The Bottom Line: Gilbert security company to expand, add employees - East Valley Tribune: Business

The Bottom Line: Gilbert security company to expand, add employees

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Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2005 6:36 am | Updated: 7:28 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A Gilbert electronic security company that was started in 1991 by a Mesa High School graduate has grown into the 37th largest security system installer in the United States, and the company plans to quadruple the size of its headquarters.

Benson Systems started construction on a 40,000-square-foot office and warehouse building on more than three acres off Guadalupe Road between Arizona Avenue and McQueen Road.

The company, which specializes in fire control, security systems and closed-circuit television, has national accounts that include Target, Wal-Mart and Cox Communications.

While it has been delayed by rain and the town’s permitting process, Benson, which is now in the Sunrise Business Park at Elliott Road and McQueen, hopes to open its new location in October. It has just under under 100 employees and plans to increase it’s work force by 25 percent, said Paul Hodges, vice president of operations.

It looked at several locations including ones in Chandler, Tempe and Scottsdale. Even though the company considered Scottsdale’s cache, it decided to stay in Gilbert because it offers the same feeling for less money, Hodges said.

A 1982 graduate of Mesa High, Shawn Benson founded the company with $10,000 in savings and five employees.

IT’S A GEM

Chandler stole a high-tech business from Gilbert.

Gem Microelectronics, a company that manufactures chemicals for etching on integrated circuit boards, plans to begin production this month in 40,000 square feet of new space at 6760 W. Chicago St. in west Chandler.

"It shows an interest in the high-technology market moving forward," said Christine Mackay, Chandler economic development specialist for industrial and office space. "We haven’t seen any real growth in high-tech in a while."

CONCOURSE D

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport officials plan to open the new D concourse Tuesday on the southwest side of Terminal 4.

The concourse will provide eight new gates for Southwest Airlines. For those who say the lines are too long and slow, the project will add a fourth security checkpoint to the airport’s busiest terminal.

Passengers will be able to look at passing planes through several vintage, free-standing binoculars placed in front of a 30-foot-tall window wall, officials said. Compass tiles on the floor point to destinations around the globe, including 16 Phoenix sister cities.

Construction on the $50 million project began in October of 2003.

BOTTOM’S UP

The Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau sent over a note to say SunBurst Resort completed a $9 million renovation and will change its name next month to Caleo Resort & Spa. Caleo is Latin for inspire with passion, the note says. Maybe so, but Sun-Burst is a lot easier to say and understand.

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