Glendale, AZ - Economic Development
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April 2017– Issue 15
Glendale Office of Economic Development


Welcome Carol Hu and Jessi Pederson to the Economic Development Team

The Office of Economic Development is pleased to welcome two new members to the team, Carol Hu and Jessi Pederson. Carol joins the team as its Economic Development Specialist and comes to the team from Glendale’s Planning Department, where she focused on shepherding companies through the entitlement process in order to attain quality development and effective project coordination in the city. Prior to her time in Glendale, she worked for Maricopa County with experience in both long range and current planning. Carol is also an Arizona State University graduate student with her Master degree in Urban and Environmental Planning. She also holds her Bachelors in Urban Planning and Geographic Information Science.
Jessi Pederson returns to Economic Development in the position of Economic Development Officer. Prior to rejoining the team, she served as Chief of Staff for Mayor Weiers for the last year and a half. Jessi previously worked in Economic Development and in the City Council office in Glendale. She also spent time in Goodyear, working for their Economic Development Department. Jessi has a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelors in Political Science from Arizona State University.
“We are fortunate to be able to welcome such high-quality talent to the team,” said Economic Development Director Brian Friedman. “With the addition of Jessi and Carol, our team is more ready than ever to assist companies in finding success in Glendale.”



AKDHC Locating 3rd Office in Glendale

AKDHC, who currently has two existing locations in Glendale, has now acquired the 40,000-square foot free standing office building located in Westgate at Maryland and 91st Avenue (6622 N 91st Avenue). With this most recent $4.2 Million dollar capital investment, AKDHC and their joint venture partner Fresenius Medical Care will have invested over $25 million dollars in Glendale, they will employ 70 full time positions citywide (50 at the newest location) and will service over 700 patients weekly. As part of their services, AKDHC offers the only children’s kidney group in the state of Arizona, serving those most vulnerable patients who are suffering from kidney disease.



Alaska Federal Credit Union Purchases Talavi Tech Building

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union purchased the 185,000-square foot Talavi Tech building, which previously had been the city’s largest remaining vacant office building. This $17 million-dollar investment will house significant future growth for the company and proves their commitment to the Glendale community. The acquisition by Alaska USA Federal Credit Union supplements their additional 20 plus acres in the Talavi Business Park near 55th Ave and Bell. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s initial capital investment in Glendale was the purchase of a 22,000 square foot data center; now combined with Talavi Tech, the company has over 200,000 square feet that includes a company bank branch and mortgage center.

Read more about this exciting project here.



BMW Selects Glendale for its Newest DealershipBMW Logo

BMW announced they will locate a $30 million full service car dealership in Glendale. West Valley RE LLC, an affiliate of the Van Tuyl Group, purchased a parcel of land from the City for $2.4 million where they will welcome the 90,000-square foot BMW facility to Glendale. The new dealership will be located on a 13-acre parcel just north of Union Hills on the west side of the Loop 101. BMW expects to employ between 150 and 200 people at the new facility.



Vision Care Locates to Glendale

Vision Care announced they are locating their first West Valley clinic in Glendale at the Fountains Medical Center located at 5620 West Thunderbird Road, Suite B-1. Vision Care will occupy a 2,000-square foot suite and will initially employ 2 doctors and 9 employees/opticians. Vision Care is a unique program that offers comprehensive affordable eye care and eyewear for the same pricing but does not require patients to have insurance. 



Starshine AZ Comes to Glendale Airport

Economic Development has been working in partnership with the Glendale Airport Team to welcome StarshineAZ to the Glendale Airport Terminal Building. At the March Aviation Advisory Commission meeting, a lease with StarshineAZ for Suite 200 in the terminal building was approved. StarshineAZ offers financial literacy, business support, consulting and development opportunities for women, from high school students to company CEOs, and operates the West Valley's 1st Co-Op and Co-Working Space for female entrepreneurs. The Glendale Airport Terminal building offers access to a large training room, an on-site restaurant, and additional suites for future expansion. The Economic Development Team has been working with the Co-Founders of StarshineAZ to integrate them into the greater Glendale community and to share this unique resource that has found an equally unique new home at our Airport. StarshineAZ will be holding an open house at the Airport on April 28th from 10AM-2PM to preview their new space. StarshineAZ will fully open in May and expects to attract new visitors and potential, new small business locates to the Airport Terminal building. The Glendale Airport Team and Economic Development will continue to work together to bring opportunities such as StarshineAZ to the remaining available suites at the Glendale Airport Terminal Building.



