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Bekat and her team are focusing on attracting new 
businesses to downtown Tucson by administrating 
incentives for ground up development. 


 “We offer our 

primary jobs incentive and that is linked to creating jobs 
that pay above $52,000,” Bekat says. “Its purpose to not only 
make it attractive for companies to relocate to Tucson, but 
also get the right types of jobs to come to the city.” 



incentive, along with the government property lease excise 
tax, which allows property owners to abate the property 
taxes for up to eight years, has attributed to bringing in 
significant capital investment to Tucson’s Central Business 
District and attraction of employers to the area. 



attracting the regional headquarters of Caterpillar Inc., 
a manufacturer of mining and construction equipment, 
over than 600 jobs were brought to Tucson. In addition, 
Raytheon, which is now Tucson’s largest employer, has 

just announced an expansion of approximately 2,000 


 Bekat says that one of her fondest achievements 

is attracting the Mr. Car Wash headquarters, which was 
previously located in unincorporated Pima County. 



management was noticing they were having a hard time 
retaining their employees, because their employees were 
looking for an urban setting,” Bekat says.  “They approached 
us to link them with the incentives we have to bring them 
to downtown. They brought over 100 employees to the 
downtown area, which is exactly the type of development 
we want to see.” 


 The main obstacle for economic 

development is that it is a team sport, and the players need 
to have a broader picture in mind. 


 “It takes coordination 

amongst all players, different jurisdiction entities, brokers 
and property owners,” Bekat says. “The challenge is we 
need to get people to think on a more regional level.”

“I strive to bring businesses to 

Tucson, improve quality of life 

and make Tucson a city that  

is well known for innovation  

and business diversity.” 


Tucson is expected to see significant 
job growth and commercial investment


in its downtown and surrounding downtown areas this year, 
especially in proximity of the Houghton town center. In addition, 
the road development along the Broadway and Grant corridors is 
expected to attract a surge of new businesses.


amila Bekat, the Economic Development Manager for the city 
of Tucson, attributes the city’s strong economic growth to the 
competitive economic incentive package the city offers to new 

businesses. This package was put together by the city, the county, 
the Arizona Commerce Authority, and Rio Nuevo – a multipurpose 
facilities district that was formed in 1999 for revitalizing the entire 
district from downtown to Park Place mall. 

 Bekat started her position in July of 2016, after serving as an 

economic development specialist for the City of Tucson. 


 “The great part of economic 

development is that while you do get that thrill of the company opening those doors, 
it’s really the long-term impact of that company that motivates me to do what I do. I 
strive to bring businesses to Tucson, improve quality of life and make Tucson a city that 
is well known for innovation and business diversity,” she says. 


 Her first task was to 

work on the revitalization of downtown by building on the momentum of the streetcar 
project, a $196 million development that was made possible through the Tiger Grant 
and funding from the regional transportation authority.  

for the City of  Tucson