An Oracle in the desert

Arizona is seeing its stock rise in both the tech and real estate markets with another bold and swift move: Oracle, the software giant with deep Silicon Valley roots, recently announced plans to step into the SkySong campus in Scottsdale to further its regional reach while enriching Arizona as a haven for entrepreneurship and technology.

A hotbed for technology and development, SkySkong’s ability to land Oracle is a testament to the state’s often overlooked surge as a tech prospector’s dreamland. Oracle finalized a lease for about 15,000 square feet in SkySong’s third building, a space that will house 75 employees working on software development, human resources, and sales.

So far, about 93 percent of the available spaces in the buildings at SkySong are leased, and construction on the fifth SkySong building is expected to get underway by end of June. Oracle, the Redwood City-based cloud computing company,has experienced steady growth throughout its existence. Earlier in the year it took a hit in revenue growth as estimates in sales missed their target, but things picked up just recently as the International Data Corporation recognized the company gained momentum in software as a service and cloud computing. Oracle is now offering its services in 175 countries with about 430,000 customers worldwide.

SkySong, Arizona State University’s innovation annex, houses 1.2 million square feet of space devoted to tech and software; a prime locale for a company like Oracle, whose move further cements Arizona as the Silicon Desert. SkySong’s 42 acres of mixed-use project spaces house high-tech offices, ASU programs, and even apartments. It speaks to the national trend of mixed-use development where innovative tech ideas are dreamed up above wine bars or catty-corner to residents. What’s more, SkySong Innovations on campus has developed more than 120 tech startups, bolstering the state’s reputation as a business incubator.

“Oracle is the kind of organization that can truly help drive entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development in our state,” noted Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Cos., in a statement. Oracle’s reach as an international company with Silicon Valley strength will raise SkySong’s visibility as well as the state’s openness to help develop tech talent and real estate.”

With the move SkySong can unequivocally be touted as a leader for economic growth in the Southwest region. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Executive Vice President of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University, said Oracle’s presence is further proof that SkySong has emerged as an economic engine for the region. “We are very pleased to welcome Oracle to the SkySong family of companies,” Panchanathan said. ”Their focus on innovation and technology is a perfect match for SkySong, and they will serve as a great example of how Arizona is diversifying its economy and becoming a significant draw for tech-oriented companies.”

Plaza Companies is the master developer of SkySong in partnership with University Realty, a subsidiary of ASU Enterprise Partners and an affiliate of the ASU Foundation, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies.

Nick Esquer

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