Just in time for Halloween, the Arizona Republic published a story headlined, "Massive West Valley development to launch." It reads in part: "Two Phoenix-area developers, John F. Long Properties and the Alter Group, are planning a massive mixed-use commercial development in the West Valley that will span Phoenix, Avondale and Glendale. The project is made up of three separate parcels totaling 1,500 acres and likely will take decades to complete, the developers said." It went on to promise 3 million square feet of "employment space," 10,000 jobs and represent an investment of half-a-billion dollars.
The immediate "deliverable" is much more modest: A 60,000-square-foot medical office building at Thomas and the 101, for an unnamed client (guesses whether it is one stolen from elsewhere in the region?). Long and partners have been assembling and hanging onto this land for decades — that's part of the back story not mentioned in this article. Another is that many of these plans were rolled out in the mid-2000s before the roof fell in. Unanswered is who would finance such a massive project in one of the worst real-estate markets in the country, or how it could be filled with so much unoccupied space already sitting on the market where such deals as exist are filching clients from existing buildings rather than growing the economic pie.
The reality confronting the Phoenix real-estate economy is far different from the closed loop of local-yokel zombie boosterism.