Ak-Chin Indian Community Industrial Park Board
The Ak-Chin Industrial Park Board was established by the Ak-Chin Community Council to develop, operate and manage the Communityís industrial properties. It is the mission of the Board to create a business environment which offers significant advantages to its tenants and encourages business innovation and jobs growth for both the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the surrounding communities at large.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is adjacent to the City of Maricopa, just over 18 miles southwest of Phoenix city limits, and 34 miles from Sky Harbor International Airport. The Reservation currently encompasses an area of approximately 22,000 acres, of which approximately 16,000 are devoted to the Community's agricultural operations. Ak-Chin's industrial park, Santa Cruz Commerce Center, is located on the southern tip of the Greater Phoenix area and on the eastern edge of the Reservation, between the cities of Maricopa and Casa Grande in Pinal County, Arizona.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is governed by a 5 member Community Council, which oversees the governmental operations and departments that service the Community of Ak-Chin. The Council is committed to long-term growth and economic diversification in the Community and has established a proven track record of economic development leadership.
Lease approvals and construction plans follow a process similar to any municipality, but at Ak-Chin, can be accomplished at a much faster pace. Potential tenants are vetted by the Industrial Park Board, who works out the lease terms. Upon the Board's recommendation and after acceptance of the tenant and lease terms by the Council, construction plans are reviewed by Ak-Chinís Planning & Zoning Commission for environmental, cultural, and technical issues.
Leasing on a reservation has distinct advantages that go beyond off-reservation leasing. When looking to locate at Santa Cruz Commerce Center, for example, qualified lessees have the opportunity to enter into a build-to-suit project where construction costs are rolled into a long-term lease. You don't have the initial capital outlay and Ak-Chin acts as the bank so there is no need to acquire outside financing. In addition, there are no property taxes, construction taxes, no City or County taxes, and since Ak-Chin owns its own electric and water/wastewater utilities, not only are the rates substantially lower than off-Reservation properties, there are also no taxes or adders on utilities. Moreover, unlike most publicly-offered incentives, on-Reservation incentives, such as accelerated depreciation, do not expire.
Until recently, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on behalf of the Secretary of Interior, had to approve all leases on reservations, but with the passing of the HEARTH Act in 2012, tribes were given the ability to control their own residential and commercial leases once they applied and were approved. The Ak-Chin Indian Community was one of the first tribes to do so.
In todayís economy and real estate market, it isnít always easy to find sites where governing bodies do what they say and deliver what they promise. Ak-Chin has proven it's a great place to grow your business.