Medistar JV to Bring 1 MSF Mixed-Use Development to Phoenix

Central Station. Image courtesy of Gould Evans Medistar Corp., GMH Communities and CBRE Investment Management…

Central Station. Image courtesy of Gould Evans

Medistar Corp., GMH Communities and CBRE Investment Management have broken ground on Central Station, a one million-square-foot, mixed-use development adjacent to Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus with two residential towers aimed at students and young professionals.

The transit-oriented development, which is slated to open in 2024, will have a 22-story student housing building with 655 beds and a 33-story tower with 362 units. Both buildings will feature smart technology throughout the properties and have access to an outdoor amenity deck that includes barbeque grills, fire pits and a resort-style pool. The student housing asset will be designed to foster a collaborative living environment and will offer fully furnished residential options from micro studios to four-bedroom units catering to undergraduate and graduate students as well as young professionals.


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The project is also located next to Civic Space Park, which will bring people together to experience events, dining, music and green space, according to Monzer Hourani, Medistar CEO. Hourani said in a prepared statement Central Station will be a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly addition to downtown Phoenix in part because of its connection to Civic Space Park, a 2.8-acre public park that is north of the Central Station METRO Light Rail and bus transfer station, which serves two million passengers annually.

Designed to merge seamlessly with the transit station to create an urban hub, Central Station will also include 30,000 square feet of retail space focusing on food-oriented concepts, 70,000 square feet of state-of-the-art flexible creative office space and two levels of below-grade parking with 430 spaces.

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Public-Private Partnership

Central Station is a public-private partnership with the city of Phoenix retaining ownership of the land. The development partners have entered into a long-term lease for the site. The project was designed by Gould Evans and Layton Construction will serve as the general contractor.

Mayor Kate Gallego said in prepared remarks the project will set a new standard for transit-oriented development in Phoenix. She said the thoughtful design set a tone for the city’s future and she believes it will elevate the vibrancy of Phoenix, which is attracting more new residents than any other U.S. city. Phoenix is America’s fifth largest and fastest-growing city.

Steve Behrle, GMH chief development officer, said in a prepared statement the privately-held real estate company has been actively pursuing opportunities to expand its footprint and develop Class A, smart-tech apartment communities across the United States. He said Central Station would transform downtown Phoenix and provide students and young professionals the living accommodations needed to support live-work-play-learn-thrive lifestyles.

For CBRE Investment Management, Central Station fits well within the fund’s ‘Eds and Meds’ investment theme for premier rental options, said Ben Green, managing director, residential transactions. Citing the knowledge cluster created by the university and the Phoenix Bioscience Core, Green said the development will cater to the substantial, growing demand by higher education and life science employment. Phoenix is among the nation’s leaders in new job creation and ranked first in the U.S. in 2021 for life science hiring.