Infusionsoft leaving Gilbert for Chandler

The Republic |

Gilbert-based software developer Infusionsoft last week announced plans to relocate to Chandler at the end of the year, taking with it hundreds of jobs and a successful private corporation with an international reach.

The move to Chandler’s Price Road Corridor is another coup for a city with a robust high-tech sector that includes Intel, Microchip and Orbital Sciences. On the other hand, it comes as a significant blow to Gilbert’s economic development efforts.

Infusionsoft will leave its current headquarters near Arizona Avenue and Guadalupe Road in Gilbert for what it sees as greener pastures in an 86,000-square-foot building in Chandler’s Allred Park Place, near Price and Willis roads.

The company expects to grow from nearly 300 employees currently to about 1,000 workers over the next three to four years and will occupy a two-story building in the partially developed business park.

While the Infusionsoft announcement will cost Gilbert hundreds of jobs, Mayor John Lewis tried to put a positive spin on the company’s move to Chandler.

“Infusionsoft is one great Arizona company,” Lewis said. “For the whole state of Arizona, it’s just a blessing to have them here.”

Lewis said he is glad Gilbert provided a location that allowed Infusionsoft to grow and thrive.

“We did have some wonderful discussions with them and looked at every option we could think of from a Gilbert perspective,” Lewis said. “We just did not have what they needed for the next few years.”

Gilbert is somewhat at a disadvantage because the town does not have many large vacant buildings, Lewis said. That should change when the economy rebounds enough to prompt developers to start building again, he said.

“We’ll have our day, and there will be great companies like Infusionsoft that will fill spots in Gilbert,” Lewis said.

Infusionsoft has been recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the best places to work in the Valley and by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the best small workplaces in the nation.

CEO Clate Mask was recognized by the Arizona Technology Council as the 2011 Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year and is a finalist for Ernst & Young’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year, set to be announced later this month.

Under Mask’s guidance, Infusionsoft has grown into a leading sales and marketing automation software maker, boasting about 32,000 users in 62 countries.

“This is such a tremendous, tremendous benefit for Chandler to have them here in the Price Corridor,” Mackay said. “We’re so incredibly fortunate … that they were able to find a landlord that moved heaven and earth to make sure they felt welcome in Chandler.”

The structure is being built by San Diego-based Douglas Allred Company, whose executive vice president is David Allred. Allred sped up the construction time line to accommodate Infusionsoft. Originally he was to have the shell completed by Dec. 1, but now he also will have the tenant improvements finished by then.

Mackay praised Allred as an accommodating developer, stating, “It’s not about money. … It’s about creating a sense of place; that’s what he’s interested in, so it becomes a win-win for everyone.”

Mackay has been watching Infusionsoft for three years. The introduction was made by Derek Neighbors of Gangplank, a collaborative workspace in downtown Chandler. “Derek called me and said, ‘This is a company you’ve got to meet. Can I make an introduction?’ ” Mackay said.

Besides being a knowledge-based business, Infusionsoft also is a good corporate citizen, she added.

The company has supported a list of organizations, including the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Small Business Association, as well as Gilbert Days Parade and the Arizona Technology Institute’s Tech Recycling Day. It does microlending for Kiva and Mentors International.

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