MRED Students Research 50 Years of Commercial Real Estate Development in Tucson for Arizona Daily Star

Nov. 12, 2021


Arizona Daily Star spread: 1980s
Arizona Daily Star '50 Years of Commercial Real Estate' spread showcasing projects from the 1980s, including the Williams Centre, El Conquistador Resort, Tucson Mall and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Graphic courtesy Arizona Daily Star.

When Arizona Daily Star reporter Gabriela Rico sought to put together a “visual trip down memory lane” of Tucson’s commercial real estate development over the last five decades, she turned to students in the Master of Real Estate Development program at the University of Arizona to lead the research.

And the students, working with Rico, photo editor Rick Wiley and appraisers Baker & Associates, Inc., did not disappoint. The result: a decade-by-decade, 24-page spread in Tucson’s hometown paper: “50 Years of Commercial Real Estate Development in Tucson.”

From the 150-room Plaza International Hotel on the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and Speedway Boulevard completed in 1971 to Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center west of Interstate 10 in the Mercado District completed in 2019, the richly detailed showcase features 44 photos and information about nearly 40 distinctly Tucson commercial projects.

The feature also includes an article on “How Tucson real estate changed over 50 years” as well as a profile of George Larsen, the 77-year-old cofounder of commercial brokerage firm Larsen Baker, celebrating his 50th year in the Tucson market.

The students worked under the guidance of James Brian Marian, adjunct lecturer in real estate development at the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

View the feature on Arizona Daily Star.


Class of 2020 and 2021 Master of Real Estate Development Students


Research for 50 Years of Commercial Development in Tucson


Tucson and Pima County