A land swap two years in the making between the University of Arizona and KB Home was announced on Aug. 16, opening the door for development on Tucson’s South Side of the 65-acre Arizona Bioscience Park, a major addition to the bioscience infrastructure of Southern Arizona.
Under terms of the deal, UA will receive land at 36th Street and Kino Parkway for the Bioscience Park in exchange for 124 acres further east at the university’s Science and Technology Park. The Bioscience Park will be one piece of “The Bridges,” a 357-acre mixed-use development that will include commercial and retail property and as many as 1,000 residential units. KB Home’s new property adjacent to the tech park will likely see construction of some 600 new homes.
Besides providing lab and office space to house new and established bioscience firms, Arizona Bioscience Park will feature conference-center space, a hotel, and a bioscience high school, the second such school in Arizona. (The first is part of the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.) Construction of the new development will begin in 2008.
While plans to create Arizona Bioscience Park have received broad-based support from the Tucson community, debate has been fierce over several facets of the deal, including whether to annex the tech park into Tucson city limits and whether a “big box” store should be part of The Bridges. Under the agreement approved by the Tucson City Council, 500 acres of the tech park, which plays host to more than two dozen companies, will be annexed; The Bridges will indeed welcome a major retailer—likely Wal-Mart.
For more information:
“Land swap for research parks OK’d,” Arizona Daily Star, 08/17/2007
“Land swap opens door to homes, UA bioscience park on near S. Side,” Tucson Citizen, 08/17/2007
“UA reaches land-swap agreement with KB Home,” Business Journal of Phoenix, 08/17/2007>/P>
UA news release, 08/17/2007