Making space for Arizona businesses

The greater Phoenix metropolitan area is one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to building businesses from the ground up – both literally and figuratively.

This year, Phoenix is anticipated to construct roughly 6.5 million square feet of industrial space, the sixth-largest volume in the nation. Further, a Commercial Café study found that the Valley has planned 34 developments that will comprise at least 90,000 square feet.

“I think there’s a few reasons for this growth: one is our strategic location, which is really excellent,” NAIOP CEO Suzanne Kinney said. “We’re close enough to major markets in California as well as in Sonora, Mexico. We’re a hub. We’ve been able as a region to position ourselves extremely well for the transition to a digital economy, with online sales being a bigger and bigger portion of all retail sales to consumers as well as business to business sales.”

Kinney also highlights growing infrastructure as instrumental to the city’s industrial growth. Because of the southwest valley’s proximity to the I-10 and the expansion of the Loop 202, trucks are able to more easily transport goods between warehouses and other facilities.

These improvements in infrastructure are also helping to create more jobs and make jobs more available to West Valley citizens, according to Valley Partnership CEO Cheryl Lombard.

“I think what is interesting is there is a big pool of workers in the West Valley that were having to drive to the East Valley because that’s where the jobs are,” Lombard said. “But now with the industrial and technology companies going out there, they don’t have to drive…It’s a win-win solution for the West Valley.”

Both the public and private sectors have also been integral in driving industrial development. Leadership in both has proven invaluable in attracting out-of-state businesses and ensuring the growth of resident companies, as well.

“There’s a variety of factors that have contributed to that [digital growth],” Kinney said. “Some of that has been leadership in a variety of different places in the public arena leadership and making it clear that Arizona is open for business. In the private sector, you have professionals that are out there really pitching Arizona and telling the story of why it’s a good area and a good place for major operations.”

Ben Norman

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