Dominic M. Perry, CCIM, Vice President at GPE Commercial Advisors has been appointed to the City of Mesa Economic Development Advisory Board. The Economic Development Advisory Board acts as the advisory board to the Mesa City Council on matters pertaining to economic development, including goal setting, strategic planning, marketing and business recruitment, retention and expansion.
“We look forward to Mr. Perry joining the City of Mesa Economic Development Advisory Board,” Bill Jabjiniak, City of Mesa Economic Development Director. “His wealth of knowledge and experience as a real estate broker focused on several key industry sectors including tenant representation will be a welcome addition to the Board.”
As mentioned on the City of Mesa’s website, “Mesa residents are invited to participate in the process of City of Mesa government. One of the most effective ways to provide input is through service on one of the City’s citizen advisory boards and committees. Through this service, civic-minded citizens become involved in their local government and make recommendations to the Mesa City Council. The City, in turn, benefits from the knowledge, experience and expertise of citizens.”
“On behalf of all of us at GPE we are proud that Dominic has been selected to serve on the City of Mesa Economic Development Advisory Board. His years of experience will bring tremendous value to the City. And as a resident of Mesa I am confident that the Board will greatly benefit from his knowledge.” David M. Genovese, President of GPE Companies.
Last November, members of the commercial real estate industry helped turn a dilapidated, World War II housing facility into one where a community can thrive.
Just a few months prior to the completion of Valley Partnership’s 2013 community project, the Escobedo at Verde Vista development, it was an abandoned complex that had fallen victim to poverty. Where others saw hopeless housing, Save the Family, Valley Partnership, and Gorman & Co. saw a promising future for a large population of Mesa’s homeless and poverty-stricken community. The three put their heads together and hands to work to bring light and life to this Mesa neighborhood that had been left in the dark.
For the past 26 years, Valley Partnership has selected a nonprofit organization to be the recipient of its community service project. Its 2013 selection was Save the Family, an organization that provides housing and life skills to the homeless and impoverished in the Phoenix Metro.
Even with 25 years and $3.5M of community projects up its sleeve, the Escobedo project brought new challenges and “firsts.” To begin, it was Valley Partnership’s first ground-up redevelopment project. The existing foundations were crumbling and had to be completely rebuilt.
“The original units were built to be housing for British and black Americans that were training at Falcon Field during World War II,” says Jacki Taylor, CEO of Save the Family Foundation. Post-war, the units served as segregated housing until eight years ago, when the City of Mesa began evacuating the buildings because of decreasing structural stability. Time and money were needed to get the housing to a habitable state and that is where “the dream team” came in.
This development would require extensive construction, which brought Valley Partnership another “first” — the need for city approval and permits for a re-design. Since this was the first community project Valley Partnership had done in the City of Mesa, there were even more new rules and hoops to jump through. Despite the additional work required by all parties involved, the rebuilding of the Washington-Escobedo neighborhood “came together better than we could have hoped for,” said project co-chair Dena Jones.
The 70 units built were filled almost immediately after construction was completed. A waiting list for families hoping to join the community continues to grow. This project “totally changed the complexion of this neighborhood,” said Taylor. What used to be boarded-up, graffiti-laden and crumbling buildings is now a community of homes, classrooms, computer labs and gym facilities.
“We were all committed to making a difference and working together,” said Jones. “The teams from Gorman, Save the Family, City of Mesa, Tofel Construction and the project sponsors were so wonderful to work with and I cannot thank them enough for giving us the opportunity to take part in the legacy of Escobedo at Verde Vista.”
And the public has definitely noticed. Brian Swanton, AZ Market President for Gorman and Company Inc. said the Escobedo project “has been lauded for its success in revitalizing a boarded-up and vacant eyesore in the middle of this single-family neighborhood.”
What is in store for Valley Partnership’s 2014 project? They are in the final stages of deciding whom to partner up with for this year, but Jones knows that whomever they chose, Valley Partnership will be taking much of what they learned from the Escobedo project with them. “Our partnership is comprised of so many talented and hard working professionals committed to giving back. Engaging the committee members during the time we spend together and growing our committee will continue to be a focus for 2014.”
The Landing at Gateway
Developer: Streamline Construction and Development Corporation
General Contractor: TBD
Architect: Saemisch + Di Bella Architects
Location: SEC of Power and Warner roads, Mesa, Ariz.
