by Jon Thompson, Mayor, City of Coolidge
I want to take time this month to focus on how Coolidge is accelerating its economy despite the challenges of a worldwide pandemic. Recent events across the globe have made a significant impact on how people live, work and play. Fortunately for Coolidge, our lives are slowly returning to a sense of normalcy, and projects are moving forward with new construction already in progress.
Our homebuilding sector is roaring back to full speed. Century Complete, formerly Wade Jurney Homes continues to build in various parts of Coolidge. McClellan Meadows subdivision was its first foray into homebuilding here and due to its success, the homebuilder expanded into two new communities, Picacho Crossing and Coolidge Country Village. In addition, Richmond American is currently building in McClellan Meadows with its Seasons models.
As anticipated growth emerges from the construction of Nikola Motors’ production facility, Coolidge has been put on a path for accelerated building in the multihome sector. Nikola has recently gone public and has created a huge demand for their semi-trucks and other vehicles due to its zero-emission and alternative energy technology. As this excitement spreads, demand in Coolidge has followed.
A 398-unit apartment complex is currently being constructed in the east part of the City. This will be Coolidge’s largest apartment complex and complement a wide assortment of living options available. In addition, smaller duplex homes have been built in the downtown area, enabling a live-and-walk space to shopping and eateries. Additional duplexes are being completed in the west end of the City near the transit terminal, allowing residents ample access to a wider range of travel to nearby shopping and cities across Pinal County.
Senior living communities have also been needed in the area as a complement to all the other housing activity. I’m happy that Coolidge Place Senior Living will be a 36-unit complex also located near the Coolidge transit facility. This $3 million project will serve a large need in Coolidge and the surrounding area. It will provide excellent transportation options for food, shopping, eateries, health care and more.
Solar continues to be a big draw to the Arizona desert due to the vast land available and ample sunshine. Coolidge is positioned to become one of the largest players in the solar industry, as vacant land is being transformed into large solar arrays helping to alleviate the huge power demand as Arizona grows.
One project of particular size is NextEra’s 100-megawatt facility currently under construction. This large-scale solar farm is being built at Steel Road and Highway 87 in the west area of Coolidge. The project will encompass over 1,000 acres of land and has a construction cost of over $100 million. NextEra anticipates selling the energy to SRP.
Local businesses have also made a huge resurgence in the economy. Discovery Car Wash is currently under construction on Arizona Boulevard and will be a welcomed addition to the growing number of businesses that have remodeled or opened in recent months. Some of these include Dairy Queen, Subway, KFC/Taco Bell, King Tires and more. I’m particularly excited to see this activity because small business helps the community and adds options for residents to enjoy.
I attribute most of this to a Coolidge Strong attitude and a City Council that really believes in economic development. Keep your eyes out on more upcoming articles as Coolidge continues to transform into a beacon of options for live, work and play!