Marana gains Ventana Medical distribution center

Construction of a 60,000-square-foot logistics and distribution center for Ventana Medical Systems is scheduled to begin by year’s end in Marana.

The center will be in Tangerine Commerce Park on Tangerine Road near Interstate 10.

Ventana will be the first tenant within the 100-acre business park and will lease the facility from Cottonwood Properties, whose affiliate company will oversee the construction.

Workers from Ventana’s current warehouse near Tucson Boulevard and Valencia Road will move to the new location once built, said Neil Lautaret, director of facilities and site services for Ventana, which is headquartered in Oro Valley.

There are about 40 employees at the current facility, which Ventana will no longer use once the move is complete.

“Future head-count growth for the warehouse function” will be at the new location, Lautaret wrote in an email, but he didn’t say how many jobs might be added.

“When Ventana began looking at a solution for our longer-term logistics requirements, the option of a facility closer to the main campus and near the I-10 corridor was highly desirable,” Lautaret wrote. “The custom build is designed to meet the needs of our employees, and it also supports Ventana sustainability objectives in a variety of ways.”

The Marana facility will function as a distribution center with some assembly to support Ventana’s Oro Valley operation.

“The Tangerine corridor is an ideal location for this type of development,” said Bill Di Vito, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, which represented Cottonwood Properties in the lease. Ventana was represented by Dev Gupta of DTZ.

“Freeway access and the availability of larger commercial parcels will attract other logistics and employment users to the area, establishing it as the next major commercial hub in greater Tucson,” Di Vito said. “I’m just so excited that this project is going to work.”

Marana officials applauded the announcement.

“Ventana has a well-deserved worldwide reputation for excellence in biosciences,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “Its presence in Marana will enhance our community and spark further economic development.”

The site is being designed by Gromatzky Dupree and Associates and will be constructed by Barker Morrissey Contracting. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year with completion slated for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Financial terms of the lease were not disclosed.

Ventana is a member of the Roche Group and develops tissue-based cancer diagnostic solutions. The company was founded in 1985 by University of Arizona pathologist Dr. Thomas Grogan. Ventana went public in 1996 and was acquired by Roche Holdings AG in 2008.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at

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