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Latest News in Casa Grande, AZ
Protective packaging manufacturer inks lease in Casa Grande industrial project
Opus Development Co. LLC has secured a key tenant for its first industrial project in Pinal County.EFP LLC, a designer and manufacturer of custom protective packaging, signed a lease in March to occupy 100% of building A at Confluence Industrial Park in Casa Grande, or about 152,200 square feet.The Indiana-based manufacturer plans to use the plant for expanded polystyrene molding and distribution as well as cold chain distribution. The company said it has current customers in the area.The building will be EFP's first Ari...
Opus Development Co. LLC has secured a key tenant for its first industrial project in Pinal County.
EFP LLC, a designer and manufacturer of custom protective packaging, signed a lease in March to occupy 100% of building A at Confluence Industrial Park in Casa Grande, or about 152,200 square feet.
The Indiana-based manufacturer plans to use the plant for expanded polystyrene molding and distribution as well as cold chain distribution. The company said it has current customers in the area.
The building will be EFP's first Arizona facility and is expected to be operational by February 2024. EFP is also going to invest $12 million for its equipment and for building improvements.
The speculatively-built Confluence Industrial Park started construction earlier this year and is expected to be delivered by December 2023. The second building, which will also be completed by the end of this year, will total 173,500 square feet.
Larry Pobuda, executive vice president and general manager at Minnesota-based Opus, said he's "thrilled" to have an opportunity to work with EFP, a business partner to Kohler Co., which is building a $300 million manufacturing plant also in Casa Grande.
"This really supports the strength of the Casa Grande market that continues to emerge with continued strong investment and this is certainly additional evidence of that," Pobuda told the Business Journal.
Pobuda said they are currently in discussions with two groups for leasing the second building at Confluence.
The industrial park is located at the southwest corner of Jimmie Kerry Boulevard and Sunland Gin Road close to the confluence of Interstates 8 and 10. Casa Grande and Pinal County have become home to a growing number of manufacturers including electric vehicle makers Lucid Group Inc. and Nikola Corp., as well as a number of semiconductor suppliers and speculative industrial parks.
“With the tightening and increasing land price in the Phoenix Metro area, more companies are looking in the Casa Grande area market for expansion opportunities," said Paul Sieczkowski, a senior executive vice president at Colliers International. "More developers are looking to purchase land and build in the area, which is 45 minutes to Phoenix and 45 minutes to Tucson with easy access to the west coast via the 8 Freeway.”
Paul Sieczkowski, Justin Sieczkowski and Mallory Wayne of Colliers represented EFP in the lease. Tony Lydon, John Lydon, Pat Harlan and Hagen Hyatt of JLL are the leasing brokers for the property.
Industrial leasing and demand for space has driven development across the Phoenix metro, which had nearly 45 million square feet of space under development and a 2.7% vacancy rate in Q1 2023, according to JLL. The direct asking rent across the Valley in Q1 averages 76 cents per square foot.
Developer plans 600-acre mixed-use site with industrial center south of Phoenix
A Las Vegas industrial developer is eyeing 600 acres for a new industrial center and mixed-use campus south of Phoenix that will represent an investment of more than $1 billion.Through two new projects in Casa Grande, IndiCap has proposed an industrial park called Nexus Industrial, which will comprise about 5.2 million square feet of building space, and Casa Blanca, which will feature retail, multifamily, manufactured housing and another nearly 2 million square feet of industrial space.Nexus Industrial will include both build-t...
A Las Vegas industrial developer is eyeing 600 acres for a new industrial center and mixed-use campus south of Phoenix that will represent an investment of more than $1 billion.
Through two new projects in Casa Grande, IndiCap has proposed an industrial park called Nexus Industrial, which will comprise about 5.2 million square feet of building space, and Casa Blanca, which will feature retail, multifamily, manufactured housing and another nearly 2 million square feet of industrial space.
Nexus Industrial will include both build-to-suit and speculative industrial product across 323 acres located at the northwest corner of Interstate 10 and Cottonwood Lane.
A conceptual site plan shows that the property could fit about 10 buildings ranging in size from 141,888 square feet to as large as 1.3 million square feet about half a mile south of a future freeway interchange and near the potential expansion of I-10 from Chandler to Florence Boulevard.
"The access to this site with the expanded freeway and interchange is going to make it a really strategic location for manufacturers, distribution or support facilities for semiconductors," said Todd Ostransky, vice president of development for IndiCap.
The Casa Blanca project will sit just south of the Nexus Industrial park across from the Promenade at Casa Grande shops. The site is slated for 86 acres of industrial development, about 160 acres of medium and high-density residential development and 18 acres of commercial space.
