Could reduce the city’s 10% unemployment rate
By Gabriela Rico
Arizona Daily Star
Massive commercial complex promises jobs for Casa Grande
A project fueled by foreign investors that holds the promise of creating thousands of jobs is scheduled to break ground by year’s end in Pinal County.
Called Phoenix Mart, the 1.5 million-square-foot commercial complex will be located on 500 acres in Casa Grande, about one mile east of the outlet mall on Florence Boulevard.
With a minimum investment of $500,000, foreigners receive conditional permanent residence in the U.S. and lease space in the mart to peddle everything from kitchen gadgets to hotel furniture.
They are required to create a minimum of 10 full-time, permanent jobs for U.S. workers within two years.
Already, 300 vendors have signed leases.
“It is exciting,” Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson said. “It’s really going to change the complexion of Pinal County.
“Think about 3,000 jobs in Tucson – that would be huge,” Jackson said. “Three thousand jobs in our area practically eliminates our unemployment problem.”
Casa Grande has a population of about 49,000 and 10 percent unemployment.
The mart will be able] to accommodate up to 1,800 vendors when built out, Jackson said. One-third will be from China; one-third from the U.S. and one-third from other countries.