Since becoming the Mayor of Tempe, I have focused my first two State of the City addresses on the economic and social growth of our community. They were chances to tout our progress, which has been significant after what can only be described as a difficult recovery from a tough economy. In the last year especially, Tempe has seen an amazing amount of development. In fact, in addition to more than 5,300 jobs added since mid-2012, over $700 million of capital investment was infused into Tempe, and 3 million square feet of Class A office space was developed or absorbed.
The highlight was the announcement of the Marina Heights project. The City of Tempe and its partners, Arizona State University, Ryan Companies and Sunbelt Holdings, are currently under construction on the largest commercial development in the history of Arizona. This 20-acre, 2 million square foot, $600 million capital investment is to be the home of State Farm’s regional headquarters. Marina Heights has been a catalyst for additional development, which includes Arizona State University’s Stadium District, the development of Southbank along the north and east side of Tempe Town Lake, and the Liberty Center at Rio Salado. This one development will stimulate thousands of high-quality jobs, millions of square feet of Class A Office space and hundreds of high-end condominiums.
The city has also been working with Liberty Property Trust to develop over 100 acres of city land at Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway. Directly west of Tempe Town Lake, this development has the potential to create 6,500 new jobs and net Tempe nearly $11.9 million. Liberty Property Trust one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate companies and it’s a leading developer of high-performance green buildings. Specifically, this site will add 1 million square feet of Class A, LEED-certified development to Tempe, and this month, the first of eight buildings at the site will open.
And of course, I must mention the new Go Daddy Global Technology Center opening in the ASU Research Park in south Tempe this month. This 150,000 square-foot facility will support more than 1,100 employees, including 200 hired since the construction began, and another 250 expected to be hired in the coming months.
These are just some of the recent successes Tempe has experienced economically in the last year, and they are only the beginning for our community. State Farm, Go Daddy, and Liberty Property Trust will all attract quality, high-wage jobs right in our backyard. These added people and jobs mean sales taxes and property taxes, and that pays for the services we provide and the quality of life we maintain. It is the Tempe City Council’s priority is to build a better future for Tempe, and it is clear that we are off to an excellent start.