Phoenix Rising


Tim Helgeson

Phoenix was once widely known mostly for government, law, and financial services offices — and heat. The city still has the heat, but in a new form: tech and bioservice companies.

Over 270 new tech companies have come to Phoenix in the past decade, with a core office vacancy rate of 11.4 percent as of the first quarter of 2018.

The 30-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus is home to the global headquarters of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the International Genomics Consortium (IGC). The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders are also located in Phoenix.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center research laboratories add to the city’s thriving research and laboratory space. Northern Arizona University’s Allied Health program is expanding, while the University of Arizona’s Cancer Center opened in summer 2015 with the ability to treat tens of thousands of patients annually. Also, vital: its 10-story, $136 million Bioscience Partnership Building.

The City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development found that, every day, 55,000 people work in Downtown Phoenix, and 2,000 people have moved there within the last two years. In that same period, there has been a 400 percent increase in the number of residents with bachelor’s degrees, along with an influx of 13,000 students. According to the Downtown Phoenix website, the area boasts the highest concentration of employment in the state.

Other businesses leading the way to Phoenix: GoDaddy, Amazon, Citrix, Intel, Isagenix, Taser, and Yelp.  It’s also where Postmates and Uber also do their test marketing.

One of the largest reasons for the intense growth: light rail. Their system began service a decade ago and has since served more than 119 million riders with $10 billion in public and private investment.

More than $5 billion has been invested in office space, retail, restaurants, educational facilities, convention space and hotel rooms, marking a new era of urban growth.

The Phoenix Convention Center boasts 880,000 square feet, with 100,000 square feet of meeting space and 3,367 hotel rooms. 210 rooms are currently under construction and more than 400 are in predevelopment.

The city’s most acclaimed neighborhood: Biltmore, in central North East Phoenix, with a financial district and business/residential mid-rise tower buildings, as well as gated neighborhoods. Its Camelback Corridor has been a jewel in the Phoenix crown since 1929, with the grand opening of the prestigious Arizona Biltmore Resort. In recent years, it has experienced a 21st-century resurgence of residential and commercial space.

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Our own Anchor Centre (2201 & 2231 East Camelback Road) is a Class A office complex located on seven acres along the Camelback Corridor (rentable area: 333,014 square feet). Built in 1984, the two-building property underwent extensive renovation in 2011-2012, and now offers an outdoor common area with a central water feature, shaded seating, and wireless Internet access. Also, on site: a fitness center, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and bar.

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KBS created an environment where you can get outside the standard four walls of an office. You can recharge, team build, and be creative. We just find that it really generates an engaged workforce and helps them be much more productive.

 

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Tim Helgeson is a Senior Vice President for KBS, overseeing over 2.8 million square feet in the western U.S.