Tag Archives: Surprise

Arizona-2014

College of St. Scholastica announces Arizona expansion

The College of St. Scholastica, a 102-year-old Catholic Benedictine college, announces the expansion of its program offerings in Arizona and its first on-the-ground program.

Following approval from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, St. Scholastica will offer in-person Bachelor of Arts in Social Work beginning in January 2015. With an emphasis on field experience and personalized learning plans, St. Scholastica social work students graduate prepared to lead community efforts in health programs, schools, shelters, service agencies and a variety of other settings.

St. Scholastica also now offers 12 online programs in Arizona. Start dates for the programs range from early summer to fall and include:
· Bachelor of Arts in Business and Technology Studies
· Bachelor of Arts/Science in Computer Science
· Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Health Information Management
· Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics
· Bachelor of Arts in Management
· Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
· Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Behavior
· Master of Science in Project Management
· Registered Nurse – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BS)
· Master of Business Administration in Rural Healthcare
· Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy

“We’re proud of this next step in establishing robust programs in Arizona – social work and health information management are key areas of long-standing expertise, experience and successful student outcomes for The College of St. Scholastica,” said Arizona regional director Maria Laughner. “Arizona students now have an enhanced opportunity for high-caliber private education.”

The College of St. Scholastica began operations in Arizona in January 2014 at the Communiversity @ Surprise, an innovative higher learning institution and partnership among six schools: Glendale Community College, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Ottawa University, Northern Arizona University and The College of St. Scholastica. In addition to its site in Surprise, St. Scholastica operates eight other U.S. locations as well as a virtual campus, with a total enrollment of more than 4,200 students.

Visit http://www.css.edu/Locations/Arizona.html for more information about St. Scholastica’s Arizona Campus.

St. Scholastica is regularly recognized for the quality of its academic programs. The 2014 “America’s Best Colleges” survey by U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks St. Scholastica in the top tier of Midwestern universities. For more information, please call 623-694-0984 or visit www.css.edu.

Dick's Sporting Goods distribution warehouse, Goodyear

Industrial Evolution: West Valley poised for land grab

Dick’s Sporting Goods built a 720KSF distribution center in Goodyear to service its West Coast stores.

A California-based investor erected a 400KSF spec shell in Surprise’s Southwest Railplex business park.

Corporate giants, Macy’s, Amazon, Sub-Zero, Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, Southwest Products and WinCo have landed or expanded their vast West Valley industrial operations within the last two years.

Even more companies are eyeing potential stakes in the burgeoning industrial parks springing up in once sleepy bedroom communities west of Phoenix.

With the recession in their rear-view mirrors, local, national and international companies are revving up manufacturing and distribution operations, and the West Valley is poised to be a big beneficiary of their expansion plans.

Justin LeMaster, Cushman & Wakefield

Justin LeMaster, Cushman & Wakefield

Available and affordable land, a deep labor pool, business-friendly state and local governments and top-notch transportation corridors contribute to the West Valley’s desirability, said Justin LeMaster, Cushman & Wakefield’s director for industrial properties.

Farsighted developers are already master-planning vast spreads of land, setting up infrastructure and even building large-scale spec structures that can accommodate another industrial giant or get sliced and diced to accommodate several smaller operations.

The developers — along with city and state economic development specialists — want their properties primed to snag the business when the lookers become movers, LeMaster said.

“Smart, creative developers will make the West Valley a successful high-growth market for years to come,” he said.

The numbers confirm the trend.

An impressive 4.5 MSF — nearly 94 percent of the metro area industrial construction started or completed in 2013 — is in the West Valley, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Q4 Industrial Report.

Q4 absorption was 1.96 MSF, and only 15.3 MSF of the West Valley’s 90.7 MSF total industrial inventory was still available at year’s end.

Nevertheless, 4.5 MSF is a significant amount of new inventory for a post-recession market, and, in fact, it boosted Valleywide industrial vacancy rates above 12 percent.

Anthony Lydon, Jones Lang LaSalle

Anthony Lydon, Jones Lang LaSalle

Industry experts aren’t worried.

“The new, grown-up, industrial tenants coming to market right now are looking for 300KSF, 400KSF and above,” said Anthony Lydon, Jones Lang LaSalle managing director for Supply Chain & Logistics Solutions.

Less than half of the West Valley’s available space meets that criteria, and a few big employers could snatch that up in a flash, he said.

Like LeMaster, Lydon expects that to happen sooner rather than later.

“Over the next 24 to 36 months, the Valley, and the West Valley in particular, will see significant new job creation,” he said.

So what makes the West Valley suddenly so attractive to the industrial users?

“Economics and location,” said Pat Feeney, CBRE senior vice president for industrial services.

Cost is key
Of the metro area’s three major industrial hubs ­— the airport area, the Tempe/Chandler corridor and the West Valley — the first two are nearly out of developable land, Feeney said. And scarcity makes that land pricey, especially for a large user.

Pat Feeney, CBRE

Pat Feeney, CBRE

A skilled and diverse labor force that moved west when the home builders did is another major factor, he said.

“Nearly 70,000 people live in Goodyear, but only 14,000 or 15,000 work in Goodyear,” Feeney said.

When big employers like Sub-Zero, Amazon and Macy’s held job fairs for their new West Valley digs, they typically attracted eight to 10 qualified applicants for every position, he said.

“They all shared that they were so happy they could pick the cream of the crop,” Feeney said. “It’s a really big draw.”

David Krumwiede, Lincoln Property Company

David Krumwiede, Lincoln Property Company

Staffing a large warehouse is a major economic concern, especially for companies with labor-intensive, e-commerce picking systems, said David Krumwiede, executive vice president for Lincoln Property Company, which owns 6 MSF in its four-state Desert West Region, 2.4 MSF of that in the West Valley, including Goodyear AirPark and 10 Lincoln.