Brokerage Firm: KW Commercial
Estimated start and completion dates: May 2014 to December 2015
The Landing at Gateway is a development within a growing area of the Mesa, Ariz., that establishes a complementary mix of commercial and employment opportunities. The project has been designed with several components as the central organizing elements for the development of the property. Of these elements, the most important is “Connections.” This development proposes a variety of uses: retail, large retail/hospitality and office/employment. It is important that there be successful “connections” between these uses.
Accordingly a significant amount of consideration has been given to the design and integration of the pedestrian, vehicular and architectural elements of the development pattern. The focus will be pedestrian connections and associated green spaces. The parking fields are decentralized but balanced with the uses, meaning there is sufficient parking associated with each area for daily typical use, but also allow for cross over parking areas connected with pedestrian elements.
Comprised of 57 acres, The Landing at Gateway is located at the heart of the biggest explosion of growth in Arizona. Most recently the area became home to several international corporations; Grand Canyon University’s 100-acre campus and, of course, Apple with their initial 1.3 million square foot production facility, scheduled to double in the next three years.
The Landing at Gateway is a development project within the technology and education corridor – the fastest growing area in the Valley of the Sun. Adjacent to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and it’s 1.5 million passengers this year as well the Eastmark planned community with 15,000 new homes.
The design and form for the project emphasizes pedestrian connections throughout, between employment, dining, shopping and entertainment uses. The project will contain over 210KSF of oﬃce and more than 300KSF of retail and hospitality uses.
The site oﬀers the best visibility and exposure from the freeway of any comparable development, existing or planned.
Cited as one of the Best to Invest Top U.S. Groups of 2013, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has once again made Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking for top U.S. Economic Development Groups.
“This recognition is a reflection of our elected and business leaders working together to promote Greater Phoenix and Arizona as business friendly,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The Arizona Competitiveness Package of 2011 and subsequent economic development policies have dramatically shifted our market’s competitive position towards advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries.”
The ranking took into account four objective categories: new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents. “This year’s Best to Invest Top Groups in the U.S. all demonstrated an ability to reach new markets while reaping significant reinvestments from their existing industries,” said Ron Starner, general manager and executive vice president of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection magazine.
The magazine also features a ranking for top North American deals of 2013, highlighting the Apple, Inc. locate to Mesa, Ariz. The collaboration included a partnership between GPEC, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the city of Mesa, DMB Associates, Maricopa County, and Salt River Project.
Several factors contributed to determining the Top Deals of 2013, including: level of capital investment, degree of high-wage jobs, creativity in negotiations and incentives, regional economic impact, competition for the project and speed to market. “Trends among this elite group of projects include a penchant for free trade zones and an awareness that sometimes facility reuse is as good as brand new,” said Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection.
Broome credits the successful consummation of the project to “years of work on infrastructure, permitting, and crafting performance-based incentives.” He also cited the ability to offer a “turnkey real estate option” as a key factor in sealing the deal.
It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, which means that this weekend will have plenty of lovely events to attend. Watch the sad love story of “La Bayadère: The Temple Dancer” at Arizona Ballet or see the majestic Arabian Horse Show and be awed by the beautiful creatures. No matter what you do this weekend, make sure beauty is part of it. Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying these events with the hashtag #SL5 and follow us @scottsdaleliving on Instagram!
Art Laboe’s Valentine’s Super Love Jam
All the classic R&B oldies are coming to U.S. Airways this Thursday for a jamming love concert that will bring you back to the good old days. With 11 acts performing, such as The Intruders, Malo, and Sunny and the Sunliners listen to all the lovey songs that line your memories.
US Airways Center Feb. 14th @7:30 p.m. get tickets at ticketmaster.com
Arabian Horse Show @ WestWorld
Kicking off this Thursday is the 59th annual Arabian Horse Show. Thousands of exotic horses will be at the show trying to win and be presented as the best breed horse. Tickets can be bought from ticketmaster.com or at the door for $10.
VNSA Book Sale
Heaven is a library, or a book sale with enough books to fill an entire warehouse. The VNSA Book Sale surely has that many books for sale this weekend to satisfy anyone no matter what book you’re looking for. Head to the Arizona State Fairgrounds Exhibit Building this Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m. and shop for knowledge until you can’t shop anymore.
