ELOY — Business leaders from the area met last Thursday for the quarterly Economic Development Group of Eloy luncheon to discuss the big project that’s been on everyone’s minds for years now, PhoenixMart.
They brought out Marshall Stahl, chief operating officer of AZ Sourcing, the company responsible for PhoenixMart.
“I spoke to you about three to four months ago about where we would be today, and we are there,” Stahl said in his presentation to the group
When the group last met with Stahl, the project was in hot water, so to speak. It had to look for alternate sources of funding after its use of the EB-5 visa program came under scrutiny from the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
At that point, Stahl had said the company was moving forward in pouring the concrete footings, over 1,000 in total, to support the massive structure. However, when you drive past the site on Florence Boulevard, it’s hard to see the construction — none of it has gone vertical
“We have so many people on site, working on the construction, but they’re just tucked away almost a quarter mile off of Florence,” Stahl said. “The optics aren’t that great.”
Beyond the footing poured for the 1.6-million-square-foot structure, crews have also started to lay the 280 miles of electrical wire and the 25,000 feet of piping for the building, which Stahl said is ahead of schedule.
While the picture of the giant wholesale center put before the crowd was positive, one owner of land near the project wasn’t convinced. He said he had been talking to Arizona Water Company and Electrical District 2, both of whom said it would take a year to a year and half to put in the infrastructure to service the project.
Stahl quelled his concerns, saying that developers were in communication with both companies and assured him that they would be able to get all the pieces of the project done in time.
“Four months from now you’re just going to see this massive structure from the freeway, which is really a landmark in its size,” Stahl said. The company recently purchased 7,000 tons of steel from a Phoenix-based company that is fabricating what is needed to have the shell of the building finished by the end of the calendar year, he said.
“I’m not easily impressed by construction, seeing as we do so much of it,” said John Gluch, a Corrections Corporation of America representative and EDGE president. “But when you stand in the middle of where that building is gonna be, it is impressive.”