Is The Sleepy Old Pueblo Finally Waking Up?

Ready to Step into the National Spotlight

By: Ben Riehle, CEO/Co-Founder Apex Real Estate Network

Old Pueblo Finally Waking Up? Is Phoenix’s little sister finally ready to come out of the shadows and into the national spotlight as an emerging and thriving city? Based on the building and development happening in the Old Pueblo it sure looks like it. Now let me be clear, I am not trying to compare Tucson to the 12th largest city in the U.S., but I do believe that Tucson is finally coming into its own. There is growth and development occurring throughout the city, and no sign of things slowing down. With announcements occurring almost weekly of new corporations bringing jobs to our economy and new developments breaking ground, Tucson seems poised to finally shed its title as Phoenix’s little sister.

I have lived in Tucson for 10 years, I moved to the city to attend the University of Arizona in 2007. At that time Tucson was a mix between a college town and a place for retirees to visit in the winter months. You didn’t see cranes in the skyline or hear about new companies bringing thousands of jobs to our economy. Known for a slower pace, it was apparent that Tucson wanted to be and could be so much more. Fast-forward 10 years and Tucson is hardly recognizable. We have great restaurants, a nightlife Downtown, and the economy is thriving with a local government embracing the growth.

This past week a friend of mine visited Tucson for the first time in 2 years. He owns real estate in Tucson and is doing a couple new project with my team. He flew in to check out the projects and visit for a couple days. As we drove through town I found myself pointing out new projects and developments every couple of blocks. He was blown away by the growth, and to be honest, as I talked about all of the different projects occurring, I was somewhat taken aback as well. Being active in the local real estate market I had lost perspective of how far Tucson has come and how much is actually happening in our community.

A recent Downtown Investment (featured in video above,) is currently under contract by an investment group and Riehle due to increased growth in Southern Arizona.


Major projects that are currently in the process

To fully demonstrate this growth I decided to pull news articles of some of the major projects that are currently in process or are planned to start in the Old Pueblo. I have included a brief headline and summary below as well as links to each article for more information.

If you would like to discuss the Tucson market, strategic planning for building wealth through real estate or how our team may be able to help you accomplish your real estate goals please do not hesitate to send me a message.

“The Downtown Tucson landscape is rapidly changing.  A new business opens every couple weeks and construction projects are happening around nearly every corner.  Since 2008, Downtown Tucson has experienced over $1.2 billion in public and private investments, and over another half billion dollars is being invested into current and proposed projects.” source 

New Developments in Tucson

Caterpillar Inc. Bringing Regional HQ to Downtown– CAT is building new regional HQ that will provide 600 engineering jobs to Tucson with a projected $600 Mil. positive economic impact on Southern Arizona. Tucson.[See Article]

Caterpillar is expected to temporarily move into the county-owned building at 97 E Congress St. in the coming weeks. Photo / A.E. Araiza – Arizona Daily Star

Amazon Fulfillment Center Coming to Tucson– Although Tucson did not win the bid to become the home of Amazon’s second HQ it does look like we will be getting a very nice consolation prize. Known as “Project Wild Cat” it appears Amazon will be building a 20 acre (Yes 20 acre) fulfillment center that will bring 2,000 jobs to the Old Pueblo.[See Article]

Geico to Build New Corporate Office in Tucson– Geico’s regional office is staying in Tucson and they will be adding 700 new jobs. Bourn Companies will be developing a new 200,000 sqft office space for the national insurance company.[See Article]

New Shopping Center in Central Tucson– 10,000 SqFt retail and restaurant space coming to central Tucson. Both T-Mobile and Starbucks have already signed leases for space in this new development.[See Article]

New Housing Development on 4th Ave.– Proposed 250 unit seven-story development is currently planned to be built in the heart of historic 4th Ave. [See Article]

Artist rendering of what Fremont Street will look like once the UA’s new Honors College complex is complete. Image – Arizona Daily Star

$137 Million UofA Honors College Complex– Described by UofA as being a “campus within a campus.” Located just north of the business and law school this project will have over 1,000 beds for first-year honor college students.[See Article]

Student Housing Project on Broadway– The Mark at Tucson is a 8 story 154 unit high end luxury apartment complex set to be completed in fall of 2019.[See Article]

Another Student Housing Project Coming Soon– With a land acquisition cost of $10.2 Mil. this new luxury student housing complex is located on the parking lot next to Chase Bank at UofA. This tower will house 505 students and have units ranging from studios to six bedrooms.[See Article]

Tucson was selected as one of the first U.S. cities to get an AC Marriott. Photo / Mike Christy Arizona Daily Star

AC Marriott Hotel Open for Business in Downtown Tucson– This newly built 8 story hotel hace 136 hotel rooms, 1,500 SqFt of meeting space, Spa and 6th floor pool deck. This is the first hotel built in downtown Tucson since the 1970s.[See Article]

Tucson Convention Center Hotel-This new hotel will sit adjacent to the Tucson Convention center and have 125 available rooms. The project is expected to cost around $2s Million.[See Article]

JE Dunn Proposed 20 Story Office/Retail Building– Kansas City developer has proposed plans to build a 20-story, 250,000 SqFt tower on East Broadway between Scott and Sixth Ave.[See Article]

Extension of Aviation Parkway Approved– The decade old plan to extend Aviation Parkway around Downtown and connect with I-10 has been approved. The project is expected to begin as early as August of 2018.[See Article]

Proposed Student Housing Project on the NW Corner of Euclid and Speedway– Local developer Michael Goodman and national developer Peak Campus have proposed a 5 story development consisting of 163 units as well as 8,000 SqFt of commercial space for retail and restaurants.[See Article]

A county-owned parking lot on Broadway could be the site of a new, 300-foot-tall office-retail building. Photo / Rick Wiley – Arizona Daily Star

New Project Could Bring One of the Tallest Buildings to Tucson’s Downtown Skyline– Although details are still fairly unknown, it appears a new development at the parking lot located on East Broadway between Sixth and Scott Avenues will bring a 300-foot towner with office/retail space, parking and residences.[See Article]

New Mid-Rise Apartment Coming to Downtown Tucson– Located next to One South Church this new six-story project will consist of ground floor commercial space for retail/restaurants as well as 100 upscale one and two bedroom apartments. Expected to be completed by the end of 2018, rent is estimated to range between $1,500 and $2,500 per month.[See Article]

Proposed 300 Luxury Apartments Around the Historic Benedictine Monastery– Local developer Ross Rulney has submitted plans to build two seven story buildings on the north and south end of the Monastery. The property would consist of 300 luxury apartments with the use of the existing Monastery still unknown.[See Article]

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