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  • Appeals Court sides with Pima County in World View case

    Dec 14, 2017 | Read More News
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    The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division Two, on Dec. 14, ruled in favor of Pima County in a lawsuit challenging an economic development agreement the County entered into with the local company World View Enterprises

    The Court agreed with Pima County that State Statutes grant counties specific economic development authorities, among these include the ability to lease or sell real property for the purposes of economic development. launch

    “This is a clear victory for County economic development and economic development efforts throughout the state of Arizona,” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said. “This ruling assures us that we can continue to use the existing statutes to further expand high-wage employment opportunities within Pima County.”

    The Court also agreed with Pima County that state law does not require a competitive bidding process when leasing real property for economic development purposes. The Court wrote in its decision: “To require competitive bidding in such a circumstance would only frustrate that purpose by driving up the price and thereby nullifying the very power the statute grants: the power to spend monies for economic development.”

    The decision also stands as a repudiation of the Goldwater Institute’s attempt to stifle job growth in Pima County for purely political reasons. 

    “The Goldwater Institute was off-base in attacking economic recovery in Pima County. While I can understand their opposition to sweetheart development deals in Maricopa County, they should keep their hands off the real job growth and economic development plans in Pima County,” Huckelberry said.
    Pima County entered into the economic development agreement with World View to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to the region. World View is expected to employ more than 400 people in the next five years, with average annual salaries greater than $55,000. 

    While the County will spend about $17 million in building the World View administrative and manufacturing headquarters, taxpayers will receive more than $24.8 million in lease payments over the course of the agreement, making a profit of nearly $7.8 million.

    In addition, Phoenix-based Applied Economics Inc. in 2015 conducted an economic impact study of World View’s proposed operation and estimated the company could have a $3.5 billion direct and indirect impact on the local economy over the next 20 years. 

    World View is an innovative space technology company developing high altitude balloons capable of lifting various types of payloads to the stratosphere. World View decided to remain in Pima County following a national search for a community to host its headquarters, manufacturing facility and launch pad for its unique product and service. As part of the criteria and demand from clients such as contracts with NASA, defense contractor Northrop Grumman and several universities, World View required a 135,000 square-foot facility and the launch pad adjacent to the facility.