Arizona’s main competition for the big industrial users looking to establish or expand operations in the West is California’s Inland Empire, Krumwiede said.

While the Inland Empire’s construction costs are comparable to Arizona’s, labor costs in Arizona, a right-to-work state, are much lower, he said.

“We are extremely competitive with California’s Inland Empire if a user has more people than trucks,” Krumwiede said.

And big energy consumers, such as companies employing sophisticated e-commerce logistics technology, can save as much as 30 percent to 40 percent in operating costs by locating in Arizona instead of California, Lydon said.

But possibly the biggest economic incentive for many industrial users is Arizona’s much more favorable tax basis, Krumwiede said.

All of the West Valley’s large planned business hubs have designated areas that are Foreign Trade Zone capable, and that’s a big selling point for companies that do significant international business in parts or products, Krumwiede said.

“If a company qualifies, it can see a 72 percent reduction in property taxes,” Feeney said. “It’s a tremendous benefit.”

And a benefit none of the nearby states can offer, he said.

Such issues make Arizona, especially the West Valley, where land is available and affordable, a clear economic winner over California.

Location, location, location
Second only to the West Valley’s attractive economics, is its advantageous location, less than half-a-day’s drive from the southern California ports — a major consideration for retailers and e-commerce leaders like Amazon, as well as manufacturers like Sub-Zero, according to the experts.

Rob Martensen, Colliers International

Rob Martensen, Colliers International

“If you can get out of traffic and get closer to the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, you can make that in six hours,” said Rob Martensen, Colliers International vice president.

That means truck drivers can log a round trip and still stay within federal guidelines regarding length of time on the road, a feat not so easy to accomplish from the East Valley.

And for companies distributing products regionally — Macy’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example — the completion of the Loop 303 will forge the final freeway link that can speed trucks to and around cities and states north and west of Phoenix.

“It will open the gateway,” LeMaster said. “Companies want to be in Phoenix, and the West Valley will be the industrial hub of Phoenix with the (Loop 303/I-10) interchange.”

Overall, the combo of favorable attributes will ensure the West Valley lands on the short list for large and small industrial users for the next decade or so, Krumwiede said.

“The companies that are already out there — Amazon, Target, Costco, PetSmart, Staples, Macy’s — are all household names. It’s a great start. We’ll see more of those,” he said.

“My vision is that a lot of that vacant land will be put into production in the next five to 10 years.”

The Loop 303 interchange is under construction. Photo courtesy of ADOT.

Headed for a boom, the West Valley is ready to go

Clumps of curved freeway fragments balancing on massive pillars of concrete resemble a giant modern art sculpture greeting Interstate 10 travelers through the far West Valley of the Phoenix Metro.

Later this year, those “art” segments will gel into a multi-level interchange linking the I-10 and the Loop 303, and launch the area’s burgeoning commercial development into warp speed.

Kevin Czerwinski, Merit Partners

Kevin Czerwinski, Merit Partners

The new interchange “will be a game changer,” said Kevin Czerwinski, president of Merit Partners, broker for the 1,600-acre, master-planned business park PV303, which straddles the confluence of those roadways and stretches north along the Loop 303 to Camelback Road.

For nearly a decade, the West Valley, loosely defined as everything west of Interstate 17, has been quietly emerging as the metro area’s hotbed for commercial development. It has been fueled by dwindling East Valley land availability and affordability and better transportation access. After completion of the Loop 101, developers quickly gobbled up land along the freeway for homes, shops and businesses. Then they continued the westward expansion.

Now the Loop 303 is offering another close-in frontier and shovel-ready options for new and growing businesses to expand or set down roots in the metro area. The nearly completed semi-circle of highway linking the I-10 and the I-17 will provide a high-speed route to northern states, bypassing metro area traffic congestion — a boon to companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, which recently completed a 720,000 SF distribution center in PV303 to service its Western U.S. stores, Czerwinski said. And to other retailers such as Macy’s, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s and Target, e-commerce giants such as Amazon, and high-end manufacturers such as Sub-Zero and Cookson Doors that ferry lots of merchandise intra- and inter-state.

It’s more than just big-box industrial sites popping up in the West Valley.

John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings

John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings

Acres of farm land or empty desert hide the fact that in the offices of forward-thinking developers and savvy city economic strategists, there are detailed plans for office, light industrial and retail centers, medical complexes and regional malls to be built on that un-shoveled land.

“The West Valley’s day is coming,” said John W. Graham, president of PV303 developer Sunbelt Holdings.

Sunbelt was a big player in the East Valley boom of the 1990s and early 2000s, developing residential communities from McDowell Mountain Ranch in Scottsdale to Power Ranch in Gilbert and mixed-use complexes such as Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe. Graham says the same scenario is playing out west of Phoenix now. Land Advisors CEO Greg Vogel compares Goodyear today to Gilbert of a decade ago.

First came the houses
As available and affordable East Valley land dried up, a spate of residential building in well-designed West Valley communities such as Vistancia, Estrella and Verrado have attracted home buyers at all price points, Vogel said.

Greg Vogel, Land Advisors

Greg Vogel, Land Advisors

A whopping 35 to 40 percent of Phoenix metro area residents now live in the West Valley, Vogel said. And all those people need places to shop, bank, and find medical care.

“Residential drives everything,” he said.

Now supermarket-anchored shopping centers and big-box power centers are springing up, two regional malls are on the drawing board, and spec office buildings are breaking ground — despite Valleywide office vacancy rates topping 22 percent. The completion of the Loop 303 interchange will accelerate that trend as it eases drive time for those who work in Phoenix but live in the far West Valley — or want to, Vogel said.

