[GUEST COLUMN] Investing In South Phoenix

By Kevin Czerwinski | AZ Big Media

You can learn a lot by talking to your neighbors, or future neighbors. My company, Merit Partners, is planning a $100+ million industrial park in south Phoenix. The company is transforming an old and blighted former cement plant into a robust business park which will provide as many as 1,000 jobs, mostly light industrial such as packing and shipping.

In addition to the construction costs, Merit is spending $11 million on a much-needed environmental cleanup of the site. The site sits next to the Rio Salado and borders a City of Phoenix trail.

Kevin Czerwinski is principal and president at Merit Partners.

As cleanup is winding down and construction is ramping up, we thought it would be a good idea to meet our future neighbors. We held a celebration at the site with a local food truck and a live DJ from the area. We passed out brochures of the site plan. We talked with the community and we listened to their concerns.

We heard from community leaders and residents who told us about the need for jobs in an area hard hit by unemployment in a COVID economy. We heard from longtime residents who were tired of the river bed being trashed. We heard from business leaders eager to see the area revitalized. We heard from local artists about on site murals. We heard from neighbors determined to see the Rio Salado restored.

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