Pair of University of Arizona Projects Recognized as Best by IEDC

The University of Arizona received national recognition from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for two economic development projects that have had a significant impact on the Tucson region.

The Bridges/UA Bio Park was recognized as one of the top economic development projects in the U.S. during 2012. The project earned a silver award for Public‐Private Partnerships.

“The project was recognized as an outstanding and innovative development that has significantly enhanced the economic revitalization of a distressed communities, state or region.”

Projects recognized in this area represented efforts in which larger private contributions have been added to smaller, vital public commitments. The other winners were Space Florida and NASA/Kennedy Space Center Commercial Partnership, Ogden City/Boyer Company Public‐Private Partnership, and Brick City Development Corporation’s Food Depot project.

The Bridges is a master‐planned, 350‐acre mixed‐use development in south central Tucson. It is a partnership of UA, 5151 LLC (Lennar Homes and KB Home) and Retail West/Eastbourne Investments.

The Bridges is anchored by the UA’s 65-acre bio park which is being developed and managed by the UA Office of University Research Parks. The Bridges is bringing much needed retail and residential development to Tucson’s central city. It is home to two large retailers with several smaller retail pads under development.

The UA Bio Park is being developed as a site for high technology companies, especially those in the fields of biosciences, life sciences and health care. The park will include commercial facilities, a science high school hotel and conference center and multi‐family housing.

UA recently completed construction of the core site improvements and infrastructure including roads, water, sewer, and utilities. The UA Office of University research parks has developed the park through strong partnerships with the surrounding neighborhoods, community organizations, and the city and county governments.

The Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park was recognized as the best project for Sustainable & Green Development for communities with populations of greater than 500,000.

The UA Tech Park, in partnership with Tucson Electric Power (TEP), created the Solar Zone to accelerate the growth and development of the solar industry in Southern Arizona.  The Solar Zone is a business and research zone aimed at new product development, test, evaluation, demonstration and generation of solar energy to spur industry growth. 

Phase One of the Solar Zone, dedicated to projects selected by TEP, occupies 165 acres of land and hosts seven companies demonstrating a variety of solar energy technologies.  With a combined capacity of 23 MW, Phase One arrays are designed to generate power that is fed directly into TEP’s electrical grid and delivered to TEP customers through long-term purchase power agreements or utility ownership. When fully complete in early 2013, Phase One will be the largest multi-technology solar demonstration site in the world.

Companies can demonstrate their technology at the “utility” or grid level (MW). Phase Two focuses on research, development and production of new solar technology and applications.The Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park is managed by the UA Office of University Research Parks and received a gold award in this category.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

The UA projects competed with 741 submissions from economic development organizations, corporations and public/private entities throughout the country. The awards were presented at an awards ceremony on Oct. 2, during the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Houston.

“We recognize UA Office of University Research Parks for creating innovative and successful strategies to promote economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Jay Moon, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. The UA Office of University Research Parks demonstrates that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using cutting‐edge, effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”



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