CG Tech Park wins Kohler Factory, Petrochemical Group Buys Land

A fledgling industrial park on the west side of Casa Grande announced its first three tenants during the last two months of 2021, filling up its entire planned first phase.

Kirk McCarville, Pinal County specialist with Phoenix-based brokerage Land Advisors Organization, said all the incoming employers want to break ground during the first quarter of 2022.

Pinal County Technological Park is a 1,064-acre property bordering the Union Pacific railroad tracks just south of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, stretching from Bianco to Burris roads.

The property was annexed by the city and zoned for heavy industrial use for Nacero, a Texas company that ultimately dropped its proposal to build a plant to convert natural gas to gasoline, which would have created about 265 permanent jobs.

  • Kohler Co., the manufacturer of home faucets, sinks, and other plumbing products, and the City of Casa Grande reached a development agreement in November on a 200-acre parcel.A report to the council by City Manager Larry Rains said the Wisconsin-based home industry giant plans to build a 1-million-square-foot factory, a process expected to take 18 months. It is expected to create at least 425 permanent jobs within its first five years of operation.

    Under the development agreement, Kohler will receive reimbursement of 55% of construction sales tax paid through waived impact fees in return for building the factory, making designated infrastructure improvements, and creating the minimum number of jobs. The city also will help the company with recruitment, marketing, relocation information, and other services.

    The project will generate approximately $13.8 million in tax revenue over its first 10 years and $267 million in direct and indirect personal income to the area, according to an analysis by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Total regional economic output over that decade is projected to be $1.1 billion.

    McCarville said Kohler will be manufacturing bathtubs and showers at the facility. Aside from the products of its kitchen and bath group, Kohler also makes luxury and casual furniture, tile, generators, engines, and other items.

  • Chang Chun Petrochemical Group (CCPG), a Taipei-based manufacturer that is a major supplier for Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC), has purchased 85 acres at the tech park. TSMC is building a $12 billion advanced chip factory in north Phoenix, where production is scheduled to begin in 2024.CCPG produces several chemicals used in the semiconductor industry, including mold cleaners and wafer dicing/cleaning solutions. It announced its intentions to build a plant somewhere in Arizona in January 2021 to follow Taiwan Semiconductor; its decision to come to Pinal County could create 200 or more jobs.

    “These would be considered high-tech jobs,” McCarville said. He is also working with four more TSMC suppliers looking to buy land somewhere in the county, he added.

  • Walbridge, a Detroit-based full-service construction company, is purchasing nearly 100 acres for a warehouse operation McCarville said will be focused on electric vehicle parts, drawing from the growing EV industry in the county and state.None of the three companies are expected to be a large water user, McCarville said, and Kohler will be buying its water from Arizona Water Company.

    He said four key factors are driving manufacturing and warehousing operations to Pinal County and to the tech park in particular — a favorable local regulatory climate, land prices, housing costs that are half or two-thirds those in the Phoenix area, and access to Union Pacific’s main rail line.

    The success of the Lucid Motors project has been compelling evidence as well, McCarville said.

    “Lucid came in and built its automotive factory in 12 months, that’s a record,” he said. “A lot of people came here and talked to us, and they said, ‘Casa Grande and Pinal County are the only ones who are serious about economic development.”