Beverly Hills, California-based U.S. Merchants, a leading packaging and display provider and molded storage crate manufacturer, recently acquired a new industrial facility that it plans to use for manufacturing, packaging and distribution in the West Valley.
The company purchased one of several buildings planned for the Cubes at Glendale, an industrial park that’s located just west of Luke Air Force Base along Reems Road and Northern Avenue. Through Arizona Glendale Green LLC, it purchased building D on 37 acres for $62 million in June from developers of the facility, CRG, the real estate development and investment arm of Chicago-based Clayco, according to real estate database Vizzda.
Jeff Green, CEO of U.S. Merchants, said the company plans to use the 637,040-square-foot industrial building for manufacturing its well-known Greenmade storage crates, which are sold at stores like Costco, and for packaging and distributing various products like sporting goods, cosmetics or cleaning items for household brand names.
U.S. Merchants, which also provides transportation and logistics services and patented the Pallet Program, expects to be operational in the next few months and hire between 600 to 700 people at the new facility with wages ranging from approximately $17 to $30 an hour depending on the position, Green said.
The search for first Arizona facility
U.S. Merchants started the search more than a year ago for its first Arizona facility and settled on a site in two months. It looked at Goodyear and Glendale, but ultimately chose the Cubes facility and started the process to buy the building last year, Green said.
“We were looking for something that wouldn’t be too far from our facilities in California,” Green told the Business Journal, adding that the company has a lot of customers in the state. “Arizona seems to be a perfect spot for us.”
The company also typically purchases buildings instead of leasing, Green said. “We like to make the investment in real estate and continue to grow within the community,” he added.
U.S. Merchants has multiple facilities across the U.S. and Canada.
The new facility will be located within the same business park as Williams-Sonoma Inc., which signed a lease for a 1.2 million-square-foot building at the Cubes last year. At full buildout, the Cubes will total about 5.5 million square feet.
Other companies that have recently announced plans to open large facilities in the West Valley include Puma, which signed one of the biggest industrial leases in 2022 for a 1 million-square-foot building in Glendale; and Winsupply and PepsiCo, which took down a total of 600,000 square feet in Goodyear.
The Phoenix metro was recently named one of the top five industrial markets to watch in the U.S. by Cushman & Wakefield alongside Nashville; Columbus, Ohio; Salt Lake City; and Savannah, Georgia.
The report said Phoenix has emerged as one of the fastest-growing industrial markets with more than 57 million square feet of leasing, or 51 million square feet of absorption, from 2019 to 2021. Developers also completed nearly 40 million square feet of new industrial space over that time, while another 33 million square feet is underway as of Q1 2022.
Recently, a newly completed 860,602-square-foot industrial building fully leased to Washington-based Funko Inc. sold for a record $130 million, one of the largest industrial building sales in the Valley in 2022.