A major developer near Mesa's Falcon Field Municipal Airport has formed a nonprofit organization to attract more industry and businesses to the region.
Daedalus Real Estate Advisors LLC, developer of the Longbow Business Park and Golf Club and Dover Industrial Park, is the founding sponsor of the Falcon Field Area Alliance, which will promote the airport environs as a good place for businesses to relocate.
“The Falcon Field area has long been an employment center for north Mesa, but with the extension of the Loop 202, incredible opportunities have surfaced,” said Lois Yates, a former staff member with the Arizona Department of Commerce who has been hired as a full-time executive director of the alliance. Although Daedalus is the only partner in the alliance today, Yates is confident she will find other businesses that will want to join. “I am talking to 12 people now, and I'm hoping to close on them shortly,” she said. “And I have at least 10 more appointments. These are people who have called me because they are interested.”
Yates plans to use relationships she has formed during her career in economic development to entice companies to relocate to the airport. In addition to working for the state Commerce Department, the state's top economic development agency, she has held development positions in Florida, Michigan, New York and Maryland. Yates said the private sector can put together packages for companies that government economic development agencies can't. For example, Mesa auto dealers could ship cars to Mesa for employees who need to relocate, thus reducing the cost of relocation to the corporation, she said.
“You can't write off those expenses anymore,” she said. “So there are creative ways to impact the bottom line and be the location of choice.”
Bob McNichols, owner of Daedalus Real Estate, said the alliance will complement rather than compete with Mesa's economic development efforts. But it will differ in that it represents one specific area.
“This is an effort to have a staff and a board whose sole interest is development in the Falcon Field area,” he said. “The city of Mesa might show five different areas to a prospective company. Lois' job will be to stand up at the meeting and say, ‘Falcon Field is the best.’ ”
Mesa economic development director Richard Mulligan sees the new group as somewhat analogous to the Mesa Town Center Corp., which promotes businesses in Mesa's historic core, and a new business improvement district for the Fiesta Mall area. “We advocate economic development as a team sport,” he said, adding that “the concept of people with common interests banning together is not unfamiliar here.”