Words from Mayor of Chandler
January 24, 2017 |
Mayor of Chandler
Chandler’s business and development community continues to be a dynamic force with no signs of slowing down. In 2016, we experienced a solid year of employment diversification, company expansions, locates and business friendly programs that will continue into the new year.
Rogers Corporation, one of Chandler’s longest-running businesses, announced last summer it will move its headquarters to our City, adding close to 200 corporate jobs while making a $20 million expansion to its existing facilities. Rogers was one of the first tech companies to locate in Chandler, predating even Intel as one of our leading manufacturers.
Other large corporate moves last year included Republic Services and DaVita into the Price Road Corridor. One of Chandler’s many long-term strategies for maintaining a strong fiscal house has been to build and foster a diversified job base, and both of these companies fit the bill.
DaVita is a large pharmaceutical operation specializing in kidney disease. The company plans to add approximately 600 jobs to their local workforce in the next few years. Republic Services has expanded into Chandler with several hundred jobs in a variety of fields. In all, 2016 will produce 2,000-plus jobs, the absorption of nearly a half-million square feet of space and we project close to $90 million in new capital investment.
Perhaps the most exciting local trend has been the emergence of car technology in our City. Fortune Magazine called us “the country’s hottest new city for autos” in an article published in 2016. Chandler is home to many companies developing automotive tech including Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project), General Motors Innovation Center, Intel, NXP Semiconductors (formerly Freescale), Microchip, Garmin, Local Motors and others.
We feel Chandler was a great choice for Waymo to continue to test and develop this new technology. These automotive tech companies further diversify Chandler’s robust employment base, allowing us to remain economically strong. And it makes sense to concentrate this research here in Chandler, further cementing our reputation as the Innovation and Technology Hub of the Southwest. Chandler has the talent base, transportation system, quality lifestyle and institutional partners like Intel that make it a natural draw for these types of employers.
Downtown Chandler continues to thrive with a number of new restaurants, shops, office users and expansions taking place. We are also adding pedestrian density with the addition of Alta Steelyard and several other multi-family projects in the pipeline.
New development is happening in all corners of the City. Two, first-to-market concepts opened last year with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in southeast Chandler and Natural Grocers in west Chandler. My State of the City address on January 31. , reveals a new branding effort for north Chandler, a growing employment base and important manufacturing center.
In 2016, the City Council approved two critical initiatives that will have a strong impact on the Chandler community. One is an Adaptive Reuse Ordinance allowing for the conversion of underutilized or vacant structures into new and more creative uses. We are seeing great interest from the development community and expect to see many successes with this program in the coming years, particularly in our downtown area.
We also adopted a Resolution authorizing an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Chandler is committed to supporting our local companies, and one way we can do this is to provide them with access to the tools and resources necessary to compete in the global marketplace. This new alliance opens the door for Chandler companies to take full advantage of the Bank’s wide array of financial services and products, and I am proud to say Chandler was the first city in Arizona to take advantage of this partnership.
While Chandler remains a very family-friendly community with great schools, solid infrastructure, tremendous recreational amenities and AAA Bond scores with all three major rating agencies, we are also a bold, dynamic place of commerce.