June 19, 2004
The first building at the ASU-Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation would break ground by August 2006, but the proposed world-class research center could take another two decades before it is fully built and operating in south Scottsdale.
Those terms and other financial details of the partnership between Arizona State University, Scottsdale and the ASU Foundation — the university’s funding arm — were released late Friday in a five-page document.
The timeline for buildout of the center is much lengthier than when it was first unveiled last month, but university and city officials said it is a worstcase scenario. They expect buildings to be constructed and occupied every 18 to 24 months.
Several City Council members had pushed the city to release details about how the deal would be structured, since Scottsdale is poised to invest up to $86.5 million for land and infrastructure in the project.
The project is envisioned to have six to eight buildings that would house university and private research, retail shops and businesses involved in bioscience, technology, engin- eering, art and other creative, knowledge-based industries.
The ASU Foundation, which would be responsible for building and marketing the center, would enter into a 99-year lease with Scottsdale. The foundation would be required to raise up to $300 million to develop the center.
The two entities would share all net revenue generated from the center’s roughly 1 million square feet of research space and up to 135,000 square feet of retail space.
"We do have some protections. We do share in the success, but it’s still a risk," said Vice Mayor Bob Littlefield. "The only way at all that you buy this deal is if you believe the intangible benefits of this outweigh the costs."
Those intangible benefits, Scottsdale estimates, would be as many as 4,000 highpaying jobs and much-needed redevelopment in the aging neighborhoods around the former mall at Scottsdale and McDowell roads.
The site is envisioned to be a cluster of innovation, with research space for scientists, engineers and other creative people. The hope is that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will form spin-off companies from discoveries made at the center.
"We have a very, very clear mission to take the research and make it into something that benefits the state and the city of Scottsdale," said Steve Evans, chairman of ASU Foundation’s real estate committee.
After the first ground is broken in 2006, the foundation would be required to complete a second building by 2010. An additional building would be completed every three years thereafter until the site is completed, according to the terms.
If the buildings don’t get built, Scottsdale can cancel the lease and seek other development options for the site.
The ASU Foundation has until 2028 to fill the center, but the document noted that the foundation expects the center will be fully built by 2015.
While the timeline seems drawn out, Scottsdale officials said Friday that the deal should be looked at as a longterm partnership with an institution, and not as a standard development.
"Universities last as long as society," said City Manager Jan Dolan. "We tried to structure it that way."
The council will discuss the proposal and take public comment at 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
The proposal is scheduled for a final public vote on July 6 or 7.
For details of the proposal and a schedule of additional public meetings see