Downtown Phoenix Generates $21.2 Billion in Economic Activity in 2022

by Downtown Phoenix Inc.
Business Development Travel, Shopping & Leisure Downtown Phoenix Inc. November 14, 2023

Buoyed by more than $8 billion in investment since 2005, the transformative growth that has forever changed Downtown Phoenix can be seen in an evolving skyline and felt on highly energized sidewalks.

But how has Downtown’s ascent impacted the rest of the region?

Downtown Phoenix Inc. commissioned an economic impact study to assess the aggregate impact of its service area (McDowell Road south to Jackson Street; 7th Street west to 7th Avenue) within the broader City of Phoenix.

Since this study was last conducted in 2018 by Rounds Consulting Group, Inc., Downtown has added thousands of residents and students, growing and diversifying its employment base and rising to become one of the most magnetic biotech hubs in the country. These factors, along with increased tourism and a strong nighttime economy, helped Downtown withstand challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Downtown has substantially more street-level businesses today than it did in March 2020, all while keeping the ratio of locally owned and operated small businesses at nearly 80 percent.

Key findings from the 2022 economic impact report include:

  • $21.2 billion total economic impact compared to $19.1 billion in 2018, an 11% increase.
  • The economic impact is equivalent to about 50,000 high-tech manufacturing employees.
  • Downtown Phoenix successfully supported 140,100 total jobs and 23,900 residents.
  • $8.6B in personal income and $635.1 million in state and local taxes.
  • In 2022, nearly 6 million people attended events at the Phoenix Convention Center, Footprint Center home of the Phoenix Suns, Chase Field home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Symphony Hall, the Orpheum Theatre and other venues, with hundreds of thousands more at local festivals and community events, resulting in increased consumer spending.
  • Approximately 2,400 new multi-family and student housing units and 108,000 square feet of retail space were under construction.
  • Approximately 1,900 business establishments and over 62,500 non-construction related workers within Downtown Phoenix. The area’s construction activity supported nearly 5,400 construction workers for a total of 67,900 persons working within the Downtown Phoenix Inc. service area in 2022.
  • Out of the $21.2 billion in total economic impact, $10.1 billion is directly attributed to visitor, event, business, construction, worker, and residential activity in the Downtown Phoenix Inc. service area, with the remaining $11.1 billion stemming from indirect impact.

Future predictions for the Downtown Phoenix Inc. service area:

  • Over the next five years, employment is expected to increase by 10.6%, adding approximately 6,700 workers.
  • The increased demand for retail space will lead to over 260,000 square feet of added space over the next five years.
  • Currently, approximately 3,900 new multi-family residential units are under construction, with another 2,000+ units in pre-development. Once these units are leased, Downtown’s population will have more than tripled since 2009.

These statistics can be attributed to Downtown Phoenix Inc.’s strategic efforts and coordination with the City of Phoenix, business leaders, and affiliates, including the various public-private partnerships that have been established over the past 10 years. The organization’s investors, like RED Development, APS, Alliance Bank, UnitedHealthcare Wexford Science + Technology, and Arizona State University, to name a few, have also contributed to the growth of the Downtown area, making it an attractive destination to live, work, play, and learn.

“Looking toward the future, we need to continue the policies that have made Downtown successful, which include strategic business development, partnerships with universities, an increase in retail, and considering new and inventive means to attract both market rate and affordable housing,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner, RED Development and board chair, Downtown Phoenix Inc. “With this sustained approach, we’re on track to achieve great things.”

Downtown Phoenix Inc., in collaboration with the City of Phoenix Community & Economic Development Department, commissioned Rounds Consulting Group, Inc. to conduct the study.