Stephen Filipowicz
Apache Junction Economic Development Director

ImageApache Junction – It never had the explosive growth of Gilbert and certainly not the glitz of Scottsdale. The high tech manufacturing of Chandler never made it here.  AJ has been saddled with its image as the distant cousin on the outskirts of the Valley noted for trailer parks, retirees and restaurants that might well be found in Wisconsin or Minnesota. 

But on the horizon is the development of Superstition Vistas. With it comes the opportunity for Apache Junction to shed its less than glamorous reputation and make some changes. The plan presented by Steve looks like an urban makeover.


The new focus, called “3D ED”, evolved from a report produced by the Economic Development Action Planning Team (EDAPT) in 2007.  “3D ED” refers to the 3 D’s of economic development - Diversification, Downtown and Destination.

Diversification – Is the current effort to strengthen Apache Junction’s year round employment through the growth of manufacturing and other targeted industries. Membership in GPEC, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, is designed to increase its exposure to prospect leads; organizations that may be attracted to the city. The strategy is to attract prospects to AJ and win them over with better zoning, availability of funding and a smooth and efficient permitting process. This strategy is called SRS; Service, Responsiveness and Sincerity and is expected to send a message - We want you here in Apache Junction.

Downtown – Changing the image of the downtown area is a top priority.  Both public and private investment in the downtown area is already having the effect upgrading that image. The new Central Arizona College and the Mountain Health and Wellness facilities are leaders in changing the look of Downtown.  Investment in the public area infrastructure serves to compliment these facilities.

Destination – Apache Junction is the gateway to a variety of tourism attractions; the Superstition Mountains, the Apache Trail and Arizona State Parks.  AJ intends to play a role in the Arizona tourism industry by marketing these attractions and facilitating tourists in their travels.

Steve is excited about the future and believes the “3D ED” approach will help Apache Junction achieve the goal of becoming a year-round community.