'Great Location' In Tempe Could Get Better Sidewalks, Landscaping

By Christina Estes
Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 4:10pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 9:00am

boundaries on a map
City of Tempe
The Smith Innovation Hub is approximately 302 acres and mostly used for light industrial and office.

Tempe is gathering public input on ways to improve a key employment corridor.

For decades, industrial businesses have enjoyed easy access to the Smith Innovation Hub, a half-square mile area, bounded by Rio Salado Parkway, Loop 101, University Drive and McClintock.

Jill Buschbacher, Tempe economic development project manager, said some of the older buildings don’t work well for modern industrial uses, “So they’re better suited to either be adapted to office or retail or in some cases, you know, demoed and redeveloped.”

Because Tempe is landlocked, the area will grow up.

“You know maybe one building’s that’s leaving that’s a one-story building now or a two-story building now, as that gets sold at and redeveloped it might be a four or five-story project in the future,” Buschbacher said.

Tempe is developing an infrastructure plan for the hub that could potentially include lighting, sidewalk improvements, bike lanes and landscaping.  A survey of business owners listed the biggest challenges as: lack of sidewalks, lack of amenities, traffic and crime.

An in-person public meeting to review the draft plan will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 30, at Hilton Garden Inn, 86 S. Rockford Drive, with online comments gathered from July 30-Aug. 16.

map shows boundaries of hub
City of Tempe
Business Housing Retail + Consumer