Prescott Valley will see at least two multi-billion dollar corporations opening businesses in 2013.
Tractor Supply is under construction and should open in the second quarter while Walmart plans to begin construction in the first quarter and open by Halloween, according to Richard Parker, the town's Community Development director. Town of Prescott Valley Economic Development Manager Greg Fister concurred, but said Walmart's original schedule has the store opening in January of 2014.
"Walmart doesn't like to open too close to the holidays," he explained, if delays should cause the Halloween projection date to be missed.
Fister said Tractor Supply, with 1,100 stores across the country and mainly in the Midwest, has been in business for about 80 years.
"Tractor Supply now is expanding into Arizona and this is one of the first stores, if not the first," Fister said. "It's a great addition to the community."
He said both businesses are vital for keeping revenue in Prescott Valley.
"It means the dollars now leaving the community will stay in the community," Fister said.
He added that retail in general is up a little more than 6 percent over the past 12 months.
"I think that trend will continue, assuming Washington gets its act together - and that's a big assumption," he said. "The arrow is pointing up; we're moving in the right direction, there's no doubt about that at all."
Fister said in addition to the two major projects "in the mill," he has a list of about eight more businesses that have asked questions about the town or have requested more information.
"I won't talk about them until we're further along," he said. "But it's certainly more encouraging than it has been in the past few years. I think entrepreneurs have decided the economy's getting better."
He said more people seem to be showing interest in bringing their businesses to Prescott Valley.
"Whether that translates to relocating or opening remains to be seen," Fister said.
He said he also is seeing more interest from restaurants.
"The recession hit the restaurant world really hard. They had little incentive to expand," he said, noting that real estate values and interest rates are good now and attracting buyers.
Parker indicated that Culver's, a national restaurant chain featuring burgers made from Midwest-grown beef and frozen custard made daily in each store, bought property at the corner of Highway 69 and the StoneRidge Development entrance.
"I haven't seen plans but it's rumored to be going quickly," Parker said of the project.
Parker also mentioned that the value of residential housing in Arizona increased 4 percent over the past month, and he expects housing starts in Prescott Valley to increase in the new year, as well.
"Residential housing starts (for 2012) were up 35 to 40 percent over what we put in our budget book - a trend we expect to continue," Parker said.