ASU chooses downtown Phoenix for its new medical school

ASU chooses downtown Phoenix for its new medical school

Provided by City of Phoenix

Arizona State University has selected downtown Phoenix for its new medical school, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego confirmed to the Business Journal.

In June, ASU President Michael Crow had hinted that ASU School of Medicine and Advanced Medical Engineering likely would be built on one of three Phoenix biomedical campuses. In terms of downtown sites, one of those three mentioned by Crow is the Phoenix Bioscience Core, a 30-acre site running north-south along a corridor traversing 5th Street between McKinley and Van Buren Streets.

Baltimore-based Wexford Science & Technology LLC plans to double the size of its current bioscience space in that location.

When Crow spoke to the Business Journal in June, he wasn’t sure which one of those three sites would be selected. The downtown Phoenix Bioscience Core site is already home to University of Arizona’s medical school, as well as other ASU and Northern Arizona University health-related programs.

Phoenix voters will be presented with a bond on the Nov. 7 ballot that would earmark $12 million for the new medical school, Gallego said.

“The original Bioscience Core received heavy support from the 2006 bond,” she said. “Phoenix voters helped bring UA medical school to downtown, as well as a wide variety of ASU investments.”

There are very few advanced medical and engineering programs in the country, she added.

Could Mercado campus be in play?

Another downtown site adjacent to the Phoenix Bioscience Core along Van Buren Street that could house the school is ASU’s Mercado campus.

In a prior interview with the Business Journal, Rick Naimark, ASU’s associate vice president for program development planning, said the university’s master plan calls for eventually taking over the Mercado property. The property’s ownership will transfer to the city of Phoenix in 2024, Christine Mackay, the city’s economic development director, told the Business Journal in a prior interview.

“In the future, we’ll be working to redevelop all that property as much more dense,” she said in 2019. “We’re talking seven, maybe eight, years from now.”

Built by Mercado Developers — a partnership of Symington and the for-profit division of Chicanos Por La Causa — the 125,000-square-foot center opened in December 1989 as a Mexican-style shopping plaza that failed to attract and maintain tenants.

By 1999, ASU bought the shopping center just south of Van Buren between 5th and 7th Streets for $9 million and has used it to house some classrooms as it expanded its downtown Phoenix campus.

With the decision to go downtown, the new medical school will not be placed in North Phoenix, where ASU has a long-standing partnership with Mayo Clinic — which is focusing on developing the ambitious Discovery Oasis biotech corridor. Phoenix City Council unanimously approved ordinances Oct. 18 that pave the way for the $250 million development next to Mayo’s north Phoenix hospital campus.

ASU’s $80 million Health Futures Center is on Mayo’s hospital campus, where Mayo is in the midst of a $748 million expansion that is adding more than 1.6 million square feet of buildings to double the size of its existing hospital and create nearly 2,000 jobs.

Mayor Gallego: ASU can grow in multiple directions

“ASU has a separate partnership with Mayo around higher education,” Gallego said. “ASU has a major footprint in Discovery Oasis, including a gorgeous health sciences building. ASU is such an innovative and financially strong university, they can grow in multiple locations at once.”

While the ASU-Mayo partnership is very strong and delivering results, it’s not as focused on engineering as the new medical school will be, she said.

“Medicine is getting so specialized, if you’re going to be best in class, you have to invest in multiple areas,” Gallego said. “We will have great medical devices and great immunotherapies, but it is a very different training path for the two of them. And we want both.”

While Crow could not be reached for comment, he said this in a statement announcing that downtown was chosen as the site for the medical school:

“The citizens of Phoenix have been an important investor in higher education, science technology and medicine in downtown Phoenix. We are looking forward to working with Mayor Gallego, the city council and city leaders to create something that will enhance the entire health care ecosystem and be of service to the entire state. This is the right place to advance that work.”

Clarification: An earlier version of this story said that Mayor Gallego specifically pinpointed the downtown Phoenix Bioscience Core as the site for ASU’s medical school. While that site was mentioned by ASU President Michael Crow as one of three sites for the school, along with one in midtown Phoenix and one in north Phoenix, the exact location has not been finalized.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

More News

Phoenix Suns owner to build $100M downtown office campus and Mercury practice facility

The Phoenix Suns and team owner Mat Ishbia announced plans Thursday to build a new office headquarters in Phoenix and a state-of-the-art practice facility for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

Read More

New $100 million downtown Phoenix bioscience building in the works

Baltimore-based Wexford Science & Technology LLC is moving ahead on a new $100 million bioscience building in downtown Phoenix next door to an identical tower that’s now nearly 100% full.

Read More

Phoenix Mexican restaurant named 1 of the best new restaurants in the US: ‘Order every dish’

Bon Appetit just released its list of 24 Best New Restaurants of 2023 and one Arizona restaurant, Chilte, made the cut.

Read More

Stay in the Loop

Looking to schedule a private tour of PALMtower or looking for information about our property?

Contact us today and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.