Goodyear, which is in the enviable location at the foot of the new interchange, has been proactive pitching its bounty. That includes PV303 and Goodyear AirPark, a 267-acre, shovel-ready business park at Litchfield Road and Highway 85, said Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, the city’s development services director. And Wakefield-Saenz expects Westcor’s long-planned 1.1 MSF Estrella Falls regional mall to start ringing up sales — and sales tax — in 2016.

Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, Goodyear

Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, Goodyear

Wakefield-Saenz predicts that even more executive offices, high-end retail and high-quality manufacturing businesses will clamor for space in Goodyear during the next decade because of the in-place infrastructure and the educated workforce already living there.

Farther north in Surprise, the story is similar. In 2008, Sands Chevrolet built the first dealership in Prasada, a 4-square-mile, mixed-use development straddling the Loop 303. Now car buyers can shop at eight different dealerships at 303 AutoShow. And more are coming, said Jeff Mihelich, Surprise’s assistant city manager in charge of the Community and Economic Development Department. Neighborhood shopping centers are in the ground or on the drawing board as well, and another regional mall is pegged to land in Prasada, although no date has been announced.

Jeff Mihelich, Surprise

Jeff Mihelich, Surprise

But Mihelich doesn’t want to just provide shops and services and ease the daily commute for Surprise residents. He wants to lure more quality office and industrial employers so that residents can live, work and play in their hometown. Five years ago, Surprise reorganized its economic development department and goals to focus on becoming a major employment base, “concentrating on head-of-household jobs — people who will buy homes, go to restaurants,” he said. Major strategies included streamlining approval processes, persuading developers to pre-plan projects and build infrastructure before target tenants showed up, encouraging spec building, and aggressively marketing all those attributes, Mihelich said. That positions Surprise to take advantage of pent-up business expansion plans as the recent recession wanes, he said.

“When companies are expanding, they often have contracts in hand,” he said. Having property ready to build on can mean the difference between landing or losing a major employer, he said.

Optimistm Abounds
That optimism and pre-planning is not just happening in Goodyear and Surprise. Thanks to a wealth of available and affordable land, developers are eyeing West Valley cities from Avondale and Buckeye to Peoria and Glendale as future business hubs.

Justin Miller, Alter Group

Justin Miller, Alter Group

The Alter Group teamed up with property owner John F. Long to take advantage of the area’s growing popularity among home builders and buyers by developing three major business parks to attract employers. Algodon Center is a 1,000-acre mixed-use campus in Avondale and west Phoenix, Aldea Centre is a 150-acre business park at 99th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, and the 229-acre Copperwing Business Park is adjacent to Glendale Airport. All three have infrastructure and zoning in place and the flexibility to accommodate Class-A, back-office and light manufacturing operations, said Justin Miller, Alter Group vice president.

“The West Valley is a big component of our future,” Miller said. “It’s an area that Corporate America can use and expand because of the abundance of land.”

He’s not concerned about high office vacancies in the metro area. The easy commute for all those road-weary West Valley residents and shovel-ready land are compelling draws for big and small employers as they ramp up their businesses, he said. Valley dwellers who haven’t ventured west of the I-17 for years might be surprised to see the explosive growth.

“If people have not been to the West Valley in a while, they should come and take a look at us,” Mihelich said. “It’s truly a robust market. People outside of Arizona are noticing.”

Surprise Town Squar, WEBe

CBRE Completes Sale of Town Square at Surprise

CBRE has completed the sale of Town Square at Surprise located at 14155 W. Bell Rd. in Surprise, Ariz. The free-standing, ±12,771 SF retail strip center commanded a sale price of $2.7M. The property was 81 percent leased at time of sale.

 

Barry Gabel, Chris Marchildon, Steve Julius and Jesse Goldsmith with CBRE’s Phoenix office negotiated the sale on behalf of the seller, Phoenix-based Surprise Center Development Company, LLC. They buyer was MA & MA Investments, an Arizona limited liability company, and was represented by Philip Wurth with Colliers International.

 

Developed by a joint venture between Columbus, Ohio-based Glimcher and Carefree Partners Investments, LLC of Scottsdale in 2008, Town Square at Surprise is a contemporary, free-standing retail strip center located in a rapidly developing area. As part of the Surprise Civic Center development and with proximity to the Surprise spring training facility as well as residential, medical, office, big box retailers and hotels, the property benefits from numerous amenities. Additionally, current tenants include several popular establishments including Pei Wei Asian Diner, Jimmy Johns, Edward Jones, R&S Mattress and The Joint, a lifetime family wellness chiropractic place that will continue to drive traffic to the retail center.

health.education

New Surprise College Spotlights Health Information

The College of St. Scholastica has opened its first venue in Arizona at the Communiversity @ Surprise, a higher education center at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise.

The Communiversity, which opened in 2009, is a partnership among six schools: Glendale Community College, Phoenix College, and Rio Salado College (all part of the Maricopa Community College System), Ottawa University, Northern Arizona University and now St. Scholastica. In addition to its new site in Surprise, St. Scholastica operates eight other U.S. locations as well a virtual campus, with a total enrollment of more than 4,200 students.

St. Scholastica’s initial programs in Surprise are online and include its Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Health Information Management, and a Master of Science in Health Informatics. St. Scholastica’s health information management program has been a national leader since it began in 1934 as the first such degree program in the nation. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which also accredits Arizona institutions of higher learning.