“La Bayadere: The Temple Dancer” @ Ballet Arizona
This weekend, watch Ballet Arizona perform the classic story of a love that could never come into fruition. The Indian tale of a young warrior and temple dancer that only unite in death will leave your heartbroken this Valentine’s Day weekend. The Phoenix Symphony will perform alongside the ballet at the Symphony Hall. Tickets are on sale at Ballet Arizona Box Office at 2835 E. Washington St. or call 602-381-1096
Arizona Cocktail Week
Get your drink on starting this Friday, Valentine’s Day, for an entire week as Arizona Cocktail Week kicks off for another fun round of drinks. Visit arizonacocktailweek.com to find out which bars and cocktail lounges in the Valley are participating. Be ready to drink and have a good time all across the valley, and submerge yourself in the state’s fine cocktail culture.
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate:
Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolates and Fine Art
Indulge in the truly finer things in life: chocolate and art. Carefree is hosting this free festival to cater to everyone with a sweet tooth and a fine sense in art this weekend. Bring the family or bring that special someone in your life and guarantee a great time. The festival kicks off on Thursday at noon and ends at 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday the event begins at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The festival is at 101 Easy Street on the Carefree Desert gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion.
Chocolate Lovers’ Festival
All aboard the chocolate train! Verde Canyon Railroad is filling its first class cars with chocolate with a view of the Verde Canyon. Visit verdecanyonrr.com/events/ to book your ticket for the chocolate festival that is happening this Friday-Sunday.
Chocolate, Chili and Cochineal
Head to the Heard Museum this weekend and learn of the origins of all your favorite foods that started in the Americas. Plus, learn all about the tiny insect who loves to eat prickly pear cactus and became the source of a brilliant red dye coveted by sixteenth-century Spanish conquistadors. The exhibit opens this Sunday and runs through November. Head to heard.org for more information
Valentine X – Candlelit Night of Horror at the 13th Floor
Dive into the other well-known side of Valentines day, the horror. 13th Floor is hosting a haunted house that is sure to leave you absolutely terrified whether you’re with a date or not. This Friday and Saturday, come to the 13th floor and feel real fear. The house opens at 7:30 and closes at 10:30 p.m., 2814 W. Bell Rd. in Phoenix
Voodoo Tines: Anti-Valentine’s Day @ Hula’s Modern Tiki
No one showing you love today? Get back at the ones who’ve wronged you with an ice cold round of revenge! Bring a picture of your ex and smack it on a custom voodoo doll as you have your revenge upon him or her this Valentine’s Day. Call 602-265-8454 for more information or come to 4700 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix
Apple Inc. says it will open a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will eventually employ 700 workers.
“Apple’s presence in the region will be a game-changer for the Greater Phoenix area, its innovation landscape and future ability to attract other high-tech companies,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Between their plans to hire 700 direct employees and run completely on renewable energy, I’m convinced Apple could not have chosen a better location than Mesa and Eastmark. This deal is the result of the cooperation and support of several parties, including Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri, City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, DMB Associates, the ACA and SRP, whose infrastructure will enable more projects to move forward in the surrounding area.”
The Cupertino, Calif., maker of the iPhone confirmed Monday that it is expanding its U.S. manufacturing operations in a former First Solar plant in Mesa. The city southeast of Phoenix already hosts a long list of high-tech manufacturing firms.
About 1,300 construction jobs will also be created as the First Solar plant designed to make thin-film solar panels is converted. The company sold the plant last month.
Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet says the plant will be powered with renewable energy provided by local utility Salt River Project.
Gov. Jan Brewer said Apple’s decision to come to Arizona is a sign that the state’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate are paying off.
The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) today announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2014 fiscal year, as approved by the Executive Committee.
Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will continue to lead the Board of Directors as chairman.
“As the economy continues to improve, GPEC’s team of results-driven board directors will work to ensure the region not only maintains its trajectory but also pushes toward a more diversified and sustainable economy that is less dependent on growth industries like real estate and construction,” Lundy said. “I’m honored to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to a productive year.”
Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith and Empire Southwest Executive Vice President Chris Zaharis as vice chairs, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP Partner R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.
