By the BF Staff
From the July/August 2018 Issue
Arizona is no stranger to business, but the beginning of 2018 started with a boom. Two companies have made, or plan to make, investments in the billions and bring thousands of jobs to the state.
In January, Nikola Motor Company selected Buckeye, AZ for its new hydrogen-electric semi-truck manufacturing headquarters. The 500-acre, one million-square-foot facility will be located on the west side of Phoenix and will bring more than $1 billion in capital investment to the region by 2024.
“Arizona has the workforce to support our growth and a governor that was an entrepreneur himself. They understood what 2,000 jobs would mean to their cities and state,” said Trevor Milton, CEO and founder, Nikola Motor Company. “We will begin transferring our R&D and headquarters to Arizona immediately and hope to have the transition completed by October 2018. We have already begun planning the construction for our new zero emission manufacturing facility in Buckeye, which we expect to have underway by the end of 2019.”
In February, Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel will invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42 in Chandler, AZ. The high-volume factory is expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world and is targeted to use the 7 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process.
The completion of Fab 42 in three to four years will create approximately 3,000 high-tech, high-wage Intel jobs for process engineers, equipment technicians and facilities-support engineers and technicians who will work at the site. Combined with the indirect impact on businesses that will help support the factory’s operations, Fab 42 is expected to create more than 10,000 total long-term jobs in Arizona.
GROWING FAST IN GOODYEAR
A rapidly growing city in the West Valley of the Greater Phoenix region, Goodyear, AZ enjoys the advantages of a major Metro area as well as the stunning Estrella Mountains, which provide the backdrop for an active lifestyle. Sports enthusiasts enjoy watching games at Goodyear Ballpark, home of Spring Training and Player Development for Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. Master planned communities with beautiful lakes, hiking and biking trails, urban parks and award winning golf courses supply ideal housing for residents of all ages, from young professionals to retirees. The local schools are highly rated which include well-known charter schools with outstanding academic reputations.
Goodyear is synonymous with growth and opportunity. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and enjoys a median household income that is nearly $74,000/year. Its vast accessibility and transportation connections via I-10 and Loop 303 make it a sought after place to do business, and it’s already home to major employers like Amazon, REI, Macy’s, Sub-Zero, Huhtamaki and Ball Corporation. With thousands of acres of land available for development, a business friendly environment that offers enhanced permitting and minimal regulations, affordable housing options and an excellent quality of life, it’s no surprise that businesses are choosing Goodyear.
Healthcare is one of the rapidly expanding sectors in Goodyear. Most notably, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America located its Western Regional Medical Center within the city’s Medical Innovation Corridor. Abrazo West Campus hospital completed a $26 million expansion, creating a level 1 trauma center and recently acquired a former movie theater for conversion to medical office space; tenant improvements are currently underway in this 50,000-square-foot multi-tenant medical facility. In addition, Adalente Healthcare is the newest best-in-class company to join the corridor with a 45,000-square-foot community-focused health campus expected to open November 2018.
The demand for office space is at a premium in Goodyear. With only a 7 percent vacancy rate, Goodyear is looking to developers to assist in expanding this actively growing sector of the city.
Spec buildings highlight another success for the city. Developers continue to build large volume spec buildings without any secured tenants, showing faith in the market and creating opportunity for new industry to bring jobs and investment to the West Valley. In the last few years, over 3-million-square-feet of space delivered or is currently under construction with several buildings touting an impressive 40′ clear height. There is an additional 3-million square-feet in the initial planning phase.
The city also boasts successful Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) locations, which help foreign and international businesses establish and grow operations while limiting tariffs and fees.
Goodyear is the nucleus of aerospace growth and opportunity in the West and has been a leader in the industry for 75 years. Renowned aviation companies like AerSale, Lockheed Martin and Airline Training Center Arizona call Goodyear home, while these and other aviation businesses benefit from a plethora of advantages the city possesses. Goodyear is situated in a Military Reuse Zone—the only MRZ in West Metro Phoenix—which means tax benefits and a more affordable place to do business.
