The revitalization of downtown Tucson — with new businesses, housing and the Sun Link streetcar — is an important part of our region’s economic development.

Tucson Electric Power’s role in facilitating this growth goes beyond simply providing power for commercial and residential customers.

We provide support to the city and local businesses, and we’re working to improve downtown’s electrical system. In 2011, we opened our new corporate headquarters, locating hundreds of workers downtown and providing an anchor for future economic development.

“A perfect storm of sorts is taking place in downtown Tucson. It’s a hot commodity right now to live, work and do business downtown,” said David Couture, TEP’s Manager of Key Account Services & Economic Development.

TEP’s new headquarters at 88 E. Broadway Blvd. has nine stories and 230,000 square feet of office space. The LEED Gold certified building still has 11,000 square feet of available retail space on its ground floor.

More than 500 TEP employees work downtown, generating a daily lunch rush for area restaurants and creating a familiarity that encourages people to make trips downtown at night and on the weekends.

“We located here to help build the community. Relocating many of our employees from outlying locations to the new building has been a catalyst for other new downtown development,” Couture said. “TEP supports these new developments by making sure electrical infrastructure is in place to meet their needs.”

Soon, the Sun Link streetcar will provide transportation downtown. The streetcar is an important part of downtown Tucson’s future, connecting the area to the University of Arizona and planned development west of Interstate 10.

“We worked closely with the Sun Link planners to make it possible for the streetcar to use energy efficiently,” Couture said.

TEP designed the electrical infrastructure supporting several new buildings, including Cadence student housing, the new Pima County courthouse and the seven-story mixed-use building at 1 E. Broadway Blvd.

TEP also works with new businesses that move into older buildings. Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, for example, had to update its outdated electrical system after moving into a century-old former funeral home in the heart of downtown.

Supporting the area’s economy and helping businesses relocate here are important to TEP. Our employees are active in groups that promote Tucson’s economic development such as Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, or TREO, the Tucson Metro Chamber and other municipal chambers of commerce and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

“We want to see economic growth throughout the greater Tucson area,” Couture said. “A vibrant and thriving downtown helps make this happen.”

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