Each of the College’s online programs in Surprise provides in-person support for admissions, financial aid and advising from St. Scholastica and Communiversity staff.
“St. Scholastica provides a new pathway to baccalaureate and graduate degrees for students currently enrolled at the Communiversity, and more broadly the Maricopa Community College system,” said St. Scholastica President Larry Goodwin. “Our goal is to offer innovative higher educational opportunities for students in Surprise and the entire West Valley.”

St. Scholastica will also utilize space in the Communiversity to deliver professional development sessions so healthcare professionals can take advantage of the College’s expertise in healthcare, and earn continuing education credits.

The College of St. Scholastica is a 102-year-old independent private college in the Catholic Benedictine tradition with its main campus in Duluth, Minnesota. St. Scholastica is regularly recognized for the quality of its academic programs. The 2014 “America’s Best Colleges” survey by U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks St. Scholastica in the top tier of Midwestern universities. For more information, call 623-694-0984 or visit www.css.edu.

120249086

Washington Federal Promotes Hernandez to Assistant VP

Washington Federal announced Debbie Hernandez has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager. Hernandez has been with Washington Federal for more than 12 years.

In her position, Hernandez is responsible for increasing loan production and client base by growing the business checking and savings accounts and consumer checking and savings accounts. She is also responsible for increasing Washington Federal’s presence in the West Valley. Prior to joining Washington Federal, Hernandez was an insurance agent in Ohio.

“Debbie is a huge asset to our team here at Washington Federal,” said Trevor Bush, senior vice president and manager of Arizona retail banking division. “We are excited to see her continue to expand the presence and reach of Washington Federal.”

Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in business from the Trumbull Business College in Warren, Ohio. She is also involved with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a volunteer for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Hernandez is a Surprise resident.

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

Governor Jan Brewer touts her policies and business regulatory climate as the reason Arizona is growing new businesses. That may be a factor, but it’s not the major reason Arizona topped the Kaufman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity in 2012. If it were the case, Arizona would have been on top again in 2013—instead of plummeting to 20th nationally.

“Just because there are a lot of startups,” observes Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, “doesn’t provide a measure of the economic growth in the Valley.” A startup can be someone opening a consultancy, a contractor or the next Apple. Self-employment is a form of startup. The challenge is nurturing a startup so it grows with high value jobs.

Local governments and the Arizona Commerce Authority see major value with growing Arizona startups into enterprises. Chris Mackay, economic development director in Chandler says, “There’s staying power when a business is local. It’s connected to the local community and if the economy falters, the owners are more willing to keep going locally as opposed to closing up shop.” That local staying power is one reason Mackay says Chandler makes big investments in growing future enterprises.

Planting the seeds

Arizona’s new economy needs startups to scale up into enterprises. Those growing small businesses become hiring employers offering high value jobs paying home-buying income. Government policy supporting businesses that can scale up is based on simple economics.

Businesses with more than 20 employees, says the Small Business Administration, generate two of three Arizona paychecks. Those same businesses cut checks for more than 70 percent of Arizona’s private payrolls. The value in 2012 was over $100 billion.

All new businesses are “startups,” but not all startup businesses will be entrepreneurial enterprises. “There is no relation between starting a business and starting a company,” says Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Boston. “Ninety percent of companies formed don’t grow high value jobs.”

Isenberg says that the difference between a start-up and enterprise is a matter of scale. He is an international advocate for scaling a business to grow as opposed to opening a business. An entrepreneur, he points out, is a business founder with a large company that just happens to be small right now.

Arizona State University, as the new American university, is at the cutting edge of helping turn ideas into enterprise. Recently, the college joined the elite ranks of schools offering a stand-alone degree in entrepreneurship. It’s on that list with Harvard Business School, Babson, and University of Texas. Its goal is getting new businesses that can grow into the market.

Locally grown

ASU says more than 70 percent of its W.P. Carey School of Business MBA graduates remain in Arizona. Keeping these graduates in state provides the human resources necessary to building new enterprises fueling the future economy.

“Starting a company — as opposed to just starting a business — is hard work,” says Isenberg. “An entrepreneur looks at the business and sees it growing. It’s a time of sleep deprivation, hard work, and endless pitches.” Few startups achieve quality growth—less than ten percent, he believes. “The golden triangle of a growing enterprise,” he continues, “is cash, customers and people.”

“An entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t limited to startups,” Isenberg emphasizes. “University research, family businesses, mature companies, all can be turned into a growing enterprise. Most startups tend to stay small.” The key to the economic contribution of startups in Arizona is scalability. He is adamant about it, “Ambition is not a dirty word. A business founder without ambition does not significantly contribute to overall economic growth.”

“There are a number of entrepreneurial success stories arising from a new direction for an existing, mature business,” Isenberg reports. Sometimes it takes a new owner with a vision; sometimes the existing management team finds a new direction. It can be a license from a university, a new product, or an innovative use of an existing product. Entrepreneurship can occur anywhere in a business’ lifecycle.”

Bringing ideas to market

Arizona colleges are on that licensing bandwagon. Entrepreneurs complain that it takes years to license patents or transfer technology from most universities. In ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator — first project of its type in the world — slashes technology transfer time from years to months. The AZ Furnace is a joint venture of ASU, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health. Funding partners include the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel, and additional support from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“There are hundreds of patents sitting on shelves at universities that could be in the market earning money for creators, colleges and businesses,” enthuses Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group in OKED. “We started a program to get patents into the market quickly.” The startups selected for incubation in AZ Furnace are either entrepreneurs in search of an idea to market or idea-creators ready to market through a business entity. The fledgling enterprises are capital-ready in 12 months or less.

