Arizona State University partnered with Wexford Science and Technology for the first phase of their plan to expand the Phoenix Biomedical Campus north of Fillmore.
Wexford is a company that focuses on partnering with universities and research institutions to build mixed-use research communities.
“We do it for really one reason: With research at the core, economic and community development can occur around research as the primary driver,” Wexford West Region Executive Doug Woodruff said.
Wexford has previously partnered with Brown University, Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University and others.
The campus expansion will take place between Garfield, Fourth and Sixth streets. The first phase will be completed in 2019, including a seven story lab building, a parking structure and several temporary use spaces, according to early draft plans.
The first building is expected to be about 200,000 square feet and take 15 to 18 months to complete. ASU has budgeted $40 million for phase one, according to Rick Naimark, associate vice president for program development planning at ASU.
Wexford will own the building and ASU will lease roughly half of the space for medical lab research. Wexford will offer the other half to private firms for lease.
Naimark said Wexford is only contracted for the first building, and that plans are not finalized for the subsequent buildings yet.
He said ASU’s goal for this project was not only to offer a better research lab for faculty and students, but to provide another space for the community to spend time.
“The kind of place you want to attract employers, the public, people to live, you need to create an environment that’s not just serving the university or the researchers, but serving the entire community,” Naimark said.
ASU got input from the community on what they want to see from this project, according to Naimark. Responses included walkability, bike friendliness, retail and restaurant space.
Woodruff also said community emphasis is important.
“We’re interested in everything from making sure that the project fits in the community and reflects what the community’s expectations are,” Woodruff said.
ASU is also aiming to bring more jobs to the area near Roosevelt Row through the campus expansion, Naimark said.
“Bringing this really great employment and research generator to the same location (Roosevelt Row) is incredibly exciting,” he said.
Naimark said after the first building is finished, ASU’s agreement with Phoenix stipulates that work on the next building must begin within 30 months.