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Publication: East Valley Tribune; Date: 06/24/2005

Businesses, party hail Loop 202 leg
Developers cite area?s potential, freeway access

Another stretch of Loop 202 slated to open Monday means another freewayopening party this weekend ? and another area of the East Valley lined up to reap the potential economic benefits.

A two-mile section of the Red Mountain stretch of the freeway will extend traffic from Higley Road to Power Road and add two freeway exits for a total of five in northeast Mesa.

"That?s an awful lot of freeway access for any neighborhood or any business district to have," said Bob McNichols, who is developing what he envisions as a high-end office park around a golf course just off Loop 202 at Higley Road.

The scheduled freeway opening comes one week after traffic was allowed on the Santan Freeway stretch of Loop 202 from Loop 101 to Arizona Avenue in Chandler.

As the freeway snakes around the north and south edges of the East Valley, each new segment makes another portion attractive to business interests by putting it within easy reach of millions more Valley residents.

Commercial real estate broker Marc Pierce said land values have gone up nearly 70 percent in the Falcon Field area since Loop 202 reached Higley. Now he?s marketing two large-scale office projects near Greenfield Road, one to be completed this fall and another that should be available for sale a year later. <

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