Beyond Sprawl - Rethinking The Southwest Economy
Single-family home construction has been a powerful - perhaps the strongest - engine of economic growth for much of the Southwest since World War II. But this recession has decimated the housing and construction industry. Many economists predict it may never rebound to provide the kind of jobs and economic vitality the region is accustomed to. Then there are the demographic changes that could permanently alter the face of the suburbs. In this multimedia series, we investigate the past and the present to report on what growth in the Southwest could look like in the future.
Cities in the Southwest are trying to lure new industries, like biotech, that are seemingly recession proof.
Biotechnology firms actually added jobs while other industries, like construction, lost them during the Great Recession. In the finale of our series, we explore whether biotech can offer jobs to unemployed carpenters and real estate agents.
Local realtors are recruiting international buyers to Las Vegas' hard hit housing market.
Absentee buyers are seeing opportunity in cheap Las Vegas homes; they accounted for close to half of home sales in September. As part of our continuing series, we explore why some local realtors want to lure cash-rich foreigners to join in on the buying.
CEO Tony Hsieh is betting that moving Zappos out of the suburbs will pay off in an urban revival.
As part of our ongoing series, we explore why one Las Vegas company is tired of its offices in the sprawling suburbs. The CEO wants to move downtown, and help transform the gritty neighborhood into a vibrant, urban hub.
Arizona State University graduate students are studying today's housing to reimagine tomorrow's construction.
With the real estate crash and lingering economic gloom, is it time to re-think the all-American suburb? In the next installment of our ongoing series, Arizona State University graduate students say yes and share some of their designs.
"It burned in a ring from the outskirts of Phoenix in toward the center. Neighborhoods of empty houses with grass and weeds as tall as a man."
Laura Oeinck was a realtor during the height of the mortgage crisis. As part of our continuing series on development in the Southwest, Oeinck shares what she witnessed.
With up to 1 million undeveloped single-family lots in Central Arizona, planners look for solutions to the unused developments.
Zombie subdivisions are haunting the suburbs. The half-built developments are a nuisance to neighbors, city government and planners. In the first part of a multimedia series, we explore what should be done with the empty land and report how the answers will impact the region's economy.