For the housing on the property, IndiCap said it will look for developers while it serves as the master developer of the overall project. The properties do not have a certificate of assured water supply, which means for-sale housing cannot be developed on site, Ostransky said.
The industrial portion of the site could fit seven industrial buildings ranging in size from 199,448 square feet to 419,776 square feet with frontage along I-10. Ostransky said these warehouses will be developed speculatively.
The two projects will be developed over the next decade, with construction expected to kick off in mid-to-late 2024. The developer plans to involve a capital partner to finance the project.
Casa Grande planning commission recommended approval for a general plan change and rezoning the Casa Blanca site on April 6 and held a public hearing for a general plan amendment for a portion of the Nexus Industrial site on April 20. The planning commission will vote on the Nexus Industrial request on May 4.
Tony Lydon and Marc Hertzberg of JLL are the leasing brokers for the industrial development. Ware Malcomb and Coe & Van Loo Consultants are involved in the entitlement process, but an architect and general contractor have not been selected.
IndiCap recently entered the Arizona market with several large industrial developments in Glendale, Gilbert and Mesa. Ostransky said they decided to plan a project in Casa Grande because of the opportunity to acquire the large site. The landowners had received interest for some of their property but not both parcels that totaled 600 acres.
"When that opportunity came, really what was exciting about it for IndiCap was the location right along the freeway, the location on Florence Boulevard, that's main street in Casa Grande, and the opportunity to be able to develop that site at that location with what we wanted to be able to do," Ostransky said.
More industrial development is on its way to Pinal County cities like Casa Grande, which have not seen speculative industrial buildings developed in decades. Several large industrial parks have been proposed for Eloy, while Minnesota-based Ryan Cos. wants to develop a build-to-suit industrial park across 122 acres with nearly 2 million square feet of industrial space in Casa Grande.
Casa Grande school superintendent abruptly fired without cause
A Pinal County school superintendent was abruptly fired this week with no explanation, prompting one board member to accuse his colleagues of discrimination.CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Casa Grande High School District Superintendent Anna Battle was in the second of a four-year contract with the district.On Tuesday, the school board voted 3-2 to...
A Pinal County school superintendent was abruptly fired this week with no explanation, prompting one board member to accuse his colleagues of discrimination.
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Casa Grande High School District Superintendent Anna Battle was in the second of a four-year contract with the district.
On Tuesday, the school board voted 3-2 to fire her without cause. In a statement to 12News, the board’s president said the move was the best choice for the district.
Battle enjoyed the support of the mayor and many community members who spoke out on her behalf at a meeting in January. The previous school board president said there is no known justifiable explanation for why Battle was terminated. The board held three executive sessions behind closed doors with an attorney this year before Tuesday’s vote.
“She came in with ideas to change and try and make the district a better place,” said Former School Board President Jack Henness, who left office on December 31. “There’s a strong faction of groups up there that don’t want to see any change.”
Hennes blames what he calls “a cesspool of bad information” on social media for Battle’s termination.
Current Board President Chuck Wright, who voted to fire Battle, told 12News in writing, “My only comment is our board did what they felt was the best choice for the District. We will continue to move forward with our efforts to make CGUHSD the best choice to send your children for high school education.”
Members Steve Hayes and Steven Hunt also voted to terminate Battle. They did not provide a reason during the vote.
During Tuesday’s meeting, board member Taylor Kerby used an expletive when he voted “no” to fire Battle.
“F--- no,” Kerby said into his microphone.
Board member Kelly Herrington also voted no.
“I feel that Dr. Battle has done a lot of amazing things within the district. I fully support her,” Herrington said.
Kerby said he believes animosity against Battle escalated on social media, “which allowed the angriest voices to become the most dominant.” Battle is Black and Kerby is white.
“I want to say this very clearly, that I think if Dr. Battle looked a little more like me and a little less like a woman of color, we would not be having this discussion,” Kerby said during Tuesday’s meeting.
It’s not known exactly what was discussed among school board members and if Battle was given a chance to address concerns. School board members are restricted from commenting on what was discussed in executive sessions, said Jennifer Kortsen, Public Relations Officer for CGUHSD.
In a written statement to 12News, Kerby addressed using an expletive.
“Dr. Battle’s experience is one that unfortunately resonates with many people of color, particularly women, within professional spaces. The latitude that would have been given to a white man is denied. There is less room for error. When error does occur, it is disproportionately punished. Words that would be described as ‘assertive’ or ‘direct’ if spoken by someone who looks like me, are derided as ‘snippy’ when spoken by someone who looks like her. All in all, less grace is extended and failure is expected… While the use of the expletive is a regrettable slip of the tongue, it does convey the anger I feel over this decision,” Kerby wrote.
CGUHSD has two high schools and a virtual academy. The district has seen four superintendents over the past ten years. The community rejected property tax increases for the elementary and high schools last election.
