ASU West and Thunderbird School of Global Management have both announced plans to build thriving, "pedestrian-friendly hubs where students can work, shop, eat and sleep". ASU West is going to develop its land on the northeast part of the campus (the southwest corner of Thunderbird and 43rd Ave) into 1 million square feet of retail shops, office buildings, apartments, and senior housing. Thunderbird has plans to shrink its educational center, and build around it a 175-room hotel, upscale apartments, hundreds of live/work units, and office and retail space. Here's the complete article from AZCentral.com.
This is great news for the Glendale / West Phoenix area. Good college towns are a symbiotic relationship between the students' experiences and the surrounding businesses. Anyone who has attended this type of school understands what I'm talking about - when a large number of students live on & around campus, there is a certain vibe to the community that is hard to replicate. Businesses spring up to cater to the students, and continue to grow outward in expanding circles. A good vibe, along with good businesses and amenities, will help to attract more and better students, which helps the process continue. As the area becomes more "hip", it will begin to attract more upscale businesses (and other developments), and the area can become a self-sustaining educational and economic hub of activity. Think Austin, TX; Palo Alto, CA; and our own Mill Ave & Tempe Town Lake area as good examples, and let's hope these new projects can have anywhere near this kind of success!
Let's give these new College Towns our support!