Surprise Election Q&A: City Center development

City council candidates answer questions

Posted 6/21/22

Candidates answer "How do you feel about the development in City Center?"

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Surprise Election Q&A: City Center development

City council candidates answer questions


Candidates for the Surprise City Council answer questions each week leading up to the Aug. 2 primary election. There are three candidates in District 1 and two incumbents running unopposed in Districts 5 and 6.

THIS WEEK: How do you feel about the development in City Center?


Raymond Grim

The development of City Center has been a slow go. Unfortunately, it got bogged down when our last mayor made the decision to try and take the land from the developer. That caused a long, costly, drawn-out court battle that hindered growth and soured the relationship between the city and the developers.

Now, progress seems to be back on track. I would love to see the city use some of our reclaimed water to make a river walk area in the City Center. This will be the catalyst for a destination in our city. Restaurants and entertainment opportunities will develop around such an attraction.

I would also like to take a small corner of the area to make an incubator for restaurant owners. We have so many creative restaurant entrepreneurs in Surprise but, there is not really a feasible way for them to start a small restaurant without a lot of capital. Set this up so it’s like a food court area with shaded outdoor seating.

Have short term leases for these entrepreneurs. Have a stage area so local artists can come and perform. For those restaurants that develop a great clientele, this will help fund them to get a permanent location in the future City Center area. This will also develop a unique culinary experience for our city. We could call it Surprisingly Tasty.  

Lew Guyn

Other than the City Hall and library area, the remainder of City Center is privately owned, and a variety of projects are in the works — some can be seen behind Red Robin, and grading has started next to the Royals housing, and others are being planned.

When we build, it is not for the next decade, but the next century, so we need to be careful of how this area will be developed to make city center functional and attractive now and in the future. Work is still progressing on what should be included and where, and I would be honored to a part of that effort.

Nick Haney

Ultimately, my vision for our city is that it is a place for the members of our community to live, work, and play. Far too often, we see our residents leave the city for entertainment options in other cities.

Proper development in our city center will give Surprise residents the entertainment options they have wanted for years while attracting others from outside of our city to enjoy. It is important we take advantage of the development of the city center to provide diverse entertainment opportunities for all ages within our city.


Jack Hastings

First, it’s important to clarify that Surprise does not own the City Center land. Before I took office, the last 15 years saw the great recession, lawsuits, and COVID-19 all cause delays in building out City Center. However, since taking office, we have seen an explosion of growth happening.

Right now, there is a lot of residential coming. While we all want commercial, residential is the first step and will get us there. Joshua Simon, the developer at Prasada, has also been hired to design and develop part of our new downtown! I am looking forward to the next decade and all it will bring to Surprise City Center.


Chris Judd

City Center is entirely private property and is not owned by the city. As a private property owner, the developer has the final say in what happens to their land. We need to continue partnering with that developer so we can achieve the common goal of creating a vibrant and walkable City Center that we are all excited to enjoy.

The build out of city center is going to be market driven and it will take time. Businesses need to be able to thrive when they open. This gets easier as more people live and work in City Center – more people equals more customers and that makes it easier for businesses to succeed.


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