Enterprise starts with a leader and a vision. The scale of the vision is what makes the difference, says Isenberg. The vast majority of business owners are thinking of a model that gets them to the point that they’re putting money in the bank. He says, “Entrepreneurs are thinking of a model that finds smart people, willing customers and puts the cash to back into the enterprise.”

“Angels invest in businesses they understand or CEOs they respect,” says Broome. “There’s a need for more of that in the Valley. We’re just not seeing the next Apple or Google evolving here.”

Gaining visibility

“The biggest challenge about getting angel and venture money is visibility,” says Brandon Clark, region coordinator for Startup Arizona.  “If you’re a promising digital startup locally, it’s a little harder to get noticed nationally being from a region not known for its digital startups.  That’s starting to slowly shift.” National publications, FastCompany and Entrepreneur Magazine, have eyed Arizona as an emerging technology region.

The development opportunity for the small business is capital. Combine the “Broome Factor”—known businesses; known leaders—with the large number of startups, and there are too many funding requests heading towards too few checkbooks.

What makes early investors open pocketbooks to startup businesses is scalability. Businesses with potential to grow create the greatest return on investment for the angels. “It’s also makes a difference to the local economy,” says Isenberg. “Local policymakers need to change their focus from ‘startup’ to a ‘high value growth business’.”

Cities like helping scalable startups — and provide resources that build success. There’s a loyalty factor when the business grows; it typically remains in the hometown that helped it succeed. This is important to Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Surprise. These five cities have specifically invested in incubators and accelerators to nurture and graduate businesses achieving market traction. Chandler, Phoenix and Tucson have involvement with collaborative workspaces — Gangplank and Co+Hoots — as well.

While an employee or two in a collaborative workspace works well for a while, the time comes when a move up is needed. Clairvoyant, an enterprise and analytics startup now in Chandler Innovations started with Gangplank. “We grew from four employees in March to 12 in April,” smiles Amber Anderson, a firm partner and its business developer. “We needed a place to meet with clients and work with a growing team.” Still self-funded, the growing entity plans to hit 20 employees by January.

Mackay explains, “We help a company like this grow and hope that as it expands it continues to locate in Chandler.” To that end, the city is working with landlords in its Price Corridor to offer “teenage” space that lets a business move from the heavily subsidized rents and back office support of the incubator into its own place—without too much sticker shock.

Support from cities

The difference by which startup is accepted into a city’s incubator is the ability to scale up from the garage to commercial space; from one employee to more than 20. Chandler and Mesa are looking for businesses with this capacity. Innovations gives lab and office space to businesses that have formed entities — LLCs, corporations, partnerships — and a business plan. Mesa’s new Technology Accelerator is planned with a similar focus, but is looking for businesses at an earlier stage. Surprise’s Arizona TechCelerator wants to shepherd a business to the angel investor stage.

In Surprise, scalability is one of the criteria to be accepted into Arizona’s oldest incubator. The TechCelerator is looking for businesses offering something outside the box or creating a new niche. “The company has to be started before we’ll consider them,” says Julie Neal, the economic development coordinator for the city’s enterprise. “They need a mentor, a plan and have to know where they are going.”

“Scaling up is difficult,” says Isenberg, “but doing it right defines the difference between the successful entrepreneur with a growth business and a startup that just stays small. Marketplaces are competitive. The startup has to acquire customers. That means overcoming inertia or changing buyer behavior. While established companies are cruising on their business platforms, the startup has to hire people, start a company, raise money, and all the while, it’s competing in the marketplace. That’s tough work.”

After incubation, the business must gain market traction. At this phase, the fledgling enterprise has product going out and customers paying for it. The kinks are being smoothed, and it’s time to move up to the next stage and grow. Isenberg says that the high growth criterion is simply 20 percent annual increases in sales or staff for five years.

Getting capital

To make this leap requires high levels of capital — the checks venture capitalists cut. The biggest challenge in Phoenix is that there are few sources for local venture capital. The venturists hang out in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. “There are even a couple of funds with deep ties to the Valley,” worries Clark, “but they have very little involvement in local startups.”

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, had to travel out of town for his venture capital. “At one time, I was told that a fund wouldn’t cut a check for a firm in Phoenix because we didn’t have the workforce for success,” he says. “That’s no longer true; venture funds are seeing that there is a real climate for success in the Valley.”

Another resource for a growing business is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Growing Your Arizona Business” services. The quasi-public agency provides mentorship, regulatory assistance, access to incentive programs and site selection. It also works as a liaison connecting the growing business with other business resources. The agency mentors businesses in accessing federal procurement and grant opportunities as well as serving as an entrée to international trade.

Overall, the major resource in Arizona for start-up businesses is the universities. Anemic legislative funding for the schools causes their efforts to help to face the same struggles growing businesses face. Their efforts to improve Arizona’s long-term economy are stymied by a declining source of capital.

“ASU is underfunded,” complains Barry Broome. “The school has done an amazing job despite being financially crippled by budget cuts. It’s suffering from a lack of resources to take its programs to scale.” “Scalability” is applicable to the business-development programs at the universities and other public agencies just as it is for growing enterprises.

“Getting money for those programs is the top job for the next governor,” predicts Broome.
Opportunity in Arizona will come from the core of businesses growing today. They will create the jobs for the new economy and drive economic success for the next generation.

Southwest Products HQ, LGE

LGE Completes Construction of Southwest Products HQ in Surprise

LGE Design Build recently completed construction on a state of the art office, manufacturing, and warehouse facility located in Surprise. This 170,312 SF facility includes over 22,000 SF of office, 6-inch reinforced slab, 24-foot clear height, steel truss / deck, two paint booths, generator test room, fabrication area, shot blast room, one elevator, stain concrete and carpet tiles throughout the office area, decorative steel handrails, and sits on over 20 acres. The large power demand will be offset by a solar panel collection on the employee parking canopy structures that will produce up to 40% if the required power needed for this facility. This project was designed, engineered, and permitted in 150 days and was complete on time and under budget. For more than 50 years, Southwest Products Corporation also builds custom generator packages, specialty service vehicles and most recently, custom industrial tanks, providing these products to public and private sectors across North America.

