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Mon, May 20

PV looking east

PRESCOTT VALLEY -- Town leaders are eyeing east Prescott Valley as a potential location for industrial development.

This part of Prescott Valley features vast parcels of unused land that the town's general plan has slated for mixed-use and industrial development. One of the area's key commercial areas, the Big Sky Business Park, sits atop a mesa in east Prescott Valley and includes numerous light-industrial businesses.

Richard Parker, the town's Community Development director, pointed out that the Fain Signature Group owns the business park, which currently is the home of two of the town's economic development success stories: the Budweiser, Canyon Distributing and Ace Hardware distribution centers. These centers lie within an enterprise zone, but distribution centers are not Fain's sole reason for the business park.

Brad Fain, a principal in the Fain Signature Group, said the group is considering expanding the park to the north to accommodate smaller users. The park already features businesses on smaller-sized lots that sell everything from nails to paint.

"There's some land there within the town limits that we've been trying to expand so we can open up to smaller industrial users -- one acre or less -- so that we can accommodate that segment of the market that is not looking for a five- or a 10-acre industrial site," he said. "That is something we would like to see get on track because we think there's a lot of small users and a lot of startup businesses that could probably use that space more efficiently than a larger space."

Fain credits Gary Marks, executive director of the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation, with helping to develop the area. Both said that they work closely together, and Marks tries to help companies interested in moving to Prescott Valley.

Marks said the area currently features a lot of five-acre planned area developments, but mentioned that the lot sizes in the area do tend to vary because of multiple factors.

"You want to maximize utilization of the land," he said. Parker said the upside of planned area developments is that they allow businesses to tailor a site to its needs. A common alternative to an area that is designated for planned area developments is predetermined lot sizes, which can present more problems for a business.



The town also recently conducted an annexation hearing about the proposed annexation of about 1,600 acres in east Prescott Valley, near Fain Road. The Fain Signature Group also owns this land.

Fain explained that the Grapevine Industrial Park (north of the Fain Road and Highway 69 intersection) is currently full, and that the annexation would mark the boundary of the park for about the next 20 years.

"We have no users in there that we have on the horizon that are going to fill that up, but we just thought that now is the appropriate time to go ahead and define (the boundaries)," he said of the area up for annexation. "We have kind of been working with the different organizations -- such as the chamber of commerce and the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation -- and saying, 'This is the area, if you have industrial or job-based users, that we would like you to focus on.'"

The Fain Signature Group and other town officials also did not want potential employers to start looking east of Prescott Valley, Fain said.

The area to the west of Fain Road near the Lakeshore Drive exit has a general plan status for mixed use. Parker said that mixed use ranges from industrial to housing, which means that people could live in homes near the businesses where they work.

The area on the east side of the intersection will become residential development, ac-cording to the town's latest version of the general plan.

A company currently is reviewing whether it wants to expand its operations to the area near where Superstition Drive would meet Fain Road, according to one town source.

The Daily Courier asked Marks if he thinks he has enough vacant land within the town limits to show potential employers and companies interested in coming to the area. "I think that there's a lot of options sitting out there that can be made available," he said, "and it is driven by the project needs."

Marks said that when representatives of a company ask him to show them around town, he will suggest sites to them, adding after that, the companies do most of the work while deciding whether Prescott Valley is right for them.

"We take the prospect, and we show them what is out there," Marks said.

"Their site selection committee," he added, "are the ones that are going to say, 'This is number one, this is number twoÉ'"

Utilities and access roads also often play a major role in the decision-making process, Marks said.

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