The city of Glendale’s economic development director has announced he will retire later this year after 23 years in his role of shaping numerous successful West Valley projects.
Brian Friedman has worked with brokers, developers, corporations and local, state and international leaders as an instrumental leader in bringing projects to the city, including luxury auto dealerships, a flagship casino, numerous experiential retail attractions, thousands of hotel rooms, including Arizona’s largest resort under construction, multiple global corporations and a booming manufacturing hub along the Loop 303.
Other key developments during his leadership tenure include State Farm Stadium, Desert Diamond Arena and Westgate Entertainment District, all of which started the transformation for Glendale, which today boasts one of the largest sports and entertainment districts in the country.
His entire career, which includes stops serving as director of planning in Santa Cruz County and with the city of Tucson’s transportation engineering department, spans more than 30 years.
“My 10-plus years as mayor working with Brian’s department have been an eye-opening experience,” Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers shared in a statement. “He has a depth of knowledge and the ability to earn the trust of all types of people. His experience putting together a top-notch department has helped shape our economic development department as a small but mighty team that is frequently envied. I’m proud to have worked with him and wish him the best in his retirement.”
Friedman, with the support of city council and the city manager, has facilitated several billion dollars in capital investment during the past few years of his tenure alone, which has established Glendale as a major jobs center and entertainment mecca.
"Over the longstanding partnership between the city of Glendale and Greater Phoenix Economic Council, we have advanced numerous projects, including Red Bull, Mark Anthony Brewing, Alaska Federal Credit Union, Coca-Cola, and Williams-Sonoma,” Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Council CEO, stated. “Brian and the Glendale team set a record permitting pace on American Furniture Warehouse and other major projects that fueled the ‘Welcome to Glendale’ brand that Glendale maintains.”
Friedman announced his plan to retire in August.
“It has truly been a unique pleasure working with Brian Friedman over the years. Brian was a key player in developing Westgate, the West Valley’s entertainment district and his work will continue to impact Glendale and the region positively,” said WestMarc CEO Sintra Hoffman.
An Arizona native, Friedman holds a bachelor's degree in Bbusiness and regional development and a master's degree in planning and urban design with emphasis in transportation engineering from the University of Arizona.
“Brian’s business acumen and list of accomplishments are noteworthy – it has been my pleasure to work alongside him as my direct report over the past seven years,” Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps shared. “Brian is highly capable and likeable, he has built strong relationships with the business community, city staff, and the public in a way that inspires trust and confidence. The impact of his efforts and achievements will be seen for years to come.”