“Downtown Phoenix is a rising hot spot, and Central Station sets a new standard for transit-oriented development elevating the vibrancy of our city,” Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego said at the ceremonial groundbreaking. “The care and thoughtful design set a tone for the city’s future. It’s projects like this that are among the reasons more people choose Phoenix as their new home than any other U.S. city.”

Real estate developer and owner GMH Communities has partnered with Medistar Corp. and CBRE Investment Management on a transit-oriented, mixed-use development in downtown Phoenix.

Work has begun on the 1 million-square-foot Central Station, which will be adjacent to Civic Space Park and Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) Downtown Phoenix campus. The development, slated to open in 2024, is designed to merge seamlessly with the existing transit station to create a vibrant urban hub. Plans include two residential towers comprised of a 22-story student housing building and a 33-story multifamily building, 30,000 square feet of retail space focusing on food-oriented concepts, 70,000 square feet of flexible creative office space, and two levels of below-grade parking with 430 spaces.

The student housing building, comprised of 655 beds, will be fully furnished and equipped with smart technology, amenities, and services to meet the needs of urban residents. Options ranging from micro studios to four-bedroom units will cater to undergraduate and graduate students as well as young professionals. The second tower will feature 362 smart-tech units. All residents will have access to an outdoor amenity deck, which will include a resort-style pool, grills, and fire pits.

“At GMH, we have been actively pursuing opportunities to expand our footprint and develop Class A, smart-tech apartment communities across the country,” said Steve Behrle, chief development officer. “With Central Station, our plan is to transform downtown Phoenix, providing students and the local workforce with the living accommodations necessary to support their unique live-work-play-learn-thrive lifestyles.”

Central Station is a public-private partnership with the city retaining ownership of the land and the development partners entering into a long-term lease for the project. Gould Evans designed the development, and Layton Construction will serve as general contractor.

“Central Station is ideally positioned to benefit from the expanding knowledge cluster formed by the Phoenix Bioscience Core and ASU’s downtown campus,” said Ben Green, managing director, residential transactions, at CBRE Investment Management. “It fits well within our fund’s ‘Eds and Meds’ investment theme as a premier rental option catering to the substantial, growing demand generated by higher education and life science opportunity.”