Surprise banks on private partnerships

The Valley Vista Performing Arts Center on the campus of Valley Vista High School is one facility used by both the Dysart Unified School District and the City of Surprise. / Jason Stone / Independent Newsmedia

By Jason Stone | Surprise Independent

Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic can envision Surprise on a growth path much like Gilbert, only a few decades later.

“I believe Surprise is on a Gilbert trajectory,” Ms. Jerkovic recently told the City Council during a presentation on public-private partnerships.

That’s because downtown Gilbert’s mix of restaurants, bars, entertainment and shopping establishments on more than 60 acres of land is what she calls “30 years in the making.”

“It’s easy to become jealous about what Gilbert’s been doing over there,” Ms. Jerkovic warned the Council. “But they’ve been at it a long time. We’re the new kid on the block. We’re still at the starting gate for the potential for the City of Surprise.”

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