The grounds that once held the thrills and spills of Tempe’s beloved Big Surf water park are undergoing a significant transformation. Last month, Tempe City Council gave the green light for the erstwhile recreational hotspot to be repurposed into a 36-acre industrial park.

This area has seen numerous recreational landmarks over the years. Apart from the renowned Big Surf, which touted itself as the pioneer in “authentic inland surfing” since its inauguration in 1969, the plot also hosted the Oceanside Ice Arena. While Big Surf, celebrated for its innovative wave pool, met its end amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, the ice arena had been a staple since 1975. Before its removal earlier this year, the arena proudly served as the home ground for the Desert Youth Hockey Association until their transition to ASU’s Mullet Arena.
The upcoming industrial transformation might lack the recreational charm of its predecessors, but the location is set for business gravitas. Overton Moore Properties, a prominent real estate firm from Southern California, acquired the property for a hefty $50 million in the spring of last year. Their vision encompasses the construction of three expansive one-story industrial buildings, cumulatively spanning a whopping 690,000 square feet. These structures are aimed for lease to potential corporate occupants.

Given the site’s strategic location — nestled amidst offices of giants like Cannon and State Farm and a mere 4-mile drive from Sky Harbor International Airport — it’s poised to be a coveted spot for major enterprises. While details regarding potential tenants remain under wraps, prospects can look forward to leasing opportunities emerging next year, as suggested by the development’s promotional material.