The Main Stream

Mar 24, 2010 2:55 PM

Attracting companies to Tucson

TUCSON - Companies are moving to Tucson - we've seen the proof. The Target.com Fulfillment Center on Rita Road created more than 100 fulltime jobs last year. When the Ritz-Carlton opened in Marana, another 300 jobs became available.

Michael Guymon, executive director of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, a non-profit business group, says while some companies choose to do business in the Tucson area, some companies pass us by.

Guymon says that will be one of the topics of discussion for their annual event Wednesday.

This year the event is called Wild Ride 2010. Basically they will take people around on buses to tour areas that could still be developed like the Rita Road and 1-10 area. That's where the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park and the Target.com center are located.

John Grabo, director of businesses development of the UA Tech Park, says the park has 39 businesses that employ more than 7,000 workers. He says they're focused on bringing companies to the park, including solar companies to build in their "Solar Zone." The first tenant will be Bell Independent Power Corporation.

Grabo says while companies are developing at the park, there is still plenty of land available.

"We've had a terrific 15 years building the research park from its inception, to now billion dollars in economic impact for the region but we know we can do more," Grabo said.

Representatives from companies like the Ritz will speak about why they built here and other companies like Forest City Land Group will talk about why they haven't.

Dean Wingert, senior vice president of Forest City Land Group, says they have been in Tucson for years. They are mainly known for developing the Tucson Mall and several housing developments in Marana. However, he says they haven't been developing here like they have in other states.

"Why is a company of a national magnitude, that has a presence here for 30 years, not doing more here? We have activity here but not on the scale we have in Albuquerque," Wingert said.

MPA hopes this information from both sides with help give business leaders a better idea of where to go from here.

It's too late to register for the WildRide this year but for more information on MPA and upcoming events click here, http://www.mpaaz.org/

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