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Phoenix To Developers: 'You Build It And They’ll Come' To Laveen

Since the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway opened in late December, Phoenix says more developers are taking notice. Economic Development Director Chris Mackay said the city is focused on getting business parks and campuses that companies want.

“Ninety percent of our prospects are looking for existing space, they’re not looking for a build to suit, we’re always lucky when that happens but we’ve got a - this is definitely a time with us when you build it, and they’ll come,” she said.

Phoenix is branding the area — especially near 59th Avenue and Baseline — as the South Mountain Technology Corridor and wants to focus on attracting companies in advanced manufacturing and technology, aerospace and defense, finance and insurance, data centers and emerging technologies.

“It is critical that we keep that vision of this high tech, knowledge intensive corridor so that we can provide great jobs for our citizens,” Mackay told the council during a recent policy session.

In 2017, Westmarc, a public-private partnership of 15 communities, released data about the workforce west of Interstate 17. It found 69 percent of workers commuted to other parts of Maricopa County. 

The new freeway connects Interstate 10 near 59th Avenue in southwest Phoenix with I-10 and the Loop 202 San Tan Freeway in Chandler border. Cyd Manning told the council it cuts her commute from Laveen to Tempe in half. 

“My stress level is way down going to and from work,” she said. “I’m extremely appreciative of that.” 

Manning complimented the freeway’s appearance and asked city leaders to pursue responsible, high quality development. 

“And I would love support for a scenic corridor,” she said “Billboards along that freeway should just completely be banned. The views are beautiful. South Mountain, Estrellas to the south, San Tans.”

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.