2021 was a busy year for commercial development

PHX Surf Park: A world-class surf park would be Maricopa’s first true destination attraction and tourism driver. Photo by Bengt Nyman / via Flickr

Residential development was clearly the major real estate story in town in 2021, but the city made steady progress in its efforts to expand commercial development as well. Projects approved or that began construction included:

PHX Surf Park
Maricopans are used to hearing about new housing developments. They get excited about new sit-down restaurants. They clamor for more retail opportunities. But no one predicted the May announcement of a major surfing attraction coming to the city.

The city got potentially the biggest addition to its entertainment lineup in history and a huge economic driver with the unveiling of an early site plan for the PHX Surf Park at Loma Road and State Route 238 in May. Construction has yet to begin.

The 70-acre park will offer state-of-the-art wave technology and a variety of other attractions to make it more of a family entertainment center than just a water park.

Water-related attractions include two wave/surf pools that could be as large as 3½ acres each, multiple water slides, a lazy river, swimming pools and a splash pad. A rendering shows a series of shade trellises equipped with misting systems meandering through the park to help keep guests cool during the summer heat.

Other potential amenities shown in preliminary site plans include a hotel, retail spaces, restaurants, a swim-up bar, a concert area with shaded stage and lawn seating, spa, RV park, tiny home village with its own clubhouse, bike pump track, and sand volleyball courts. PHX Surf said the project will be developed in phases, but there is no indication at this point which amenities will be included in each phase.

In the application narrative, the developer says “the PHX Surf Park will be a premier destination not only in Pinal County, but across the state of Arizona and beyond. The park will create a unique attraction that offers advanced active entertainment, progressive surfing experiences, water play, related retail and dining, concert and open space, and hospitality – all immersed with ‘ocean views,’ and the sound of crashing waves breaking in the desert sun.”

The preliminary documents indicate that the fun won’t stop when the sun goes down as PHX Surf calls for night surfing under the lights as well as the presence of restaurants, bars, live music and entertainment.

With the hotel, RV park and tiny home village, the park will offer out-of-town visitors a variety of choices regarding price and amenity level for staying on site.

Apex Motor Club [Victor Moreno]
Apex Motor Club
The private “country club racetrack” is developing a series of “garage condos” designed to be multi-configurable. Each 1,250-square-feet condo includes a 625-square-foot mezzanine.
The facility completed its first race circuit, a car-storage building and a temporary sales center. The garage condos have sold out of the initial offering of 48 units and 14 people are on a wait list for the second offering. There will be 96 garage condos when APEX completes phases 1 and 2 of the project, and there will be space for almost 180 garages on full buildout.

Omni Self Storage
This full-service, climate-controlled storage facility at Alan Stephens Parkway and Stonegate Road opened in September, giving the city four storage facilities. Omni covers 95,496 square feet and has 660 storage units — 544 of which are climate-controlled. Units range in size from 5 feet by 5 feet and extend to 10 feet by 35 feet. The facility offers 12 covered RV stalls.

La Quinta Inn & Suites
The city’s first hotel in 66 years opened in September after a series of delays. The 89-room property at Copper Sky opened with a VIP event and ribbon-cutting for city officials and dignitaries.
The pet-friendly hotel features an indoor pool, jacuzzi, fitness room and meeting room. There is no restaurant on property, but a hot continental breakfast is served daily.

A submitted rendering of Maricopa Station

Maricopa Station
The city acquired 15 acres of land mostly along the Union Pacific railroad tracks for $5.9 million to enhance this project. The city intends to use the acreage to develop a public market and infrastructure, including streets, utilities and green space.
The project, just south of the railroad tracks and east of John Wayne Parkway, is envisioned by the city as a vehicle to spur economic, residential and retail development in the area south of the overpass where the east side of Honeycutt Avenue currently dead ends as well as the Heritage District area.

Construction of Estrella Gin [file photo]
Estrella Gin
The initial 45,000-square-foot building in the commercial/warehouse/retail project at 45654 W. Edison Road began construction in October. The City of Maricopa committed to lease 5,826 square feet of space. A portion of that space will then be leased, free of charge, to the Maricopa Economic Development Association and the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce, which will share a conference room and restrooms. The city will retain about 2,000 square feet as a business incubator space.

This year in review was first published in the January edition of InMaricopa magazine.