Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill
Aug 22, 2016, 2:00pm MST INDUSTRIES & TAGS Technology, Jobs, Tech Flash
After a 20-city search, a growing technology division of Burbank-basedEntertainment Partners is opening in downtown Tempe.
Entertainment Partners, a back-office technology company for movies, television and commercial productions field accounting and services is opening the Arizona office because the culture in Tempe is reminiscent of the culture in their “beautiful downtown” Burbank home.
EP opened its doors with its first dozen technology employees today at an office at 51 W. Third Ave., located in Bob Parsons’ Hayden Station building at the corner of Mill and Third avenues.
Tempe’s workforce, education pipeline, quality of life and culture are what won the division expansion for the fast-growing California entertainment company.
Starting with a small technology staff, EP CEO Mark Goldstein can’t put a target number on how many techies he plans to put in the office.
“We see a lot of opportunity in Tempe, and plan to grow multiple technology groups,” he said. “We like the proximity to Arizona State University and the lifestyle and diversity our employees will experience in Tempe.”
EP is an employee-owned company, and the culture of the community is as important to Goldstein as the quality of workforce.
“We want our employees to embed in their community,” he said. “We want them to have the pride of ownership in the company, and feel the same ownership in their community.”
Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell is excited about gaining another technology company, but was impressed by how important quality of life and culture were to the company in picking his city over Austin, one other short-list city, and 17 other markets.
“It’s a cultural phenomena in downtown Tempe,” said the mayor. “We have more special events, more activities than other cities. Tempe’s quality of life is constantly being recognized in national media. We have one of the most diverse communities in the state.”
What the mayor rattled off resonated with Goldstein at EP.
“We were off-shoring some technology projects, and could have continued doing that,” he said. “We decided that it would be best to find an environment like our home in Burbank with a similar culture. Tempe fit the bill.”
The move to put a technology division in Tempe and grow it is a recurring pattern the Valley is seeing from California companies. ZipRecruiter, DoubleDutch, Yelp, Charles Schwab and others have started scaling up hiring in the technology space with Phoenix-area offices.
“California companies are expanding, but they are putting their expansion into the Valley,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The cost of doing business and the cost of living make it more affordable for companies to grow the back office. They are excited about access to the market.”
The high number of flights from Phoenix to Los Angeles and Bay Area airports makes Phoenix similar to an office down the street. Proximity played in the EP decision to pick Tempe.
“We wanted a place that our teams in Burbank and the new location could easily get together for meetings,” said Goldstein. “Our office is close to Burbank Airport and the Tempe office is just minutes from the Phoenix airport.”
CEOs from ZipRecruiter and Double Dutch both cited airport proximity and large numbers of available flights as reasons for picking the Valley over other locations.
“Tempe has a vibrant culture and an affordable cost of living,” Goldstein said. “We like the options in the lifestyle.”
In other site selection wins this year, the Valley’s cost of living, the quality of life, and quality of workforce have been unanimously cited by interviewed CEOs among the top reasons for locating in the Phoenix metro. The Arizona-friendly business environment is often mentioned as well, but the quality factors have been part of every single locate decision reported this year.
Eric covers economic development, banking and finance, infrastructure,
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