It’s hard to believe we are rapidly approaching the end of 2018. The weather is changing, and the holidays are right around the corner. The last quarter has been very busy with both the primary and general elections. City Manager Bob Wingenroth also announced his resignation last month, and he will be replaced by former Police Chief and Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier. While we are excited about the future, I’d be remiss not to acknowledge everything Bob has contributed to the city. He was an asset to Surprise and is a friend to all who know him. His legacy will live on for years to come!
Economic Development Update
Award-Winning Economic Development
In early October, the City of Surprise attended the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. Each year, Excellence in Economic Development Awards are given to exemplary economic development projects and programs. At this year’s conference, the City of Surprise was awarded the Bronze Award for Business Retention & Expansion – 3 Years or More, for the City of Surprise Retail Survey Program. The Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED) Fall Forum was held in Flagstaff, Arizona. The conference hosts industry and government professionals which provides for networking and educational opportunities. During this event, the City of Surprise was given the Golden Prospector Award for Economic Development Program for the City of Surprise Retail Survey Business Retention & Expansion Strategy.
New Surprise Businesses
A number of new businesses have recently opened operations in the Surprise community. Planet Fitness is the latest gym to open their doors and is located at the southwestern corner of Bell Road and Reems Road. Also located on Bell Road, AZ Fry Guy held their grand opening on October 12th. The soul food restaurant started as a food truck and won Best of Phoenix – Best Fried Chicken in 2017. Surprise also has many projects that are currently under construction including Trimaco (paint supply manufacturer), Southwest Kidney Institute, Central Garden & Pet (pet supply manufacturer), Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital, and Ottawa University’s new athletic facility and student housing complex.
Seattle-Tacoma Box Company recently hosted a groundbreaking late last month at their future location in our Industrial complex. The company specializes in polypropylene carton manufacturing. Their Surprise plant is scheduled for completion by April 2019, marking the eighth location between Seattle Tacoma and SeaCa Packaging. With plans to hire for 65 phase one jobs, this facility anticipates at $17 million capital investment into Greater Phoenix and will serve it growing customer base nationwide.
Seattle Tacoma Box Company is a 6th generation family-owned company that is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Surprise Industrial Job Fair
In September, the City of Surprise held its first-ever industrial job fair at West-MEC’s Northwest Campus. The event was highly successful. Thirteen local employers participated, and 20 percent of job seekers in attendance were hired or offered positions.
Public Works Update
The City has various pavement preservation projects being performed, including Reems Road between Cactus and Greenway roads, which included signal and sidewalk ramp upgrades as well. The two General Obligation Bond projects in this district are underway and the conceptual design reports for each roadway have been completed. The designs are now progressing toward the 90 percent completion phase. Construction will begin on Waddell Road in the summer of 2019 (including signal installation at Waddell & Sarival intersection), while Greenway Road construction will begin in the summer of 2020.
On the developer side of transportation improvements, Toll Brothers has started grading their site, and roadway improvements to the south side of Cactus from Cotton to Citrus are planned to take place in the next year to year and a half. The intersection at Cotton and Cactus will see some improvements. The north half of Peoria Avenue from the Cotton Road intersection to Perryville is planned to be built over the next year. New developments between 175th, Cotton, Waddell and Cactus will improve sections of Cactus, 175th, Waddell, Sweetwater and Cotton. These may not be complete improvements, but Sweetwater will provide a significant connection between 175th and Cotton. No timeline has been set yet for these improvements; however, updates will be shared as more information is known.
Community Development Update
Luxury Home Builder Toll Brothers held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, October 30. The home builder is grading 800 acres for their 2,200 home development which will be a gated, golf course community just south of Cactus Road and west of Cotton Lane in District 3. They plan to begin selling in January 2020. Homes will range from 1,600 square feet to 5,000 square feet with prices between the low $300,000’s up to $750,000. Staff is currently reviewing the landscape plans for the Toll at Prasada Golf Course located at the southwest corner of Cotton Ln and Cactus Rd.
The Carioca Greenway Crossing Center, located at the northeast corner of Loop 303 and Greenway, has submitted a proposal for a gas station. If the project continues to move forward, it would go through the Site Plan review process.
The following projects have been received and our under review by City staff:
- Christopher Todd at Rancho Trugold Rezone: The project is currently under review (a Preplat, Final Plat and Site plan as well). The project is a rental project and is proposed at the northwest corner of Cotton Ln and Sweetwater Ave. This project was part of the former Magnolia project.