The retail sector also is flourishing with excellent developments ideal for retailers looking to expand, locate or relocate in the Goodyear, AZ market. The swift increase in residential communities makes doing business even more attractive, as an influx of people look to call the area home. More than 83,000 people already benefit from, and enjoy, Goodyear’s dynamic shopping and a diverse restaurant scene that includes over 100 establishments.
There is tremendous potential for growth where starting or expanding a business is met with ardent support and development incentives. With a location just 30 minutes from the most innovative school in the nation (ASU) that contributes to the third largest labor pool in the West (1.56 million), businesses are able to draw talent from an abundance of educated, highly skilled and eager graduates. Recent graduates and longtime residents alike agree that Goodyear is the place to be—93% of Goodyear citizens rate it as an excellent or good place to live. 300 days of sunshine, scenic mountain views, golf courses, lakes, parks and an assortment of cultural, educational and entertainment resources is the foundation supporting the city’s “A” rating.
As residents will attest, the city of Goodyear is the American dream realized. Various organizations all agree, and the awards and accolades given to the city are consistent with the feelings residents, businesses and visitors’ alike share. Goodyear received the All-America City Award and City Livability Award, two national awards deemed prestigious and highly honorable. NerdWallet ranked Goodyear as one of the Best Cities in the Nation for Veterans and Movoto ranked Goodyear fifth for Best Places Near Phoenix for Young Professionals and among the top for Best Phoenix Suburbs for Young Couples.
If you’re looking in Arizona for a great place to live, work or locate your business, Goodyear is your choice. For more information contact City of Goodyear Economic Development at (623) 932-3025 or visit www.developgoodyearaz.com.
MESA: A CENTER FOR ADVANCED MANUFACTURING & TECHNOLOGY
Boasting a population of nearly 500,000, Mesa is the 36th largest city in the United States and second largest in the Phoenix-Mesa metro area. Larger than Miami and Atlanta, Mesa is home to major operations for companies such as Apple, Boeing, Bridgestone, FUJIFILM, Mitsubishi, Textron and Infineon. Today, Mesa continues to build upon its reputation for attracting and growing cutting-edge technology companies and advanced manufacturers.
Fostering entrepreneurship and advancing new technologies is a key focus for Mesa as the City leverages its position as a premier innovation district.
Arizona State University, which already houses its polytechnic campus in southeast Mesa, is expanding its campus to Downtown Mesa with a $63.5 million facility that will deliver technology-focused programs utilizing augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 3D design. These programs will greatly impact industries such as medical, aerospace, manufacturing and entertainment.
In addition, Downtown Mesa is home to LaunchPoint, the City’s technology accelerator, which is driving tremendous success with its participating tech companies.
Urbix Resources, a start-up company located at LaunchPoint, is changing the way the world uses graphite. Urbix has licensed and is now commercializing graphene-based technologies from the University of Arizona. The company recently raised $3.5 million of Series A funding and is growing rapidly, garnering national attention. Urbix CEO, Adam Small, was recently named to Forbes magazine’s 2017 “30 Under 30” list in the energy sector.
Another LaunchPoint start-up, GT Medical Technologies, is creating a buzz nationally in the medical device sector. GT Medical’s GammaTile technology has shown to be effective in treating brain tumors. The company recently closed on $3 million of equity financing and was selected as a winner of the MedTech Innovator San Francisco pitch competition.
Mesa has long been an established hub for aerospace and defense companies such as Boeing, Textron, MD Helicopters and Nammo Talley. Today, the sector continues to grow in Mesa.
Recently, AQST Space Systems announced the move of its global headquarters to Mesa. AQST will manufacture and assemble small rockets and satellites. The company expects to begin production by the end of 2018.
In March 2018, Orbital ATK (now part of Northrop Grumman) announced a 36,000-square-foot expansion of its operation in Mesa’s Falcon District. When completed, the expansion will nearly double the company’s current production capacity of its Bushmaster brand of medium-caliber cannons.
