The City of Tempe moved forward with seeking the development of the city’s first biomedical and technology campus on 18 acres of Tempe land west of the Tempe Center for the Arts.
On Thursday, the City Council selected a partnership of three businesses to negotiate with the city on a development agreement. The selected development team – made up of The Boyer Company, SmithGroupJJR and Okland Construction – proposed a phased project of five, 5 to 8-story buildings totaling approximately 1 million square feet, along with two parking structures with about 2,500 spaces.
It also is proposed to include a restaurant, arts-related spaces such as rehearsal space and artist workspaces, and trails connecting to the arts center and Town Lake pathways.
Tempe’s Economic Development team works to attract biomedical and technology businesses because they provide high-quality jobs and contribute to community quality of life. There are approximately 15,000 technology jobs in Tempe, paying an average of $95,000 annually.
There is a high demand for research facilities and specialized lab spaces. Thousands of public and private sector scientists and engineers need lab space to advance science and technology in industries like pharmaceutical, biomedical, manufacturing and biotechnology. Arizona State University is adding a building to its Biodesign Institute. This suite of interdisciplinary scientific research buildings works with companies and researchers to find solutions to global problems. The Biodesign Institute represents Arizona’s single largest research infrastructure investment in the biosciences. The new Tempe Biomedical and Technology Campus will provide new opportunities for partnerships and progress.
“We are experiencing tremendous momentum in Tempe when it comes to attracting businesses that bring jobs and tax revenue used to maintain and improve the quality of life for our residents,” Mayor Mark Mitchell said. “Companies are coming to Tempe because we have a skilled and diverse workforce, a great energy and a concentration of tech companies. The Tempe Biomedical and Technology Campus will be an exciting, key addition to our mix of cutting-edge businesses that benefit our community and set Tempe apart.”
Matt Jensen, partner and senior project manager for the Boyer Company said, “The Boyer Company and the members of our development team appreciate the opportunity to work with the City of Tempe. The project’s close proximity to ASU, key Tempe employers, the airport and area freeways make this an ideal location. Our company is focused on developing projects that help build communities. This project has the potential to create a technology-focused area that will benefit the region.”
The development team and City of Tempe staff will begin crafting a development agreement, which will require approval by the Tempe City Council. The development agreement could include the sale or lease of the land, among other provisions. The property is located on Rio Salado Parkway, west of the Tempe Center for the Arts, on a site that will require environmental remediation.
Four proposals from four development teams were submitted as part of a Request for Qualifications issued by Tempe. The awarded team scored highest in an evaluation process based on experience, financial strength, project design and organizational capacity.