GOODYEAR, AZ — The Goodyear City Council adopted a resolution tonight approving a development agreement for Microsoft.
The agreement allows the tech giant to begin construction of two buildings on its 279-acre site south of the Goodyear Airport before the city adopts a site plan. Three additional buildings will be added later.
“As we determine our plans for the Phoenix area, it is our intention to become a good member of the community by building partnerships that deliver economic, social and environmental benefits," a Microsoft spokesman tells ABC15.
Microsoft purchased the land for the purpose of developing a technology center but has said very little about its intentions. The secretive plans fueled hopes among residents their city would soon be welcoming a major employer offering high paying jobs.
"We've basically become a warehouse community instead of a high tech innovative type place," Peter Minarik says.
Work is already starting at the site along Broadway between Bullard Avenue and Litchfield Park Road. It's closest neighbors are farms to the south. As Maricopa County grows west of Phoenix, Goodyear is evolving from a farm community to a city. Transitioning from a reliance on agriculture to warehousing hubs and now high tech.
"More business you bring here, more manufacturing you bring here the better off it is for the city," resident Constantine Salmos says.
As anticipation grows regarding Microsoft's arrival, Beth Crain, who just moved to Goodyear from Seattle where Microsoft is headquartered, warns prosperity comes at a price.
"It opened up a lot of jobs and a lot of opportunity, but there is a dark side," Crain warned.
Crain's experience was an overtaxed transportation system, too many people and too much traffic. What was once a 15-minute drive to the freeway could now take over an hour," she says.
For now at least, traffic problems may be a small price to pay for Goodyear residents who are hoping Microsoft has big plans for its community.