Want More Jobs In Central City? Phoenix Director Says Build More Homes

Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 5:05am
Christina Estes
Phoenix council members approved the sale of city-owned vacant lots north of McKinley Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues to a housing developer.
Christina Estes
A deal between Metrowest Development LLC and Phoenix calls for the redevelopment of the 40-unit McKinley Court complex on 3rd Avenue north of McKinley Street.
Christina Estes
Phoenix's Economic Development Director says turning vacant lots into residential options could attract more companies to the central corridor.

If Phoenix wants to attract more jobs to its central corridor, Chris Mackay, the city’s Economic Development Director, says it will need more place for people to live.

Council members recently agreed to sell three city-owned vacant lots north of McKinley Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. That’s where Metrowest Development LLC plans to build 90 apartments and six townhomes to rent and sell at market value.

They’re the kind of properties Mackay says Phoenix needs.

“52 percent of the people who work in the central city live outside of Phoenix,” Mackay said. 

The central corridor runs from 7th Avenue to 16th Street and Buckeye Road to Camelback Road. Mackay told a city subcommittee last month that more housing could attract more businesses.

“When we’re running demographics for a company looking to locate in the central city, our demographic population is much smaller than you would expect,” she said. “So that puts a limit on the jobs we can attract into the market.”

Mackay says the central city population is under 53,000, that's about 2,500 less than in 1970.