New Infographic Shows How Much Downtown Phoenix Has Changed in 10 Years

by Fara Illich
Arts & Culture Bars & Nightlife Business Development Education Featured Music & Events Fara Illich April 6, 2018

Design by Alex Leiphart /

The explosion of growth and development happening across Downtown Phoenix illustrates a larger trend nationally, and one that’s been playing out since the Great Recession.

Jobs are moving to urban areas.

During the first quarter of 2018 alone, Solera HealthFreshly, FinScientific Technologies Corporation and Quicken Loans added more than 1,500 employees downtown.

“We’re attracting a highly educated, highly qualified workforce, and that’s what the tech and healthcare fields want,” said Dan Klocke, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

Companies are leaving the suburbs for adaptively-reused warehouses, or walkable office towers surrounded by fun events and amenities. Part of that amenity package — 90 net new bars and restaurants since 2008.

Access to transit, cool new restaurants and places to shop help capture a millennial workforce, which in turn, attracts new companies and new residential.

The biggest retail venture: a 55,000-square-foot Fry’s grocery store slated to open in 2019. This coincides with 2,206 residential units currently under construction downtown, and another 3,908 units in predevelopment.

The other linchpin driving job growth: talent.

In the slow economic climb back since the recession, downtown has grown into a center for innovation, biomedical collaboration and higher education. Currently, 12,000 students attend classes on the Arizona State University Downtown Campus, with 15,000 students projected by 2020.

The pool of highly-trained young people is growing, and that demographic wants to live and work in a place with fun things to do.

“The new kind of company wants to be in an environment that exists beyond the 9-to-5, they want to be energized by their location,” said Sara Scoville-Weaver, business development manager at Downtown Phoenix Inc. “CEOs have tried to create mini-cities in the suburbs around big office parks, but we already have the city right here.”

Click here to view the complete infographic.