New Board Directors include: Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro; the Honorable Denny Barney, District 1 Supervisor for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Scott Bradley, Area Vice President for Waste Management; Mark Clatt, Area President for Republic Services; the Honorable Vincent Francia, Mayor of the Town of Cave Creek; Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona; Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa; the Honorable Michael LeVault, Mayor of the Town of Youngtown; Rich Marchant, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing; Ryan Nouis, Co-Founder and President of Job Brokers; and Eric Orsborn, Councilmember for the Town of Buckeye.
“GPEC’s success is largely driven by its strong Board of Directors, all of whom reflect the region and state’s most accomplished professionals,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Every single one of them truly cares about our market’s success and serves as a community thought leader when it comes to competitiveness.”
Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved during GPEC’s Annual Board meeting.
GPEC FY 2014 Board of Directors:
James Lundy – Chairman
Alliance Bank of Arizona
Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
Chris Zaharis – Vice Chair
Executive Vice President
Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company
R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Bryan Cave, LLP
William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
University of Phoenix
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Richard C. Adkerson
President and CEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold
Government Affairs Manager
Ernst & Young LLP
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered
Michael Crow, Ph.D.
Arizona State University
Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
President and CEO
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies
Ann Weaver Hart, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation
Executive Vice President, Global Operations
Crescent Crown Distributing
Salt River Project
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona
Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and
Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.
Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Richard B. West, III
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
County Supervisor-District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Principal and Partner
The Honorable Robert Barrett
City of Peoria
Area Vice President, Four Corners Area
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Wyatt Decker, M.D.
Mayo Clinic Arizona
Director of Project Development
The Honorable Vincent Francia
Town of Cave Creek
Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Maricopa Community Colleges
Snell and Wilmer
G. Todd Hardy
Vice President of Assets
Phoenix City President
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona
Economic Development Director
City of Mesa
The Honorable Robert Jackson
City of Casa Grande
The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Town of Fountain Hills
The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
The Honorable Michael LeVault
Town of Youngtown
The Honorable John Lewis
Town of Gilbert
The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
City of Avondale
The Honorable Georgia Lord
City of Goodyear
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson
The Honorable Mark Mitchell
City of Tempe
Co-Founder & President
Town of Buckeye
Rancho de Los Caballeros
The Honorable Christian Price
City of Maricopa
Zions Energy Link
The Honorable Jeff Serdy
City of Apache Junction
Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
Sandia Research Corporation
James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
City of Chandler
D.L. Withers Construction
The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
City of Surprise
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca
With spring training in the rearview mirror and the 2013 Major League Baseball season in full swing, work continues at a fever pitch at the Chicago Cubs Riverview Park facility in Mesa.
The new facility, scheduled to be ready for the 2014 Cactus League season, is a collaborative effort by the City of Mesa and the Chicago Cubs to create a year-round destination near the Loops 101 and 202 interchange in northwest Mesa.
The 140-acre project is transforming the Riverview Municipal Golf Course into a new 15,000-seat stadium, six ball fields, and a 63,000 SF clubhouse.
General contractor is Hunt Construction Group; architects are Populous and the Phoenix office of DWL Architects + Planners.
The clubhouse features the largest weight training and conditioning space of any spring training facility, separate locker rooms for the major and minor league players, and a 120-seat theater for team meetings. It will also house the Cubs’ West Coast business offices.
Riverview Park, east of the spring training facility, is being renovated with a 24-foot deep lake and an east-west paseo linking it to the new stadium. Its many amenities — fishing, picnicking, kids adventure playground, soccer and softball fields — will offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the remaining day at the park after attending a ball game.
Also in the works is the development of the Wrigleyville West commercial district located next to the new stadium.
Work on the $90M project began in March 2012. The clubhouse is expected to be completed by September, with the stadium expected to be completed by December.
Imagine Arizona as the energy hub of the Southwest — where major regional transmission lines tie into infrastructure in the state and serve a growing regional demand for energy. Arizona would be a place where an increasing percentage of jobs are related to the energy industry, whether in manufacturing, generation, transmission, energy efficiency, service or technology innovation. Many of these jobs would be higher-wage jobs requiring a skilled labor force fed by Arizona’s schools and universities. Arizona could be a hub of energy-sector jobs, with factories making equipment for the industry and power plants shipping electricity to neighboring states via new power lines, all contributing to a better economy.
