Growing companies face the challenge of sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of options for new office expansion. This task is of course compounded when identifying a site that has all the right components to become the home of a new regional headquarters.

According to International Strategic Analysis (ISA), a world leader in the field of international market analysis, there are five major factors that should be measured by business leaders looking for a new regional office:

• access to labour

• access to clients

• access to suppliers

• infrastructure

• attractiveness.

For businesses seeking to expand in the American south-west, Surprise, Arizona should top the list of candidates, especially for the financial, fintech and insurance industries. Here’s why…

What labour pains?

Surprise is currently in the middle of remarkable growth, as is the entire West Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area, and this expansion has made it an ideal location to find an appropriate workforce. As of 2022, 50% of the city’s 150,000-plus population were working age, 66% of which had some college or a college degree, and within a 30-minute commute from Surprise is a workforce of nearly 400,000 people. Of these, 75% travel further afield for work, signalling a unique opportunity for businesses that can offer high-quality employment closer to home.

The clients are right

Of course, having the right workforce is meaningless if you don’t have access to clients, ISA’s second major factor. For both the financial and insurance sectors, Surprise and its surrounding communities offer an ideal potential client base. The median household income (MHHI) in Surprise is $71,192, with 31% of households bringing in more than $100,000. This MHHI is 16% higher than Arizona as a whole and almost 10% more than the MHHI in the rest of the US. Additionally, the City of Surprise was ranked first in the US in 2021 for the most young homebuyers1, indicating a growing young professional population in the city.

Access all areas

When it comes to the ease of obtaining supplies, Surprise again proves to be a top option for its highway, rail and information access. Along the north and west of the city lies the Bob Stump Memorial Highway (Loop 303), which gives quick and easy access to the I10 & I17 highways, making downtown Phoenix (Sky Harbor International Airport) only a 35-minute drive, and the Port of Los Angeles less than six hours away. Surprise is also home to a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) rail spur and two BNSF Certified Sites2, making its rail access some of the best in the state. Lastly, supplies for many businesses are transferred digitally; and fast, high-quality internet speeds are vital for success. Surprise is one of the few municipalities in Arizona that has begun the process of adding fibre internet to its community through a partnership with the Wyyerd Group. This agreement will accelerate broadband speed, setting Surprise up for a promising future in technology and information systems management3.

Solid foundations

As ISA states, it is vital to find a location with high-quality infrastructure already in place when relocating a new regional headquarters. Surprise currently has multiple optimal sites that are shovel ready for the start of office space development and are prepared with water, sewer and electrical access. All of these are on main roads with easy access to the Loop 303, high-quality dining and entertainment, and are in the heart of Surprise’s most popular areas.

Attractions abound

Having access to housing, dining, entertainment and recreational opportunities can truly be the deciding factor when employees are making career choices. When looking at housing options, Surprise is one of the most desirable municipalities in all of the US. In the past five years, the city has approved more than 10,000 single family residential home units. Additionally, almost 7,000 multi-family units are currently in review or under construction in the city, adding to housing options. The city is adjacent to the White Tanks Regional Park, 30 minutes from Lake Pleasant Regional Park, and is also the spring training home to both the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals, making it one of the greatest hubs of recreational offerings in the state of Arizona.

One of the most exciting new developments in Surprise is the Village at Prasada retail, restaurant and entertainment centre, which is scheduled to complete the first phase of construction in early 2023. This power centre is the first one built in the western US in the past decade and will certainly enhance the appeal of the city.

Ticking the boxes

When looking at the five factors that should be considered when locating a new regional headquarters, it is clear that the City of Surprise is one of the top options available to expanding enterprises. As development has continued to ramp up over the past decade, the potential of this north-west Phoenix suburb is only becoming more apparent and should be a default option for any company looking to break into the western US.