Since first announcing its project, PhoenixMart, in the fourth quarter of 2011, developers AZ Sourcing and Central Arizona Regional Center will break ground and begin construction on Thursday, November 7, right on schedule. Groundbreaking is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.on the new PhoenixMart development, located at Florence Boulevard near Overfield Road, about two miles east of The Promenade in Casa Grande.
PhoenixMart will be a 1.7-million-square-foot wholesale sourcing facility, being built on 585 acres, to be the first global commerce center of its kind in the United States, according to developers. It is expected to create more than 9,000 local jobs and boost U.S. manufacturing by connecting global buyers with sellers, according to project developers.
While the project is heavily financed by Chinese investors, PhoenixMart has nothing to do with bringing in Chinese business and industry. Rather, its focus is to provide a way to bring American industry into the global market like the Chinese have done over the last 20 years.
PhoenixMart is based off of a development that occurred quite by accident in a small rural town called Yiwu in China back in the 1980s. As China began to experience its own industrial revolution in the 1980s, small businesses began to pop up everywhere. But there wasn’t a central location through which these business owners could market their products. So what developed was referred to as a “farmer’s market on steroids,” as these little manufacturers and business owners flocked to a central location, which started with only a couple of hundred square feet and a tin roof overhead. It was a one-stop shop convenience buying opportunity. Nearly 30 years later, that same little farmer’s market has become a 43 million square foot facility and has virtually turned into a city. It is the biggest place of its kind in the world for wholesale sales of small and midsize manufacturers throughout China. If you were a small manufacturer, then suddenly Walmart, Costco and other large retailers could find you.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao will be among the federal, state and municipal officials on-hand Thursday for the groundbreaking of PhoenixMart, according to a press release from the project developers. U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Casa Grande mayor Bob Jackson and PhoenixMart president Jeremy Schoenfelder also are expected to speak at the event.
“Even though it was shovel-ready long ago, its investors were stuck waiting for EB-5 visas. I’m glad we could work together and help clear the way for this important economic effort to launch, ” said Kirkpatrick. PhoenixMart will showcase goods sold wholesale by about 2,000 manufacturers and distributors in various categories. “The complex will also include a commerce hub that, when completed, will be the largest single-level construction in the country, spanning three football fields wide and nine football fields long,” the press release from PhoenixMart developers said. The facility is to have 1,750 showroom suites and is expected by developers to be fully occupied by the time it opens its doors, projected for late next year.
For more information or to keep an eye on the progress of the project, visit their website at https://phoenixmart.com/, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin. Vendors can also lease space on the PhoenixMart’s e-commerce site coming soon, www.ephoenixmart.com