Words from Jenn Daniels, Mayor of Gilbert
December 21, 2016
Did you know in 2016, Gilbert was named the “Top Boom Town in America” by realtor.com? Gilbert is shedding the image of a bedroom community and is becoming a vibrant, attractive destination in the East Valley for residents, visitors and businesses as well.
Currently, the vacancy rate for Gilbert’s 26.6 million-square-feet of existing commercial space is the lowest it has been in five years at just under 9 percent. This factor has made the community very attractive to developers. Gilbert currently boasts an additional 3.9 million-square-feet of commercial space either under construction, planned, or proposed. The growth of the Gilbert commercial real estate market over the last five years has contributed significantly to the community’s ability to attract, grow and retain high quality jobs.
In the last year, Isagenix World Headquarters opened at Rivulon, and Orbital ATK Space Systems Group began construction at Gilbert Spectrum on a 60,000 square-foot expansion — adjacent to their manufacturing facility. Overall, employment in Gilbert has increased by 13 percent in the last five years, with a continued upward trend expected as the commercial real estate inventory continues to grow.
Much of the growth Gilbert is experiencing is due to the Heritage District. Heritage Marketplace attracted over 12 new eateries to the District, which was a major force in helping Gilbert become one of the Top Five Food Neighborhoods in Phoenix metro by Phoenix New Times. New additions such as Dierks Bently Whiskey Row as well as The Yard will bring entertainment elements to Gilbert that will attract residents and visitors from all over the Valley.
With all of this activity, Gilbert is focused on ensuring infrastructure continues to meet the needs of residents and businesses alike. Leadership and staff are engaging with the community on topics like parking structures, pedestrian plazas and revised residential codes. District Lofts will add 172 units of loft style residences to this area and is set to open their first phase for occupancy in May 2017, with full completion in August 2017. With a high demand for office space in the downtown, developers are redesigning proposed plans to add highly sought after office square footage to their projects. More exciting projects are set to announce this year and I look forward to the continued transformation in our Heritage District.
Fostering entrepreneurship has also been a priority for Gilbert. In partnership with the Arizona State University Entrepreneurship Innovation Department and the Southeast Regional Library, the city of Gilbert launched the SPARK Spot initiative in February 2016. This initiative provides free business resources, workshops, and collaboration space to Gilbert-based startups. As the 5th Safest City to Build a Startup in the U.S. according to Tech.Co, we are excited to see developments popping up like Barnone, a unique craftsman community located within Agritopia, and Building 313, which will be home to Thrive, a co-working space designed specifically for women entrepreneurs. These businesses are a part of what makes Gilbert truly unique and have inspired many entrepreneurs to set up shop here.
As I begin my journey as Mayor of Gilbert, I am excited to continue the growth and development that so many leaders have envisioned and fostered. It’s an exciting time in Gilbert. Our community is thriving and we are proud of our premier education, open for business mentality as well as the vibrancy and quality of life. It’s no wonder why people are choosing Gilbert for their family and for their business.