As Arizona rebounds from the pandemic, its population is increasing, new projects are transforming the skyline, and travel and tourism are bouncing back.

Like other cities in the Greater Phoenix area, Tempe is leading the way when it comes to growth and development in the state, and the Fueling the Economy: The City of Tempe panel discussion will take a deep dive into those elements driving Tempe’s economy. The last couple years saw Tempe pivot from a university town into the Valley’s second largest urban center, but rapid change brings not just economic success but also challenges. From demands for additional workforce and affordable housing, to attracting businesses that provide high-paying jobs, to ensuring enough space for visitors—including the thousands who come every year for events at Arizona State University—Tempe is dedicated to meeting the needs of its residents as well as current and potential industries.

READ ALSOHere’s why Scottsdale and Tempe are experiencing a development boom

With about 40 square miles of land, Tempe is nearing build-out capacity. In early 2021, the city expanded its boundaries for the first time since 2006, adding slightly more than 17 acres in a portion of the North Tempe county island, located south of East Curry Road, west of North Miller Road and north of Gilbert Drive. The site will house a phased mixed-use development featuring approximately 650 residential units and retail opportunities.

Housing, like land, also is in high demand. Approximately 190,000 residents live within its city limits, and as the city continues to develop, it relies on a large population of commuters to operate. Currently, more than 20 housing, multifamily and mixed-use projects are in development or approved. They will bring about 3,000 residential units to the Tempe. Another 20-plus projects are in review.

Tempe is also home to approximately 50 million square feet of industrial and office space. More than a dozen large-scale developments that will add upwards of 3 million additional square feet are in the works. And even though the city recently welcomed the opening of The Westin Tempe, its largest new hotel in nearly four decades, another 10 hospitality projects are on the horizon.

Continued Growth

Currently, there are about 60 large-scale projects underway in Tempe, with a slightly larger number in review, that are expanding the city to the far edges of its borders and will bring in thousands of jobs, luxury living and high-end accommodations, as well as new public transportation options. Here’s a look at some of the most talked-about developments.

Novus Innovation Corridor: Located adjacent to the Arizona State University (ASU) campus, this 355-acre multiphased mixed-use complex is projected to generate an economic impact of $1.86 billion and create almost 34,000 jobs by 2035. Some of the more than 10 million square feet of projects completed or under construction include the 2.1 million-square-foot Marina Heights office building, the 693-room Hyatt House/Hyatt Place hotel, the 278-rental-unit Piedmont residences and the 281,000-square-foot Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building (ISTB) 7. The corridor is a partnership between Catellus Development Corporation and ASU’s University Real Estate Development Team.

250 Rio: On Sep. 1, Hines purchased 1.8 acres of land for a new 14-story office building overlooking Tempe Town Lake. The project will include a 216,000-square-foot Class AA office building and accompanying parking structure. It will complement Hines’ 100 Mill, an 18-story office development across the street.

Westin Tempe: At 18 stories tall, with 290 spacious guest suites and approximately 21,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, the Westin Tempe began welcoming guests at the end of August. Located just blocks from ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium, the gleaming tower also provides a refreshing boost to Mill Avenue’s food options, with three dining concepts and the Valley’s highest open-air rooftop bar and lounge. The hotel is owned and developed by CAI Investments and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts.    

Banyan North Tempe: Situated minutes from downtown Tempe and approximately 1 mile from ASU, this $177 million multifamily development will offer 651 units ranging from studios to four bedrooms. The recently annexed project site in North Tempe county island will provide residents with easy access to employment centers in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Designed by Todd & Associates, the first-class complex will also feature such state-of-the-art amenities as resort-style pools, a fitness center, dog park, clubhouse and more.

Tempe Streetcar Project: As development increases and Tempe’s population of residents, workers and visitors grows, public transportation will help ease congestion. The first modern streetcar line in the Valley will follow a 3-mile-long loop, with 14 stops along the way, linking downtown Tempe, ASU and the emerging employment corridor of Rio Salado Parkway, with connections to Valley Metro Light Rail to Downtown Phoenix. Testing of the first two of six vehicles began in June.

Fueling the Economy

To provide an in-depth look at the health and current trends in commercial and residential real estate, AZ Big Media and the City of Tempe are proud to present the Fueling the Economy: The City of Tempe.

“The City of Tempe has been at the center of many of the state’s biggest business relocates and expansions,” notes Michael A. Gossie, editor in chief at AZ Big Media. “It’s important to look at the successes Tempe has had and share some of the city’s best practices so other Valley municipalities can learn from Tempe’s triumphs and, hopefully, duplicate some of those economic wins.”

Industry insiders and local dignitaries, including a special introduction by Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, will provide expert insight into the city’s current growth and what it means for the government and people now and in the future. A trio of panel discussions will examine three important issues facing Tempe today: development, hospitality and housing.

Fueling the Economy: The City of Tempe

When: Thursday, September 23, 2021, 3-6 p.m.

Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

Tickets: Tickets are available for purchase here.