"Last year we saw $3.5 billion in capital investment and in the last 14 months it has been $7.9 billion and 15,000 new jobs," said Economic Development Program Manager Tim Kanavel. "The recent announcement of Dreamport Villages resort is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to big things heading our way. 2017 is off to a great start and it could be a better year than 2016."
Land Advisors examined several factors to develop its positive outlook for Pinal County.
Population estimates from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity predict the final 2016 population growth will be 2.6 percent to around 417,000 residents. There is speculation that Pinal County could have over a million residents before 2049 thanks to job growth and lack of affordable housing in Maricopa County.
"To many people locally, that one million mark is almost too much to comprehend. We've been this sleepy little county for such a long time, to imagine one million people here is mind blowing," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Miller. "By all indications, those people are coming and they are going to need jobs, homes and roads. It is incumbent on us to plan for that now and not let it catch us unprepared."
Another factor that went into the Land Advisors analysis was the impressive amount of housing permit activity in the county.
Permit totals are up 22 percent and Casa Grande's new home permits have risen 74.7 percent based on figures from the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona.
Pinal County housing is also more affordable than in Maricopa County. Pinal County's median home price is $213,846. That compares favorably to Chandler's $386,934 median home price and Gilbert's $351,500 price.
"The time to be investing in Pinal County is now," said County Manager Greg Stanley. "We have a supportive Board of Supervisors and a very active Economic Development Program. We have the train running at full steam and we are not going derail it."