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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Land trade secures site of future UA bioscience park

    KB Home gave the UA 53 acres at East 36th Street and North Kolb Road – the site of a planned bioscience park – in exchange for 124 acres at East Ajo Way and Interstate 10 last week.

    Culminating two years of negotiations, the deal includes the City of Tucson’s annexation of 500 acres of the west side of the UA Science and Technology center at East Ajo Way and I-10, said Bruce Wright, UA associate vice president of economic development.

    Wright said KB Home will provide infrastructure – including a mile and a half of new roadway, water lines, sewer lines and electrical lines to the bioscience park – to make the trade roughly equal.

    “”The land at 36th and Kino

    Our goal is to provide a location for not only university activities but also commercial activities related to the development of high-technology products and services.

    -Bruce Wright
    UA associate VP of economic development

    is appraised at a much higher land value than the land at the Science and Technology Park,”” Wright said. “”That counts for a significant part of the difference in the amount of acres between the Science and Tech(nology) Park and the 36th and Kino site.””

    The UA’s existing Tech Park, near I-10 and South Kolb Road, will also benefit in the transaction.

    “”Ultimately, the city will take over the operation and maintenance of the new roadway that’s being built,”” Wright said. “”They will provide fire and water service to the western end of the park, and they’re going to build a fire station in the park, as well as construct a traffic signal at the Kolb Road entrance to the park.””

    The city will bring the land into city corporate limits, and any private enterprise that emerges would have to pay city taxes as part of incorporation, Wright said.

    Once completed, the bioscience park will feature research facilities and residential development.

    “”The current Science and Technology Park is 13 miles from main campus and, while it’s been very successful, we’ve really seen a need to have a location that would facilitate more faculty and student involvement in the research park,”” Wright said.

    Bioscience is the park’s primary focus, but other high-technology enterprises and activities can be housed there as well, he added.

    “”Our goal is to provide a location for not only university activities but also commercial activities related to the development of high-technology products and services,”” he said.

    Representatives of both sides of the transaction praised the deal.

    KB Home still owns a large mixed-use property next to the future site of the park, where commercial and residential facilities, including a big-box store, will be built, said Mike Barausch, director of forward planning for KB Home in Tucson.

    “”People who live there literally are going to be able to have a very urban kind of lifestyle in a community that I think is going to have a great deal to offer with respect to amenities and features,”” said John Bremond, president of KB Home, Tucson.

    The infrastructure at the Kino and 36th location is expected to be complete by mid-2008, followed by commercial, then residential development, Barausch said.

    Construction of the bioscience park will progress at a slower pace.

    “”The planning horizon is 20 years,”” Wright said. “”And, you know, these projects take several years to get up and developed.””

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