As the largest and most economically diverse municipality in the Southwest, the city of Phoenix is consequently a major player in the economic vitality of the construction and engineering sectors. And, in recognition of these accomplishments, the city of Phoenix has been named the ENR Southwest Owner of the Year.

While the direct role of the city is huge in street and other infrastructure projects alone — annual streets funding is near $100 million and includes 4,849 miles and 95,592 traffic signals — they also play a bigger role as a partner with a variety of other public and private entities such as the state’s three universities.

The development of the Arizona State University downtown campus is a prime example.  Since 2006, the city of Phoenix has donated land and $233 million in direct investment. The next stage is the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, a new $129 million, six-story building toward which the city has dedicated $12 million.

The nearby Phoenix Biomedical Campus is another example. A partnership with the University of Arizona, T-Gen and healthcare providers, the PBC is a 28-acre, multi-building project that will total more than 6 million sq-ft upon completion. The city donated the land for the PBC — which had been acquired for a NFL football stadium that never materialized — and $63 million in facility investment. Completed facilities there include the  ENR Southwest  runner-up for Overall Best Project in 2013, the Health Science Education Building. Currently under construction is the University of Arizona Cancer Center, a $100 million facility.

Beyond partnerships, however, is the self-sustaining Sky Harbor Airport, one of the busiest in the world. In 2012, ENR Southwest awarded the $644 million Sky Train Best Project in the Transportation Category and Best Project in the Safety category. A $200 million extension is expected to break ground in 2014. A $500 million revamping of Terminal three will begin late in 2014 and will be completed in phases over the next six years.

ENR Southwest will publish a feature on the city of Phoenix and its commercial its engineering and construction activities in its upcoming March issue, where we'll expound upon the above factors, and extrapolate on others that were the driving factors behind this year's Owner of the Year selection.