Monday, May 28, 2012

Big projects boost West Valley

When executives with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. were scouting metro Phoenix last fall, they found their target site in Glendale's Westgate City Center. It had a lot going for it.

The 38-acre site bumped against Loop 101. Nearby sports stadiums would draw in potential shoppers. Best of all was the speed with which the deal could be done.

"We felt the city was going to be cooperative," said Tom McDonough, Tanger's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "In general, this went quicker than most."

Those are all factors that have helped West Valley cities rebound from the economic recession.

Major projects set for Surprise, Peoria, Glendale and the Southwest Valley could take off as the state continues to improve Loop 303 and make large pieces of the West Valley more accessible.

Barry Broome, president and chief executive of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, noted in a recent talk that the West Valley consistently delivers large business sites.

Broome said companies planning to build or relocate make side-by-side comparisons of cities and states. Such factors as taxes, real-estate and operating costs, infrastructure, incentives and workforce all come into play. Often, the prospective cities are unaware that they are in the running, giving them incentive to streamline bureaucracies.

"All your hard work is paying off," said Broome, who added that he was aware of two Chinese companies surveying the West Valley. "If somebody is looking for 150 to 200 acres, the West Valley is the only place."

Speed was a factor with the Glendale location of the Tanger Outlet Mall, which is under construction and expected to open for the holiday season. City officials did not offer any financial incentives, but they did use an expedited two-day planning process called a "design review charette," according to Jon Froke, Glendale's planning director.

by Lesley Wright - May. 25, 2012 05:17 PM The Republic |

Big projects boost West Valley

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