Subcontractors + Developers Gather to Help AZ Build Local


For(u)m’s third annual subcontractor expo showcased more than a new name; the Build Local Expo highlighted a dozen of the valley’s premier crafts- and tradespeople while creating a unique, collaborative networking space.

Launched in 2016, the LFA For(u)m program works to support sustainable and thoughtful development through the use of infill, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, and redevelopment practices. Another key goal is to promote an open conversation. Stakeholders such as residents, city government, and local businesses become part of the conversation when new projects launch, creating the opportunity for co-productive dialogue and place-making. When these (re)developments are undertaken, For(u)m works to ensure every aspect of the project can be completed locally. The Build Local Expo highlights some of the businesses that are able to help achieve this goal.

The expo serves to demonstrate the strong role that collaboration among development partners and local subcontractors can play in closing the development loop. In addition to connecting development professionals, this event serves to create space for conversation on how to create a more localized supply chain. As Arizona continues to grow, these conversations are vital in ensuring more strategic and sustainable development decisions. 


This year, For(u)m partnered with Fuerza Local, LFAF’s business accelerator program for underserved micro-entrepreneurs, to highlight five recent program graduates: Pacman Plumbing, Dust N Shine, Orozco Painting LLC, Lobos Electric, and Conde Heating & Air. Through this collaboration, each of these new local businesses were able to strengthen their network of subcontractors, developers, and homeowners to grow quickly and on creative, sustainable, and thoughtful project around the valley.

This event provided great exposure for our Fuerza graduates; they’ve never tabled at an expo that is specifically for their niche businesses, so it enabled them to gain further experience working with high caliber developers and architects. Everyone was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to find ways to collaborate.
— Mayra Vargas, Small Business Liaison

While a “subcontractor” is generally thought of as a craftsperson, or people in the building trades such as plumbers and electricians, local builds go beyond construction. Many developments also benefit from unique photography and videography to promote and market the project, designers, and architects involved; and renderings to allow all stakeholders to get a complete feel for the build before development starts. Given the high tech, adaptable space provided by Western Window Systems, Justin Zellars of Studio 97 was able to utilize multiple devices to display his meticulously crafted, hyper-realistic project renderings.

As an architect, we are always looking to utilize local subs and suppliers on our jobs and the Local First subcontractor expo is an incredibly valuable resource for connecting with the best of the best. I am looking forward to continuing to localize our supply chain.
— Cavin Costello, The Ranch Mine

Moving forward, For(u)m and all partners will continue growing opportunities for all industry professionals around the valley, highlighting the many opportunities for collaboration and emphasis on sustainable, thoughtful, and completely local development. While the expo provides an excellent networking opportunity for those in the field, it’s also the perfect venue for business and homeowners to find new partners for their individual projects while gleaning some creative wisdom from the makers in the room.

The event was made possible with the support of Western Window Systems in partnership with Courtesy Chevrolet Fleet and Amy Jones Real Estate Group.  More information and updates on future For(u)m events, along with program membership details can be found here.

Are you interested in the unique opportunities offered by the For(u)m program? Contact Brooke Nisenbaum, the Community Planning Manager, at [email protected] or 602-717-8897.