A Texas-based real estate investment firm purchased the 152-acre Motorola campus and plans to create "a world-class destination for advances in science and technology" on the site.
Located on Price Road, between Germann and Queen Creek roads, the expansive property includes a two-story, 512,000-square-foot hybrid corporate office and research and development facility.
It has been empty since Motorola left Chandler, consolidating its East Valley operations in Tempe, nearly a year ago.
Austin, Texas-based Capital Commercial Investment, which is a partner in more than 100 commercial property acquisitions around the United States, did not disclose terms of the deal.
The investors were attracted to the property's high-tech amenities, Chandler's highly educated work force and the city's business-friendliness, said Luke Walker of CB Richard Ellis, who brokered the deal.
"We are exploring the creation of a world-class destination for advances in science and technology. The Price Corridor and the city of Chandler are a natural fit for the types of companies, universities and organizations that we could attract," Karl James, managing director of Capital Commercial, said in a prepared statement about the massive purchase.
Chandler's "pro-business environment, along with its ability to promote growth through innovation and solid planning, greatly influenced our decision to purchase this site," James added.
Walker said the building's dedicated electrical substation, ample water supply and multiple fiber redundancies, and the Price Corridor's ultrapure nitrogen line, will make it easy to lease to the type of tenants that can fulfill the new owner's vision for the property.
"Despite the current economic climate, we have tremendous tenant activity from expanding industries, such as renewable energy, semiconductor and nanotechnology, as well as a few corporate and regional headquarters for advanced business services," Walker said.
Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn said he envisions the campus as "a cornerstone for the innovation and scientific advances we expect to see in Chandler."
And it will mean thousands of new, high-salaried jobs in the city, said Christine Mackay, Chandler's economic development director.
As many as 2,500 worked there in Motorola's flush years, Mackay said. She expects the campus to eventually house many more than that as a signature technology park.
"It's a phenomenal location for that," she said.
The property will require rezoning to convert from a single tenant building, a process that should proceed smoothly, Mackay said.
"I don't anticipate any zoning problems since we're on exactly the same page," she said. "(Capital Commercial) is such a quality organization, and this is such a great opportunity for creating quality jobs in that facility."
The city has been able to remain strong despite the recession because of the mayor and City Council's dedication to creating quality jobs, Mackay said. That emphasis made the loss of Motorola in October particularly worrisome, she said.
"Anytime you have a half-million-square-foot building vacant, it's a concern," she said.
But the aggressive marketing of the property and having the high-tech amenities to pitch paid off, she said.
Walker said he has several tenants interested in the property pending rezoning, but he would not specify a timeline for filling up the gargantuan space.