Vial of Life

Newly Launched tools speak for you when you can’t

Sun Health recently launched two signature tools – Vial of Life and File of Life. Both resources, offered for free as a service to the community, are designed to enhance access to important medical information during an emergency.

A popular tool used by local residents and emergency personnel for many years, Sun Health, in partnership with Banner Health, recently revitalized Vial of Life with a slightly larger pill bottle. For use at home, the vial/bottle contains an easy-to-complete medical form that contains important information such as prominent medical conditions, past surgeries, physician contact information and medications. Area residents are encouraged to complete the medical form, place it in the pill bottle and then put the bottle in their refrigerator. To help emergency personnel locate the pill bottle, residents are encouraged to post a bright orange window cling on their front window or front door, or on the front of their refrigerator. This orange cling alerts emergency professional to look for the vial in the refrigerator.

File of Life puts that same potentially life-saving information in a portable device. The computer flash drive holds emergency medical information including:

•             Easy to follow instructions;
•             Pre-formatted, easy-to-populate emergency medical forms; and
•             Extra storage for additional members’ information.

The flash drive comes equipped with a lanyard, but it can easily be clipped on a key chain or stored inside a purse, making it an ideal portable solution to carry when away from home, traveling or exercising.

Free Classes
Area residents can learn more about the programs, and receive their free Vial of Life and File of Life by attending an introductory class. All classes listed are scheduled from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.:

·         Aug. 6, The Colonnade, 19116 Colonnade Way, Surprise
·         Sept. 10, Banner Boswell Medical Center, Support Services Building, 13180 N. 103rd Dr., Sun City
·         Sept. 11, Grandview Terrace, 14515 W. Granite Valley Dr., Sun City West
·         Oct. 31, La Loma Village, 14154 Denny Blvd., Litchfield Park

To register for an upcoming class, please call (623) 455-5741. For more information about this program, visit: www.sunhealth.org/vialoflife. To schedule a Vial of Life/File of Life presentation for your club or group, please call Autumn Leonard at (623) 832-5665.

Banner Good Samaritan

E.V. residents can preview Banner Health Center

East Valley residents and visitors can be among the first to see the new Banner Health Center at a free “Community Preview” from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the center located at 1435 S. Alma Road, south of the Loop 202 between West Pecos and West Germann Roads.

Participants can hear the opening remarks and join in the dedication at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including healthy snacks, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet the center’s primary care physicians and staff, tour the new center, and even make an appointment to see a physician.

Banner Health Center in Chandler will open for patient care on Wednesday, Aug. 7 starting at 7 a.m. Staff physicians will include two pediatricians, three family medicine physicians and one internal medicine physician with plans to increase in the future. Along with 18 exam rooms, basic imaging and laboratory services are also available on site for added patient convenience.

Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday with same day and next day appointments available. Concierge staff answers the phones one hour before and one hour after center hours. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (480) 668-1600.

The center will offer a wide range of services including:
·         Well-child checkups and immunizations
·         Adult physcials
·         Care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma
·         Treatment for ear aches, sore throats and infections
·         Sports injury and fracture care
·         Minor skin irritation treatment
·         Cuts and suture removal

The Banner Health Center in Chandler is the third of four in the East Valley to open after a shared groundbreaking on Oct. 25, 2012. Banner Health Center in Queen Creek opened May 1; a center in Gilbert opened May 22 and another will open in East Mesa in early September. An additional Banner Health Center opened in Goodyear within the planned community of Estrella on July 10, joining the existing Banner Health Centers in Peoria/Sun City West, Surprise, Buckeye in the Verrado Community, Maricopa, and South Loveland, CO.

Phoenix Convention Center

More than 4,500 Mennonites will gather in Phoenix

More than 4,500 Mennonites of all ages will attend Phoenix 2013, the biennial convention of Mennonite Church USA, to be held July 1–6 in the Phoenix Convention Center. The convention’s theme, “Citizens of God’s Kingdom: Healed in Hope” (“Ciudadanos del Reino de Dios: Sanados por la Esperanza”), is inspired by Psalm 24:1, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 5:1-5 and Ephesians 2:14-22. The theme points toward an allegiance to God that goes beyond national borders and racial divides. The last convention was held in July 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The total number of convention participants represents approximately 1,600 adults, 2,750 youth and youth sponsors, 80 junior youth and sponsors, and 100 children.

Mennonite Church USA is the largest Anabaptist denomination in North America, with more than 100,000 adult members in about 900 congregations in 44 states. The denomination has national offices in Newton, Kan.; Elkhart, Ind.; and Harrisonburg, Va.

Arizona is home to seven congregations that are part of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, one of 21 regional conferences of Mennonite Church USA. Phoenix-area Mennonite congregations include Christ Life Chapel, First Mennonite Church of Phoenix, Sunnyslope Mennonite Church, Koinonia Mennonite Church (Chandler), Life House Community (Surprise) and Trinity Mennonite Church (Glendale).

The convention will include time for worship, fellowship, seminars, concerts, performances, workshops and meetings of the Mennonite Church USA Delegate Assembly, the denomination’s primary decision-making body. Delegates plan to discuss two resolutions: one focusing on creation care and environmental degradation, and one addressing child abuse and neglect and encouraging the adoption of policies and practices to protect children and youth.

