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TOLLESON, AZ-A 36.8-acre strip of desert land is set to become the focal point of retail development that could turn Tolleson’s central corridor into a mix of commercial uses.

London Land Company LLC of Phoenix spent $1.4 million for the land at the northwest corner of 99th Avenue and Buckeye Road and soon plans to begin courting several fast-food franchises and local developers to turn the site into a commercial center. Steven Schnitzer with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Phoenix tells GlobeSt.com that the new owner expects to begin selling off the property by next summer…once Tolleson officials approve a site plan for the intersection.

“It’s a great site,” Schnitzer, who negotiated the sale terms for the buyer, says of the location along Tolleson’s central corridor. The city originally zoned the parcel for industrial use when retailer JCPenney bought it almost 20 years ago for a planned distribution center that was never built. The property was rezoned for commercial use by the new owner at the urging of city officials who wanted to see the area develop as a commercial center, he says.

“It’s ripe for this type of development and I think the city recognized that,” says Schnitzer, noting the area, which sits within a mile of 4.5 million sf of industrial buildings and 2,500 employees, offers few commercial amenities for residents.

Jack McLaughlin, also with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Phoenix, who brokered the deal for seller JCPenney, says the land drew several offers during its six years on the market, but it wasn’t until the former owner dropped the price from $1.25 per sf to about $1 per sf that a deal was finally struck. McLaughlin says renewed interest in the site was spurred when an adjacent landowner put up 23.6 acres for a selling price of 85 cents per sf.

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