The Tempe Maker District has undergone a significant transformation, with its influence impacting local businesses and the city at large. Encompassing over 600 acres, this industrious terrain is burgeoning with a diverse range of creative companies, offering everything from orange juice to custom-made doors.
In an effort to revitalize this area, the city of Tempe has launched an enhanced initiative to attract a more integrated industry base to this location. These efforts have paid off, and the area’s formerly high vacancy rate for industrial property has diminished, as new businesses have moved in, reducing the vacancy rate to a lower level.
Inspired by the vision of the city officials, the Tempe Maker District is gradually transforming into a ‘makerhood,’ a vibrant ecosystem comprising creative businesses, residential units, manufacturers, and artists’ studios. Companies have migrated here, filling up vacant buildings and fostering a lively neighborhood.
One notable success story comes from Laura Briscoe, who relocated her rapidly growing granola-making operation, Laura’s Gourmet Granola, to this district. This move has not only accommodated her business expansion but has also led to symbiotic business relationships with other local enterprises.
Part of the allure of the district stems from Tempe’s 2018 initiative to create several innovation hubs to spur job growth, private investment, and new mixed-use development. The city council’s decision to allow for greater density and mixed-use developments in the Maker District has stimulated urban rejuvenation, transforming the district into an attractive, destination hub where people can live, work, and play.
Among the new developments is Phoenix-based Evergreen Devco Inc.’s 324-unit apartment complex, adding a residential dynamic to the area. Moreover, companies such as Lucid Group Inc., and Arizona Custom Blends have taken up residence, repurposing old buildings to suit their business needs.
United Dairymen of Arizona, a long-time resident of the district, recently expanded its operations, showcasing its commitment to the area’s growth. The district’s renewal has been further amplified by the introduction of Opportunity Zones, offering tax incentives to developers, which has attracted investments from firms such as Capital Hall Partners.
However, the Tempe Maker District is more than just a business hub; it is increasingly becoming a community anchor. The Bouldering Project, a gym focusing on rock climbing, yoga, and fitness, has chosen the district for its new location, bringing with it a distinct community-focused vibe.
All these factors culminate to illustrate the vibrancy of the Tempe Maker District. The area is more than a hub for innovative companies; it’s a thriving community that’s championing local business growth, fostering relationships, and bringing a sense of unity to Tempe. The city’s supportive attitude towards small businesses combined with the inherent creativity and diversity of the district creates a unique atmosphere, proving that there’s much to be admired about the area’s handcrafting, artistry, and creativity.
As the district continues to grow and attract more companies, retailers and residents, the city of Tempe stands to reap significant benefits from this revitalization effort. In the years to come, the Tempe Maker District promises to continue to stand as a testament to the power of community and creativity in urban development.