Sharon Harper, Plaza Companies

from Sharon Harper

Co-working spaces have come into their own in the commercial real estate market. Garage startups and early entrepreneurs are moving from their Starbucks meetups to ever-evolving collaborative work environments and public spaces with amenities that fully serve business; the trend is attracting even established businesses.

With each passing day technology and innovation become more important to all businesses, and their influence is driving commercial real estate. We see this with our own projects — most notably SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center — and throughout the Valley. Co-working spaces provide opportunity for collaboration and creativity, which fuel the modern business environment.

Exploring the hot commercial real estate activity in co-working spaces, In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh spoke with industry professionals knowledgeable in the Valley market. And, adding to input from founders and managers of leading co-working facilities, businesses that are established and operate there share their experience of the arrangement.

By the Numbers discusses a related topic — how corporate occupiers are managing their real estate portfolio with more efficient workplace design, with metrics that include use of different types of shared workplaces. 

In today’s business world, use and misuse of technology can be a deciding factor in a company’s success. An article on the Technology page addresses small and medium-sized businesses to focus on more effective strategies. The focus of the finance feature, “Impact Investing – Making a Difference in the Community,” is on the return gained by the investor, the sustainable company invested in, and the community of which it is part. And a resource for business decision makers is the special section Business Healthcare Services Guide.

This May issue also starts a three-part series on the Arizona Commerce Authority’s CEO Corner Office program to help already-successful businessmen and businesswomen further advance their company. Each installment will share a different participant’s experience, with a skill or talent gained and how that business put it into play.

I am pleased to help bring you this issue of In Business Magazine, with its varied content relevant to businesses here in our Valley of the Sun. Please enjoy the read.


Sharon Harper 
President and CEO
Plaza Companies

Sharon Harper is the chairman, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, a dynamic and multi-faceted real estate investment firm specializing in development, brokerage, construction and management of medical office properties, senior living facilities, and bioscience and biotechnology centers. 

Harper is chairman of Greater Phoenix Leadership, serves on the executive board for Greater Phoenix Economic Council, is a trustee for the McCain Institute for International Leadership with ASU and a trustee for the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

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