Adaptive Reuse program

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What is Adaptive Reuse?

As Tempe continues to reinvent itself, the adaptive reuse of existing building becomes increasingly important. Older buildings may become unsuitable for their original purpose due to market shifts, technology and architectural requirements. Adaptive reuse becomes a sustainability tool that preserves revenue generating commercial space and provides the opportunity for an eclectic mix of neighborhood retail / services. 

How Does it Work?
Tempe Community Development has assembled a team from many city departments. Their goal is to help new businesses open as safely and efficiently as possible. Innovative ideas to re-purpose buildings may require new ways to accommodate parking, restroom needs and more.  

Program Benefits
* Single point of contact 
* Modified landscape standards
* Modified parking standards
* Modified lighting standards 
* Modified mechanical screening standards 
* Interpretation to achieve  occupancy equivalency
* Utilize Evaluation Report [sealed by a registrant] 
* On-site retention relief 
* Toilet fixtures / restroom facilities 
* Water supply line for sprinkler systems [Fire] 


* The building must have been constructed more than 20 years ago and be located within Tempe city limits.
* It must be located within 100 feet of an arterial street
* The building cannot exceed 5,000 square feet, including the proposed additions
* The new use results in a change of occupancy for the existing building
* The Community Development Director has the authority to approve projects that meet the intent of the program and two of the four criteria

Get Started
Dee Dee Kimbrell
, Senior Planner, leads the Adaptive Reuse Team.
To make an appointment call 480.350.8081 or email

Additional Information
* Adaptive Reuse Policies, Guidelines, and Interpretations [.pdf]
* Adaptive Reuse brochure [2-page .pdf, print double-sided then fold in half]


Adaptive Reuse [brochure]


Adaptive Reuse Butterfly