A 1.3-million square foot warehouse with up to 300 full-time employees is coming to Buckeye, and perhaps a companion retail store as well.
The Buckeye Planning and Zoning Commission at its July 14 meeting unanimously approved a site plan approval for a distribution warehouse for the Five Below retail chains, which has more than 950 stores nationwide. The build will take place on 69.1 acres zoned General Commerce at the southwest corner of Miller and Durango roads.
Crews are expected to break ground at the end of July, and the site is scheduled to be fully operational in August 2021. The warehouse is anticipated to employ 150 people in the first phase and eventually grow to 300.
Five Below is a retailer geared toward tweens and teens. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the company has recently expanded to Arizona with nine retail locations: five in Phoenix, two in Tempe, and one in Glendale and Chandler.
“A lot of reasons we’re looking to add this distribution center in Buckeye are reasons that we’d like to add a store in Buckeye at some time. We do not currently have a plan for Buckeye but we’re looking very closely,” Chris Giannini, director of property development and management at Five Below, told the commission at the July 14 meeting. “We are new to the state of Arizona. We’ve only been in Arizona one year, but it is a state that we’re very, very excited about and have had significant growth in, and we anticipate being in Buckeye some time.”
The land parcel was annexed from Maricopa County back in 2000. This is the first application that has come forward on the site. Hilgart Wilson, LLC on behalf of Scannell Properties, requested the site plan approval.
The site is currently comprised of undeveloped desert land. The project is bound by Buckeye Elementary School District, 25555 W. Durango St., and the Westpark residential development to the west, undeveloped desert to the south, Miller Road and low density residential development to the east, and Durango Street and undeveloped desert to the north.
According to the proposal, this project will be developed in two phases. The first phase will consist of approximately 857,000 square feet of building area and 331 parking spaces. The site will be fully graded with utilities installed for all phases.
The second and final phase will include an additional approximate 400,000 square feet of building expansion with 243 additional parking spaces for a total of 574 parking spaces and additional truck parking.
In the process, Miller Road will go from a single lane to two-lane road with a protected turn lane before it transitions back to one lane approaching Lower Buckeye.
“The applicant is required to do half-street improvements for both Miller Road that fronts this property, as well as any improvements that might be required on Durango,” Ed Boik, principal planner with city of Buckeye, said in his remarks to the P&Z commission. “These half-street improvements will include additional lanes, protected turn lanes, both right-turn and left-turn lanes where allowed by city code and traffic report. And this will serve to improve traffic flow through that area, even with the increased traffic generated by the site.”
No public comments came in on this project.