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Transit Helped Tempe Get $600M Hub

The State Farm Tempe complex, overlooking Tempe Town Lake, is planned as one of four main State Farm office hubs across the U.S. Photo credit: Parker Levitt/The Arizona Republic

By Parker Leavitt for The Arizona Republic

Tempe’s public transportation network, which includes neighborhood shuttles, buses and light rail, played a major role in State Farm’s decision to build a massive regional headquarters overlooking Tempe Town Lake, a company executive said last week.

Michael Tipsord, chief operating officer for Illinois-based State Farm Insurance Cos., discussed the reasons for choosing Tempe at a Feb. 12 event organized by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. State Farm will anchor a $600M development by Sunbelt Holdings and Ryan Companies.

The Tempe complex, called Marina Heights, is planned as one of four main State Farm office hubs across the U.S. The company will lease 1.9MSF of 2MSF feet within the development, with some space reserved for retail tenants.

State Farm also was drawn to the area because the company knows it can attract and retain a talented pool of employees. The insurance company has a total of about 65K employees, including about 4,500 already in metro Phoenix. With the new Tempe office complex, State Farm plans to expand its Valley workforce to about 8K employees.

State Farm insures about one out of every five cars on the road and about one in four homes nationwide. The company is changing its operations to bring employees from all parts of its business into one regional location, like Tempe’s Marina Heights.

The 2MSF, 20-acre complex broke ground in 2013. The first of five buildings is expected to be finished by October.

Read more at The Arizona Republic