then place orders as needed and then head back to PHX to go home. Retail will be a small small part of this concept.

Phoenixmart will also hold actual conventions of various industries year round in an effort to help their vendors increase sales.

As to why CG? Because the rules of the EB-5 immigrant program allow for a 500K investment in rural/underserved areas vs. a 1MIL minimum for investment in more established areas. This allows for a wider investment pool. Remember this is a 150 MILLION dollar project so they wanted to keep open to more investors.

SO, that's sort of it...Im becoming more confident at least the first phase will be built with this latest announcement....will it be a long term success? Don't know about that....

But we need it here in CG...so Im hopeful.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 11:55 PM
nickw252 nickw252 is offline
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Originally Posted by phxSUNSfan View Post
No, this actually encourages sprawl. If most of Casa Grande wasn't single family home and had some kind of transportation, I would buy your theory. If there was commuter rail between Phoenix/Casa Grande/Tucson then what you say would make more sense. Given that this project would be auto dependent, sprawl would be inevitable and one reason I hope this project is a joke. I also don't think it is the smartest idea to locate this project in haboob/dust storm central in Pinal County...disturbing that much desert soil all at once will be problematic. The long-term consequences from so many cars kicking up that much dust in the region will mean more unhealthy air.
It would be smart if they left easements/land for a future buildout of commuter rail or high-speed rail between Phoenix and Tucson. If this is going to be a true convention area with out-of-state visitors, a rail connection to Sky Harbor and the rest of the valley would be valuable. That'd be a very expensive taxi ride from Sky Harbor to Casa Grande.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:51 AM
dtnphx dtnphx is offline
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Originally Posted by nickw252 View Post
It would be smart if they left easements/land for a future buildout of commuter rail or high-speed rail between Phoenix and Tucson. If this is going to be a true convention area with out-of-state visitors, a rail connection to Sky Harbor and the rest of the valley would be valuable. That'd be a very expensive taxi ride from Sky Harbor to Casa Grande.
That's a great point. Hopefully, if this proect is a go, I think it could strengthen commuter rail.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 4:05 PM
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I don't think this is such a bad thing. I am not sure that the hole idea will be successful (personally, I hardly ever go to showrooms, and use the internet to get samples of products for projects). But Casa Grande is going to continue to grow whether we want to or not. So I would greatly prefer a large dense (dense for CG), master planned project instead of a bunch of sprawling single story developments (which is largely what is going on in the area).
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 8:24 PM
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phxSUNSfan phxSUNSfan is offline
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Actually, Casa Grande likely won't continue to grow much more in the future. One problem is water availability which requires developers to guarantee sources for many decades. The second thing is that most people are no longer buying in the "drive until you qualify" mindset and banks aren't open to such lending anymore. One reason CG would like this project is to restart some kind of growth spurt...but I don't see this being a successful project. If I were a purchasing agent/buyer, why would I fly to Phoenix (especially from far away) then spend another hour (or more depending on traffic) driving a rental car or maybe getting into a shuttle van to look at merchandise in a relatively small, isolated, and dusty town? It just doesn't make sense.

I could see something like this along 44th St. in the Gateway area, but this looks like another "Greyhound racetrack boondoggle". One of the biggest problems is employment prospects. Though this "mart" would initially lead to more construction jobs, I don't see it attracting many vendors and I think the employment projections are unrealistic. They are modeling the project based off a similar marketplace in Dubai, but the dynamics of the UAE are different than in the U.S. The need for a "wholesale convention center" is nonexistent in this country. This sounds almost like a year round "Costco" version of consumer expos like the Consumer Electronic Show in Vegas or auto shows in various cities; however, the format is much cheaper and much less exciting.

Last edited by phxSUNSfan; Jun 3, 2013 at 8:41 PM.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 8:40 PM
sh9730 sh9730 is offline
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PhxSuns -

Though Im by no means "expert" in this field - you must remember the MAIN investors in this project are Chinese nationals and at least 1/3 of the spaces at this project will go to Chinese vendors - there is a HUGE cost savings to companies that buy products from Chinese vendors to stay in the USA rather than have to go to Hong Kong or mainland China to make deals as they do now...

These Chinese vendors are looking for ways to get there products even more available to USA buyers than they already are....this is one option.

Of course the "buying of an immigration Visa" component of this investment is also attractive to many wealthy Chinese.

Its a gamble on their part no doubt - but the developers of this project are the same people that did the Chinese cultural center in downtown Phoenix so they are not unsophisticated....

P S - although nowhere near the Boom times of 7 years ago - building permits in CG are UP again this year quite a bit - as well as some new apts and mobile home parks (nice ones) that are filling quickly. There are gains in employment from some of our larger employers (Hexcel Corp - 100 new this year - a new Yogurt manufacturing facility being built which will employ 300 or so eventually etc...)
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  #19  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 9:00 PM
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phxSUNSfan phxSUNSfan is offline
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P S - although nowhere near the Boom times of 7 years ago - building permits in CG are UP again this year quite a bit - as well as some new apts and mobile home parks (nice ones) that are filling quickly. There are gains in employment from some of our larger employers (Hexcel Corp - 100 new this year - a new Yogurt manufacturing facility being built which will employ 300 or so eventually etc...)
You are not incorrect that some Chinese vendors and other international companies could setup shop in PhoenixMart, but in order to qualify for the EB-5 program most of the investment must attract and be directed towards American companies. In the case of PhoenixMart, they would be required to be a showcase center for NAFTA qualifying companies...that's if they choose to spend money on setting up infrastructure for this type of project. And therein lies the problem; that business model is inefficient and is unsophisticated. With more sustainably driven models, like JIT manufacturing and semi-customization, there really will be no need to showcase goods in such a setting...especially one so far away from a major urban center. This would require too much time for travel.

As for CG's growth rate, it is almost nonexistent averaging only 1.45% per year since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (which has been known to overestimate growth rates). That means that since 2010 only 1,391 people have been added to CG's population...most over the age of 65. The small gains in employment have not compensated for the number of jobs lost during the recession; hence, the unemployment rate in CG is higher than the state average and much higher than metro Phoenix' rate (hovering over 10% with the most recently pegged rate at 10.10% in March 2013). The most recent employment growth rate for CG is actually negative (-0.04%). This sounds more like a scheme for buying citizenship rather than creating sustainable employment in a sustainable manner.
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/04/0410530.html

Last edited by phxSUNSfan; Jun 3, 2013 at 9:14 PM.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 10:13 PM
sh9730 sh9730 is offline
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Whatever feelings of success or failure some may have about this project - they definitely appear to be moving forward - hired a pretty heavy hitter as the new CEO:

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/n...betts-ceo.html
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