Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Business Journal Phoenix

Mike Padgett, Contributing Writer

The metro region’s key growth areas for commercial and mixed-use real estate in the near future are downtown Phoenix, the light rail corridor, downtown Mesa and the southwest and southeast areas, according to a new report from Colliers International.

The annual report, called 2020 Vision, was released Wednesday by Colliers at its meeting at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.

The most immediate growth is expected in and around downtown Phoenix’s bioscience community and along the 20-mile light rail system from northwest Phoenix through downtown to Tempe and Mesa, said Colliers Managing Director Mike Fitz-Gerald.

In downtown Phoenix, where more than $3 billion in public and private redevelopment projects are under way, officials are awaiting a final decision from Florida pharmaceutical executives interested in opening a regional office in downtown Phoenix. It would open with 20 employees and expand to as many as 300.

Fitz-Gerald and Colliers Associate Kevin Lange declined to identify the Florida company. They are anticipating an official announcement from the company soon.

The 2020 Vision report offers insight into 32 categories of commercial and industrial real estate.

Besides the light rail corridor, Fitz-Gerald said parts of the Phoenix area expected to undergo more growth soon include the southwest and southeast regions and downtown Mesa.

Despite slowing market conditions, growth for downtown Mesa is projected in back-office, industrial and education.

“By 2010, a new downtown campus for Mesa Community College, in conjunction with NAU and Mesa Public Schools, will be well under way on 4 acres at the southeast corner of University and Mesa drives,” the report says.

It adds that the new growth will increase demand for more residential and mixed-use projects on an adjoining 20-acre site.