More new businesses are opening, expanding and relocating to Tucson.
Good days—nay, possibly years—are ahead for Tucson’s economy as the southern Arizona metropolitan area finally finds its footing after the Great Recession of 2009. And that means a healthy Tucson commercial real estate market.
We at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson already can feel the excitement and anticipation of more new jobs and the commercial property activity they will spur. And as the momentum builds, we’re confident that for some time new, relocating and expanding businesses will be attracted to Tucson industrial space, retail space and office space for lease or purchase.
New economic development activities lead to new opportunities for companies already here. They’ll see more customers and clients and more demand for housing, services, retail and entertainment.
The rosy picture became clear last year, when some 5,300 new jobs landed in Tucson in 2016, according to the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. About 7,000 new jobs are forecast for this year and 7,600 in 2018.
Most of the new jobs are expected to be in the labor categories of education and health services, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and trade, transportation and utilities. Manufacturing jobs are expected to increase from such high-profile business moves as the expansions of Raytheon Missile Systems and Vector Space Systems.
Other recent major business activity include
- the relocation of Caterpillar’s Surface Mining and Technology headquarters
- the continued growth of relocated Accelerate Diagnostics
- the opening of an 800,000-square-foot HomeGoods distribution facility
- the establishment of a 100,000-square-foot Comcast call center.
What’s equally exciting is recognizing how much effort is being made to encourage other businesses to take a look at Tucson for commercial property to lease, buy or build on.
Pima County is keeping up with demand for its new Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business and Research Park by expanding infrastructure. That’s where Vector Space Systems is locating, as well as World View Enterprises and its space port.
The park is part of Sonoran Corridor, 50 square miles that focuses on transportation and logistics services that will meet the needs of manufacturers tapping the global market.
That enhances efforts by the University of Arizona’s Tech Park Arizona, which is located near the Sonoran Corridor.
This year the park has attracted four businesses from outside of the area through its Global Advantage program. The program helps companies that want to penetrate the North American market by providing business planning, staffing, market analysis and other services. The hope is that these businesses will remain in the area to do business in Mexico and tap nearby transportation and logistics for worldwide distribution.
County staff continues planning for the Sunset Road Professional Campus, a concentration of nearly one million square feet of office space and technology research centers that has easy access to Interstate 10.
It’s also looking at economic development potential of land it owns next to Pinal Airpark, including providing space for the airpark’s expansion and attracting businesses that could support and use the air facility.
Economic development efforts in nearby cities—Oro Valley’s bio-tech park, Marana’s retail and entertainment centers, Sahuarita’s shopping centers—are providing additional opportunities for new and existing businesses to find the right commercial property for rent or purchase.
Telling Site Selectors
We’re working hard to spread this great news about Tucson since the word hasn’t become widespread yet. In a couple of pro-business city rankings that we track, Tucson still looks pretty dismal.
Area Development magazine puts Tucson in the 341st spot in its 2016 “Leading Locations” survey, which included employment and economic figures through 2015. That’s actually a drop from its 2014 rank of 281st, which likely occurred as other cities race to improve their economies.
The magazine looks at 394 large cities and measures their recent and long-term economic vitality and their ability to support companies that locate or expand there.
The Milken Institute put Tucson at 155th in its 2016 “Best-Performing Cities” ranking among large cities. Using figures from 2014 and 2015, the index measured how well 200 large metropolitan areas created and sustained jobs and economic growth.
Tucson’s ranking is up from its 2015 spot at 175th. And the metropolitan area still does well in the number of concentrated high-tech industries, ranking 21st.
We’re also checking in with business owners who are already in Tucson. We want to make sure they are in the best commercial property and have the best commercial lease agreements so that they are prepared to meet the needs of new residents, businesses and employees.
What will new Tucson-based companies mean to your business? Contact Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson for a consultation on your needs for commercial space for rent or purchase.
Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson specializes in representing tenants and corporate users across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia as a member of ITRA. For more information call +1-520-299-3400.