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From the Mayor - INFOCUS - October 2011

Goodyear - In a Strong Position for the Future

While this recession has been rough on everyone living and working in Goodyear and has put many City projects on hold, it actually helped Goodyear's ability to attract new jobs to our city. By the beginning of 2008 with the impact of the recession hitting full force, Goodyear had almost 1.6 million square feet of newly constructed spec industrial space plus another 750,000 square feet that had been sitting vacant for years. So, during the recession, when word got out nationally about the Valley's depressed real estate market, companies with money searched vigorously in the Valley and Goodyear benefited because we had available space. Since early 2008, we have recruited a national cancer hospital, two internet fulfillment centers, five manufacturing companies (three solar), one distribution firm, one aerospace consulting firm, and one data storage center; we have retained a major technology firm whose lease was up; and helped several Goodyear companies expand.

Mayor Georgia Lord
Mayor Georgia Lord

The total employment of these companies is currently about 1,859 with the possibility of eventually growing to more than 2,500. Additionally, we have attracted hundreds of construction jobs because of the improvements made by these many firms. As a result of all this economic activity, we have only about 250,000 square feet of industrial space in total remaining throughout our city, and most companies we are currently working with are considering ground-up construction - great news for our city.

These new firms have changed Goodyear for the better. They have added diversity to our industrial mix. They have increased the international influence on our city that Lufthansa of Germany and Oxford Aviation of Great Britain had already created - Suntech is based in China, Schoeller Arca Systems in The Netherlands, and Saint Gobain in France. We are seeing an emerging "solar cluster" in our city - Suntech and Saint Gobain plus Macy's with the largest rooftop solar system in the country.

To help attract these companies, Goodyear has been a leader in the Valley in creating Foreign Trade Zones that help these global companies with import rates. The Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) helped attract J.D. Power & Associates award winning, luxury appliance manufacturer Sub-Zero to Goodyear. Additionally, Schoeller Arca and Suntech will soon take advantage of this program.

While industry has prospered in Goodyear during the recession, retail has held its ground better than many people may think. We began the recession with more than 1.5 million square feet of retail space newly completed - far more than any other Valley city. Our vacancy rate was high - about 25%. During the recession, that space had been consistently absorbed and our vacancy rate has lowered to less than 15%. We had a net gain of 66 new retail businesses in 2010 and have a net gain of 96 so far in 2011. So as businesses close, new ones are taking their place and some of our shopping centers are 100% full. And, the best news of all was when Macerich demonstrated great confidence in Goodyear and its residents by announcing that our regional mall is coming in 2014.

So, despite the recession, Goodyear is strong. We have a balanced budget, we retain one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state (6.4%), our retail vacancy rate is going down, our industrial vacancy rate is very low, we are bringing new jobs to the City AND, for the second year in a row, we are one of the top five Valley cities for single family building permits in the Valley. I'd say that Goodyear is on the right track, and I have great confidence in our city. I hope you are pleased with the progress we have made during the recession and know that we are poised to take advantage of better times ahead.

Georgia Lord

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Last Updated: 10/3/2011


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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749