Mesa’s Elliot Road Technology Corridor is home to Apple’s 1.3 million-square-foot global command center, and in March of this year, EdgeCore Internet Real Estate broke ground on a $450 million, 200,000-square-foot Phase I building for a major data center campus in the Corridor. EdgeCore’s full campus build-out will total 1.25 million square feet and reach an estimated $2 billion in investment.
With more than 1,000 acres of shovel-ready land, streamlined entitlements and robust infrastructure in place, the Elliot Road Technology Corridor continues to garner national attention from companies purchasing property for future data center and technology campuses.
When it comes to advanced manufacturing, Mesa is no slouch, attracting and growing companies that utilize state-of-the-art technologies.
Piper Plastics, Inc, a global provider of high performance polymer materials, precision molded and machined plastic components and assemblies, is building its 90,000-square-foot, North American Research and Development Tech Center in Mesa’s Falcon District.
Eclipse Automation, a leading supplier of custom automated manufacturing equipment, just opened its third U.S. manufacturing facility in Mesa. In addition, CMC Steel just began construction on the 63,000-square-foot expansion of its advanced, “green” micro-mill to manufacture spooled rebar.
In May, EuroContempo opened a fully-automated, 72,000-square-foot European cabinet manufacturing facility, and earlier this year, Niagara Bottling began operating its new 450,000-square-foot, highly-automated manufacturing and bottling operation in Mesa’s Elliot Road Technology Corridor.
Dexcom, an advanced manufacturer of leading-edge glucose monitoring devices for diabetes, came to Mesa in 2017, announcing 500 jobs. In June of this year, Dexcom announced it will hire an additional 200 employees as it continues to expand production at its 180,000-square-foot facility.
The Phoenix-Mesa metro area has a large workforce of more than 2.2 million. Moreover, the region’s more than 40 universities and institutions of higher learning are serving up a pipeline of highly-skilled and tech-savvy talent.
Arizona State University (ASU) is the nation’s largest public research university with a student population of nearly 90,000. ASU is ranked fifth in the nation for best-qualified graduates, according to the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, ASU has more than 21,000 engineering students enrolled in the nation’s largest engineering school, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, with six interdisciplinary schools, 25 undergraduate programs, 39 graduate programs and the top additive manufacturing facility in the Southwest.
Mesa is well poised to continue to grow its position as a center for innovation and technology. To learn more about Mesa, visit www.MesaAzTechnology.com.
SIERRA VISTA: TECH-READY WORKERS
Located along the foothills of southeast Arizona’s Huachuca Mountains, an impressive blend of history, education and nature converge to produce an exceptional opportunity. Sierra Vista, thanks to adjacent Fort Huachuca, is woven from nearly a century-and-a-half of strategic missions, technical communications and intelligence operations. With readily available office space and buildable land, this up-and-coming community is ready to meet today’s critical demand for educated, tech-centric professionals.
Sierra Vista and the U.S. Army’s Fort Huachuca enjoy a symbiotic relationship that has lasted more than 140 years. Selected for the unique geography and the strategic vantage point for military missions and communications it provided, Fort Huachuca continues to play a key role in the Department of Defense. High elevation and surrounding mountains form a “bowl” of protected airspace, creating an unmatched testing ground that allows the Army to plan, conduct, analyze and test its command, control, communications, computers and intelligence assets.
Fort Huachuca’s strategic missions are staffed by thousands of soldiers who perform skilled technical tasks. Approximately 700 professionally trained solders transition from Fort Huachuca to the civilian workforce annually, providing a valuable workforce: trained, skilled professionals ready to put their skills to work in fields such as electronics, engineering, network operations, security, technical interoperability, intelligence and cyber operations. And former military personnel bring an added value to the workplace, particularly for businesses seeking candidates for sensitive positions. Here, corporate recruiters can find applicants with clean records, high physical standards, demonstrated ability to follow instruction and ability to obtain clearances. With five higher education institutions located in Sierra Vista, a highly skilled, educated workforce offers another business advantage.
