5 Metro Phoenix hot spots for real estate development

By: AZ Big Media 

Remember Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s 1983 hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet?” You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet? It’s one of those catchy, unforgettable lyrics you can’t shake. And, it’s a perfect musical representation of the growth happening throughout Metro Phoenix, especially when it comes to hot spots for real estate development. Just when you think you might have seen all there is to see in development expansion and innovation, the Valley seems to unveil a new surprise.

NAIOP members and industry leaders have identified some of the hot spots for real estate development and commercial real estate (CRE) activity in the Valley. From Mesa Gateway and Queen Creek to North Scottsdale, Buckeye and Goodyear, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! 

Market watch: Industrial and Retail Rising

Overall, commercial development in Metro Phoenix is thriving. Despite the pandemic dampening certain sectors, such as office activity, other markets have recovered and are seeing momentum. When NAIOP conducted its recent appraisal of Valley hot spots, it identified retail and industrial as two high-activity CRE segments throughout Metro Phoenix.

As far as the industrial outlook, Rusty Kennedy, managing director for Stream Realty, anticipates that manufacturing will continue to dominate throughout many regions in the Valley. “I think there are a couple of things driving [manufacturing activity],” he says. “Obviously one is the availability of labor, skilled labor and affordability. We’re a right-to-work state, which is a competitive advantage. We have the labor and it’s affordable. Something that we point out is that I believe we’re graduating around 50,000 students a year between our colleges, universities and other institutions.”

In the East Valley, speculative industrial offerings are trending.

“In years past, Mesa’s inventory of available quality industrial space was small and large-floor-plate industrial space was nonexistent,” explains Bill Jabjiniak, director of economic development for the City of Mesa. “This had been a major obstacle, but over time, the City of Mesa has worked closely with developers to encourage a better mix of speculative industrial product, including large floor plates that would attract larger companies. With the new product coming online, companies large and small can get operational much more quickly than in years past.”

Adds Jenna Borcherding, director of development for VanTrust Real Estate, “We’ve seen a significant amount of larger scale speculative development in recent years which has placed Phoenix in the upper echelon of industrial markets in the country,” she says. “I expect the growth in the industrial sector to continue, as the Phoenix market offers an affordable cost of living coupled with a young and diverse talent pool.”


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