Wednesday, February 17, 2021 / by Juan Grimaldo
A 1,100-acre site in Goodyear — which was identified by sources with knowledge of the deal as a site Samsung is eyeing for its $17 billion manufacturing plant — will be sold at auction in April.
The Arizona State Land Department, which owns the site, scheduled the auction for April 21. The minimum bid on the land is $127.71 million, according to state documents.
The site, bounded by Indian School Road to the north, Perryville Road to the west, Citrus Road to the east and McDowell Road to the south, was recently designated as a foreign trade zone by the city.
The city documents do not identify the potential user but do say it is a known user.
According to Goodyear city documents, in order to qualify as a user-driven foreign trade zone in the city, a capital expenditure of at least $25 million must be made in the development of a project, manufacturing operations must be carried out in at least 75,000 square feet of a building, the employer must agree to employ a minimum of 75 people with more than half paid at least 125% of the median annual wage and full-time employees must be offered 75% of health insurance premium paid by the employer.
The proposed project for that site would meet or exceed all the criteria, according to city documents. The foreign trade zone designation provides a property tax benefit by reducing the real and personal property tax assessment ratio to 5% from 18%.
Samsung is eyeing sites in the Valley, Austin, Texas and in Genesee County, New York for its plant, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The proposed chip making plant would create 1,900 jobs and would open by October 2022, the WSJ reported.
Samsung has been negotiating with city and county officials in Texas for a set of massive tax breaks the company has requested. According to the documents filed in Texas, Samsung is requesting five years of 50% property tax abatement, totaling more than $87 million, from the city of Austin, plus 20 years of 100% property tax abatement from Travis County. Combined, these incentives agreements could save the company nearly $805.5 million over the course of two decades, the Austin Business Journal reported.
The Goodyear property and a parcel in Central Texas that has been rumored to be a potential site for Samsung were both identified as “Project Spring” in documents in their respective cities.
Phoenix sources with knowledge of the deal have also said sites in Phoenix and Queen Creek have been under consideration for the project.
The size of the parcel up for auction in April is comparable to what Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. bought for its plant in north Phoenix. TSMC purchased property in a state land auction for $89 million, but that area is much more remote than the Goodyear site.
At the time TSMC bought its land, city of Phoenix officials said the only other sites within the city of Phoenix that could accommodate a development that size are along the South Mountain extension of Loop 202.