SS Reendering

SkySong sparks economic revitalization along McDowell Road Corridor

No one would guessed that a catalyst of innovation could rise from the ruins of a vacant shopping mall. And certainly no one could imagine that happening in the middle of a crippling economic downturn that affected the entire world.

But that’s what’s happened in Scottsdale.

“It is hard to think of a business attraction initiative the city has recently used that has not mentioned SkySong as a major attribute,” said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. “SkySong has a national reputation and as it grows it will continue to elevate Scottsdale’s standing.”

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, opened in 2007 at the location that was once the Los Arcos Mall and has become one of the biggest success stories in the world when it comes to incubator and technology centers.

The vision for SkySong is to create a mixed-use project of 1.2 million square feet that will draw entrepreneurs and innovators into the project, give them the resources they need to grow and thrive, and provide them an exceptional home for when their businesses begin to take off. The vision started with Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who wanted to create the kind of technological and innovation-minded environment that would attract companies and job creation to the metro Phoenix area.

In addition to becoming home to more than 50 companies from 10 countries around the world, SkySong has become the anchor to what economic developers are calling Scottsdale’s McDowell Road Corridor, a community where innovation, technology, business and retailers have converged to create tremendous economic opportunities. Scottsdale economic development officials said more than $200 million of new capital in being invested along the McDowell Road Corridor. And the economic impact of SkySong — which was estimated to be $10 billion over the course of the next 30 years — is only expected to grow with the addition of SkySong 3.

“The targeted opening date for SkySong 3 is in 2014,” said SkySong spokesman Tom Evans. “We anticipate a kick-off in construction activity in the second quarter of 2013. In the meantime, work is continuing on the new residential units that are part of the SkySong project. The $45 million, four-story project will include 325 residential units, and is being built by MT Builders. Todd & Associates is the architecture firm for the project. The first of those units will open for occupancy in October 2013.”

Evans said you can expect to see companies that will mirror the energy of the firms that filled SkySong 1 and 2 when SkySong 3 opens.

“The businesses at SkySong share the spirit of innovation and technology that is so critical to the vision of SkySong,” Evans said. “Companies such as Jobing.com, Channel Intelligence and Adaptive Curriculum will serve as models for the new companies coming into SkySong 3 and for the smaller companies in the ASU SkySong incubator space. The companies at SkySong 3 will also continue the positive impact the project is having on the McDowell Road Corridor, thanks to the success of SkySong 1 and 2 over the past few years.”