Flinn Scholars News
Los Arcos deal done, ASU and Scottsdale plan for tech center
Arizona State University added another zip code to its burgeoning biotech real estate this week when a divisive deal between the university, Scottsdale, and developer Steve Ellman finally reached the dotted line. Construction on the proposed ASU Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation is slated to begin within the year.
Arizona State University added another zip code to its burgeoning biotech real estate this week when a divisive deal between the university, Scottsdale, and developer Steve Ellman finally reached the dotted line.
Following a failed citizen opposition drive last week, the ASU Foundation purchased the 42-acre site on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and McDowell roads from Ellman, and immediately resold it to the City of Scottsdale for $41.5 million. The city will then enter into a 98-year free lease with ASU, which will supervise the building and operation of the ASU Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation.
The center will focus on transferring technologies to the marketplace, developing the entrepreneurial skills of researchers, growing early-stage companies, and related practices. It will be designed to attract high-tech companies and form the geographic nexus of a knowledge economy in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale will be responsible for the technology park's infrastructure, an initial outlay estimated at $45 million that could eventually reach $130 million over the next 30 years. ASU projects its own investment in the building and operation of the hybrid research center at nearly $300 million.
Scottsdale has estimated that the center will result in a return of $175 million in direct revenues to the city, plus the economic impact of up to 4,000 new jobs.
In recent years, the old Los Arcos site has been the epicenter of a seemingly endless political tug-of-war. The most recent opposition came from STOPPED, Scottsdale Taxpayers Opposed to Ellman's Demands, an organization that failed to get the 3,384 required voter signatures to bring the deal to a public vote. The co-founders of the group decided to drop legal action and instead vow to watchdog the building and transactions of the technology center.
Unlike previous failed Ellman propositions, which included a professional hockey arena and a Wal-Mart, the plan for the technology park has garnered strong support from major Valley players like Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross, ASU President Michael Crow, and new Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. Amidst criticism that the latest deal may amount to little more than a government-subsidized office park and a poor investment for Scottsdale, these officials continue to be bright about the high-tech future of the latest city added to ASU's biotech roster.
"Let's hope everybody will work together to make the innovation center a success and revitalize the area," ASU Foundation member Steve Evans told the East Valley Tribune.
Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross echoed Evan's sentiments.
"I feel confident this is going to be a successful revitalization effort," she told the Arizona Republic. "We're rolling up our sleeves and moving ahead."
For more information:
"Scottsdale now owns blighted Los Arcos site," Arizona Republic, 08/10/2004
"ASU center plan to proceed in Scottsdale," East Valley Tribune, 08/10/2004
Special Report: The Future of Los Arcos, Arizona Republic