The Williams Gateway Airport Authority will begin seeking developers who can foot the bill for up to $30 million in infrastructure to open part of its property for business.
One developer, though, said the terms are unrealistic.
Fred Himovitz, who is part of a group behind an unsolicited proposal for the land, said the authority is asking for too much money.
While he and authority staff already have found companies interested in locating in the south industrial area, he said, the infrastructure investment goes way beyond what he had in mind.
"If we make a mistake, we end up making a big mistake," he said.
Himovitz has built four buildings on the airport and has three more in the planning stages.
The airport authority’s board voted 4-0 Monday to have staff advertise a request for proposals to developers with the means to bring the necessary roads, taxiway improvements, utilities and other improvements for all or part of 400 acres on the south side of the airport.
The developer would assume responsibility for the long-term leasing of the land that doesn’t border the runway, though the airport would retain ownership.
Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek and the Gila River Indian Community own the airport, and their mayors and tribal president sit on the airport authority board.
Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker suggested hiring a consultant to plan the area for the authority.
"If we’re having one person come in and do the entire 400 acres, I’m not sure we’re going to get any responses that makes financial sense for the airport," he said.
Airport authority development director Casey Denny said he delayed bringing the draft request for proposals after getting an unsolicited proposal for the area, but decided it would be best to open the process to other companies.
Denny said he may modify the request for proposals to address developer and board concerns, and hopes to have it ready to be advertised by the end of the month.