PHOENIX-A suburb of Phoenix that hopes to lure new businesses is considering annexing more than 1,500 acres of open land that the city would open up for commercial development.Mesa, a suburb just east of Phoenix, is considering annexing 1,571 acres north of Williams Gateway Airport. Because of its close proximity to the airport, the land would be zoned for commercial use.

“It’s for job growth in Mesa,” says Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker. “It’s huge.”Although Mesa has some of the largest employers in the Valley in Motorola Inc. and Boeing Co., much of the new job growth has gone to surrounding cities with available land for commercial development.

With the annexation, the city could be hoping to replicate the success many suburbs have had in developing commercially around corporate airports. The hottest area for new business and commercial development during the past few years has been in and around the Scottsdale Airpark in north Scottsdale.The parcel is east of the General Motors Proving Grounds, a facility GM shut down last year, between Ray and Warner, and Power and Hawes roads. The land is virtually vacant.

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