Glendale business boom: New companies, jobs headed to city
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on June 14th, 2016

By: Paul Giblin, The Republic I azcentral.com​

Glendale is luring businesses in four sectors: medial, business services, manufacturing and specialty retail.

​More than a dozen companies have either moved to Glendale or expanded in the city this year, a surge that economic development officials largely attribute to the West Valley city's increasing population and transportation infrastructure.

Combined, the new companies represent approximately 1,000 immediate jobs and 3,000 jobs at build-out, according to Glendale Economic Development Director Brian Friedman. 

The companies are clustered in four industries: manufacturing, medical technology, advanced business services, and signature retail and entertainment. Glendale officials specifically targeted those sectors to help diversify the city's economy, said City Manager Kevin Phelps.

"Those enterprises are a perfect example of the strategy we will continue to deploy to increase base jobs as well as revenue, and ultimately make Glendale a stronger community," Phelps said.

The scale of the new business developments also is increasing, Friedman said. Business decision-makers are opting to develop larger campuslike developments, rather than single storefronts, near similar existing or planned developments. 

"When they see lots of either direct competitors or ancillary types of businesses succeeding in a range of different enterprises, it makes it more and more attractive," he said. "Success begets more success, and that's why we're seeing everybody sort of rushing the stage here."

The surge of new jobs during the first six months of 2016 marks an increase from previous years, which saw about 1,300 new jobs each year from 2008 through 2015, Friedman said. The uptick is strictly market driven, because the city has not provided tax breaks or other incentives to the companies, he said.

The goal is to develop Glendale-based jobs and to give skilled resident workers reasons not to drive out of Glendale every morning, he said.

According to a U.S. Census Bureau study, 84,000 Glendale residents traveled out of the city for work daily in 2014, the most recent statistics available. Meanwhile, 59,600 non-Glendale residents traveled into the city for jobs. Approximately 11,000 Glendale residents remained in Glendale for work.

​Becoming a medical hub

​Glendale is developing into a medical hub for the West Valley.

"It's just Glendale's time," Friedman said. "What we're seeing is medical jobs all across the spectrum."

​Expansion in the medical and health-care sector feeds on growth in the regional population, an increase in residents' expectations for specialty medical services and growth in a locally-trained medical workforce, he said.

Much of the development is on the west side of the Loop 101, west of the Westgate Entertainment District.

"If you're coming to the West Valley and you're looking in the area, this is absolutely one of the very first places you look. It really has a very strong draw. It's really one of the last places you can develop on the 101," Friedman said.

Two notable developments:

Rendina Healthcare Real Estate, a Florida-based medical building development company, is building a three-story medical office building on the St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center campus at 7300 N. 99th Ave. The 62,000-square-foot complex is scheduled to open in the fall and employ as many as 200 health-care professionals, with several specialty physicians offices, a diagnostic imaging center and a surgery center.

101 West Healthcare is developing a $30 million, 200,000-square-foot medical campus south of St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center on the northwest corner of 99th and Glendale Avenue. Plans call for physicians offices, surgery centers, laboratories, a long-term care facility and related spaces.

Construction on the first phase — a single story, 16,000-square-foot office building — began in April and is expected to finish in the fall. At full build-out, the 22-acre complex will feature five buildings up to five stories tall.

The complex is expected to provide 1,500 jobs to medical providers. The location is ideal, said Trisha Talbot, managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which is marketing and leasing the development.

"It's in between several different hospital campuses, but it's not on a hospital campus," she said. "Also, people are familiar with this location because of the entertainment district nearby, and it's easy to get to from various cities in the West Valley."

101 West Healthcare is based in Scottsdale and led by radiologist Dr. John Simon, who also founded medical services firm SimonMed Imaging.

Advanced business services on the rise

Developments among advanced business services, the next busiest segment, include:

Credit Union West, a Glendale-based financial-services firm, plans to begin work on a new corporate headquarters building near 99th and Glendale Avenue in late 2017 or early 2018, said President and CEO Bob MacGregor. The credit union purchased more than 10 acres and will invest $10 million to $15 million in the project, MacGregor said.

The two-story, 80,000-square-foot building is expected to be complete in late 2018 and house more than 300 employees, he said. Credit Union West handles more than $550 million in assets and serves more than 57,000 members.

​The Westgate region provides easy access to the Loop 101, Luke Air Force Base and other high-end development, MacGregor said. "It's a great place for our employees to get in and out of. Mainly, it was for the consideration of our employees that live in the area," he said.

MobileLogix, a Glendale-based software development company, opened a new, expanded headquarters in north Glendale in March.

MobileLogix develops and sells software designed to handle scheduling, dispatching and related matters for companies that use field service technicians, such as large-scale computer and engine repair operations and cable companies.

The company expects to have 24 employees at its 6,200-square-foot facility at 5150 W. Phelps Drive this year, and double that next year.

MobileLogix CEO and Glendale resident Ron Babich said there was no question about basing the growing firm in Glendale.

"Nothing against tires and everything else, but there's just more than blue-collar stuff on the west side. There's a lot of awesome things over here," he said.

"The consensus is that there's no talent, no technology talent on the west side, but it's just the opposite. You find a gadjillion people that are just brilliant over here on this side of town and are anxious to work for a technology company."

City targets aerospace manufacturing, distribution

Existing industrial spaces are nearly maxed out in Glendale, but additional industrial space will become available along Loop 303 as water and sewer services come online, Friedman said.

City officials are targeting advanced manufacturing companies tied to the aerospace industry and distribution centers. Among recent developments:

Canyon State Bus Sales relocated from Phoenix to 5600 W. Claremont St., in Glendale, in February. The company sells, maintains and repairs school buses and specialized vehicles, such as hotel shuttle buses and prison buses.

The property's size, configuration and location of the property were key factors in selecting Glendale, said company President Phil Polizzatto.

The 8½-acre parcel has space for a 27,500-square-foot building with 14 service bays, plus parking for more than 125 buses.

The $3 million development also is located in an industrial area away from busy streets, which is a bonus for bus drivers trying to maneuver in and out of the property.

"With heavy traffic and fast-moving traffic, that can become very dangerous," Polizzatto said. "It's a very safe area for buses to pull in and out of."

Canyon State Bus Sales has 36 full-time employees and five part-time workers.

Glendale officials appreciate another aspect of the bus-sales operation, Friedman said. "From a gross sales point of view, these are very, very expensive capitol items being sold, and lots of them — and they are taxable items for Glendale," he said.

The Iron Factory, a golf club iron refinisher, is moving from Grand Junction, Colo., to 7615 N. 75th Ave., in Glendale. The operation is expected to open in July and employee six people, according to Glendale spokeswoman Kim Larson.

The Iron Factory launched in 1974 and has repaired, rebuilt and refinished more than 1 million clubs for professional and amateur golfers since then, according to the company.

​Signature retail and entertainment

Construction has started on a Hilton-brand hotel, a Home2 Suites by Hilton, at 6620 N. 95th Ave., at Westgate, just northwest of University of Phoenix Stadium.

​The extended-stay concept hotel will feature 127 suites on four floors. It is expected to open in February 2017, just ahead of the NCAA men's Final Four tournament at the stadium, Larson said.

Upon its completion, the Westgate Entertainment District will have three hotels and 596 hotel rooms.

Living Spaces, a furniture and home-decor retailer, has begun renovation of the 120,000-square-foot space previously occupied by Kmart at 6767 W. Bell Road.

The new store tentatively is scheduled to open in mid-August, said company spokeswoman Deb Ponsford.



Posted in not categorized    Tagged with no tags


0 Comments

Leave a Comment