Welcome to El Mirage!
Considered the gateway to the Northwest Valley of the Greater Phoenix Metro Area, El Mirage has grown from a small town, dependent on agriculture, to a diverse urban economy with a 2010 census population of 31,767. The City’s mission is to offer exemplary service to all who live, work, and visit El Mirage. We take great pride in treating each citizen equally and professionally, in a manner that fosters continued confidence in the City’s leadership.
El Mirage is located approximately 10 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix and minutes away from Luke Air Force Base (AFB). Luke AFB is the USAF’s largest fighter pilot training facility in the world and the City of El Mirage proudly supports the men and women of Luke Air Force Base and their mission. On the City’s southern border, El Mirage is a part of a collaborative effort to build the Northern Parkway transportation corridor. This project will provide access to the Loop 303, connecting to Interstate 10 and Interstate 17. On the City’s northern edge, U.S. Highway 60 provides easy access to the Loop 101 and Loop 303, two of the areas busiest regional highways.
El Mirage is part of a multi-jurisdictional effort in the West Valley known as the Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The zone is a government designated, 400-acre site at the City’s southern end where foreign and domestic goods may be stored, assembled, or exhibited for sale exempted from U.S. Customs duties and excise taxes. The FTZ is an integral part of future business development.
Retail expansion in El Mirage is also a significant economic driver due to its potential for generating tax revenues, creating jobs, and drawing new visitors and residents. In recent years, several new retailers – most representing national chains – have located to El Mirage including, Valero, Auto Zone, Goodwill Industries, Burger King, Subway, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Public safety and recreation have been the focus of voter-approved bonds in recent years. As a result, a new fire station, new police station, Northwest Valley Family YMCA facility, and a New City Hall, are among the City’s most ambitious projects to address the significant community needs spurred by the influx of new residents and businesses. In fact, the City’s population has more than quadrupled in the last decade, and City leaders are committed to keep pace with such growth through fiscal stewardship and sound financial management.
Since the City’s incorporation in 1951, El Mirage has transcended its rural, agricultural beginnings to emerge as a diverse urban community. The City’s affordable housing, small-town feel, and proximity to Phoenix have attracted young working families, retirees looking for community cohesion and a less hurried pace, and entrepreneurs seeking expansion into new markets.
The Hohokam, an ancient Native American culture, were the earliest inhabitants of what is known today as El Mirage. The Hohokam occupied a wide area of south-central Arizona from roughly Flagstaff south to the Mexican border. They are thought to have originally migrated north out of Mexico around 300 BC to become the most skillful irrigation farmers in the Southwest. The ingenious Hohokam developed an elaborate irrigation network using only stone instruments and organized labor. They were commonly known as the “Canal Builders.”
In 1867, most of the Hohokam canals were retrenched and used for farming. Federal irrigation projects constructed in the 20th century provided a more consistent and assured water supply throughout the Phoenix valley for agriculture.
During the early 1930’s, migrant farm workers settled in El Mirage on the west bank of the Agua Fria River. Mexican migrants came to El Mirage to help build the canals and harvest the first crops. They founded El Mirage in 1937 to provide stability and education for future generations. El Mirage was incorporated in 1951. At the time of incorporation, the City was primarily a compact residential community. The City has grown and according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, El Mirage grew from 5,001 residents in 1990 to 31,767 residents in 2010. It is anticipated the City will continue to experience growth in the next decades.