TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Work has started on the North American Logistics, Trade and E-Commerce City (NALTEC) in Casa Grande.
When it is complete, it will be a 585 acre "city within a city" including apartments, hotels, offices, houses and even a resort. It will all be centered around PhoenixMart, a shopping center that will be the first-of-its-kind in the Western Hemisphere.
It is meant to simplify distribution for thousands of American manufacturers by putting all options in one place.
"When a retail buyer, or a buyer for a retail chain for instance or department store, goes to market to source the products they're going to offer their customers, they're still doing it in a way that's been done for decades," said Vice President Mike Harris.
PhoenixMart is expected to be ready by the end of 2015. It will have space for 1,740 manufacturers.
The construction of PhoenixMart is phase one of the NALTEC project, and work on the entranceway has begun. Phase two will add buildings for bigger manufacturers.
PhoenixMart alone is projected to create 3,500 jobs in the building and more than 10,000 jobs across the country.
PhoenixMart will be a 1.6 million-square-foot building that will cost $150 million to complete. It is all paid for by 300 private, foreign investors through the U.S. government program called the Immigrant Investor Program or "EB-5".
This program allows people in other countries to invest $500,000 in businesses in areas like Casa Grande, as long as it creates at least 10 new American jobs, in exchange for a temporary green card.
Harris said they already have manufacturers lines up for when PhoenixMart opens, but he could not tell 9 On Your Side which ones yet.