Photo courtesy of UA Tech Park
Big things are happening in Tucson. Tech Parks Arizona (TPA), in partnership with the University of Arizona (UA), consists of three projects: the UA Tech Park at Rita Road, the UA Tech Park at The Bridges, and the Arizona Center for Innovation. The mission of the Tech Park is to encourage a culture of incubation and innovation, attracting high technology companies to Southern Arizona.
Contributing just under $2 billion in economic impact statewide, and creating over 10,000 jobs in the region, the Tech Park is instrumental in driving the economic engine of the area and the state.
At the end of May, Tech Parks Arizona announced partnerships with two developers, The Boyer Company and Bourn Companies, LLC, for new projects at the UA Tech Park at The Bridges and the UA Tech Park at Rita Road, respectively. Through its partnership with the UA, Tech Parks Arizona aims to attract high technology companies, big and small, to Southern Arizona. The Tech Park is home to behemoths like IBM, Oracle, and Raytheon, as well as startups ripe to break into the market.
This month, the UA Tech Park is receiving the Paul J. Fannin Award from the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC), which recognizes an Arizona company or organization that acts in goodwill to bolster the Arizona-Mexico relationship. Associate Vice President of Tech Parks Arizona Bruce Wright, a long-time AMC board member, says that Arizona’s relationship with Mexico is central to the mission of the Tech Park.
“Southern Arizona, through its innovation districts, aims to provide people with a global advantage and create a soft-landing program for companies looking to expand,” said Wright. “The park offers a gateway to introduce companies to the Mexican market, a fast-growing economy that many are looking to tap into.”
In addition to serving as a landing spot for national and international companies looking for proximity to a young Mexican market, the park also focuses on attracting companies from Mexico, which is currently experiencing a tech boom of its own.
“Most companies want to enter the U.S. market, and a place like the Tech Park that has such a culture of incubation is the perfect place for them to do so,” Wright said.
More than just creating physical spaces to accommodate cutting-edge tech companies, the Tech Park establishes a complete innovation district. This comes in large part through the addition of more lifestyle attractions to accompany the established commercial space, a concept that is guiding the developments to come.
“Development of a residential component is of the utmost priority, we want to encourage a live, learn, work, play and stay culture,” Wright said.
Preliminary plans released for The Village, to be developed at the west end of the UA Tech Park at Rita Road, exemplify this concept. The mixed-use development will incorporate retail, commercial, residential, and hotel space, providing all the key components of a thriving modern community. The Village is located in one of the fastest growing areas of Tucson, within the excelling Vail Unified School District and just 15 minutes from Tucson’s reinvigorated downtown area. Its strategic location positions it perfectly to become an economic and social hub, attracting businesses and consumers to the area.
The second area of new development is the Technology Precinct in the UA Tech Park at The Bridges. The Technology Precinct will provide a mass of new office and lab space, as well as a conference center and hotel. The space will cater to technology companies, and also be home to the Technology Commercialization Hub of the University of Arizona. Construction of the Technology Precinct is slated to begin early in 2019.