How Gilbert went from ‘Jackrabbits and Rattlesnakes’ to a Booming Town

February 8, 2021

By Corina Vanek | Phoenix Business Journal

Over the course of three decades, the East Valley town of Gilbert went from what people then described as “nothing but jackrabbits and rattlesnakes,” to the place where international companies chose to locate and hire thousands of people.

The growth has been due in part to extensive preplanning and high standards held for the town, a panel of experts discussed at an event hosted in January by the Phoenix Business Journal.

“I just think our time is due,” said Adam Baugh, land use attorney and partner with Withey Morris, who has done extensive work in Gilbert. “So that prework from 10, 12 years ago, you start to see today, it only happens because of the diligence from the leadership and the directorship who say, ‘We want to create a vision for this area.’”

Baugh was specifically referencing Rivulon, Nationwide Realty Investors’ 250-acre, $750 million, mixed-use project near Gilbert Road and Loop 202. Financial services giant Deloitte and other major companies, including Ensign Partners, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financing and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. have all leased space in the development.

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