As the recession in Arizona transitions to recovery, a massive West Valley industrial park project is rising high in the Valley of the Sun. The first component of the development is the 1.5-million-sq-ft Prologis Park Riverside Building, one of the largest build-to-suit warehousing projects ever constructed in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Built by the Phoenix office of Layton Construction Co., the building is on schedule for delivery in August.

Framingham, Mass.-based retail giant TJX—parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and other stores—will use the cross-dock distribution and fulfillment warehouse as a Marshalls Distribution Center to serve its stores throughout the West.

Incorporating concrete tilt panels—some reaching more than 65 feet high—and extensive super-flat floors, the $85-million project is the largest of three buildings comprising the 155-acre master-planned industrial park developed by the Phoenix office of Prologis.

Serving a variety of functions, three connected buildings each feature unique clear heights and construction challenges. A 30,388-sq-ft LEED-targeted 26-ft-clear-height office area is set on the north elevation. A 688,896-sq-ft low-bay short-term storage area rises to 32 feet of clear height and includes 379,008 sq ft of mezzanine for sorting and oversized delivery as well as shipping speed-bays on the south and north. On the west side is 419,520 sq ft of 52-ft-clear-height high-bay, where longer-term inventory can be stored.

Although not the largest warehousing facility ever built in the Phoenix area, the Marshalls Distribution Center has put up big numbers: 250,000 cu yd of earthwork; 26 acres of decomposed granite; 75,000 cu yd of concrete; 2 million lb of steel rebar; 305 concrete tilt panels; more than 48,300 CMU blocks; 1,750 tons of structural steel; 1,005 columns and 287 beams; 8,030 joists and girders; 1,420 tons of deck and 1,413,000 deck pins; 1.3 million sq ft of insulation and 1,512 linear ft of insulation support wires; 1.5 million linear ft of wire; 1,790 tons of cooling; and more than 500 trees and 5,000 plants.

Marshalling the Troops

During design, an insurance-mandated 552-ft-long self-supported tilt-up concrete wall was included to separate the low-bay and high-bay areas. On the east side, additional end columns were placed for a future 200,000-sq-ft expansion.

These building heights challenged the project team, particularly in meeting Phoenix code requirements, says Brock Grayson, principal for the Scottsdale office of architect Ware Malcomb.

"The height of the building reached the very maximum allowed for a building with Type V-B construction," Grayson says, adding that the size of the mezzanine/equipment platform also came in at just allowable limits for the building type.

"The Marshalls Distribution Center will be the largest industrial building built by Ware Malcomb in its 40-year history," he says. "That's saying something, considering we design large industrial buildings all over the country."

The structure of the high-bay portion is formed by 305 tilt panels, ranging from 44.5 ft high to 65.5 ft high from the footings. Some panels are stepped down 2 ft to break up the elevation, says John G. Sirrine, Layton's construction manager. The largest are 13 in. thick and 15 ft wide, requiring a 300-ton crane rented from Marco Crane, Phoenix, to install.

Coordinating the procurement and erection of 1,750 tons of structural steel necessitated ordering early from the mills and tracking manufacturing and shipping to the steel contractor, Triad Steel Services, Phoenix.

As this was done, Triad and specialty contractors prepared detailed shop drawings, Sirrine says.

"When we received the raw materials and the approved shop drawings, the fabrication of columns, beams, stairs, rails and embedded items could begin," Sirrine adds. "Along with this process was the fabrication of steel joist and deck from specialized manufacturers. Next was orchestrating delivery of many truckloads of material, offloading, assembling sections and erecting it in place."