Willmeng Construction Inc., a Phoenix-based commercial general contractor, hosted the ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 12, launching the opening of a 633,000-square-foot build-to-suit campus for Northrop Grumman, which will serve as the home for their launch vehicles business. This office and manufacturing facility which supports national defense and aerospace, was developed by the Douglas Allred Company, San Diego, Calif., within their 180-acre Park Place Business Park in Chandler, Ariz.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, along with a long list of state and city elected officials, and top executives from Northrop Grumman, Douglas Allred Company and Willmeng Construction discussed the impact this new facility will have on national defense and aerospace for both missile defense and space launch vehicle programs.
Northrop Grumman products built here support the United States of America’s missile defense program, including interceptors and targets as well as satellite launches for the U.S. Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and commercial customers. The Chandler campus currently employs over 2,500 employees with future growth opportunities.
“Arizona is a national leader in aerospace and defense technology, and Northrop Grumman is a major contributor to this critical industry in our state,” said Gov. Ducey. “Arizona is proud to be chosen as the home for this important headquarters, and we thank Northrop Grumman for continuing to invest and expand in our state.”
This is the latest example of how custom build-to-suit building construction like the Northrop Grumman facility are able to accelerate the building process, spur on more corporate relocations, increase jobs and drive economic development in areas throughout the Valley. Willmeng Construction began work in 2017, executing tenant improvements on multiple buildings in Chandler for Northrop Grumman (formerly Orbital ATK). In 2018, Northrop Grumman acquired Orbital ATK, increasing their need for expansion in the Valley, and in 17 months one of the largest office and manufacturing facilities in the Valley was completed.
“The facility is a reflection of the vision that the team at the Douglas Allred Company has to strategically create appealing and unique campus environments,” said James Murphy, president and CEO of Willmeng Construction. “We were proud to take on the challenge of building this facility at a speed that is truly unparalleled in the market, achieving the unachievable to ensure there is were no disruption to the important work accomplished at Northrop Grumman. We were truly working to support a launch schedule.”
The groundbreaking of the facility in March 2018, located at 1575 S. Price Road along one of Metropolitan Phoenix’s fastest-growing employment and innovation corridors at the intersection of the Loop 101 and 202 freeways, marked the beginning of one of the largest construction projects in Phoenix in recent years. The project was designed by Wes Balmer Architects, Phoenix, and was constructed and delivered in 17 months--completing a process that normally takes more than two years. Throughout the process, Willmeng phased the project, receiving 45 separate permits to achieve the accelerated schedule required for Northrop Grumman’s completion deadline.
“We have a rich heritage here in Arizona that spans more than three decades, and our business here continues to grow rapidly,” said Blake Larson, President, Innovation Systems, Northrop Grumman. “This beautiful new facility will provide an improved work environment for our employees, provide a clean slate to work from to improve our efficiencies, and give us more room for growth. I extend my gratitude to this incredible team who came together for mission success.”
"Northrop Grumman’s investment in our Community of Innovation will continue the City’s trajectory of economic competitiveness for years to come,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “I commend Douglas Allred Company’s vision to develop the Park Place Campus, and Willmeng Construction for their professionalism and efforts to get a project of this magnitude completed on time.”