Manager’s Update – December 7, 2012
As the year quickly comes to an end, I’d like to reflect on Gilbert’s growth during the past year. Gilbert is thriving and, according to our Office of Economic Development, 2012 has brought nearly 1,500 jobs and $150.7 million in capital investments.
Our focus, as we work toward build-out, is to attract businesses with an emphasis in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) industries. This year, we have had several great successes in these areas, including the announcement of a new VA Clinic, Banner Health Center, the Ironwood Cancer and Research Center, as well as the expansion of Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. In addition, Orbital Sciences is currently pursuing a foreign trade zone (FTZ) status for their Gilbert facility, which will result in further investments ultimately making it the largest satellite integration and assembly facility in the world. ASU startup Heliae continues its extensive growth as it embarks on a four-year lease for the 40 acres of land next to their current site.
In addition, as part owners, we are dedicated to our investment in the growth and success of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The planned expansions are expected to accommodate up to 20 million passengers annually, which is half the size of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. I look forward to all of the benefits its development will bring to the Town.
We have also made great strides in our tourism efforts this year. Residence Inn Phoenix Gilbert located on the campus of MD Anderson Cancer Center is near completion, while the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel has announced a flag expansion that will make it the largest hotel in Gilbert.
Our downtown Heritage District is thriving with more businesses expanding and new ones looking to open. Popular restaurant, Postino Winecafe opened in March of this year and, already, owner Craig DeMarco is looking to build a Mexican eatery and potentially partner on at least two additional restaurant concepts in downtown Gilbert.
I am also encouraged by the potential growth that Gilbert will see in the year ahead. We look forward to sharing our successes as we work to further develop our community, making it a tremendous place for people to live, work, and play.
-Patrick Banger, Town Manager