Cochise College has been recognized nationally for its affordability, return on investment and student success rate. In fact, the small community college based in Cochise County was named the second-best community college in the country in 2017. Serving more than 11,000 students and offering 90 degrees and technical certificates, including in-demand degrees like registered nursing, cyber security, aviation and engineering—programs that have put Cochise College on the map. This outstanding institution recently partnered with Arizona State University and continues a strong relationship with the University of Arizona.
Located adjacent to Cochise College, University of Arizona Sierra Vista boasts one of the nation’s top Cyber Operations programs. The National Security Agency designated U of A’s Cyber Operations program as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations—a designation shared by only 20 cyber programs in the nation. Unique to the U of A Sierra Vista program is its approach to cyber security, encompassing defensive as well as offensive positions. The program takes a 360-degree, hands-on approach through a forensics lab, a malware sandbox, an Internet of Things lab and CyberApolis, a virtual city with a 3D GUI with network attack map, 15,000 virtual residents (each with unique personas), an underground hacker community, an organized crime element, entity and data relational linkages and activity patterns.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wayland Baptist University provide additional opportunities for residents to earn degrees. Sierra Vista’s culture of education is reflected in national statistics: more youth are high school graduates and more residents hold bachelor’s degrees or higher than the national average.
For more information, contact the City of Sierra Vista, Economic Development at (520) 439-2122 or visit www.SierraVistaAZBusiness.com.
PEORIA, AZ: READY TO COMPETE
From its stunning topography to diverse workforce, Peoria, AZ is becoming an increasingly popular place to live, work and invest. Peoria is in a unique position. It is a growing city with a thriving business community, a high-quality workforce, premier sites for investors and developers, as well as opportunities for public-private partnerships. Peoria is developing its economy to compete for local, national and global business. With a supportive mayor and highly involved city council driving the economic development strategies, Peoria’s leaders are not only taking control of their future, they are creating it.
Currently, Peoria has three dynamic, shovel-ready sites in highly sought-after areas of the city:
- Stadium Point@ P83 is a 17-acre innovation center project in the heart of P83, Peoria’s premier entertainment district. The innovation center features build-to-suit retail/restaurant pads and Class A office development opportunities. The site, adjacent to the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners spring training facility, offers exceptional access, infrastructure and walkable amenities.
- CoreWest Office Park is a 4-acre business park site located on the SWC of Peoria Avenue and the Loop 101 freeway. Zoned mixed-use/commercial, the office park offers options for build-to-suit “Class B” office product. All utilities are adjacent to the site.
- Vistancia Commercial Core offers 320 acres in the affluent, growing community of Vistancia. The site is zoned for mixed-use/commercial; it is adjacent to Loop 303 and within minutes of Lake Pleasant and other area amenities. Build-to-suit corporate campus or advanced manufacturing options are available.
Adopting an aggressive strategy has allowed the City to attract smart people and smart businesses to the area. Additionally, Peoria by far is a low cost option for both business and workforce attraction when compared to Austin and Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Diego, San Francisco and, Los Angeles California.
Having an available, high-quality workforce is essential in today’s competitive business environment. Peoria has an abundant, educated workforce within a 30 minute drive from most major employment centers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The average professional in and around Peoria is young, approximately 35 years old, with a college degree. With many more working years left, these entrepreneurs and professionals dominate today’s workforce. A strong and talented workforce makes the relocation and/or expansion decision easier for investors and businesses that are ready to make a smart move.
Peoria recently was ranked number seven on America’s 50 Best Cities to Live list from Yahoo Finance, and for good reason. With more than 300 days of sunshine, excellent schools, indoor and outdoor amenities, Peoria is a great destination in the Valley of the Sun. Home to one of Arizona’s largest lakes, beautiful parks and more than 25 miles of hiking trails throughout the city, Peoria offers many outdoor recreational opportunities.
When you are ready to invest, Peoria will provide a dedicated, in-house team for quick and consistent plan review, permitting and inspection. By providing a team approach, we’re able to establish realistic schedules to meet your deadlines, which are critical to the success of your project. Also available for the right project is Peoria’s Priority Track Processing Policy, which moves plan reviews and permitting to “the front of the line” at no cost. For more information, visit www.peoriaed.com/invest.