Mark Mitchell
Tempe Mayor


Ask any rock star – it takes a long time and a lot of work to become an overnight success.

Tempe has risen to the top of a lot of “best” lists lately, such as Urban Land Institute’s Hottest Intersection and the nation’s Tech 30 list by CBRE. Tempe leads the country in absorption of tech office space and rent growth. Our downtown area has never been as full of life with new residents, businesses, amenities and the ever-classic Mill Avenue.

Tempe’s success wasn’t built overnight. It’s taken decades of planning and visionary leadership to create the cultural and economic ecosystem that is Tempe’s success. Ours is an urban ecosystem that sustains businesses, residents and visitors equally. We have invested for decades in a high quality of life for the Tempe community. The availability of border to border light rail transportation – with a fast route straight to Sky Harbor International Airport – makes Tempe the city of choice not only for residents, but for an active workforce.  Since I’ve been mayor, we’ve added more than 30,000 new jobs.  We’re doing the work in Tempe to not only attract, retain and support business, but we’re building a community that people love. We’re doing the important work today and planning for tomorrow so that we may continue to evolve and mature.

There are more than 50 development projects on the horizon in Tempe. Here is information about some of the opportunities – a full list is available on tempe.gov/projects.

IDEA Tempe

IDEA Tempe is a phased development that focuses on bringing new biotechnology and technology companies to Tempe. The 18-acre, 1 million sq ft project next to Tempe Center for the Arts includes five commercial buildings with restaurant and retail space, two parking structures, as well as a 40,000 sq. ft. of arts rehearsal and classroom space.  The Boyer Company is the developer – construction begins this year.


Tempe has three amazing hotel opportunities coming forward – a Westin, a Canopy by Hilton and an Omni are all breaking ground this year. The Omni will have a conference center with the ability to seat more than 1,000 people. These hotels will add nearly 1,000 sorely needed hotel rooms to Tempe by 2020. Tempe had the second highest hotel occupancy rate in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in 2017. These new hotel additions coming online will only make room for accommodation improvement.

The Grand

Just northwest of the lake, The Grand at Papago Park has become an impressive property, boasting more than 1.8 million square feet of Class ‘A’ Office space. We have seen some great companies move into The Grand such as Union Bank and SAP. At full buildout, this project has the potential of more than $250 million dollars of new investment and to be home to more than 7,000 new jobs.

Liberty Center

With more than one million square feet of beautiful office space, this development has attracted some of the country’s top emerging companies. The innovative online auto sales company, Carvana, recently moved their headquarters to Liberty Center joining DriveTime, and DHL among other tenants.

Rio 2100

This 52-acre development turned the brownfield site east of Tempe Marketplace into a fantastic mixed-use development of hotels, retail and office space. Freedom Financial is building their new regional service center there and adding 3,000 jobs to our local economy.

Watermark/ Aura

This luxury development will bring 44,000 sq. ft. of high-end retail and restaurants, 265,000 sq. ft. of commercial and 360 apartments to Tempe Town Lake in the initial phase. There are plans for a lakeside restaurant space with rooftop terrace.

The Collective

This development turned an abandoned shopping center known as the former Lake Country Village into new retail and a new 400-unit apartment complex. Alamo Drafthouse is an anchor for the center.

The Local

Whole Foods is coming to downtown Tempe in a development called The Local. The Local will also add 268 units of needed housing to our downtown. The project is being built now and should open within the year.

Hayden Flour Mill

Our most historic building and iconic structure, the Hayden Flour Mill, will soon be the site of offices, restaurants and a hotel. Baum Development is taking the lead to ensure that our beloved Flour Mill is not only preserved, but that people will be able to enjoy it for generations to come.

We are proud to be partnering with ASU on the vision for the Novus Innovation District. Novus is a strategic view of 330 gross acres of real estate including, athletic facilities, roadways and public spaces, all built with Smart City initiatives as design criteria.

These and other opportunities for growth are available in Tempe and an exciting leap into the future. I invite you to reach out to me or to our Economic Development team at business@tempe.gov.