Meet Tempe’s developers - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Meet Tempe’s developers

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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2006 6:02 am | Updated: 2:57 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Centerpoint Condominiums project in Tempe casts a long shadow over other major projects. The three towers are expected to reach 343 feet, the tallest the city will allow.

Right now it’s the biggest project under construction in Tempe. But several other major developments are planned. Here’s a look at other major projects under way and some key developments already in place.


This project features more components than any single downtown project — a condo tower, an office tower and a major hotel. The 2.1 million-square-foot project will cover an entire block, where the 1960s-era Arches center has served students for generations. The hotel is the most significant feature to developer Jim Riggs, president of Valley-based Shea Commercial.

“This is going to be the hot spot for everybody to meet and have gatherings and social events,” Riggs said. Riggs said it’s odd that a campus the size of Arizona State University doesn’t have a large hotel on site.


One of Tempe’s key redevelopment sites is about to be redeveloped again. DMB Associates of Scottsdale is exploring plans to tear down some of the single-level buildings along Mill Avenue that housed landmark businesses like the Coffee Plantation. The new buildings would include a reconfigured space for restaurants and shops. Several stories of condos would rise above, according to preliminary plans submitted to the city.

Centerpoint remains one of downtown’s most pivotal redevelopment efforts, as it was the first major project when it was approved in 1985. It landed a Chase operations center, the bank’s first large presence west of the Mississippi River. Other offices, stores, restaurants and a Harkins Theater rounded out the development.


Every feature of this office, hotel and condo project plays off its location on the south shore of Tempe Town Lake. Buildings are covered with a specially tinted deep blue glass, architecture resembles the contours of ships and names reference nautical terms. Four condo buildings are planned, with each unit designed to give the owner a view of the lake. Work has begun on the second of these buildings. Construction is under way on the second of three office towers, and developer Suncor recently announced it will feature international hotelier Le Meridien.


First known as the Cosmo, this condo project is perhaps best known for landing a Whole Foods. That will be downtown’s first grocer in years. Mosaic will include other shops and restaurants, as well. The condos will replace the Gentle Strength co-op site, on the northwest corner of University Drive and Ash Avenue.


This 20-story condo project will take the name of a utilitarian armory building that’s stood there for decades. Developer Grady Gammage Jr. is behind the project, located on the southeast corner of College Avenue and Veterans Way.

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