At the turn of the century the Warehouse District was a state economic hub, where produce was housed from all of the state’s farms. Now, the district is playing an integral role once again. The once dormant buildings have recently been undergoing a rejuvenation, with redevelopment revitalizing the area for thriving businesses such as creative companies, event spaces and tech companies.
The Warehouse District is just south of downtown Phoenix and encompasses the east to west area between 7th Street and 7th Avenue and the north to south area between Jefferson and Grant Streets.
Mark Stratz and Scott Baumgarten, part of Cushman & Wakefield’s Phoenix office group, have multiple listings within the Warehouse District including 515 E. Grant Street. The 122,000-square-foot listing at Fifth and Grant Streets was built in 1946 as a cold storage grocery warehouse by Del Webb. Stratz says, “We’re selling more than just a building, we’re selling downtown, a warehouse district and a piece of history. Authenticity is important and we want to keep the history of these buildings intact.” Recently, Denver-based Galvanize, a technology learning community, moved into 55,000 square feet of the space making this their third largest campus in the country.
In its 2016 issue, Phoenix New Times named the Warehouse District “Best Place to Office.” In addition to the recent move by Galvanize, the area is home to CCBG Architects, marketing agency Moses, advertising firm R&R Partners, landscape architect Norris Design, social entrepreneur incubator Seed Spot and software company WebPT. Event and social spaces are also scattered throughout the area including The Duce, Bentley Projects, Angelic Grove, The Croft and Vintage 45. Stratz said businesses are attracted to the district’s proximity to downtown’s core, more abundant parking options and the ability to pull from a strong labor pool.
Over the last couple years, downtown Phoenix has seen tremendous growth with the expansion of Arizona State University (ASU) and the addition of CityScape, the Valley Metro light rail, new apartments and trendy/unique restaurants. These and other amenities have provided flexibility for tech companies to find new homes and create the region’s developing tech hub. A study released by TechNet, identifies Phoenix among the 25 “Next in Tech” cities fostering startup growth. Outside of the top tech hubs, such as San Francisco and Seattle, Phoenix ranked No. 11. In 2012, downtown Phoenix had about 1,800 employees working at 67 tech companies, with a $16 million annual economic impact. Today, the area has grown to more than 7,000 tech jobs at 265 tech companies, raking in $58 million in annual economic impact as of this year, according to the City of Phoenix.
“In the past few years, downtown Phoenix has become one of the most popular spots in Arizona for technology companies to base their businesses,” said Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “The economic development opportunities can range from joining the startup community at the new co-working space Galvanize, to working for an international powerhouse like Uber. Couple that with arts, sports and cultural activities, as well as new and attractive living spaces, and you can see why downtown has evolved into a major destination for technology talent.”