Chandler, Arizona, can boast a lot of things: 300+ days of sunshine a year, nearly 100,000 new residents in the last 10 years, and a forward-thinking community ambiance that encourages innovation and invention. Located in a prime area for both tourism and technology, Chandler supports a work force that is well educated and skilled, and is home to industries that appreciate that resource; bio-science, its newest addition, is a great draw for the best and brightest. What else has contributed to Chandler’s steadily rising commercial base?
1. It’s an innovation “incubator”—literally!
Chandler is home to the Innovations Science and Technology Incubator, a 60,000-square-foot facility that offers what they call a “one-stop shop” for entrepreneurs in life sciences and emerging technology. Located in a former Intel building, it gives entrepreneurs turnkey state-of-the-art facilities: wet and dry labs, vacuum and air, refrigeration and freezing, phones, free Wi-Fi, telecom cabling, and much more. Including all the usual expected business-center perks such as reception areas, meeting rooms, and private office space, it also features top-of-the-line mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Of course, infrastructure’s only part of the equation when it comes to innovation; the finest “better mousetrap” in the world can’t get off the ground if no one in the wider world knows about it! That’s why the Incubator also offers its users access to educational institutions, funding sources, and opportunities to showcase inventions and innovations on a large scale. Providing all these “nuts and bolts” while enabling innovators to keep their entrepreneurial focus is a “best of both worlds” approach that spurs ripple effects of expansion, improvement, and positive change across the board.
2. It’s a dream destination.
Chandler’s rapid growth isn’t just connected with work, either. Some of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world are in this stunning desert setting, with plenty of recreational opportunities for all, just minutes away from your hotel room or condo. Among these offerings are world-class golf facilities, luxurious resorts, restaurants offering cuisines from all over America (and the world), terrific shopping, and a never-ending calendar of special events and holidays in the city of Chandler itself.
Not only is the climate (and welcome) warm and sunny, but Chandler is easy to get to as well: a mere 20 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, it’s a convenient getaway for everyone from “snowbirds” arriving for Spring Training baseball to fans of Great American Barbecue (and Beer)…from Native American art aficionados to folks looking for a citywide Block Party…and from ostrich lovers (yes, there’s a festival for them!) to classic-car buffs. In short, if you like to do it in your leisure time, chances are you’ll find a place in Chandler where you can do it with lots of convivial company!
3. It’s focused on prosperity.
One of the major ways Chandler engenders healthy commercial growth is through CIDA, the Chandler Industrial Development Authority. Through revenue bonds, the Authority provides funds for financing or refinancing the acquisition, construction, rehabbing, or equipping of a project—as well as construction from scratch. Bonds can be used for either purchasing or leasing land, buildings, or machinery, and eligible enterprises run the gamut from manufacturing (already the employment of over 45,000 Chandler residents) to health care; historic preservation to R&D; convention or trade show venues to waste disposal facilities or transportation hubs; housing of various types; and nonprofits such as child care, educational, or relief agencies providing myriad services to the community at large.
As a “conduit” lender, the CIDA is a “pass-through” for funds from bond purchasers to business borrowers. This enables both sides to gain tax benefits as well, since under IRS guidelines interest paid on the loans is largely excluded from gross income for federal and Arizona tax liability. This tax-friendly way to fund growth makes Chandler an attractive spot for both inception of brand-new businesses and services and revamping already existing ones.
Melding a Colorful Past with a Promising Future
All of this happens in an atmosphere dedicated to both preservation and redevelopment of the best of Chandler’s roots, e.g. historic Downtown Chandler’s office users. Chandler’s goal is to become an urban environment as holistic as it is historic. It’s a winning formula that continues to attract youthful spirits and innovative thinking…and increased growth for years to come.
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