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U-Haul rates Tempe as top migration destination for 2017

A new report released by U-Haul names Tempe America's new No.1 growth city


People paddleboard and kayak through Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.

U-Haul, the Phoenix-based moving company, released a report last month ranking Tempe as the top destination for one-way U-Haul rentals in the United States for 2017 and naming the city 'America's new No.1 Growth City.'

As more students continue to flock to Tempe, ASU officials say this creates a hotspot for economic growth and innovation due to the growing student population and the qualified graduates that reintegrate into Tempe. 

Sethuraman Panchanathan, ASU's executive vice president and chief of research and innovation,  said the University's partnership with businesses and the city of Tempe make the area an attractive destination for individuals and businesses.

"The city is a hotspot for innovation, jobs and growth," Panchanathan said. "We work with Tempe and surrounding cities so that we can attract big job creators and talent from the metropolitan Phoenix area. Moving here is a testament to businesses finding that the city is a great city to move to and that ASU is a great partner to provide them with all they need to be successful."

The U-Haul report documented truck rental data from the past calendar year and includes data from all 50 states and more than 21,000 U-Haul locations. Tempe took the top spot from Madison, Wisconsin which held the title in 2016. 

The city saw a drastic 39 percent increase in one-way truck arrivals in 2017, according to the report. Jeff Lockridge, the manager of media and public relations at U-Haul, said the increase in U-haul rentals was part of a larger trend.

"One-way U-Haul truck arrivals made a sizable jump in 2017," Lockridge said in an e-mail.

In a press release, the company acknowledged ASU as one of the factors influencing Tempe's growth. ASU has one of the nation's highest student enrollments with more than 51,000 students based on Tempe campus alone.

Anne Gill, the president and CEO of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, said the growth of the economy and population go hand-in-hand.

"Companies are moving here because we have a good quality of life, an educated workforce and opportunities for growth," Gill said. "There continues to be large and small business growth in Tempe. The city has seen 30,000 new jobs in the last four years and more on the way."

Other factors referenced by U-Haul include successful businesses, new condominium developments and close proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

"(Businesses) are looking for outstanding talent and good ideas to engage and move the company forward," Panchanathan said.

According to Data USA, a compilation of government information regarding population and economics, Tempe saw an almost 2 percent increase in population in 2017, up to around 170,000. 

Michelle Mullings, a community health freshman, rented a U-Haul truck from her hometown in Texas to move into her apartment before the spring semester. 

"I chose U-Haul because my family had rented from the company in the past," said Mullings. "They're always reliable and made moving my stuff to Phoenix super easy."

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