Versum Materials Inc. has settled into its new global headquarters in Tempe’s ASU Research Park as it celebrates its one year anniversary next month as a public company. With annual sales of $1 billion, Versum mainly makes specialty materials and containers used in manufacturing semiconductors, while also making gas and chemical delivery systems used in the fabs to make semiconductors. The Tempe facility employs more than 150 full-time employees in high-paying electronic materials production, research and development, administration and operations positions.
For the third year in a row, Arizona State University tops the list of “most innovative schools” in the nation, recognizing the university’s groundbreaking initiatives, partnerships, programs and research.
U.S. News and World Report has named ASU as the most innovative university all three years it has had the category. The widely touted set of annual rankings by the news magazine, which compares more than 1,500 institutions on a variety of metrics.
Business, civic, and education leaders alike are collaborating to help turn Phoenix into a leading market not just for large corporations, but also tech companies. Driving across the region you can see signs for other major tech companies from Silicon Valley, including Weebly, Uber, Shutterfly, Prosper Marketplace, BoomTown, Gainsight, and DoubleDutch. These companies, and others like them, saw reprieve from the exorbitant costs of doing business in the Bay Area and the spiking labor competition, but were also drawn in by the value of running their expansion offices in Greater Phoenix.
Benchmark Electronics (NYSE: BHE) will land a new corporate headquarters in Tempe at the Rio 2100 development.
Rio 2100 development sits on 52-acres at the Loop 101 and Loop 202 freeways. Benchmark moved its headquarters from Houston to Arizona earlier this year.
It currently has space in Scottsdale with plans to grow its new Tempe base to 500 workers over the next five years.
Gilbert ranked as the 52nd fastest growing U.S. city, and Tempe ranked as 85th fastest growing out of 515 US cities assessed in a study by WalletHub.
WalletHub’s study, 2017’s Fastest-Growing Cities in America, observed the growth and decline of 515 cities of varying sizes throughout a seven-year period.
Tempe ranked 55th for socio-demographics — which were defined by population growth, working-age population growth and college-educated population growth.
Scottsdale ranked 106th fastest growing US city but 47th for sociodemographics.
Phoenix was the 19th fastest growth large city out of the 64 large cities assessed. Mesa ranked 23rd out of the 64.
The study was based on socio-demographic standards and statistics pertaining to jobs and the economy.
International development firm Hines Interests LLP has broken ground on construction of a new Class A office building at the Chandler Viridian project in the East Valley.
Hines has also announced Stantec — an architecture, engineering and environmental services firm — is locating its Southwest regional office at Chandler Viridian. Stantec is consolidating four regional offices in the Southwest at the Viridian development and will bring 250 jobs to the combined operations.
In June, Money magazine rated Phoenix the third-hottest city for technology jobs. The publication’s report cited a 188 percent growth in technology jobs, a median monthly housing rental cost of $1,345 and median home prices at $216,000. Additionally, CompTIA’s 2017 Cyberstates report found there are more than 139,400 technology jobs in Arizona with an average wage of $97,400.
The multifamily industry groups also said there are an estimated 11.6 million apartment units nationally in need of renovations to stay competitive.
“The Phoenix metro area will need all types of apartments and at all price points,” said Tom Simplot, president and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association. “Phoenix apartment developers, owners and managers and their residents contribute $10 billion to the local economy annually, and that number is expected to rise with increased demand.”
The Phoenix metro area will add 150,000 new units by 2030, according to the NHCA and NPA report.
The region’s population could grow to 6.3 million by 2030. Los Angeles will have 14.5 million people. New York City will have a regional population of 21.1 million, according to the study.
The Valley has seen a build-up of new and renovated apartments since the last recession and real estate crash. That has seen new complexes and units landing in Scottsdale, Tempe and the East Valley as well as central and downtown Phoenix.
Demand has been driven by former homeowners who went through foreclosures and short sales in the last market downturn, millennials putting off home purchases, downsizing empty-nesters and those without incomes and credit scores to qualify for tougher-to-get mortgages.
The industry groups’ report projects 664,000 new apartments being built in California, 127,000 in New York, 749,000 in Texas and 669,000 in Florida.
Close to 39 million Americans live in apartments.
But many new apartments that have landed in submarkets such as downtown Phoenix, Tempe and Gilbert have been more high-end. That creates some concerns about affordable housing, Simplot said.
“For many families, locally and nationally, the shortage of affordable rental housing creates significant hurdles that can hamper their future financial success,” added Simplot. “This is not just a problem for today. By 2030, the affordable housing crisis will become even more severe unless public and private sector leaders take bold, innovative action.”
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