By BF Editors
From the May/June 2022 Issue
The economic development strategic vision for Scottsdale, AZ is to be a prosperous, sustainable destination for diverse talent, investment, and innovative businesses. Built from this vision, the city’s most recent Economic Development Strategic Plan was adopted by the City Council in April 2021. Six guiding principles serve as a framework for the Strategic Plan:
- Balanced Development. Consistent with the values in the City’s General Plan, Scottsdale will advance economic development initiatives that balance prosperity and livability.
- Export Industry-Driven. Scottsdale will pursue a data-driven export industry approach to drive economic diversification.
- Existing Businesses First. The City will focus on business expansion and retention to grow Scottsdale’s economic base and attract investment.
- Focus on Entrepreneurship. Scottsdale will foster an inclusive startup ecosystem as a means of wealth creation for residents.
- Private Sector and Partner Engagement. To achieve success with this plan, Scottsdale’s private sector and economic development partners will be critical to advance the City’s economic development priorities in the coming years.
- Equitable Approach. The City will apply an equity lens to all economic development efforts, ensuring all Scottsdale residents and businesses can thrive.
Target industries In Scottsdale
The target industries for the City of Scottsdale, outlined in its most recent strategic plan (and detailed below) are: corporate headquarters; IT services and software; financial and insurance services; healthcare services and innovation; logistics management; and tourism.
That last one—tourism—is actually the first thing many think of when it comes to Scottsdale. And, while the city is striving to diversify its economy for resiliency in the face of an economic downturn, Rob Millar, Economic Development Director for Choose Scottsdale, points to tourism’s importance in the diversification efforts: “We are not just about tourism, but it is such an important industry here and always will be. Many times, tourism paves the road for companies and talent to locate here. They come here on vacation or a corporate retreat, and think about moving their company or family here.”
Corporate Headquarters. Scottsdale’s share of corporate HQs is 13% greater than U.S. Millar shares, “Twenty-two percent of corporate headquarters in Arizona are in Scottsdale.”
IT Services and Software. With a competitive advantage two times the U.S. average, Scottsdale is a magnet for technology development.
Financial and Insurance Services and Technology. Employing 13,000, the City’s Financial and In-surance Services sector offers a foundation for future innovation and enterprise development. These companies “have shown a growing presence in the past eight or nine years,” says Millar. “And we see projected growth over the next five to six years.”
Healthcare Services and Innovation. With an array of leading healthcare institutions, Scottsdale is one of the country’s premier healthcare centers.
Logistics Management. This fast-growing sector boasts an employment base of 3,000 in Scottsdale and has access to ASU’s top-ranked Department of Supply Chain Management.
Tourism. Scottsdale’s tourism and hospitality industry is an important employment base for the City and essential for maintaining the community’s quality of life appeal.
Scottsdale Corporate Corridor
The last available land in Scottsdale is prime State land in the area of Hayden and the 101 freeway. Named the Scottsdale Corporate Corridor, this 1,200 acre tract has 800 available acres for corporate headquarters to locate. From large mixed-used development to freestanding facilities, Choose Scottsdale works with companies to evaluate their needs and find the right site in the Corridor.
The area offers many advantages for corporate headquarters including:
- Close proximity to major domestic and international markets via Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Scottsdale Municipal Airport
- Highly educated and well-trained workforce
- Higher quality of life with a lower cost of living compared to other major cities in the U.S.
Millar expects that all the land in the Corporate Corridor will be occupied within five to eight years. Scottsdale’s Corporate Corridor is already home to companies such Nationwide Insurance, Axon (formerly Taser), Choice Hotels, and development projects such as Illume, One Scottsdale and Cavasson.
Cavasson is a 134-acre mixed-used development, which when complete will include approximately 1.8 million square feet of commercial office space, 1,600 residences, a full-service hotel, retail, restaurants, and amenities. The initial phase of the 134-acre project includes a multi-tenant office building anchored by Nationwide Insurance, a five-story building for Choice Hotels International’s technology headquarters, and six-story parking. A Hilton resort-style hotel, retail, and restaurants are underway. Infrastructure improvements continue in and around the site, including a green space at the center of the development.