Development Starts at Tech Park at The Bridges
The university says the park will create one central hub for its innovation and commercialization activities.

By Jessa Turner, Tech Parks Arizona
Feb. 27, 2020


Conceptual drawing of The Refinery, the first building at the University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges.
Conceptual drawing of The Refinery, the first building at the University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges. (Photo courtesy of The Boyer Company and Swaim Associates Architects)

Tech Parks Arizona has broken ground on the first multitenant building at the University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges with development partner The Boyer Company.

The first building, to be named The Refinery, will provide 120,000 square feet of office space for small-to-midsize tech-focused businesses and organizations. The four-story building will also serve as an ecosystem center for invention development and product refinement. The building is expected to be completed in summer 2021.

The University of Arizona has committed 50% of the space for commercialization and innovation. Activities housed at The Refinery will include the University of Arizona Applied Research Corp. and the university's cyberoperations program; the new offices for Tech Launch Arizona; an incubator outpost and programming through the University of Arizona Center for Innovation; plus space for students and faculty.

At the groundbreaking, University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said the park sends a message to prospective students and faculty.

"You can come to the University of Arizona and do great things," Robbins said. "You don't have to go to the Bay Area, you don't have to go to Tech Square (in Atlanta) or the Research Triangle in North Carolina to have the idea to invent the next Amazon or Google. You can do it right here at the University of Arizona, right on this space. This is going to be the catalyst that helps put us on the map and make the world a better place."

"The University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges will connect academia and industry in a place where innovation and entrepreneurship will flourish, from concept to consumer. It will be a hub for idea exploration, product development and unique collaboration – one space where we can advance our ability to innovate solutions to address our greatest challenges, and develop pathways to move those inventions outward into Arizona and beyond to create real-world impact," said Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation.

"The University of Arizona academic community is dreaming big and creating incredible innovations to make a better world. We are all excited for the energy and opportunities that will be created by placing all of these entrepreneurial resources in one location," said Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of Tech Launch Arizona.

The University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges is a 65-acre community of innovation within a larger 350-acre mixed-use development project just north of Interstate 10, bordered by Kino Parkway to the east and 36th Street to the north. The Bridges is located 3.5 miles south of the main University of Arizona campus.

"We are working collaboratively with this community and the developer to create a future-focused environment for technology to thrive. We decided to build The Refinery next to the mine, meaning that companies who locate here, can mine talent directly from the university campus just down the road. This unique opportunity allows leading-edge technology companies to recruit the best and brightest talent providing graduates with engaging employment and students with hands-on internships," said Carol Stewart, associate vice president for Tech Parks Arizona.

The Boyer Company is headquartered in Salt Lake City and also maintains an office in Phoenix. The company is one of the largest full-service real estate development firms in the Western United States.

"We are excited to partner with the University of Arizona and the Tech Park team on what we expect will be the first of many buildings within The Bridges," said Matt Jensen, a partner and project manager with The Boyer Company. "This project has been a long time in the making and is the direct result of strong leadership within the university. Boyer is grateful for the trust the university is putting in us as the developer and is committed to making the project a long-term success."

The Refinery building is part of the Technology Zone within the Tech Park at The Bridges with long-term development plans that include up to five office and lab buildings for public, private and academic users. The Technology Zone encompasses 20 acres of land within the park and is one of four planned zones, the others being Corporate, University and Business Zones.

Tech Parks Arizona has also finalized a deal with HSL Properties to develop a Marriott-branded hotel at the site. The four-story hotel – with approximately 100 rooms and meeting space for public, private and academic users – will be located at the corner of Kino Parkway and Tucson Marketplace Boulevard. The hotel is projected to open in July 2021.


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Media contacts:

Jessa Turner

Tech Parks Arizona


Paul Tumarkin

Tech Launch Arizona