That is the essence of the Arizona Energy Consortium’s Energy Roadmap, which the group hopes with be a catalyst for the state’s energy industry in the same way Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap helped the state increase bioscience jobs by 41 percent and helped increase the number of bioscience establishments by 27 percent during its 10-year plan.
“It was important to create this document to give the energy industry a unified voice and direction,” said said Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the AEC and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “The energy industry is going to be here forever. We are always going to need energy. So the Roadmap was designed to make the industry better for everyone — consumers, developers, legislators. So it was critical that we get it right.”
This is the vision the Roadmap hopes to realize over the next decade: Arizona is the energy hub of the Southwest, with a diverse energy mix supporting reliable transmission, a strong base of manufacturing facilities, increased numbers of higher wage jobs, and world-class research institutions, resulting in increased economic development for the state and region.
Once that vision is realized, De Blasi said the state can expect to reap these benefits:
• Enhanced job creation and higher-wage jobs within Arizona
• Increased state economic revenue
• Enhanced energy export potential
• Heightened energy self-sufficiency and national and state security
• Increased transmission reliability
• Continued low cost energy
“This Roadmap is going to help Arizona be looked at differently from outside its borders,” said Chris Davey, co-chair with De Blasi of the AEC and president of EnviroMission, which is developing a solar tower in Western Arizona. “The Roadmap will create a sense of certainty, which appeals to the finance community. So when they are looking to invest, that certainty creates a more attractive environment for developers and investors.”
Davey and De Blasi said they will be rolling out the Roadmap this year, presenting it to groups throughout the state. For more information on the Roadmap, visit aztechcouncil.org.
Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy
Arizona Public Service
Bridge Strategy Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
City of Mesa, the Office of the Mayor
Energy Services Coalition
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
The Green Chamber – Greater Phoenix
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
J.D. Porter & Associates
Ormond Group, LLC
RG Schmelzer, Inc.
Salt River Project
Tucson Electric Power
Private investor Buckeye Casa Grande LP assembled and purchased ±610 acres in Mesa along Ellsworth and Pecos roads, in the former Williams Trade Zone.
Brent Moser, Mike Sutton and Brooks Griffith with Cassidy Turley Arizona’s Land Group represented the buyer during the transaction.
The $25M sale included three parcels that were part of an original assemblage of four properties totaling more than 900 acres put together between 2005 and 2007 by Paragon. A majority of the land eventually went back to lenders.
The ±610-acre purchase by Buckeye Casa Grande LP included ±310-acres on the SEC of Pecos and Ellsworth that was sold by Enterprise Bank, ±229-acres on the NWC of Pecos and Ellsworth that was sold by GKK Williams Gateway and ±72-acres on the SWC of Pecos and Ellsworth that closed December 31, 2012. The seller on the final parcel is a private land owner.
Buckeye Casa Grande LP will develop the site with build-to-suit projects that will continue to expand on the growing employment base in the Gateway submarket. The City of Mesa and its Economic Development Director, William Jabjiniak, have been instrumental in the continued development of businesses and employment in the area.
Zoned M-1 and C-2, City of Mesa, the property has Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) designation offering tariff and tax relief to companies that operate within the zone. Buckeye Casa Grande LP has retained Cassidy Turley as the marketing agent for the properties, with Mike Haenel and Andy Markham, SIOR, with Cassidy Turley’s Industrial Group working in conjunction with Moser, Sutton and Griffith.
The growth and success of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, located on the western edge of the assemblage, was a key factor in the buyers’ decision process for selecting the property. More than 40 companies call the airport home as well as three airlines, Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit Airlines offering non-stop service to more than 38 cities.
The Master Plan forecast for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport forecasts enplanements to reach 850,000 by 2017 and more than 2.2M by 2027.
The 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played Tuesday night in Kansas City, but there were plenty of heavy hitters present Wednesday morning as the Chicago Cubs and the City of Mesa broke ground on a new, $99M year-round facility — Riverview Park.
The project, at the SEC of the intersection of the Loop 101 and 202 freeways, was approved by Mesa voters in 2010. The park will feature a 15,000-fan main stadium with a video board, shaded seats and luxury suites as well as improved concessions and restrooms. Construction is scheduled to be completed before the 2014 spring training season.
