Glendale, AZ - Economic Development
Glendale Economic Development Website Link Facebook Logo Twitter Logo YouTube logo Flickr Logo
January 2018 – Issue 18
Glendale Office of Economic Development


Glendale is ringing in the new year with bright lights, banner success stories, and a AAA bond rating from Fitch – the highest financial achievement any city can obtain.  The rating by Fitch, along with Moody’s Investor Services upgrading Glendale from an A3 to an A2 in January 2016 and again in April 2017 from A2 to A1 and a three-step upgrade by Standard and Poor’s in March 2016 from BBB to A+, makes Glendale’s success the comeback story of the decade. Glendale's momentum is as real and undeniable as the AAA rating.  The Glendale Economic Development Team appreciates the City Council and City Manager's demonstrated leadership; it has made a significant difference in our ability to continue to welcome new jobs and capital investment to the city on behalf of the citizens of Glendale.



2017 Recap

This was a very exciting 2017 for economic development in Glendale. The team assisted 6 new businesses to locate to Glendale and worked with 4 existing companies to expand their operations. These efforts resulted in 1,891 jobs created and 873,752 square feet absorbed. Projects include IKEA, Aloft Hotel, Fairchild Freight, Bechtel, and many more. We’re looking forward to carrying this positive momentum into 2018.




Arrowhead BMW GroundbreakingBMW Breaks Ground on New Glendale Facility

Construction on the recently announced BMW facility is now underway with a groundbreaking ceremony November 9th. The 100,000 square foot facility will be located along the Loop 101 between Beardsley Road and Union Hills Drive. The dealership is anticipated to open in mid-2018.


Topgolf Begins Construction in Glendale

Topgolf Glendale is now under construction! A groundbreaking event was held November 1st at the company’s new facility at 99th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. The project will create 500 jobs and be the first Topgolf in the West Valley and fourth in the state. This location is the first to feature an updated building design. Topgolf Glendale is expected to open later in 2018.

TopGolf Groundbreaking



SRK to Develop New Hotel

In December, the City Council approved a purchase sale agreement with SRK Development for the sale of 2.93 acres of city-owned property at the east side of 99th Avenue and north of Bethany Home Road. This successful transaction comes on the heels of the recent Topgolf groundbreaking on the adjacent property. The complimentary parcel will welcome a new full-service hotel with a restaurant. With this new hotel addition, the greater Sports and Entertainment District will total nearly 1,300 rooms for visitors to stay and enjoy all of Glendale’s world class amenities nearby.



Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Relocates Operations Center to Glendale

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union has chosen to relocate their Operations Center from California to Glendale, bringing 136 new jobs to the city. The employees will be located in the former Talavi Tech Center; the company purchased the 185,000 square foot Talavi Tech Center as well as a new bank branch at 55th Avenue and Bell Rd earlier this year. Alaska USA cited Glendale as an ideal location for credit unions as the reason for the move. The relocation to Glendale has received positive attention both locally and nationally, with stories featured in the Arizona Republic, Glendale Star, Phoenix Business Journal, and Area Development Magazine, a leading site selection publication.



Adair’s of Glendale Art Gallery Opens in Downtown Glendale

In October, the city in partnership with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce celebrated the grand opening of the new Adair's of Glendale Art Gallery in downtown Glendale, located at 7029 N 57th Drive. The gallery will focus on highlighting local Arizona artists. The owner of the new art gallery has also opened a new art studio next door to Adair's, filling two downtown storefronts that had previously been vacant for quite some time.



Banner Thunderbird Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center has officially opened the state’s newest Level I Trauma Center, extending for the first time ever the highest level of emergency care available to our greater community. Designation as an Arizona Level I Trauma Center means the hospital can provide total care for every aspect of injury, greatly reducing the need to transfer them outside the area for life-saving treatment. This new trauma center is of significant value to our first responders who work hard to provide the best care to those in emergency situations each and every day. Examples of injuries a Level I can treat include traumatic car crash injuries, gunshot victims, stab wounds and traumatic brain injuries. The Level I Trauma Center officially launched on October 3. Banner Thunderbird is the West Valley’s largest and busiest hospital with 555 inpatient beds for children and adults and on average they serve 460 patients a day. The addition of the Level I Trauma Center further demonstrates that Glendale has the highest quality of care available for our residents and the entire region.



Military and Veterans Success Center Opens

The Military and Veterans Success Center – West opened in November at Luke Air Force Base. The center is a one stop shop, providing resources to military members and their spouses as they transition into civilian life. Numerous private and public agencies have committed funding for this important resource that affects many Arizonans – 11% of Arizona’s population is comprised of military veterans and the percentage is even higher in Glendale as 14% of the population are veterans. The multi-agency facility is hosted by Rio Salado Community College along with a second location in the east valley.


Glendale Businesses are Getting Noticed

Two Glendale businesses, Empereon-Constar and Total Transit, were recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal at the 2017 Arizona Corporate Excellence awards event, which celebrates the best Arizona private enterprises.

  • Empereon-Constar ranked 31st on the list of Top 50 Largest Private Companies, 2nd on the Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies, and CEO Travis Bowley was acknowledged as Rookie of the Year, an award given to a company that made the list for the first time. Empereon has a significant presence in Glendale, with nearly 500 employees.
  • Total Transit was also ranked on both lists, recognized as the 17th largest private company in Arizona and the 15th fastest growing. Total Transit is the parent of Discount Cab and is headquartered in Glendale.

