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Groundwork Coming for ASU/Mayo HSIC

Credit: Arizona State University

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange


After years of planning, development and networking, the next major step in the creation of Arizona State University’s $75M Health Solutions Innovation Center will take place this week.

On Wednesday, June 28, Phoenix City Council will consider a staff recommendation to authorize entry into an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of ASU for the development of the HSIC and to approve the city’s participation in infrastructure improvements needed to get the project started.

The recommendation calls for the city to reimburse ASU approximately $1.3M for the infrastructure.

While forward progress on a long-awarded project of this magnitude is certainly big news on its own, it’s also one part of a much larger story: Development of the infrastructure for HSIC is specifically intended to serve as a launch point for the long-sought Arizona Biomedical Corridor.

In an interview with AZBEX last week, Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay explained the corridor as part of an initiative the Mayor’s Office started with Dr. Wyatt Decker of The Mayo Clinic and President Michael Crow of ASU in 2011 to create world-class biomedical facilities in this area. According to Mackay, Mayo has 200 acres. ASU has 24 acres. The balance is more than 200 acres controlled by the State Land Department that will make up the biomedical corridor. Biomedical and healthcare uses are specifically included in the area’s zoning under the Desert Ridge Specific Plan.

In the recommendation summary before the council, Phoenix staff says:

The Arizona Biomedical Corridor (ABC) is an approximately 600-acre area in north Phoenix, extending from State Route 101 to the Central Arizona Project Canal, between State Route 51 and 64th Street. A majority of the land within this area is controlled by the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD), as part of the State Land Trust. The prime anchor within the corridor is Mayo Clinic Arizona with its 200-plusacre hospital campus. The City, ASU and Mayo Clinic Arizona (Mayo) have been focused on investment in this area for many years.

As a result of their partnership, ASU plans to construct the $75M Health Solutions Innovation Center consisting of a 150KSF building. To support this development, approximately $1.3M of public infrastructure is required. Staff recommends that the City enter into an IGA with ASU to support the project by reimbursing approximately $1.3M of infrastructure, including water, sewer, street and public telecommunication conduits. ASU will build the improvements and the City will reimburse ASU upon completion. ASU intends to begin HSIC facility construction in 2018, with all work to be completed in fiscal year 2019-20.

Over the next 10 – 15 years, ASU intends to build an additional 1.35MSF of health and bioscience facilities representing a total additional investment of $325M. Staff will return to City Council in the fall of 2017 to discuss additional infrastructure required to support the 1.35MSF of development, at an estimated cost of up to $8M.

In a March presentation to the Arizona Association for Economic Development, Rick Naimark, ASU’s associate VP for program development planning, discussed the university’s hopes for the corridor and that the HSIC would be a catalyst. “We are really engaged with the Mayo Clinic,” he said. “It’s wonderful because they are such a high-quality organization, and we have so much to bring to them that’s not part of their set, it’s just a match made in heaven.”

It was his hope, he said, the corridor plan could ‘draft off’ the partnership’s momentum and be developed into a fully-fledged bioscience community. “I could argue that this piece of land is probably the most prime parcel of land west of the Mississippi. With the Mayo Clinic and ASU as anchor tenants, this is going to be a very robust spot for development. We’re working with the State Land Department to try to help make that happen.”

Appearing at a Bisnow event in May, Mayor Greg Stanton expressed similar goals and said the city is actively working with ASU and the State Land Department to ensure the vision’s success.

Mackay echoed that sentiment last week and provided additional detail. “This is just the beginning of the physical infrastructure that public and private entities will install to create that biomedical corridor,” she said. “I think ASU starting construction will see that kickoff of the state land being ready to take that site out in one auction or multiple auctions to multiple development entities. We have a number of world-recognized bioscience and healthcare developers who are having conversations with us now about the opportunities for that 200-plus acres.

As mentioned in our feature on development in northeast Phoenix, Mackay identifies a primary goal for development in the area, including the Arizona Biomedical Corridor, to ultimately generate up to 30,000 jobs along Loop 101 between Scottsdale Road and SR 51.

NOTE: Paid subscribers receive additional project details in our twice-weekly PDF publication, including project stakeholder information and valuable project bidding leads. Find out more about AZBEX subscriptions or contact Rebekah Morris at or (480) 709-4190

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