- Crasense Automotive, proposed in the Prasada Auto Show, would include a facility to sell preowned cars – with a new 10,806 SF building and 2,925 canopy. This project is being processed as a site plan.
- Gehan Homes has proposed a new residential subdivision located the northeast corner of Cactus Rd and 175th Avenue. The project requires a rezoning and a subdivision to move forward. This project was part of the former Magnolia project.
- Walmart at Prasada has submitted an online Grocery Addition to modify their site which was approved by the City on September 6th, 2018.
Building permit and plan reviews underway or issued
- A dental office located at 15180 N Cotton has submitted plans for tenant improvement which is being reviewed by staff.
- The CVS Pharmacy at 15300 N Cotton has been issued permits to modify its interior.
- Highland Prep Charter School has been issued a final certificate of occupancy.
- LK Nails and Spa, located at 16995 W Greenway, has been issued their final certificate of occupancy.
Sports and Tourism Department Update
The Surprise Stadium has been very active the past few months hosting numerous baseball tournaments. The first tournament was the USA Baseball U16 division, which took place July 1-7. This tournament featured 46 teams comprised of some of the best youth baseball players in the nation. There were a total of 124 games played during this week-long tournament. The Don Mattingly World Series, which took place at the Surprise Stadium July 13-18, featured 16 teams; and the Ken Griffey World Series was held July 20-25 and featured 12 teams. The Surprise Stadium also hosted the 13-15 year old and 13-year-old Babe Ruth Regional Tournaments July 23-28. Both of these tournaments featured the Babe Ruth League State Championship teams from Northern California, Central California, Southern California, Utah, Hawaii, Guam and Arizona competing for the chance to advance to the Babe Ruth World Series. September 21-24, the Perfect Game Fall National Championship took place. This first year event for Surprise was comprised of 50 of the most elite U17 baseball teams from nine different states. The National Adult Baseball Association World Series also played games September 28 and 30. And, finishing it up, the Stadium facilitated the 2018 Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals Arizona Summer League season.
The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex also had some action over the summer. The Complex hosted the annual Surprise Summer Lights Tennis Tournament July 26-28. A total of 157 players participated in this event.
Community & Recreation Services Department Update
Fall youth sports leagues have been busy, as usual. The fall soccer and flag football season is coming to a close. There were 188 teams and over 2,000 participants in Family Fun Day this past Saturday. Tee-Ball, baseball, softball and volleyball had 175 teams and over 1,500 participants. The 2018 West Valley Fall League #2 was held on October 6 at Surprise Aquatic Center. There were176 athletes from eight teams – Surprise Storm, Arizona Swimming Gauchos, Vitras, Anthem Dolphins, Arizona Aquatic Club, Lumber Jax Aquatics, Sun West Swimming and Flagstaff Snow Sharks.
The Surprise Recreation Campus will kick off the winter season with the 17th Annual Surprise Party on November 30 & December 1 in celebration of our community and anniversary of the Surprise Recreation Campus. Surprise City Council would like to invite families to gather as they illuminate the night with the traditional holiday tree lighting ceremony on Friday evening, November 30. The evening’s festivities will be followed by a series of live entertainment featuring bands, strolling street performances, a traditional hot air balloon glow, Santa’s workshop, sky divers and an amazing display of fireworks. The fun and excitement will continue Saturday, December 1 with entertainment featuring live dance performances by our City of Surprise dance troupes, specialty shows, camel rides, a carnival, petting zoo, a classic car show, and great food. New this year will be an ice skating rink, and Santa’s workshop will be open the week after the event, so bring your kiddos to the Recreation Campus for a picture with Santa!
Sierra Montana Recreation Center is open 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. during the week and offers a wide array of daily activities where youth (ages 11 & older) can visit with friends and get involved within their local community. Youth enjoy Rec Nights which are themed dances held at Sierra Montana Recreation Center. Upcoming dates include November 9 and December 14 from 7-10 p.m.
Maricopa County Library eMedia Access
On the go? Maricopa County Library District offers electronic downloads and streaming available 24/7 for tablets, smartphones, eReaders, and computers!
Thank you all for your continued support! I look forward to completing the term I was elected by you to serve. I hope to see you at my next District meeting on Tuesday, November 27 at Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, 13165 N. Autoshow Avenue at 6 p.m. Also, Ottawa University has accepted an invitation from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) to serve as host and participant in the 2018 NCCAA Victory Bowl Invitational. The Spirit will welcome Olivet Nazarene to Spirit Field in Surprise on Friday, November 30 at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there!