“A stadium is a stadium; the beauty is the game,” said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. “This has been a community effort. It’s all about the Cactus League and what it means to the Valley and Arizona.”
Added Chicago Cubs Executive Vice President Mike Lufrano: “This facility will provide the best fan experience in spring training and offer world class training and development facilities for our players year round. We look forward to bringing this new ballpark to Mesa and continuing our commitment to work together on a stadium which will make the community proud.”
Dignitaries who addressed the crowd of about 200 people included Jody Davis, a former Cubs catcher; Tom Ricketts, team chairman; David Bower, principal of architectural firm Populous; Robert G. Hunt, president and CEO of general contractor Hunt Construction; and several Mesa city officials. A tribute was given to Robert Brinton, a longtime advocate of the Cactus League who passed away last October at age 60.
When completed, Riverview Park will feature four MLB fields, which the Chicago Cubs will use during spring training; team training facilities, which will provide the team year-round player development; and the 15,000-seat main stadium.
Other amenities will include multiple entrances to the park, heavily landscaped grounds, a large, open concourse, a seating bowl with 70% of the seats in the shade, and features that will capture the intimacy of Wrigley Field in Chicago.
“Congratulations to Mesa, this will be a knock-dead facility,” said Bower, who added that the Phoenix office of DWL Architects-Planners will also be a part of the design team. “It will be second to none in the Cactus League.”
The Arizona State University baseball team is scheduled to play its games at Riverview Park once it is completed, but negotiations are still on-going.
For more information on Riverview Park, visit the City of Mesa’s website at www.mesaaz.gov.
CoreNet Global brought together panelists who were instrumental in the planning that led to First Solar’s decision to locate their second US manufacturing facility in the City of Mesa. On March 17, 2011, First Solar announced it was acquiring 135 acres within the Mesa Proving Grounds to build the first phase of a $300 million solar module fabrication plant, their second facility in the U.S. To meet growing demand for photovoltaic solar panels, First Solar needed construction underway in 2011, with four manufacturing lines in production by late 2012.
Tues June 7, 2011, Phoenix Country Club
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Karrin Kunasek Taylor, DMB, Exec. VP, Chief Entitlements Officer
Steve Krum, First Solar, Director of Communications
Barry Broome, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, CEO& President
Mayor Scott Smith, City of Mesa
Background: In 2006, DMB bought 3,200 acres of the former 5,000-acre General Motors Desert Proving Grounds located in the City of Mesa and previously used for hot weather vehicle testing. DMB’s acreage became the Mesa Proving Grounds: the last significant, privately-owned contiguous land holding in Metro Phoenix’s southeast Valley. The City of Mesa has actively pursued employers for their Gateway Planning Area, which includes the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, ASU Polytechnic campus, and major freeway access.
Kunasek-Taylor: Mesa Proving Grounds is unique… it is a strategic site east of the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport which offers three runways that can land any aircraft in the world. This airport is one of the priorities of the Federal Aviation Authority for future funding. The adjacent ASU campus now has 10,000 students and plans for growth up to 30,000 students. 11% of the jobs in Metro Phoenix are in the Southeast Valley, and ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) will soon award the contract for first phase of construction connecting the 202 freeway to the airport. Zoning for Mesa Proving Grounds future development was based upon dividing the 3,200 acres into nine development unit plans, with pre-approved densities and uses. First Solar announced in the fall of 2010 that it was hunting for new manufacturing space capable of accommodating 5,000 employees.
Krum: Why was Mesa selected, when a solar panel manufacturing facility can be located anywhere since the manufacturing process doesn’t need sun? First Solar needed immediate availability of land and a quality workforce. There was a sense of urgency and commitment by Barry Broome of GPEC, the leadership of the City of Mesa and its economic development team, and DMB had a fantastic master plan for the Mesa Proving Grounds. With manufacturing facilities around the world, First Solar has choices. But it was very clear that the City of Mesa wanted First Solar. A lot of people here were trying to help us achieve our vision. Our fastest growing market right now is the Southwestern United States. The Agua Caliente project (290 megawatt solar photovoltaic generating facility) in Yuma County, southwestern Arizona. — we want to be in close proximity to projects like that. Pacific Gas & Electric has contracted to purchase Agua Caliente’s output for 25 years. There will be more projects like this to serve California, since utilities there have to meet California requirements for alternative energy sources.
