Scottsdale examines high-tech, airpark firms - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Scottsdale examines high-tech, airpark firms

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Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2008 6:20 pm | Updated: 10:02 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Scottsdale is preparing to launch an analysis of local high-tech and airpark businesses to attract new commercial investment and foster synergy among firms in those industries.

Bob Huston, city bid and contract specialist, said officials began on Thursday to look for two consulting firms to conduct the Scottsdale Airpark and technology studies. The city hopes to have the consultants on board by May 15, and the work should take about 90 days, he said.

One of those studies will inventory all the companies now located in Scottsdale that are engaged in bio-sciences, sustainable technologies, information technologies, communications and medical devices.

“We’re looking for information about the kind of companies we’ve said we want to attract,” said Harold Stewart, acting general manager of the city’s Economic Vitality Department. “We’re really opening up some creative opportunities for ourselves with this kind of information.”

The city is looking to catalog such things as each company’s address, number of employees, and management. The study also will list what each firm produces, who and where their customers are, potential competitors for those businesses, the types of companies with which the firms partner, whether they have connections to Arizona State University or the University of Arizona, and whether the firm is growing.

Businesses often approach Scottsdale about relocating here and seek information from the city about the existence of competitors and other firms that may complement their own product, Stewart said. Businesses in similar industries often like to group together, and having such information could help the city create and support “incubator spaces” like SkySong, the Mayo Clinic Collaborative Research Community and Scottsdale Healthcare, he said.

“A lot of businesses like to cluster with each other,” Stewart said.

The other survey in the works would inventory the Scottsdale Airpark, one of the biggest commercial centers in the state, situated around the city’s airport and roughly bounded by Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale Road and Loop 101.

The study will determine the types of businesses there; how big they are; where they are located; the size, zoning and age of each building; and the dates of major renovation projects exceeding $500,000.

“This way we can turn around to the development community that wants to make an investment there and say, 'There’s a demand for this kind of business,’” Stewart said. “To find out who is already there is a good way to find out what the demand is.”

The data will help city officials in long-range planning for the airpark, as well, he said.

“We can respond better and plan better if we know who we’re serving,” Stewart said.

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