The gold rush is on. Developers are racing to build new residential and commercial projects to meet what is expected to be a doubling in the region's population in the next 15 years. But they aren't plowing ahead blindly. Instead, the term "city-building" gets thrown out a lot. Developers in different disciplines are working together. The result is that Phoenix's growth will be through construction of a dozens of master-planned communities spreading West and North of downtown.

Westcor, which has long made Phoenix its home, is positioned at the heart of the growth and has its hands in nine projects around the city. The company has more than 2,000 acres of commercial development slated around Phoenix. David Scholl, senior vice president of development for Westcor, offered the development of the Irvine Ranch in Calif., into a city that now houses 170,000 residents, as a loose example for what Westcor is looking to achieve. But even that's not a perfect fit since the ranch covers 120,000 acres.

In most of its work, Westcor will be working with joint venture partners who will build the residential components. It will also team with RED Development--which also has a Phoenix office--to help build the retail.

Other developers are there as well. Thomas J. Klutznick Co. Related Urban Development, are working on City North in Desert Ridge--one of about 20 master planned communities in the region. The mixed-use development will encompass more than 5 million square feet, including 1 million square feet of retail.

"This is city-building," says R. Webber Hudson, executive vice president of New York-based Related Urban. "Another 40,000 people will be living in the area as the government release more land, but the market is already large enough to sustain City North."

-- David Bodamer