By Rebekah Morris for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Note: All projects listed below are in the preliminary internal planning stages, and the finance mechanism is not yet determined.
One of the notable items in the budget passed by the Arizona state legislature last month was the authorization for the three state universities to sell an additional $1B in bond funds for new research facilities.
Naturally, the A/E/C industry would want to know details about any plans for using this new source of funds and what projects they might pursue.
Speaking with John Creer, Assistant Vice President of Real Estate for Arizona State University, he stated that the following projects are likely candidates if and when ASU sells the bonds to generate funds.
Health Innovation Center at Mayo Clinic
ASU leases 23.87-acres from the Arizona State Land Department adjacent to the Mayo Clinic in North Phoenix and plans to build a medical school on the site called the Health Innovation Center at Mayo Clinic.
The first building is a 150KSF building currently in the planning stages. A design RFQ closed May 26, 2017, and the CMAR RFQ is currently on the street, due July 5, 2017. The $75M project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2018. At full buildout, Creer indicated there would be 3-5 total buildings on the site.
ISTB 7 – Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Building
Similar in size and scope to $120M Biodesign C (formerly known as ITSB 6), ISTB 7 is currently listed in the ASU Capital Improvement plan with funding shown in the next three years. With the additional bond authorization, this project is likely to move forward sooner rather than later.
The future project would house the School of Sustainability. ASU is currently programming the building and doing initial site planning; an architect and general contractor are not yet selected. ISTB 7 will be located next to Biodesign C.
Downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus
The last project Creer mentioned for potential funding with the recently authorized bond monies is the Downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus development. ASU controls 7-acres north of the U of A Medical School and is currently in negotiations with a stand-alone biomedical developer for the first of several buildings to be constructed on the site.
The bond authorization could be the mechanism they need to develop the land. The first building is estimated at 200KSF. A development agreement could be finalized in the next 90-days.
Projects Not Included: ASU Campuses in Downtown Mesa or Payson
It’s interesting to also note the projects not included in this list, namely, an ASU campus in either Downtown Mesa or Payson. When asked about these two campuses, Creer stated that both Mesa and ASU would like those projects to happen, but there isn’t any timeline or current plans for funding the campus construction. The Downtown Mesa campus was initially going to be funded using a sales tax measure, but voters rejected that measure in November 2016. Until a funding mechanism is in place, that project won’t move forward.
A May 16 article in the Payson Roundup reported negotiations between ASU and the Rim Country Educational Alliance are ongoing, but that some project supporters favor seeking a different university partner. It goes on to say the project is stalled and that work on the site has stopped.
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