How do you turn a political defeat into a big win, you look at your options, decide where you want to go, and you do it. That is what a group of valley visionaries did in the early 1980’s when the state decided that only the University of Arizona could should have an agriculture program. That left Arizona State University with a large working farm that needed to be taken down. They could have sold the land for quick profit. But instead they looked at options that would provide the most long-term benefit to the school, the state, and the local community.
The result, thirty years ago, was the ASU Research Park. Located just west of the 101 Loop between Warner and Elliot roads, the Park is now a vibrant and thriving hot-spot of technical innovation and realization. This is not an incubator where people try to be successful in technology, this is where people who are successful with technology come to get stuff done.
PADT is pleased to own a building in the Park, the PADT Innovation Center, where our headquarters are located along with three other business that lease space from us. We have found the park to be a supportive place, centrally located, with great facilities for our employees.
The event was marked with a breakfast gathering of tenants, Tempe officials, Park board members, and representatives from ASU. Dr. Michael Crow, the President of ASU gave a great speech on how the park in particular helped move ASU towards being a true research university. He stressed that unlike in most places, ASU didn’t plan and study and move slowly. They wanted to become a research university and if you want to be a research university, you need a research park. So they built a research park, and in the end, a very successful one.
Some interesting facts about the park:
- Home to 49 companies with a total of over 4,500 employees
- Generates over $2,000,000 annually for ASU
- Has a $816,000,000 annual impact on the Arizona economy, generating 11,180 jobs
- 89% of the park is leased, 26 Acres still available
- 1,790,000 sqft of office space, with 350,000 sqft under construction.
The mayor of Tempe, Mark Mitchel, was also on hand to share with the audience the strong impact that the park and ASU have had on the city and how the ASU Research Park is a true university-city initiative. In fact, Mr. Mitchel’s father, Harry Mitchel, was the mayor of Tempe thirty years ago and was one of the visionaries that helped make the park happen.
This aerial view, taken a few months ago, shows the new GoDaddy tech center being built in the lower right hand corner. The PADT innovation center is the upside-down check mark in the upper right corner. PADT customers ViaSat and Amkor are both starting construction in the park right now.
To learn more, read the official press release: ASU Research Park Celebrates 30 Years – Press Release, or visit the park’s website: asuresearchpark.com.