Congratulations to Glendale Powder Coat on their relocation and expansion

Glendale Powder Coat is a perfect example of how one couple’s vision and persistence can coalesce into the American Dream.  Paul and Debbie Ysteboe purchased Glendale Powder Coat two years ago, with dreams of growing the business in place.  In September 2016, the building they were leasing was purchased. Just after the building ownership changed hands, Glendale Powder Coat (GPC) was informed that they were going to be displaced.  The Economic Development Team immediately met with GPC and began assisting in the relocation by providing properties in the City of Glendale that could accommodate their current processes as well as their planned future growth. After a few months and multiple offers on these properties, Paul and Debbie finally closed escrow on their new building located at 6262 N 57th Avenue, directly across the street from the new U-Haul production facility.

During meetings in September and October, the Econ Dev Team offered an introduction to the management team of the new U-Haul production facility currently under construction, as this U-Haul facility would produce a multitude of transportation components that require durable coated surfaces.  GPC approached U-Haul and we were delighted to learn that U-Haul had become GPC’s largest customer, providing components by the pallet load.  This partnership is helping drive GPC’s growth, which will nearly double the size of the staff in the new location from six to ten total employees. 



City Receives Bond Upgrade

Moody’s Investors Service recently upgraded Glendale’s general obligation bond rating from and A2 to an A1 with a stable outlook. This follows an upgrade from Moody’s in January 2016 from an A3 to an A2 and an upgrade in March 2016 from Standard & Poors Rating Services from a BBB+ to an A+. The city continues to improve its economic picture and grow its tax base, giving Moody’s confidence in Glendale’s future direction.

Moody's Bond Rating Upgrade News Release



Procurement Fair

The 12th Annual Procurement Fair and Business Expo is almost here! The City of Glendale has partnered with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Glendale Community College, Luke Air Force Base, and the Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Center to offer this free event. The Procurement Fair will be held on May 11th from 8 am-1 pm at the Glendale Civic Center, located at 5750 W Glenn Dr. Nearly 100 exhibitors will be present and four educational sessions will be held throughout the day. The event is a great opportunity to meet with buyers representing the federal government, military, local government, colleges and universities and corporate buyers.

Visit the Glendale Chamber of Commerce website to register to attend this impactful event.



Urban Land Institute presents AzTAP Findings AzTap

Last fall the city worked with the Urban Land Institute and its Arizona Technical Assistance Panel (AzTAP) to study Glendale’s Centerline area, focusing on the Midtown District, which runs from 43rd Ave to 51st Ave along Glendale Ave. Twelve expert panelists discussed the realities of the area and potential solutions. This full day discussion went into creating a final report, outlining strategies for the area focused on land development, placemaking, education, housing, economic development, and financing under the theme of P3 to represent the importance of the public-private-non-profit partnerships and collaboration that will be necessary, as well as emphasizing Policy, People and Place strategies. The results were presented to the City Council in March.

The full report can be viewed on ULI Arizona’s website.



Start Up School Classes Offered

The Office of Economic Development and Glendale Public Library have teamed up to offer ASU Start Up School as part of a partnership with the ASU Entrepreneurship Outreach Network. This six part interactive workshop runs entrepreneurs and small business owners through the development of a Business Model Canvas. By the end of the series, participants will have developed a business plan, a concise elevator pitch and a better idea of the targeted customer base, cost and revenues associated with their business. Classes are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Remaining classes in this cycle are:

  • Stage 3 – Find Your Customer - May 2nd, 2017
  • Stage 4 – Build Your Product –May 16th, 2017
  • Stage 5 – Build a Profitable Company - June 6th, 2017
  • Stage 6 – Grow Your Company – July 11th, 2017

All classes are held at 6 pm at the Glendale Main library at 5959 W Brown St. A new round of classes will begin later this fall. For more information visit



Maricopa County is the Fastest Growing County in the US

Maricopa County, of which Glendale is a part, was recently named the fastest growing County by the US Census Bureau. The County gained 81,360 people between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016 or an average of 222 people a day. More than half of this was from new migration to the state, with over 53,000 in net migration. This shows that the Valley of the Sun is a great place to live, work and play!



