How Novus corridor aims to put Arizona on the map for office space, collegiate athletics

Phoenix Business Journal
Friday, January 25, 2019
Corina Vanek

Arizona State University-owned land may be the target of a lawsuit over diversion of property taxes, but its massive real estate development designed to fund ASU’s athletics facilities is progressing forward unscathed.

Overall, the Novus corridor just east of Phoenix has nearly $1 billion worth of projects in the works, making it the largest single concentration of construction in the state, possibly in the Southwest, said Charley Freericks, senior vice president of Catellus, the project’s master developer.

The corridor, which runs along the north and east side of ASU’s Tempe campus, will add office space, hotel rooms, retail, restaurants and residential developments into the Valley’s hottest submarket. Already it has developed Marina Heights, the regional home to State Farm with more than 2 million square feet of office space.

Even as the Arizona Board of Regents works to defend a separate project on university-owned land, ASU officials see their way forward in protecting their Novus investment with a state law that gives universities the ability to develop athletic facilities districts. Instead of paying property taxes, those developments pay fees to ASU that ultimately will fund upgraded athletics facilities.