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital

Banner Health Center preview on June 29

West Valley residents can tour the new Banner Health Center in Goodyear from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29.The Center is designed to support high quality, convenient health care for the entire family.

Attendees will hear remarks by Banner Medical Group CEO Jim Brannon and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including food, tours, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet physicians and staff and even make an appointment.

“We want to become part of the fabric of the community by becoming the medical home residents look to for help in keeping their families healthy,” said Jim Brannon, chief executive officer of Banner Medical Group. “This Banner Health Center is designed to provide primary care to the entire family in one space. We want it to be the place you would choose for prevention, wellness, basic and complex medical care and the advice you need to thrive with chronic health conditions.”

At opening on July 10, staff physicians will include family practitioners and pediatricians. Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The Center will be open extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Same-day appointments will also be available. Laboratory and X-ray services are also on-site.

Banner Health Center in Estrella will also be the gateway to the incredibly comprehensive services offered throughout Banner Health system, including Banner Estrella Medical Center and specialty facilities such as Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Concussion Center.

This location at 9780 South Estrella Parkway joins the existing Banner Health Centers offering health care where you want it and how you want it in Gilbert, Queen Creek, Surprise, Verrado and Maricopa, Ariz. as well as South Loveland, Colo. For more information on the Banner Health Center in Estrella, visit www.BannerHealth.com/HealthCenterEstrella.

Gehan Homes in AZ - rendering hi res.

Texas homebuilder Gehan enters Arizona market

Gehan Homes, a Dallas-based homebuilder, announced the grand opening of its first community in Arizona, Hacienda at Greer Ranch in Surprise. One of the top 30 builders in the U.S., Gehan Homes is introducing a new series of homes targeted to the move-up homebuyer. A model home is now open at 11520 N. 156 Lane in Surprise where homebuyers can see the six new floor plans and 18 new front elevations that are exclusive to the Phoenix market.

“Our opening at Greer Ranch is a vote of confidence in the Phoenix market, which has clearly rebounded and where we see positive signs for the longer term health of the housing market,” said Tim Gehan, CEO of Gehan Homes. Gehan Homes will build in four Valley-wide communities during 2013.

The award-winning builder is drawing on more than 25 years of experience to meet buyers’ everyday living needs. Committed to delivering homes that are “Designed for Your Life,” Gehan offers a broad selection of hundreds of design options for discerning buyers.

“A Gehan home is one that fits the energy and flexibility of modern life,” Gehan said. “The new floor plans at Greer Ranch are designed for today’s lifestyles and feature open floor plans that better connect family members, three car garages and flexible spaces that can be personalized to meet a variety of individual needs.”

Homebuyers can choose from 66 homesites at Gehan Homes’ Hacienda at Greer Ranch community with energy-efficient floor plans ranging from 2,001 to 3,947 sq. ft.  Gehan Homes chose to build in Greer Ranch for several reasons, including its proximity to hiking trails, parks, shopping and more. Streetscapes are tree-lined and all of the homes are within walking distance of the Excelling Sonoran Heights Elementary School in the Dysart school district. With prices starting at $247,990, Gehan’s stylish Greer Ranch homes are perfect for active families who value being able to personalize a new home to fit their lifestyle.

Similar upscale homes will be built in the Vistancia, Palm Valley and Bridges of Gilbert communities by the end of 2013.

For information about Hacienda at Greer Ranch, call (623) 584-0903 or visit www.gehanhomes.com.

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor's Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor’s Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

Surprise - Park Skyway

First Spec Distribution Building In Surprise Could Spur More Industrial Development

Silagi Development and Management of Thousand Oaks, Calif., a well-known developer in the Arizona market and Lee & Associates, today announced a new spec development at the Skyway Business Park in Surprise named ParkSkyway.

The project will be a 418,000 SF state-of- the-art distribution/manufacturing building with 32’-36’ clear height, 68 cross dock high loading doors, 8 grade level doors, heavy power, ESFR, fire sprinklers and evaporative cooling.

The building is being developed on Dysart between the I-10, Loop 101, SR 60 (Grand Ave.) and is 3 miles from the future Loop 303 freeway giving it access to all major distribution routes. Construction is expected to begin in September and is scheduled for completion in August 2013. It will be one of the largest speculative buildings built in Surprise in the past few years.

Silagi Nationwide is the largest owner of industrial lots in the Skyway Business Park, with all the recent activity and jobs coming to the park, and the shrinking inventory of industrial space in the Valley, felt the time was right to go vertical.

In the past 12 months Skyway Business Park has experienced substantial growth and added tenants such as Rio Glass Solar (160,000 SF with 100 employees), Gestamp Solar Steel (75,000 SF with 100 employees), Intrepid Tool (40,000 SF with 60 employees).

Lee & Associates is working with a number of users to occupy the 418,000 SF development. Silagi is also considering building a number of buildings along Dysart Rd. ranging from 50,000 to 150,000 SF. LGE Design Build was selected as general contractor for both projects.

To learn more about Surprise, visit their website at surpriseaz.gov

Arizona Urban Fishing Progam

Arizona Urban Lakes

There are currently 20 Arizona Urban Lakes

If you have had a good or bad experience at one of the Arizona Urban Lakes, please comment and let us know about your experience.