Getting the Word out about Glendale

Part of our role in Economic Development is to ensure that our audience of citizens, brokers, site selectors, and partners are informed of the community assets and development activity in Glendale. 

In February, Glendale participated in a panel discussion for the Phoenix Business Journal’s West Valley Economic Development Forum along with the City of Surprise, City of Goodyear, Westmarc and Arizona Commerce Authority, discussing the development and success of the West Valley. The event also featured Brian Mueller, President of Grand Canyon University as the key note speaker to kick off the event. The panelists highlighted the available workforce and young population and opportunities for the future.

Follow the links below to read the full Business Journal coverage of the event:

West Valley economic developers see bright things in region's future

Why West Valley cities are eager to tout their workforce

 From the Editor: West Valley pride runs deep with pioneering spirit



What’s New in Downtown Glendale

Downtown Glendale recently saw the addition a new restaurant - JJ’s Louisiana BBQ. JJ’s Louisiana BBQ is a small, four employee restaurant that began as a successful food truck, and has recently opened their first brick and mortar in our Centerline District, at 5601 W Glendale Ave. Suite B.  The small restaurant space that they infilled is actually on 56th Ave just south of Glendale, has been vacant for many years.  JJ plans to steadily improve the curb appeal of the building by resurfacing and painting the exterior of the building, installing sidewalk awnings to match the character of the area, as well as installing new signage to fully rejuvenate this space in the heart of the Downtown Redevelopment District.  JJ’s Louisiana BBQ while have their grand opening ribbon cutting on May 12th at 4:00 PM.



Glendale 1st Quarter Building Occupancy

Glendale Growth

Office vacancy rates are currently at 20.2% in Glendale. This is a marked improvement from just four years ago, when the rate was over 27%. Total square footage available is even lower, at about 14% and is expected to continue its downward trajectory. And recently the two largest vacant office buildings came off the market in two separate transactions, resulting in a total of 225,000 square feet effectively absorbed only days apart. However, this success has created an interesting opportunity in Glendale. With the recent occupancy of many of the prime office space in Glendale the largest available contiguous space just over 30,000 square feet. While this presents a challenge, the City of Glendale only sees the opportunity for growth. With demand exceeding existing building capacity, Glendale is ripe for new ground-up development of Class A buildings, especially along the Loop 101.

The industrial market in Glendale is very healthy. As of 1st quarter 2017, vacancy was 3.3%. Less than a million square feet of existing space is still vacant in the city. Plenty of opportunities remain in the industrial sector. Spaces ranging from 2-20 acres are still available in the Glen Harbor Airpark. And with utilities and transportation access now available, the Loop 303 presents the next frontier for growth.

The retail sector in Glendale is very stable. The vacancy rate is 6.9% and has ranged between 7-9% over the last three years. Growth in this area is especially strong in the Sports and Entertainment District and Arrowhead areas and is expected to be well into the future.






Square feet Vacant




Square feet Occupied




Percent Vacant





Market Comparisons:



Metro  Phoenix:     


Retail Vacancy:    




Industrial Vacancy:  




Office Vacancy:    




Source: Costar, 1st Quarter 2017



Spotlight on – Business Attraction

Business Attraction is one of the four pillars of the Office of Economic Development, along with Business Retention and Expansion, Redevelopment, and Business Assistance. The focus of Business Attraction is to welcome new companies into Glendale. Working closely with groups like the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona Commerce Authority, and brokers and site selectors, we focus on five targeted industries including advanced business services, aerospace, medical technology, manufacturing, and signature retail and entertainment. Recent locates such as BMW and Vision Care are a great example of these efforts. Business Attraction also leads to future opportunities with Business Retention and Expansion, as is the case with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. The company started out with a smaller footprint here a little more than five years ago and has now expanded significantly with the purchase of the Talavi Tech building.



Meet the Glendale Office of Economic Development:

  • Brian Friedman, Director
  • Carol Hu, Specialist
  • Randy Huggins, Program Manager
  • Jessi Pederson, Officer
  • Suzie Ricard, Management Assistant
  • Kristen Stephenson, Officer
  • Visit us online now! Click here.