Happy New Year! The year 2020 was certainly not the start to a new decade that we all anticipated and it presented many challenges and difficult times. But, among the negative, Prescott continued to shine and community members continued to come together to support one another. I know all of us are, now more than ever, looking forward to welcoming in a new year and working together to pursue our vision for the future and dive deeper into the ongoing changes in our community.
Despite travel restrictions, Prescott Regional Airport has continued to safely and successfully maintain inbound and outbound flights for the convenience of our community and visitors. Enplanements continue to increase, bringing vitality to the region, and an additional Los Angeles flight was even added for the holiday season. The beautiful new state-of-the-art passenger terminal is set to open March 2021, which will certainly help to continue the success of our airport.
Economic Development, Community Enhancements
When the idea of a “Center for the Future” was initially proposed for development in North Prescott, a number of technology companies immediately expressed interest in locating their facilities here in Everybody’s Hometown. To meet that need, city staff used their innovative thinking to accommodate SimpleWan as the first of several companies to operate temporarily in a site to act as an incubator right in the heart of downtown Prescott. This is just the first step in bringing jobs and opportunity to our community.
Development in the Airport Commercial Industrial Zone is ongoing and will focus on business development opportunities as well. CP Technology already has broken ground in the area, as you’ve likely seen driving down Highway 89. The company will open its doors in March, showcasing to similar industry leaders the opportunity here in Prescott.
Final touches have been made and the fine details have come together to make the new Hilton Garden Inn at Montezuma and Sheldon Street a truly unique and remarkable addition to the Granite Creek Corridor and extension of downtown Prescott. The exciting and successful collaboration between the city, Prescott College, Arizona Public Service (APS) and area historians was wonderful to see and led to the opportunity to preserve and incorporate the Sam Hill Warehouse and railroad trestle into a beautiful new hotel. All of this will continue to have positive impacts on Granite Creek Park, the former APS utility yard, the new Founding Fathers Collaborative project and provide a stunning endcap to the Granite Creek Trail.
The Granite Creek Trail, as part of the overall Granite Creek Area Master Plan, will begin its revitalization in the spring. This will provide exciting opportunities for businesses along the creek, tie in an integral nature focal point in our downtown area and enhance resident and visitor ability to connect multiple areas of interest. In addition to the Granite Creek Area Plan, staff and consultants will continue work on the Master Plan for North Prescott. These will be projects that will take place in the next year or so and we will seek the input of the community to best meet everyone’s needs and continue the responsible and sustainable growth of Prescott.
Arizona Eco Development
The city continues conversations and negotiations with Arizona Eco Development (AED) in an effort to develop an annexation agreement that conserves as much of our beloved Granite Dells as possible, while still allowing the property owner to exercise private property rights. The successful development of a Letter of Intent that the city, AED and special interest groups could all support was a landmark moment for this project. The development agreement is in the hands of the developer and a negotiation committee, consisting of myself, Mayor Pro Tem Alexa Scholl and Councilmember Cathey Rusing, will work in tandem with AED to bring forward a draft for the public’s review early in the year. We all look forward to a successful outcome that reflects what is best for our community.
We have a great deal to look forward to in 2021 and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share it with all of you! QCBN
By Mayor Greg Mengarelli, QCBN
Greg Mengarelli is the mayor of Prescott.