Motorola tower comes down to make way for new development

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Timber!

After more than 40 years the old Motorola radar tower came crashing down on Saturday morning.

There are plans to build a 136 acre mixed-use office park on the site.

“We basically cut the bolts, put the cables to it and pulled it over,” said Jim Wentworth, Jr., principal of Wentworth Property Company, which owns the property.

“We're putting a new road in, putting in 900 new trees, new water features, basically to bring this campus back to life,” said Wentworth.

It's a ten year project at the northwest corner of Elliott Road and the Loop 101.

“It'll provide great jobs for Tempe residents, others in the valley and will generate property taxes for our school districts and provide additional amenities for our surrounding neighborhoods,” commented Tempe mayor Hugh Hallman.

Wentworth said the site will be bike-commuter friendly with a couple of hotels and business buildings as well. 

The tower was built in the mid-1970s to test Motorola’s radar technologies. Large military communications trucks would come to the site for system and equipment testing. Motorola stopped using the tower as a testing site in the mid-1980s. Since then the tower has been used by a Motorola amateur radio club, a Freescale HAM radio club and as a T-Mobile cell phone tower.

“A piece of the tower will be preserved on the campus to honor the legacy of the scientists and innovators who fundamentally changed how we share information,” said Wentworth, Jr.