West Phoenix Suburbs Explode With Growth
West Phoenix, AZ growing at an upsetting rate. During our heated visit recently, we studied the economic vitality of Avondale, Goodyear, Litchfield and Tolleson. This area is the fastest growing area of all of Phoenix which is the second fastest metro DMA area in the United States of America. Maricopa County is #2 next to Clark County in Las Vegas NV metro. Surprise, Glendale and Goodyear are breaking all kinds of records as the Governor looks at the issues of water and future resources. We of course do our homework on economic factors before we attempt to go into a vicinity as most seasoned veteran business people do.
In Avondale the population is growing and currently about 36,000 population. 33% of which is Hispanic with HS education average education level. Agriculture and Agriculture processing is the biggest industrial sector although that too is changing as light industrial is taking advantage of the labor supply. Many new car dealerships are assisting the city coffers with sales tax revenue although some of that has been given up short term as incentives, but all that kicks in two years. Beam Corp is a major employer there says Jeffrey Fairman, Economic Development Director.
Avondale is just South of Luke AFB and derives much income from military employees who buy good and sets there. Also in the area is an 80,000 square foot Medical Center. Also major employers include; LP Steel Industries, Cashion Tank and Steel, California Materials, Bio Scientific and several new projects in progress. Average house price has risen 10% in the past year and is nevertheless good at; $132K which is average for the area. The housing growth once again is incredible. The permit processing is helped by the City Streamlining Committee.
Kids in the area enjoy the local water park, bowling alley, church youth groups and Pop Warner Football and lots of soccer teams. The MAG-Maricopa Association of Governments is spending 15.5 Billion on new transportation infrastructure of which much will be for expanding freeway widths by Avondale on I-10. The 22-member panel is about 1 billion over budget but that will be picked up as the housing is not slowing down. About the only big draw back is the problems of auto theft which Phoenix area is number two only beaten out by Tucson AZ. Most of these cars find their way to Mexico. Of all the West Maricopa cities there is harsh fire risk in the hot summers until the Summer Monsoon season starts, at which time the on-call fire teams and hot shot crews move to Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, South Dakota.
In Goodyear, AZ things are a bit different. The population has absolutely exploded and is continuing to. Many people work out at the Prisons on Palos Verde Rd and the newest prison that you can see from I-10, some people we talked to worked at the Nuclear strength plant or for SRP or Betchel all of which work there at the strength Plant. There are about 20,000 people in Goodyear but there are also some 5000 new homes going up right now. It is 22% Hispanic and that number is being diluted, but future growth should be equal under that ratio in my opinion for the next decade. As more and more Hispanic Families go into the middle class we will see them turn Republican and buy into the area of Goodyear with an average home price of 142K and climbing.
Goodyear as you might have guessed is named after the Akron Rubber Baron, which you can learn more about on the second floor of the Goodyear Building outside Akron in the World of Rubber Museum at Goodyear original HQ. In Goodyear they made rubber for the US Navy Seaplanes, now that facility is Lockheed Martin. The area is mixed now with Retail, Food Processing and lots of Aerospace, we talked to a maintenance supervisor for Timco who said their newest contract would require an additional 140 people to be hired. Luftstanza Airlines has its training center there also. Del Monte and Poore Brothers course of action there. Snyders of Hanover, Rubbermaid, Walle Corp, Cavco.
The Goodyear Airport is a major plus along with the nearby business parks. The runway is over 8500 feet and can land and takeoff any aircraft known to man. The city has attracted many companies and is business friendly and has online applications for just about every permit. They have attracted; Aviation-Plastics and Composites, Sun Cor Development, Chariot Eagle, Wal-Mart Dist contractor McClane, West Valley Medical Center. The weather is hot in summer, but year round workable if you are able to manager the average daytime summer temps;
June to September it is 100-105 degrees. Greater Phoenix Economic Council has some interesting stats for the area in addition. All the cities in the West Phoenix are charge an additional 2% sales tax and the schools are considered great, already with all the non-english speaking students struggling at first.
Litchfield has about 4000 population with only 8% Hispanic, but is growing exponentially. Some of the major employers include; Conklin Rose, Wig Wam 4-star Resort, Goodyear Family grew cotton there and then sold the land to Litchfield, who grew Egyptian long-important cotton for use in the processing and manufacturing tires for Goodyear. Water of course brought in by SRP. We will in the future do a complete study of the history of SRP-Salt Water River Project. Average Home price in the area has grown to 310K. The city is pro business and allows grading of at risk soil before final permits to test the ability of the land to sustain the project. These four cities on the West side of PHX average 16.8% of the population at 25-34 meaning labor supply and good customer base. 16.2% has 35-44 age grouping. 46% Hispanic and similar to Los Angeles. Labor force is 29% less than HS education. 23% have HS only education and 24.8% have some college but no degree. Prevailing average wage for labor is $9.86 per hour.
Tolleson, has had good growth since the freeway interchange got finished for the 101 loop connecting to I-10. Huge new Auto Center. Freightliner Facility, Truck Stop, mostly due to the city fathers seeing an opportunity due to the freeway interchange and had some 6 new car dealerships move in by on I-10 and they used a fast track permit processing program to do the rest. Also in the area are Lisanti Foods, Nabisco, Quaker Oats, Western Container, Greater PHX Auto Auction, Auto Zone Dist., Graybar Dist., Sara Lee Dist., Sysco Dist., Frys Dist., Cactus Transportation, Cost Co Dist., Fed Ex Depot, and nevertheless there are many residents which have brought the housing prices of this industrial freeway nearby to 100K on average. Tolleson has a pop of 5000 and 70% Hispanic, unemployment is 6%. The major jobs are service based, retail, warehousing and manufacturing . Other large employers are CSI, Sun Land Beef, Albertsons Dist., Pet Smart Dist. Dist., and several meat and food packing plants.
The Western Suburban areas of Phoenix have turned from rural dusty farming communities to extremely livable middle class soccer mom communities with all the trimmings. It is a good place to do business, great customer base and it will continue to build out for another two decades.