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Commercial Real Estate Market Taking Off In Phoenix

As I flew into Phoenix last week, seeing the city from the air and the approach to the airport reminded me that the Valley’s commercial real estate market still has a lot of runway for growth.

More than 1,200 top executives of Jones Lang LaSalle met in Scottsdale last week for our annual leadership meeting. It’s an important event, given that our collaborative culture enables our firm to deliver value to commercial and corporate real estate clients in ways that other service firms can’t, or don’t. So most of the people here were thinking about ways to connect with, and learn from, each other.

But as Jones Lang LaSalle’s Southwest Market Director, my thoughts were on the opportunity for growth in Phoenix. I work with our brokers, property managers, project managers and other real estate professionals in Phoenix and across the region. Our business grows when real estate investors and corporate occupiers grow. And Phoenix is frequently high on the list of U.S. cities for business growth.

It may not be obvious at a time when house prices are about half what they were a few years ago, and unemployment remains maddeningly high. But between 2001 and 2011, Phoenix added more than 80,000 jobs, making it the country’s fourth-largest gainer when the boom and bust are both taken into account.

Moreover, the job market appears to be on the upswing again — a little or a lot, depending on which study you look at. Recently, the Urban Land Institute reported that Phoenix added more than 34,000 jobs since mid-2009 in private education and health services sectors.

Most important, corporate leaders continue to think of Phoenix when they’re considering a business expansion or relocation. That’s good for the city’s long-term growth prospects.

And it’s good for the Phoenix economy overall – including our brokers, construction managers and property management teams.

Peter Belisle - Commercial Real Estate MarketPeter Belisle is the Southwest Market Director for Jones Lang LaSalle, charged with overseeing the firm’s business across the region, which includes Phoenix, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles area, Orange County and San Diego. Business lines under Peter’s direction include tenant and landlord representation, project management and a property and facilities management portfolio of 62 MSF.