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Taxes in the Valley of the Sun—Phoenix’s Top 10 Taxpaying Properties


The Arizona commercial real estate market did not have any entries in our list of top 100 highest taxpaying properties nationwide—a list whose lowest-ranking property had a 2016 tax bill of $14.7 million, although Phoenix ranks as one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

In light of its propensity for progress, we thought we’d take a look at what commercial property taxes rank highest in the region. We combed through PropertyShark data, as well as Maricopa County public records and put together a list of top 10 highest-taxpaying properties in Phoenix. Unlike the properties that made it onto our top 100 nationwide, less than half of the “Phoenix 10” are office buildings. In fact, one of Arizona’s largest universities, by enrollment, takes the #1 spot.

Read on to see which properties made the cut and get to know some of them a little better.

Check out the interactive map to see where each property is located:

#1. Grand Canyon University – $6,534,488 in property taxes in 2016

Aerial view of the GCU Phoenix campus (via official Facebook page)

Originally founded in 1949 in Prescott, Ariz. as the Grand Canyon College, it relocated in 1951 to Phoenix, where it was renamed Grand Canyon University and grew to be an impressively sized campus. In 2004 it became the first for-profit Christian College in the U.S., after it was sold to Grand Canyon Education Inc. The GCU’s eight colleges attract a steadily growing student population, which has warranted multi-million-dollar renovations and expansions over time. The 100-acre campus includes 17 residence halls and apartments with resort-style swimming pools, several parking garages, top-tier infrastructure, brand new amenities and state-of-the-art athletic, recreation and fitness facilities, including the GCU Stadium and GCU Arena.

The University has also expanded outside the campus, in its mission to reshape West Phoenix into a destination of economic, tourism, business, employment and educational growth, through enterprises like GCU Golf Course, GCU Hotel, Canyon 49 Grill and Grand Canyon Beverage Co.

#2. Central Arts Plaza – $ 2,072,466 in property taxes in 2016

Central Arts Plaza (courtesy of McCarthy Cook & Co.) at 1850 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Central Arts Plaza (courtesy of McCarthy Cook & Co.)

Designed by HKS Inc. and originally built in 1991 for Dial Corp., the 24-story, 515,816-square-foot office building at 1850 North Central Ave was the last major high-rise to be constructed in Midtown. Original plans called for a twin tower to be built on the same location, but the second building was eventually dropped. Standing alone, the iconic Phoenix high-rise provides unobstructed 360 degree views of the Phoenix area and Camelback Mountain from all floors.

The second-highest taxpaying property on our list was known as Viad Corporate Center until, in 2015, owner manager McCarthy Cook & Co. partnered with several Phoenix arts and culture organizations in forming the Central Arts District in Midtown Phoenix, to advance the city’s arts and culture scenes. As part of the re-branding efforts, the tower located on Central Avenue across the street from the Phoenix Art Museum, was ceremoniously renamed Central Arts Plaza. The building’s location is enhanced by a two-acre park complete with water features, seating area and a sculpture garden.

Central Arts Plaza park water features and sculpture (courtesy of McCarthy Cook & Co.)

#3. Chase Tower – $1,939,527 in property taxes in 2016

Valley Center in 1972, before completion (courtesy of historyadventuring.com)

The third-highest taxpaying property on our list also happens to be the tallest building in Phoenix, as well as tallest in all of Arizona.

The 40-story, 734,000-square-foot Class A office tower was completed in 1973, as Valley National Bank’s statement of optimism for Arizona and vision of the future. Designed by Los Angeles architectural firm Welton Becket and Associates, the tower was built at a time when downtown Phoenix was not at its best, but Valley Center changed that—completion of Phoenix’s tallest skyscraper brought about two decades of renewed investments in Downtown.

After a series of mergers, Valley National Bank became Chase and the building was eventually renamed to reflect that—it is now well known as Phoenix’s Chase Tower. A few years after its 2003 renovation, the building at 201 North Central Ave was sold for just under $170 million, which is still one of the biggest sales on the Phoenix office market.

#4. Hyatt Regency Hotel – $1,873,783 in property taxes in 2016

Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Phoenix

Arizona Grand Resort and Spa, which landed at number eight on our top 10 tax list, and the downtown Hyatt Regency are the only hotel properties to have made the cut.

The 693-key, 24-story convention Hyatt hotel was completed in 1976 and remains one of Downtown Phoenix’s premier accommodation and event venues. The hotel’s top floor is home to the Compass Arizona Grill—the state’s only revolving rooftop restaurant. Located in the center of Downtown, the Hyatt Regency is across the street from the Phoenix Convention Center and within walking distance of most of the city’s popular attractions.

view of the Chase Tower from the Compass Arizona Grill revolving restaurant (courtesy of Compass Arizona)

#5. Target Distribution Center – $1,710,976 in property taxes in 2016

7101 W. Van Buren St (imagery courtesy of USGS)

In March of 2001, Target Corp. received Phoenix city permit approval for the concrete foundation of what would be its 13th U.S. distribution center and the first such facility in Arizona. The 1.6 million-square-foot building at 7101 W. Van Buren St. is the southwest distribution center for Target Stores, sprawling over 37 acres of land and housing roughly 900 employees.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the retailer chose this west Valley location because of the increasing amount of housing that was being built in the area, as well as its convenient proximity to the I-10, which would help serve what were then approximately 100 Target stores in Arizona, southern California and southern Nevada.

The L-shaped building cost an estimated $55 million to build and is the largest single-story building in the Phoenix metro region— the distribution center could fit 34 football fields under its roof and was last year’s fifth-highest taxpaying property in the Valley of the Sun, as well as the only industrial property to make it into our Top 10.


  • Datasource: Property Shark and proprietary research (download raw data)
  • 2016 Tax Values verified with the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office website
  • Search was based on individual parcels under the same ownership
  • Grand Canyon University tax value is a sum of 343 parcels
  • Paradise Valley Mall tax value is a sum of 4 parcels

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