Monday, September 24, 2007

Phoenix vision for new biotech campus poised to expand

More job creation investments...

Phoenix has bulked up its vision for a sprawling new biotech campus.

A string of high-rise buildings, triple the size of the city's earlier plans, would stretch across the heart of downtown over the next 25 years.

But the looming state budget crunch could take the wind out of a $470 million pitch for the next phase of the project, which goes before the Arizona Board of Regents next week.

If approved, the spending request then moves to the state Legislature, where it may receive a rocky reception. Lawmakers may balk at the staggering price tag to build a medical-education building, a mid- or high-rise research building and a mixed-use building that would include parking.

The state has been pursuing ways to expand the state's bioscience industry for years. It is seen as a key to bring high-wage jobs to the region, expand educational opportunities and diversify the state's economic base.

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