Posts Tagged ‘Westcor’

26th February
2009
written by Mike

We hit 1 million population and that puts us on the radar of a number of national retailers, home builders and other enterprises. That should be good thing, right?

I’ve had over a half dozen conversations with business owners or representatives of large chains that  swear to never do another deal in Tucson or Pima County again.  These are conversations over lunch and usually don’t take much prodding to get the business to open up. Most of these stories will never make the newspaper because now that the issues are over most owners chose to not dwell on the past or are afraid of some sort of repurcushion for becoming a whistle blower. Either way it’s typically easier to keep quite than to run to the media. A few have contacted the local media as a last result, click HERE for a detailed account of one small businesses nightmare when he took on city hall. 

Without permission to divulge names and details here are a few of the stories;

- First a conversation I had last night with a high volume national food chain that opened locations in Tucson. They took over another restaurant and had the pleasure to go through the development services process at the City of Tucson.  This chain has 1500 locations nation wide. The owner I spoke with has opened over 40 locations in the west.

 He stated, unequivacably that Tucson was by far the most difficult building experience of any other market.  To illustrate his point, two weeks before the grand opening they were required to add a floor sink, change out framing from wood to metal and remove all the sink fixtures and have them replaced. All the last minute changes were in the plans that were approved by the city, all had been inspected all along the process by other officials. In each case a new field inspector changed his mind or interpreted the code on the fly.

- Second is another national food chain that specializes in the happy hour ‘in the neighborhood’ concept. Their lead architect swore to never come back after the process with Pima County development services. It started with incompetent dev services reviews and escalated to way over designed sewer and plumbing plans that cost $10s of thousands more. 

- Don’t you think it’s odd that a number of the super large home builders arent’ doing business here? Maybe the environmental hurdles are more than they choose to tackle.

- Read this B.S. Alert HERE for another group, the Dallas Police and Firefighters’ Pension System that probably is regretting the day they set foot in our market.

- Westcor chief Mitch Stallard was quoted after completing the La Encantada shopping mall at Campbell and Skyline that he will ‘never do another project in Pima County’ again. Their night mare experience in building the upscale scale mall centered around neighborhood opposition to Nordstroms and the malls hours of operation. 

Unfortunately this will be an ongoing series. Stay tuned for more stories. If you have any, send them over.

Poll Results

Under which government is it easiest to open and run a small business?

Tucson 10 %
I don’t know 32 %
Pima County 7 %
Oro Valley 3 %
Marana 11 %
Sahuarita 3 %
None of the above 33 %

Total number of votes: 176

Poll results aren’t scientific. Percentages may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

Jim Heath Fought City Hall
Jim Heath Fought City Hall
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