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Buckeye industrial plan approved, but not unanimously

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BUCKEYE — Two items that will hopefully foster economic development were approved Tuesday by the Buckeye City Council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

The council approved industrial area plans in different parts of the city. The council unanimously approved a plan from U.S. Capital Development LLC, which is slated to soon become the owner of approximately 179 acres at the northwest corner of Perryville and McDowell road, for a new industrial park.

The industrial park ultimately will use about 62 acres of space.

The project, dubbed the Paloma Vista Logistics Center, will require new infrastructure. The owner will be required to construct about 8,200 feet of new sewer line, drainage facilities and more, totaling about $9.7 million in improvements that will be reimbursed by the city.

Construction must begin no later than July 30, 2022, and be completed no later than Sept. 30, 2023.

Dave Roderique, deputy city manager and economic development director for Buckeye, said the Litchfield School District will benefit from the area’s sewer improvements. He said that’s one of many examples of how the project will have an overall strong impact on commercial development in the area.

Roderique said the infrastructure reimbursements don’t mean city taxpayers are funding private-sector projects, or even infrastructure that only one or a few companies will use.

“We have a $15 million allocated to this type of spending,” Roderique said. “So this (reimbursement) is going to eat up a good chunk of that. However, we’re looking at $2 million or more in permits and fees alone, so it’s not like the city is the only one investing. And there is a potential for 5,000 jobs in that industrial area of our city. Plus, they hand the infrastructure they build over to the city, once it’s built, so it’s ours. Developers are simply building things we need at a faster pace than our capital improvement plan calls for.”

Roderique said the Paloma Vista project will not be part of city water service, instead being served by Arizona Water Service.

In another project, Buckeye I-10 Logistics LLC, owner of approximately 290 acres along Van Buren Street a few blocks west of Verrado Way is planning a new speculative building in the Verrado Commerce Center.

That plan was approved by a 6-1 vote. Councilor Craig Huestis cast the lone vote against the approval after raising concerns about difficulties and risks associated with the project.

The 640,000-square-foot building is to be built at the corner of Van Buren Street and 215th Avenue. Roderique said the infrastructure that developer Scott Moore is eager to begin construction on could lead to more commercial development in the area.

John Willett, the city’s senior traffic engineer, said some striping could be moved to create more room for trucks turning from southbound Verrado Way to westbound Van Buren Street, but adding lanes to Van Buren is not an option right now to accommodate the new development.

Willett said because the presence of state trust land that sits between Van Buren and Yuma Road, roads cannot be widened.

“If a developer comes in and has warehouse plans, or something of that nature, and the state trust land is sold, we can talk about widening Van Buren, but for the interim, it’s going to be one lane in each direction,” Willett said. “Our ultimate goal is to make Van Buren five lanes wide.”

Huestis said left turns at Van Buren and 215th Avenue, with only one lane in each direction and with traffic often moving at 55 mph, a collision involving a large truck is a risk. He asked Willett if there could be a signal or a stop sign at that intersection.

“We will go back and reevaluate a four-way stop scenario there,” Willett said. “That’s a good point.”

The council unanimously approved a lengthy consent agenda at Tuesday’s meeting. The consent agenda was highlighted by the awarding of a contract for improvements to the intersection of Miller and Broadway roads for about $2.9 million.

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