Broome: In 2007 we saw the unprecedented spike in solar — we saw an incredible opportunity for Arizona. We went after every German solar company, but lost them (locating) to states like Oregon, New Mexico, Texas and California. It’s a capital intensive industry: we’ve got to help them recover their capital, help lower their operating environmental over 10-15 years, and we’ve got to deliver talent. Most of the guys who run solar companies are ex-Intel and Motorola guys. So we put together a platform that delivered engineering, real estate, and demand. On a policy level, we removed personal property taxes for a ten year period. With this program, the state of Arizona and the city of Mesa will make millions of dollars of corporate taxes in the coming years. There are many related solar supply chain companies coming into this market – we expect to announce another 16 solar related companies in the coming 18 months. The price of solar electric power will continue dropping, as technology improves. It was 28¢/kwh; not it’s down to 14¢/kwh, and it will go lower. This means more demand for solar.
Smith: The First Solar project is a great example of how economic development should work. Companies go to places where they can succeed. Tax policy is not an end-all. State policy has to be in place. Business attraction tools are set at the state level. Barry helped create the policy level, which gave us the tools. The three key things that make a deal are infrastructure, people, and real estate. We decided this was a deal that we were not going to lose. We brought out every resource we have in the City of Mesa. We needed 1 million square feet, all entitlements, and fast tract for opening in 2012. We needed the right zoning — that’s why DMB was part of this. I’ve got to give DMB credit for being flexible and having the right vision to make this work. They did not make money on this deal. It was a giant leap of faith to make the community better. The complexity of this type of structure — power, roads, water — Mesa passed a bond issue two years ago that allowed us to accommodate this size of project. We were able to solve the problems and create a environment so that First Solar couldn’t say no. First Solar will succeed, and others will come. This truly was a team success — state, county, city and private companies.
GPEC Ambassador Chairwoman
Former Vice Mayor
City of Goodyear
As the wife of an Air Force officer, Georgia Lord has experienced myriad of cultures. Little did she know that while with him on assignment in Germany, she would get the opportunity to ride in a blimp bearing, coincidentally, the name of the city she later served as a city council member — Goodyear.
Lord was originally elected to the Goodyear City Council in 2005. Following her successful re-election in 2009, she was elected by the council to be vice mayor. At the end of 2010, however, she had to resign that position in order to run for mayor of Goodyear.
“I’m fortunate to be able to take complicated issues that are important to citizens, break them down in a way that allows us to address the impact of our decisions, and really consider the consequences our actions will have down the road,” she says.
Lord conducts these discussions with others outside of the Goodyear leadership, as well. In fact, she’s able to fuel her passion for Goodyear’s economic development through participation with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, a venue that provides a sounding board for her ideas, and encourages interaction and support from other cities in the Valley.
“By working together as a team member of GPEC, we’re able to benefit from economies of scale and achieve our goals,” she says.
Lord is most specifically involved with GPEC’s Ambassador Program, which educates both the private and public sectors by highlighting the state’s strengths and the best ways to capitalize on them. Those education efforts, Lord explains, include tours of industrial facilities, workshops with industry experts, educational seminars and business training. She also participates in GPEC’s International Leadership Council, where she is able to draw on her past experiences overseas as she and other council members encourage foreign companies to invest in Arizona.
City of Mesa
Scott Smith is not one to sit quietly on the sidelines. So, when he became increasingly frustrated with the direction Mesa was headed in, he decided it was time to “put up or shut up,” and was successfully elected mayor in 2008.
One of Smith’s greatest challenges since taking office has been the state of the city’s economy.
“It’s not allowed us to pursue some of the opportunities we would have liked to be well down the road with already,” Smith says. “We know that the only way for us to recover is to create a business environment where the economy can grow and business can thrive, so we’re working diligently to create that kind of environment.”
Smith has found that his involvement with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has been very helpful as he navigates the murky waters of the economy.
“Organizations such as GPEC that are focused on the region’s economic success are absolutely necessary tools for us to really experience the kind of success we think we are capable of,” he says.
The best way to build a successful environment, Smith says, is to identify a city or region’s strengths. The city of Mesa has done so through its HEAT Initiative — Health, Education, Aerospace, Tourism. Boeing, an important employer in Mesa, has received good news, Smith says, that will help solidify its position in the region, and MLB Spring Training continues to draw tourists to the state.
