January 23, 2008

SkySong opens doors to tenants

Posted: January 23, 2008

SkySong, ASU’s Scottsdale Innovation Center, has opened its doors with a number of ASU units moving in.

More than 20 global startups and mid-sized companies from Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Turkey, Mexico and Singapore have joined the university’s efforts to change the entrepreneurial landscape of Arizona and the world.

Key tenants of the first phase include ASU, Canon and American Solar. Ticketmaster already has agreed to space in Phase II, locating research and development units at SkySong.

The opening marks the completion of the first 157,000-square-foot building. A second building is under construction with completion scheduled for May.

The mixed-use project, designed with a targeted 1.2 million square feet of high-tech commercial office, research and retail space, also will house 14 ASU units, including the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, ASU Technopolis and the Enterprise Arizona Venture Center.

The most recent partners to join SkySong are iAxil, a Singapore-based business incubator arm of Asia’s leading business space provider, and YouGetItBack, a software company from Ireland.

“The opening of SkySong represents a new chapter in ASU’s ability to engage with, and positively influence, Arizona’s economy,” says Julia Rosen, assistant vice president for economic affairs at ASU. “We are creating a differentiated, interactive community to connect Arizona to the world.”

SkySong, which started in 2004, has remained true to its original imperative: to serve as a global hub of innovation, a new platform for ASU to engage more easily with the business community and a catalyst for the revitalization of southern Scottsdale. But its entrepreneurship focus has gained more importance.

An example of a holistic change to SkySong’s initial plans is the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. The center was meant to provide space for students of the program, but now the entire program has moved to the center so student entrepreneurs can benefit from SkySong’s culture, which allows innovators and entrepreneurs of all types to interact, advance their ideas and develop new ones.

“SkySong provides an optimal venue for ASU faculty, staff and students to engage with a dynamic mix of local, national and global companies,” says Rob Melnick, associate vice president for economic affairs at ASU. “In addition to the ASU units located there, SkySong is an amenity for all ASU campuses.”

The iconic SkySong shade structure anchoring the Plaza will be installed early this summer. A third building will be designed in the near future, with construction scheduled to begin after design approval.

Construction of the parking garage and the first residential component (325 units) is being negotiated with the contractor. The garage is expected to be completed this summer, and the residential construction will follow. Negotiations are proceeding for a business-class hotel on the fourth corner of the main intersection.

More buildings will be constructed based on market demand. At the current pace, the entire SkySong project will be completed before 2015, well before the targeted completion date.

For more details on the SkySong project, visit the Web site http://skysong.asu.edu.

Chakris Kussalanant, Chakris.Kussalanant@asu.edu
480-727-9181
ASU News