Business Climate in PHX East Valley Region Heats Up

One look around the PHX East Valley and you can’t miss the region’s “it factor”.

Buzz through Mesa’s tech corridor. Stand amid the high rises that line Tempe Town Lake. Cruise the roads of Chandler alongside self-driving cars.

Fueled by six unique communities, the PHX East Valley offers the ideal business climate for companies to grow and thrive.

“Our region has experienced tremendous growth over the past thirty years in industries such as technology, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, and healthcare,” said John Lewis, president and chief executive officer of the East Valley Partnership. “Companies are drawn to our region because of the pro-business climate, highly-skilled, educated workforce and robust infrastructure.”

They are also drawn by the region’s quality of life. On any given day, this means discovering trails that wind through the majestic Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction. Exploring one-of-a-kind destinations like the Queen Creek Olive Mill. Soaking up Gilbert’s agricultural heritage while enjoying a locally-sourced meal.

The region’s combination of business and quality-of-life assets continues to draw established companies, new startups and emerging entrepreneurs.

Take a look inside three leading industries in the PHX East Valley:


The region is home to Mesa’s storied Falcon Field and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, both of which are driving growth in the sector and helping foster more innovation.

More than 1.3 million people came through Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport last year, and officials there are spending $2 million to improve the security checkpoint. The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (PMGAA) also has ambitious plans to transform 360 acres of a land into SkyBridge Arizona, the nation’s first international air cargo hub to house both Mexican and United States customs.

The development is expected to create thousands of jobs (17,000) and spur hundreds of millions of dollars in regional economic benefit. With first-of-its-kind service, this project will enable E-commerce companies, manufacturers and other commercial interests conducting business in Mexico and throughout Latin America to more efficiently and cost-effectively transport goods between countries, while ensuring proper inspections and safety controls.

Meanwhile, the city of Mesa is building a sprawling industrial facility in the Falcon Field District to lure aerospace and defense businesses to the region. The city is also scouting a developer for the Falcon Tech Center, a proposed biomedical campus that would cluster medical, biomedical and medical device companies at Falcon Field.

With its long history in the aviation and aerospace industry, Gilbert continues to experience growth in the sector with expansions by companies such as Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.

Financial Services

Tempe and Chandler are leading the way in the financial services sector, drawing big-name firms and expansions to the region.

Tempe is currently home to large operations for State Farm Insurance, ADP, Freedom Financial Network, and Northern Trust. Now, JPMorgan Chase & Co is opening a 67-acre campus at Tempe’s Discovery Business Park and bringing with it 4,000 jobs. In another win for Tempe, Bank of the West is opening a new office in the city that could support as many as 1,0000 employees.

In Chandler, the Price Corridor is a well-established destination for companies focused on high tech, the sciences and financial services.

The busy corridor is home to two of the city’s top employers, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, both of which have large operations with thousands of employees. Toyota Financial Services and General Motors Financial are firmly planted in the area, and Toyota recently announced plans to add to its local workforce of 700. Rounding out the sector is digital payment leader PayPal and its Global Operations Center.

Autonomous Vehicles

Arizona continues to grow its reputation as a hub for self-driving vehicles thanks to its pro-business philosophy, low-regulation approach, good weather, and tech focus. Against this backdrop, the PHX East Valley region is poised for even more growth in the AV market.

Chandler is home to multiple industry players – Intel, a veteran in the city, along with GM and Waymo – that are helping build the region into a center for self-driving vehicles.

GM chose Chandler’s Price Corridor for its Information Technology Innovation Center, one of just four nationwide.

Google’s Waymo also has an operation in the city to maintain vehicles and analyze data. The company’s newest vehicles, the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, feature Intel-based technologies that enable real-time decisions for full autonomy in city conditions.

Under a deal between Waymo and ride-hailing company Lyft, consumers in the Greater Phoenix area will soon be able to ride in minivans equipped with autonomous car sensors. Lyft competitor Uber already has a fleet of self-driving cars on the streets of Tempe.

The region is also fueling a robust auto-tech supply chain thanks to Chandler-connected companies such as Microchip Technology, NXP Semiconductors and Maxim Integrated Products.


Road Ahead

Lewis, formerly Gilbert’s longtime mayor, doesn’t see the region’s economic growth slowing down.

“Positive collaboration between civic, political, business, and educational leaders has helped contribute to the continued growth of the PHX East Valley,” Lewis said. “The economic climate is what attracts people to stay here in our globally competitive, diverse and cutting-edge region.”

Think innovation. Exploration. Collaboration. Destination.