“If we can build upon our strengths … I think we can create a new or expanded economic base that will help us to grow in an organic and measured manner, rather than the boom-and-bust that we experience when we depend on growth as an industry,” Smith says.
Participation in GPEC and working with other cities, he adds, will be much more helpful for Arizona’s overall economy than a city trying to work its problems out on its own.
For all you concert junkies, Facebook now meets concerts as TicketForce has just made purchasing tickets online even easier, joining forces with said social media platform.
Lynne King Smith, CEO of TicketForce, announced they will be merging ticket sales with the social media powerhouse in hopes to create an all-inclusive process for potential concert goers.
“We push the mark,” Smith said. “[We] take it a step further and have everything right in front you – [a] buy tickets tab.”
TicketForce acknowledges the impact of social media, as Facebook has jumped to the No. 2 spot in all U.S. Internet traffic in 2010 — just behind powerhouse Google, according to Alexa.com.
TicketForce’s website advocates to “Take your ticketing Social,” and that’s exactly what they’re doing with Facebook. The social media giant Facebook has crossed borders other social media sites such as Myspace and Friendster never have. Facebook — in comparison to Myspace and Friendster — provide users a more professional and legitimate medium for online marketing and sales.
Smith strongly acknowledged the influence of the social media explosion in recent years, which allows TicketForce to be “very fluid and flexible…the company is able to respond [to customers] instantaneously.”
Smith said TicketForce initially developed the idea a year and a half ago but just recently gathered the company and developers together to make it a reality. As this Mesa-based company continues to grow, they recognize the downfall of many ticketing agencies.
Smith made the point of minimal processing fees, which over the years Ticketmaster has increased.
However, TicketForce utilizes white label ticketing solutions, which in effect removes private agencies from the purchasing process and “makes the ticketing process more relationship based,” Smith said. This allows for minimal fees, usually between $.50 and $2.00.
TicketForce offers an all-inclusive website where customers can utilize a user-friendly guide to shows playing nearby, a live Twitter stream and links to various other social media sites including Facebook.
“Our approach to business is to stay out of the way,” Smith said, and she stresses how important positive customer relations is for their business.
TicketForce has truly expanded their influence in the ticketing world far beyond Maricopa County. They offer tickets in 48 states and Canada, and show no signs of slowing down.
Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about LED lights, clothing recycling programs, a solar-powered plane and more.
Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.
LED Lights to Brighten Mesa Streets
The city of Mesa is going green by replacing traditional light bulbs with LED lights. The city also hopes to save thousands of dollars with this eco-friendly replacement. Click the link to see a video on Mesa’s efforts.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – All Three Are Important
Many companies and consumers are focused on how much they recycle or how much recycled materials are in their products. However, this article points out that all three actions – reduce, reuse and recycle – must be done for a healthier environment. This article details how the paper products industry can be cleaner from factory to customer.
Recycle Your Clothes and Create Jobs
When you move or decide to change your style, it’s easier to throw clothes away than to find a place to donate them. However, used clothing is wasting away in landfills when it could be recycled and creating jobs. New York City is launching an initiative to combat the wasting of textiles, like old clothing, by placing donation centers in high-traffic areas. The city and its partners hope to make recycling clothing as easy as throwing it away.
Solar-Powered Plane Makes 24-Hour Flight
Solar-powered batteries, yes. Solar-powered cell phone chargers, sure. Solar-powered plane, what? A single seat plane that uses the sun’s rays to power itself during the day and also saves up energy to use during the night landed in Switzerland on Thursday, July 8, after a 24-hour flight. The company who produced the plane is hoping to fly around the world in this solar-powered aircraft in the future.
Turn Down the Air Conditioning!
Italian Energy company, Eni, started a program in 2008 to turn the air conditioning in its offices one degree Celsius, almost two degrees Fahrenheit higher than before the program. The company doesn’t allow employees to swelter in the heat, most employees don’t even feel the one degree increase. Employees are also allowed to wear lighter, summery clothing to work. This small, almost unnoticeable change decreased Eni’s summer energy consumption 9.5 percent. Maybe Arizonans should take a lesson from Italians?