Some parents voiced frustration last year with the district’s decision to lower the salaries of JROTC instructors and to alter grading policies, Hennes said.
Battle previously worked as Head of Schools at ASU Preparatory Academy, Assistant Superintendent of Operations at Tempe Union High School District, Principal at Desert Vista High School, Principal at Tempe High School, high school teacher and coach.
The exact cost of the decision is unknown. Battle is due two-and-a-half years’ salary.
“A unilateral termination of contract has legal implications and the district has not been informed on an agreement reached between Dr. Battle and the board,” Kortsen said.
The district may also face costs to find a new superintendent.
How the district will move forward choosing interim leadership will be resolved next week, Kortsen said.
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.
Former Lucid USA workers react to sudden company layoffs in Casa Grande
CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Last week, Lucid USA, an electric vehicle manufacturer, announced plans to lay off over 900 people at its Casa Grande facility. Some of those impacted say they feel blindsided by the decision. “Having it end at the snap of a finger is really disheartening,” one former employee said.Those fired employees will receive two months of paid leave and a severance package. The process started on Tuesday with an ...
CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Last week, Lucid USA, an electric vehicle manufacturer, announced plans to lay off over 900 people at its Casa Grande facility. Some of those impacted say they feel blindsided by the decision. “Having it end at the snap of a finger is really disheartening,” one former employee said.
Those fired employees will receive two months of paid leave and a severance package. The process started on Tuesday with an email from Rawlinson to all employees announcing the upcoming layoffs. By Thursday, Casa Grande employees found out their fate. Some were laid off following a shift, others when their badges didn’t work when they got to work. “The whole shift before that kind of felt like the last day of school,” a former employee said. “Not really knowing if you’re going to see your friends the next time you come in.”
In his email, Rawlinson said, “We have been reviewing and implementing several other ways to optimize our cost structure, but unfortunately, these measures alone won’t achieve our objectives.”
All in all, the California-based company laid off about 18% of its employees, about 1,300 people. For two other former Lucid employees, working there was a dream job. “A lot of us planned to have a long career there,” one said. “And just like that, we were escorted out of the building.” “I loved my job. I loved it here,” another said. “The people made Lucid what it is.”
The layoffs happened despite the company exceeding expected vehicle production at its Arizona facility in 2022 and reporting annual revenue of over $600 million. Now, those without a job are unsure of what’s next. “I gotta keep looking for work,” a former employee said. “Just keep trying every day, keep trying to find something.”
But these former employees all have a message for Lucid. “They let all of that stuff happen in three days, and I’m not OK with it,” one said. “It was unprofessional.” “Take care of the people that are still there,” another added.
Arizona’s Family reached out to Lucid to try and speak with them directly about the layoffs but never heard back from them.
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Everything you need to know about the new Barro's Pizza
Barro's Pizza opens second location in Casa GrandeThe family-owned restaurant chain that has served its family's pizza recipe for over 42 years is opening a new location in Casa Grande — its fourth restaurant in southern Arizona.Why expand in Casa Grande?The owner, Bruce Barro, highlighted Casa Grande's thriving community in a recent news release."We opened our first restaurant there in 2012 and our customers have been so loyal and supportive, so it was certainly time...
Barro's Pizza opens second location in Casa Grande
The family-owned restaurant chain that has served its family's pizza recipe for over 42 years is opening a new location in Casa Grande — its fourth restaurant in southern Arizona.
Why expand in Casa Grande?
The owner, Bruce Barro, highlighted Casa Grande's thriving community in a recent news release.
"We opened our first restaurant there in 2012 and our customers have been so loyal and supportive, so it was certainly time to open a second location," he said.
Where is the pizzeria located?
The new location is at 839 N. Promenade Parkway in the building that used to house Mimi's Cafe.
The 6,000 square-foot restaurant is the largest Barro's Pizza with the "comfortable and causal neighborhood feel" it is known for, the release stated.
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When is the restaurant open?
The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Lunch specials are available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
What is on the menu?
The new location will serve the same menu as other locations with not only pizza but also chicken wings, pasta, salads and subs, as well as beer and wine.
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How did Barro's Pizza begin?
The Barro family, originally from Italy, opened their first Barro family restaurant in Chicago in 1961, expanding to California in 1968.
They opened their first Arizona location in Mesa in 1980, over the years expanding to 48 locations in Arizona and Texas, owned by the four Barro siblings.
Where else can I find Barro's Pizza in Arizona?
Southern Arizona has four Barro’s Pizza locations with two in Casa Grande, one in Marana and one in Tucson.
The other Arizona locations are centered around Phoenix, including Apache Junction, Maricopa, Mesa, Sun-Tan Valley, Glendale, Goodyear, and more.