Desert Breeze Lake

Desert Breeze Park
660 N. Desert Breeze Blvd. East
Chandler AZ 85226
Open: 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Size: 4 acres
Maximum depth 12 feet

Daily Bag & Possession Limits:

4 catfish
4 trout
2 bass (13 inch minimum)
10 sunfish
1 white amur (30 inch minimum)
Statewide limits apply to all other species


Veterans Oasis Lake

Veterans Oasis Park
4050 E. Chandler Heights Road
Chandler AZ 85249
Open: 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Size: 5 acres
Maximum depth: 14 feet

Daily Bag & Possession Limits:

4 catfish
4 trout
2 bass (13 inch minimum)
10 sunfish
1 white amur (30 inch minimum)
Statewide limits apply to all other species

Arizona Urban Lakes - Veterans Oasis


Water Ranch Lake

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
2757 E. Guadalupe Road
Gilbert AZ 85234
Open: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Size: 5 acres
Maximum depth: 15 feet
No fishing from bridge

Daily Bag & Possession Limits:

4 catfish
4 trout
2 bass (13 inch minimum)
10 sunfish
1 white amur (30 inch minimum)
Statewide limits apply to all other species

Arizona Urban Lakes - Water Ranch


Red Mountain Lake

Red Mountain Park
7745 E. Brown Road
Mesa AZ 85207
Open: Sunrise to 10 p.m.
Size: 8 acres
Maximum depth: 17 feet

Daily Bag & Possession Limits:

4 catfish
4 trout
2 bass (13 inch minimum)
10 sunfish
1 white amur (30 inch minimum)
Statewide limits apply to all other species

Arizona Urban Lakes - Red Mountain


Riverview Lake

Riverview Park
2100 W 8th St
Mesa AZ 85201
Sunrise to 10:00 p.m.
3 acres. Maximum depth 16 feet

Daily Bag & Possession Limits:

4 catfish
4 trout
2 bass (13 inch minimum)
10 sunfish
1 white amur (30 inch minimum)

Statewide limits apply to all other species

Arizona Urban Lakes - Riverview

Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

The Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone Opens Up Business Possibilities In The West Valley

At a time when the West Valley could use an economic boost, officials have put the finishing touches on the proposed Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone. Under the administration of WESTMARC, an acronym for Western Maricopa Coalition, this new Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is seen as a welcome economic development tool that will spawn jobs and millions of dollars in new investment.

Participating cities are Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Goodyear, Peoria and Surprise. Initially, four sites in three of the cities have applied for FTZ status: two in Goodyear at Interstate 10 and Loop 303, one in Surprise near Bell Road, and one west of Buckeye in an unincorporated area. The Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone is actually a series of trade zones, with each city acting independently but represented by WESTMARC.

Federal approval of WESTMARC’s application of the overall trade zone by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security is expected before the end of the year. Launched in 1934, the federal Foreign Trade Zone program provides for reduced or eliminated federal taxes and fees in connection with imports and exports. For customs purposes, an FTZ is considered outside the United States.

Consultant Curtis Spencer, president of Houston-based IMS Worldwide, says there has been quite a bit of interest in West Valley sites from brokers looking for build-to-suit opportunities, particularly for solar and other manufacturers.

Spencer says developers generally pay the initial fee of about $50,000 to be in the FTZ depending on proposed use. Companies locating in an FTZ also pay an annual fee, but Spencer estimates the savings to a company can range from $300,000 to $1 million a year.

A typical business in an FTZ pays wages 7 percent to 8 percent more than a similar company not involved in exporting and importing, and employs 10 percent to 20 percent more workers, Spencer says.

“Foreign Trade Zone activities now exceed the statistical equivalent of imports and exports carried by truck into and out of Canada and Mexico,” Spencer says. “It’s a significant portion of our economy.”

A company in the West Valley area that decides to seek FTZ status puts in an application that will go through WESTMARC, which holds the federal permit, and on to the federal Foreign Trade Zone board. Zones are not limited to the four that have been selected. Likely candidate businesses for an FTZ range from high-tech manufacturers to distributors.

“It should give a major boost in investment and job creation,” Spencer says. “In the next 10 years we should have added hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of new investment.”

Basically, FTZs speed up the supply chain, reduce importing costs and provide better security, Spencer says.

“It’s faster, cheaper and better,” he adds.

Regarding security, companies that have been certified for FTZ status by federal authorities undergo extreme scrutiny, and therefore are not likely to be dealing with unfriendly countries or terrorist organizations. Concern over the importation of contraband has heightened since the attacks of 9/11.

Harry Paxton, economic development director for the city of Goodyear, says participating cities can use the FTZ as a marketing tool.

“It says that these communities are ready to accept businesses involved in international commerce,” he says.

Goodyear, which was among the first to express an interest in establishing an FTZ three years ago, hopes to fill some existing buildings by offering significant property tax breaks. Personal and real property taxes in an Arizona FTZ are cut by 75 percent.

But the perception that such tax reductions will have a negative impact on a city is incorrect, Paxton says. The assessed valuation of an activated FTZ reduces to 5 percent from 20 percent, but still generates additional revenue when compared to agricultural-use sites that collect $300 per 10 acres. What’s more, Paxton says, the FTZ becomes a catalyst for other development not requiring FTZ tax benefits, resulting in a full tax rate on those businesses.

“It’s a win-win,” he says. “It helps us become more competitive.”

Mitch Rosen, director of office and industrial development for SunCor Development Company, says his company owns 250 acres that will be part of the FTZ.

“The reason we’re interested is that we believe it to be an exceptional tool to stimulate the economic development of the West Valley,” he says. “It’s a good way to stimulate quality employment and it creates a competitive advantage for Arizona and the West Valley. It encourages businesses throughout the country to elect to locate in the West Valley.”

Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC, expects FTZs to spring up throughout the sprawling West Valley as cities become more aware of the benefits.

“We are thrilled,” he says, “to help bring this economic development tool to our West Valley communities that will assist them, especially at a time like this.”

www.imsw.com | www.suncoraz.com | www.ci.goodyear.az.us

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010