Tucson isn’t sitting on its laurels as one of the regions that many sources have said will recover early in the post-COVID-19 economy.
A blueprint shows how the Southern Arizona metropolitan area will go after companies that aim to make big changes in their operations in the new coronavirus world. Local leaders want to make sure that Tucson commercial real estate shoots to the top of consideration.
Sun Corridor Inc., the area’s economic development driver, unveiled its “Pivot Playbook” this month. It takes a look at the new business landscape of accommodating a remote workforce, growing demand in industrial space, expanded use of technology for e-commerce and the attractiveness of locating in mid-size cities with open spaces and sensitivity to health and wellness concerns.
Sun Corridor’s own November 2020 survey of 61 site selection consultants showed that two-thirds will take COVID-19 in account when making their location decisions.
Survey respondents gave Tucson high marks for
- quality of life
- access to technical and skilled workers
- overall operating costs
- competitive labor costs
- regulatory environment.
The playbook responds to the survey’s responses about the challenges that need addressing to make Tucson a top post-covid destination for companies and workers. Its five broad categories tackle company recruitment, talent recruitment and retention, workforce development and training, tourism recovery, and shovel ready and real estate offerings.
Here at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson, I’m of course most interested in that last category. Right now Tucson industrial space is in hot demand, especially for manufacturing, logistics and distribution.
Tucson Commercial Real Estate
Several areas in Tucson are ripe for large-scale development: the Sonoran Corridor, the Aerospace Research Campus and the Southeast Employment and Logistics Center among them. The University of Arizona has two tech parks, including one under development. The nearby town of Sahuarita has its Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center and the town of Oro Valley markets the Innovation Park.
Pima County will soon have a list of properties that are shovel ready, according to the playbook. It will list
- existing buildings for occupation or retrofit
- new shell buildings
- vacant property with utility and transportation infrastructure
- new job centers with some infrastructure or access.
Site selectors can use this inventory to quickly see the available options that can meet their timetable for investment or lease, build out or tenant improvements, and occupation.
The list will also help prioritize improvements on properties that are close to being shovel ready.
Tucson economic developers also want to accelerate growing activity on spec industrial buildings, especially those bigger than 100,000 square feet.
Workforce is essential to attracting companies to Tucson, which is why the playbook devotes many pages to strengthening its development and retention. Some strategies that relate to the new demands of a post-covid world include
- developing incentives that help with facilities, offices and infrastructure that accommodate a remote workforce
- expanding job search assistance to spouses and partners of relocated workers
- increasing training programs that upskill and reskill workers
- focusing on attracting young professionals through com.
- developing programs that train for future technology jobs.
With my deep knowledge of Tucson commercial real estate, I can give you the latest information about properties, incentives, workforce availability and much more. We can meet personally, by phone or by teleconferencing. Contact me for an immediate, complimentary consultation, +1-520-299-3400.
For more information: The Pivot Playbook by Sun Corridor Inc.