By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Gilbert continues to thrive as one of Arizona’s growth leaders, according to the town’s Office of Economic Development (OED) FY 2015 annual report. The town currently boasts 4.5MSF under active development.
Since 2008, the office’s involvement in development projects has accounted for 21 percent of all system development fee revenues collected by the city. Since fiscal year 2010, sales tax collections for OED projects have increased at an average rate of 57.97 percent, and the office generates $3.25 for every dollar invested.
Trade outreach, including foreign direct investment efforts, account for a significant portion of the town’s success. The office hosted a sold-out half day trade Global Connect workshop event in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority and the City of Mesa to bring industry leaders together to discuss exports, laws and logistical business considerations.
Sales missions have been undertaken to Mexico, Canada and other countries. Three of the four Arizona small- and medium-sized enterprises honored by the U.S. Department of Commerce with an “E” award for excellence in export growth are based in Gilbert.
The Heritage District is Gilbert’s economic development showcase and hub. Notable developments in the area include the 87KSF San Xavier University campus and the 70KSF Heritage Marketplace. Three new developments will begin construction in 2016.
According to the report, the key factors in Gilbert’s growth are: Skilled labor availability, a pro-business climate, land and building availability, collaborative research and development, electrical infrastructure, expedited permitting, proximity to educational outlets, and a high quality of life.