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Updates on construction projects near Tempe, Downtown Phoenix campuses

Multiple ASU construction projects, including the downtown Phoenix dorm and Tempe Streetcar are scheduled to be complete in the coming months


"Projects on or near ASU's Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses, including the Tempe Streetcar and new residence hall, near completion.” Illustration published on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

ASU continues to expand its footprint by continuing multiple construction projects across campuses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From Tempe to downtown Phoenix, the University is renovating existing buildings and constructing new ones; the city of Tempe is also working to complete the Tempe Streetcar project this year. The State Press compiled the latest information on the progress of five of ASU's biggest ongoing projects and the progress of the Tempe Streetcar.

Novus Innovation Corridor

Novus Innovation Corridor is an ongoing project that will convert ASU property into newly renovated NCAA athletics facilities and mixed-use private developments. 

The University is focused on making Novus sustainable and is committed to implementing the best solutions in transportation, waste management and more, which will take approximately 15 to 20 years to be fully completed, a University spokesperson said in an email.

“Novus is planned for 9 million total square feet of office, retail, hospitality and multi-family residential,” the spokesperson said. “The third phase is almost completed and the fourth phase is scheduled to start this coming year.”

The first phase of Novus was the development of Marina Heights. The second phase was the redevelopment of the stadium into the ASU 365 Community Union to be used to host a variety of different events year-round. The third phase, which is almost completed, is the construction of the northwest corner of East University Drive and South Rural Road, including the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology 7

"The majority of Phase III is expected to be completed this year with the remaining parcels under contract in the next 18 months. One of the larger parcels in Phase IV will start construction this year with the first of four Wentworth creative office buildings," the spokesperson said. 

Downtown Phoenix Residence Hall

ASU has begun building a new residence hall on the Downtown Phoenix campus, named Fillmore on First, according to an email sent to students eligible to live at the hall.

Located on First Avenue and Fillmore Street, the residence hall will house juniors, seniors and graduate students with majors at the Downtown Phoenix campus. According to the email, the new building is 16 floors high, 13 of which are for student housing.

“Scheduled to finish construction in August 2021, Fillmore on First will provide housing for approximately 530 students across all majors at the downtown campus. It will also house community assistants, a peer-to-peer support system to help students navigate the university and facilitate university resources and services,” the spokesperson said. 

READ MORE: New multiuse dorm building set to open on Downtown Phoenix campus

Rooms are apartment-style with two and four-bedroom units available, along with smaller studio options, the email said, and each "is fully furnished and includes full-size beds, a kitchen, and scenic views of downtown Phoenix." 

Students can begin applying now and must "complete a University Housing application as well as a secondary Fillmore on First application, to be considered."

Thunderbird School for Global Management

Scheduled to finish construction in July 2021, the Thunderbird Global Headquarters, located on Van Buren Street and First Street in downtown Phoenix, will open for the fall semester, allowing students enrolled in graduate-level and executive education courses the opportunity to attend at the new facility, the spokesperson said. 

Announced in 2017, the Thunderbird School of Global Management will be headquartered in Phoenix after being in Glendale for over 70 years. Undergraduate courses are still being offered on the West campus, online and at ASU Local in Los Angeles. 

The University will host community events in the Global Forum event space, which features video and audio streaming technology to help reach global audiences, the spokesperson said.

“This five-story building will be the most technologically advanced education facility in the world when it opens this fall as part of the school’s 75th Anniversary celebrations,” the spokesperson said. “Thunderbird Global Headquarters will provide students with state-of-the-art classrooms, a motion-capture video studio, an innovation lab and the iconic pub from the school’s early days.”

Durham Hall

Durham Hall is currently undergoing $65 million in improvements to renovate classrooms, open work areas and remodel restrooms. The hall is located between Cady and Tyler malls next to Old Main.

Scheduled to finish construction in July 2021, Durham Hall will have 43 newly renovated classrooms and other amenities for students in the School of International Letters and Cultures. There will also be new bicycle parking and landscaping additions. 

“The project, currently 70 percent complete, includes renovated classrooms which are scheduled to be outfitted with the latest audiovisual technology. Brick veneer and added windows will allow more natural light to fill both corridor and core building spaces,” the spokesperson said. “The envelope enhancements are anticipated to improve the building’s operating efficiency, saving money and improving the students, faculty, administrator and visitor experience.”

Tempe Streetcar

Currently, more than 27,700 linear feet and 1,061 tons of steel rail have been installed for the Tempe Streetcar project, which is near completion, Tempe spokesperson Amanda Nelson said.

The $102 million project began in 2017 and is set to open in the fall of 2021. It will have a capacity of 125 passengers. The streetcar will stretch from the Rio Salado Parkway to University Drive to Apache Boulevard.

"It will serve one of the highest transit ridership centers in the region, connecting riders to neighborhoods, schools, major business centers and Arizona State University, as well as regional events and destinations," Nelson said. "As we look to the future, Tempe recently completed a study in partnership with Valley Metro and the city of Mesa for future possible streetcar expansions."

Phoenix Biomedical Campus Innovation Center

In collaboration with Wexford Science and Technology and the city of Phoenix, ASU had its virtual building grand opening for the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Innovation Center on March 30.

READ MORE: New Innovation Center opens at Phoenix Biomedical Campus

"The Wexford building that we're here ribbon cutting for is really a fantastic example of the market forces coming together with creative forces," ASU President Michael Crow said during the event. "Bringing that all together here in downtown Phoenix is fantastic." 

Located on Fifth and Garfield streets in downtown Phoenix, it is a seven-story building featuring research, laboratory and office space. It will also have job centers on the first floor that will work with local community colleges and be available to everyone. 

Its goals are "to expand ASU’s research footprint in downtown Phoenix and facilitate the growth of the private sector in bioscience and health technology,” according to Wexford Science and Technology's website.

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Lauren KobleyCommunity Reporter

Lauren Kobley is a reporter for the Community and Culture desk at The State Press. She has previously interned with the Fountain Hills Times. 

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