Scottsdale-based Axon won a State Land Trust auction last week, agreeing to pay $49.1 million for 74 acres of prime real estate near Loop 101 and Hayden Road.
The company plans to use the land to expand its Scottsdale headquarters.
The sale came just weeks after the Scottsdale City Council approved a deal to reimburse Axon $9.4 million for infrastructure improvements connected to the project.
The reimbursement plan is contingent on Axon meets construction and employment benchmarks following the expansion.
In order to receive its full reimbursement, Axon must build at least 250,000 square feet of commercial or manufacturing space and have a payroll of $130 million over any continuous 12-month period within five years of the state land auction.
As part of the deal, Axon agreed to reserve 4.5-6 acres for the city to build a fire station, water pump and potential future command center for events in the area.
The city agreed to pay Axon the same per acre price it paid for the larger parcel, which comes to about $663,514 per acre.
That means the city will owe Axon between $3 million and $4 million for the land.
Axon must still come back before the Scottsdale City Council to ask for rezoning on the new site to pave the way for its expansion.
According to the agreement with the city, Axon plans to request to rezone the property to I-1 industrial park zoning and will ask for amended standards to allow for buildings up to 82 feet tall – well above the 52 feet allowed under city code.
Axon’s successful land purchase coupled with the reimbursement from the city all but guarantees the homegrown Taser and body camera manufacturer will remain in Scottsdale for the foreseeable future.
That was not a given as recently as a few years ago when Axon agreed to purchase land on the nearby Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. But in 2019, Axon backed out after it was unable to secure design approval for its new headquarters from the SRPMIC.
The company could face similar issues in Scottsdale though, a city known for its stringent design guidelines.
Preliminary designs for the new Axon campus show a unique building that includes an illuminated 40-foot-wide sign bearing the company’s name, banding around the building in the company’s signature yellow and a futuristic illuminated lighting system.