Economic Development in 2020: A Year in Review

Jan. 28, 2021
| by:
Communications and Public Affairs

During a year like no other, the Economic Development team prioritized supporting our local business community through COVID-19 while continuing to promote Chandler as an ideal location for companies still looking to expand/relocate.

From expanding job growth in the City, to assisting impacted businesses with resources, 2020 included many winning moments for Chandler’s long-term economic outlook. Here is a list of highlights from Chandler’s Economic Development Division for each month of 2020. 


In January, the City wrapped up the installation of its Uptown Chandler Public Art Project. On your next drive through Uptown Chandler, look for the artwork on utility control boxes at intersections along Arizona Avenue and Alma School Road. The Chandler-inspired artwork was designed by Arizona-based artists. This project is part of the City's broader Uptown Chandler initiative, which seeks to raise awareness for this vibrant part of our community to champion positive growth and continued economic vitality.


The City’s Economic Development Division hosted the 9th Annual Chandler Science Spectacular. Sponsored by Northrop Grumman, Intel and First Things First, the event brought thousands of attendees of all ages into Downtown Chandler to experience science in an interactive way. 

Also, Clarivate Analytics, a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics, signed a 30,000-square-foot lease at Chandler Viridian, located in the Price Corridor expected to employ approximately 150 people. The Chandler office will be one of three new Centers of Excellence, with the other locations in London and Malaysia.

When we look at business retention, Morsch Machine expanded its manufacturing operations by acquiring a 21,000-square-foot building. With this expansion, the company has 60,000-square-feet of space in West Chandler. The company manufactures components serving the aerospace industry and supplies components for missile systems, launch vehicles, and satellites. In October, Morsch Machine was acquired by Arch Global Precision. This acquisition allows ARCH to merge their Mesa operations with Morsch to create a collectively stronger company called ARCH Global Precision Chandler. 


As the pandemic began to shut down in-person activity across the state during March, Chandler City Council approved a resolution to relax standards on the City’s temporary sign code. The resolution gave local businesses the opportunity to have additional signage to promote their services without needing a permit. 

Additionally, Chandler’s Economic Development Division created a “Choose Chandler” online tool for businesses to submit their current offerings, such as online services, specials, delivery/takeout, curbside pick-up and hiring opportunities. This was promoted to residents to help support local businesses, find new places to dine/shop and maybe even find a job.

Site Visit


In April, the Economic Development Division provided online resources dedicated to assisting residents and businesses with questions related to City services impacted by COVID. 

To provide more information and insight on the various resources available, the Division also launched the Economic Development Business Update Video series on Youtube and LinkedIn.


In May, the Economic Development Division developed the “I Choose Chandler” campaign to support Chandler businesses, while raising awareness of how our community benefits from residents when they shop, dine, volunteer and donate in Chandler. The campaign utilizes Visit Chandler’s social media platforms to increase community engagement. This campaign contributed to Visit Chandler’s gain of 1,330+ new organic social media followers since May.  


Mayor Kevin Hartke and the City’s Economic Development Division, in partnership with ARIZONA@WORK Maricopa County, Career Connectors, Pipeline AZ and BestCompaniesAZ hosted a virtual hiring event in June. The job fair had 12+ Chandler-based employers participate with more than 500 total job openings available for Arizona job seekers. As a result, 709 job seekers signed up to attend the virtual hiring event; 595 total job seekers were interviewed, hired and/or matched to Chandler-based employers. 

Also in June, Chandler’s Economic Development Division, in partnership with the Chandler Industrial Development Authority, initiated an “I Choose Chandler” reimbursement grant program to assist small businesses with costs incurred from purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). Qualifying Chandler businesses can still apply for a grant in amounts between $100 and $500. A total of $200,000 was made available for the program.

Additionally, the Economic Development Division, in partnership with the University of Arizona Eller College of Management, announced the new Professional MBA program blending online learning with bi-weekly practicums to be housed within its Chandler campus.

Lastly, CVS Health announced a new 101,000-square-foot office at Allred Park Place development along the Price Corridor. CVS Health will employ approximately 500 workers at the site.


Park Park development under construction

In July, the Douglas Allred Company broke ground on two additional office buildings at their Park Place Development on Price Corridor. Both of these three-story buildings will each be 150,000-square-feet and located at the northeast corner of Price and Willis roads. These buildings will have the capacity to bring approximately 1,800 jobs to Chandler.


In August, the Economic Development Division announced the creation of the “I Choose Chandler Business Hiring and Retention Program.” Approximately $9.5 million was made available for the program from the AZ CARES Fund. This program provides qualifying businesses with $1,300 per employee retained or hired since Dec. 31, 2019, up to a maximum of $10,000. More than 540 Chandler businesses were provided funding in 2020, and the program is currently reopened and accepting applications for additional funding in 2021.


In September, the Economic Development Division amplified outreach to promote the multiple programs and resources available to businesses affected by COVID-19.


VB Cosmetics signed a 40,000-square-foot lease to expand and relocate their corporate headquarters, R&D and manufacturing operations within Chandler. The company will be moving into the Lotus Project, one of Chandler’s premier industrial developments, located near Kyrene Road and Loop 202. This relocation and expansion will allow them to meet increased product demands with new automation and continued innovation as they aim to grow their employee headcount from 50 employees to 120 employees over the next three years.

Additionally, in partnership with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, the City launched a new program in October to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to Chandler businesses. As of the beginning of January 2021, the program has provided a total of 667 businesses with a PPE Kit made up of 100 facemasks, one automatic hand sanitizer dispenser with a one-gallon jug of hand sanitizer. Businesses may continue to apply through the Chandler Chamber of Commerce to receive a free I Choose Chandler PPE Kit, valued at $240.

Lastly, Chandler’s Price Corridor was honored with the Best of Arizona Award during the Arizona Association for Economic Development’s (AAED) annual Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) awards event. This award has been given out only a handful of times in AAED’s 45-year existence. 


Compound Photonics, a leader in microdisplay solutions for Augmented and Mixed Reality (AR/MR), announced its opening of a MicroLED Innovation Acceleration Center in Chandler in November.

City staff touring the new Banner Ocotillo Medical Center

Additionally, Chandler welcomed a new hospital when Banner Ocotillo Medical Center opened in November. The four-story, 240,000-square-foot hospital is located on the southeast corner of Alma School Road and the Loop 202/Santan Freeway. The hospital anticipates initially handling about 21,000 emergency visits per year.


Comtech, a company that designs, develops and manufactures satellite equipment used throughout the world, signed a 15-year lease to occupy the entire 146,000-square-feet flex building at 305 N. 54th St. in West Chandler. The company will consolidate between 300 to 400 employees from four buildings within the region into a single Chandler building that can facilitate all operations and provide for future expansion. Comtech plans to begin operating in the building by June 2021.

Also, the autonomous vehicle company Local Motors signed a 10,000-square-foot lease at Chandler Tech Center, which is located at 7400 W. Detroit St. This new headquarters location will have 80 percent of the building dedicated to office space with the remaining 20 percent reserved for research and development.

Additionally, the University of Arizona College of Law launched it's Master of Legal Studies program in Chandler in December 2020.

Connect With Our Team

The City’s Economic Development Division promotes Chandler, Arizona as a preferred business location and tourism destination.

For more information on doing business in Chandler or to inquire about moving or expanding your business operations to the City, contact the staff directly at 480-782-3030.