By Jeff Eriks,Cambridge Companies

Building a retail space is a significant investment.  Taking key factors into account can help identify and mitigate potential risks and ensure that a retail space project is successful and meets the needs of all stakeholders involved.

Building a retail space in Arizona offers plenty of advantages and opportunities for business owners. Physical stores still account for 87% of retail sales in the US. Retail is also currently the #1 employment sector in the US in terms of sheer numbers. In Arizona, retail is by far the largest employer contributing to 28% of all jobs in the state, amounting to 1.1 million jobs and accounting for around $74.8 Billion to the state’s GDP.

However, building a retail space in Arizona comes with its own set of unique challenges and considerations. From zoning regulations to environmental concerns, several factors should be taken into account when planning and building your space. In this article, we will explore five key factors you should consider when building a retail space in Arizona.

What are the Key Considerations When You’re Planning a Retail Build-out?

Building a retail store is a big commitment. Retail buildouts often require significant up-front investmen. Then, there are additional costs to set up in-store functionalities, merchandising interior design, and more. Given the complexity of the build, it is often the case that finding a construction company or a general contractor with sufficient experience can be challenging if you are trying to build a world-class facility and keep it on budget.

There are several factors that you will have to consider when you are building a retail space. Here are some of the top considerations you have to keep in mind.


When planning to build a retail space in Arizona, it’s important to consider the location of the property. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location, such as the surrounding area and accessibility.

The surrounding area is important to consider because it can impact the type of customers you attract. For example, if you’re located in a busy shopping district, you’re likely to get more foot traffic than if you’re located in a more residential area. Additionally, the demographics of the surrounding area can give you an idea of who your potential customers are.

Accessibility is another key factor to consider when choosing a location for your retail space. You’ll want to make sure that your store is easy to reach by both car and public transportation. If your store is difficult to access, it may deter potential customers from visiting.

Foot Traffic

Arizona is a state that is teeming with foot traffic. This is due, in part, to the state’s many tourist attractions. However, this foot traffic can also be attributed to the high population density in some areas of the state. To take advantage of this foot traffic, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • The location of your retail space should be highly visible and easily accessible.
  • The layout of your space should be designed in a way that encourages customers to browse and linger.
  • Your store should offer a unique shopping experience that cannot be found at other stores in the area


Regulations are an important factor when you are thinking about the retail build-out project. You need to take into consideration the various building codes that exist in the state of Arizona. You also have to check the zoning regulations and obtain the right permits for commercial construction.

Store Design

When it comes to store design, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you want your new space to be designed in a way that is inviting and easy to navigate. This means having a well-thought-out layout with clearly defined spaces. You also want to make sure your store is properly lit and that all of your signage is easily visible. Finally, you want to choose materials and finishes that will stand up to the Arizona heat and dust.

All of these factors are important to consider when planning your retail store build-out in Arizona. By keeping them in mind, you can create a space that is both functional and appealing to customers. Giving the right retail experience to your customers is a critical aspect.


Prices for commercial retail space in Arizona can vary widely depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property. In general, prices in Arizona’s larger cities like Phoenix and Tucson will be higher than in smaller towns.

When considering the price of a retail space, it’s important to factor in the cost of any necessary tenant improvements or repairs that may need to be made to the property. Additionally, businesses should budget for the build-out costs of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) that will be required to outfit the space.

What to Take Care of When You are Planning the Construction Project?

Planning your retail construction requires a great amount of planning and detail orientation. Finding the right approach for construction and the right construction services and subcontractors will be critical. The contractor you are choosing should have enough experience in turn-key build-outs as well as aspects like project management. They should also have a track record of successful retail projects.

Further, getting a sense of the future expansion plans as well as your business needs will be a great asset in planning a retail space that your customers love and also functions well. While scoping the project, understand how much space is needed for the facility as well as the associated facilities like parking and other amenities as well.

Why is a Design-build Approach the Best for Retail Space Construction?

When it comes to constructing a retail space, the design-build approach is often the best option. This is because a design-build firm will handle both the design and construction of your project, which can save you time and money. In addition, a design-build firm will typically have a team of architects, engineers, and construction professionals who can work together to create a custom solution for your retail space.

Typically in a design-build project, the designers and the construction specialists work together so there is not much time lost in the back and forth between the two. It also helps that the responsibility of project management rests with one entity and this can greatly help in managing risk. By figuring out the costing with inputs from all the subcontractors, the budgets also tend to be smaller and more accurate than traditional construction methods.

If you’re looking to build a retail space in Arizona, there are many great design-build firms to choose from. Take some time to research different firms and ask for quotes so that you can find the right company for your needs. It’s important to gather references and collect information about the previous retail projects that they have handled as well so that you can make a more informed choice.


Constructing a retail space is a complex affair. It is important to go into the project with a clear idea of what you want to do and how you want to do it. By taking care of all the aspects we discussed above, you will be able to scope the project out better and also get a better handle on costs as well as time.

Adhering to federal, state, and local regulations is critical as well as this is a major investment and you do not want to sink your money into something that could end up in legal trouble later. Finding the right partners with experience in constructing retail spaces in Arizona will help you in dealing with the regulatory requirements as well as keeping the project on time and under budget.

Cambridge companies have a stellar track record in retail and other turnkey construction projects using the design-build approach. We have a team of experienced designers and construction experts who will leave no stone unturned to give you the best. Talk to us today to know how we can help you with your retail construction project.