The January 2018 issue of Phoenix Magazine highlighted a number of Glendale restaurants in its newest Dinning Guide, including Cuff, Arrowhead Grill, Bangkok Thai Bar-B-Q, La Piazza al Forno, and Haus Murphy. Additionally, Cuff was the featured restaurant on the cover of the Dining Guide.



Glendale Median Household Income Growing Quickly

A study conducted by Smart Asset found that of the 100 largest cities in the US, Glendale had the 9th largest percent change in median household income from 2015 to 2016, growing by 11.4%. It was also the largest increase in Arizona. The study was based on newly released Census Bureau data; the full story can be found here.



Getting the Word out about Glendale

Getting the word outPart 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 December, Economic Development staff had a chance to present to a group of local real estate agents, giving them an update on what is happening in Glendale. Attendees heard about new projects in the city and the role economic development plays in this effort



ASU Start Up School

ASU Start Up SchoolThe Office of Economic Development, in partnership with the Glendale Public Library and ASU’s Entrepreneurship Outreach Network, offers free ASU Start Up School classes at the Glendale Main Public Library. ASU Startup School is a 6-part series designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Classes will begin in early January and continue through the first part of February. All classes are held from 6:00PM-7:30PM at the Glendale Main Library, 5959 W Brown St.

To RSVP for courses, visit and go to Calendar of Events.

Winter 2018 ASU Start Up School Schedule

Startup School Stage 1 (From Idea to Profit) - Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Session 1 covers an overview of the process from Idea to Profit.

Startup School Stage 2 (It All Starts with Ideas) - Tuesday, January 16, 2017

Session 2 covers an overview of testing student ideas, practicing the simplified business model canvas, learning the business model canvas and value proposition canvas.

Startup School Stage 3 (Find Your Customer) - Tuesday, January 23, 2017

Session 3 covers an overview of the customer and students learn the customer discovery process.

Startup School Stage 4 (Build Your Product) - Tuesday, January 30, 2017

Session 4 covers an overview of the product and students develop a minimum viable product.

Startup School Stage 5 (Build a Profitable Company) - Tuesday, February 6, 2017

Session 5 covers the key components of profitable companies and helps students take the business model canvas into a business plan.

Startup School Stage 6 (Grow Your Company) - Tuesday, February 13, 2017

Session 6 covers growth and how to get, keep and grow customers.

Don’t forget the Glendale Economic Development team will be holding office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Glendale IDEA Center, located in the main branch of the library at 5959 W Brown Street. Entrepreneurs and business owners can stop by to receive assistance in planning, launching or growing your business venture. Office hours will be 3pm-5pm on Tuesdays and 10am-12pm on Thursdays. Appointments are encouraged; sign up by calling 623-930-2983, email, or in person at the library reference desk.



What’s Happening in Downtown Glendale?

Glendale GlittersIt’s festival season in Downtown Glendale. The festivities kicked off on November 24th, with over a million lights illuminating downtown Glendale. The magic continued throughout December with events each weekend. Glitter and Glow will wrap up the festivities on January 6th, with a block party including hot air balloons, music and more.

A few weeks after Glitter and Glow, the Glendale Chocolate Affaire will be here on February 9th-11th.  Among the many other activities and vendors, the City is once again partnering with the Arizona SciTech Festival to present the Science of Chocolate. This fun filled event gives visitors a chance to learn about the science behind everyone’s favorite food through a variety of activities and demonstrations. Click here to learn more about the Arizona SciTech Festival.



Glendale 3rd Quarter Building Occupancy

Glendale Growth

As of 3rd quarter 2017, office vacancy rates are at 18.5%, which is down more than a percent compared to the previous quarter and down more than 10% since the height of the recession. And this only begins to tell the story. When factoring out buildings that are vacant but unavailable the rate drops to 13.8%, which is lower than the Greater Phoenix average. The largest contiguous office space available is 20,000 square feet. Glendale also has the opportunity for new space along the Loop 101, with large land parcels available for build to suit and speculative office.

Industrial occupancy has remained steady over the last couple of years, with rates over 96% since the beginning of 2016. Glendale continues to outperform the Greater Phoenix and national markets in this space. With the recent annexation of the Woolf Logistics Center, a 1,340 acre industrial development, the city will have the opportunity to continue to welcome new development into the future.

Retail vacancy held steady between 2nd and 3rd quarter 2017, remaining at 6.4%. This is down more than a percent compared to the same time last year. Glendale is a very attractive space for retailers, demonstrated by the recent Topgolf, BMW and IKEA announcements.





Square feet Vacant




Square feet Occupied




Percent Vacant





Market Comparisons:



Metro  Phoenix:     


Retail Vacancy:    




Industrial Vacancy:  




Office Vacancy:    




Source: Costar, 3rd Quarter 2017



Spotlight on – Loop 303

The Loop 303 area is expected to see new growth with the recent annexation of the Woolf Logistics Center. This 1,340 acre development provides new built to suit opportunities for industrial development. The area is easily accessible to the Loop 303, with Northern Parkway adjacent to the property, giving manufacturing companies quick access to west coast markets including California. Many of the parcels will be rail served. And the development is located in a rapidly growing area of Greater Phoenix, providing access to a highly qualified workforce. This is a dynamic opportunity for companies to join one of the hottest markets around!


Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2018!

Economic Development Team



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.