Park Central Continues Growth With New On-Site Life Sciences Hub

Rick McCartney

A life sciences boom is underway in midtown Phoenix, making healthcare and bioscience among the fastest-growing industries in the greater Phoenix marketplace — and Park Central is at the heart of it, with plans for a new life sciences hub on site.

The project’s development team has created an exciting conceptual design for an 80,000-square-foot life sciences facility in the project’s Burgbacher Building, the largest of the original buildings on site. The hub can be divisible into separate life sciences laboratories ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 square feet.

The new facility will have the capacity to accommodate 40 lab modules and 28 support lab modules.  The efficient rectangle shape of the building will allow lab users maximum flexibility and the building boasts 6,000 amp service. High 16’ ceilings, ability for advanced air conditioning systems, and exhaust penetrations will enhance the experience for today’s life science companies.

Arizona based GLHN Architects and Engineers has designed the key elements of the life sciences facility.  The experience they took designing major laboratory renovations for all three of Arizona’s major universities, along with forensic experience in Texas, helped create the optimal design for Park Central.

“We are seeing central and downtown Phoenix emerge as one of the true life sciences hubs in the western United States,” said Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, co-owner and co-developer of Park Central. “This new life sciences hub will create synergies with the many healthcare related entities already at Park Central and nearby, and will be a tremendous opportunity for innovative companies to find an ideal location.”

Plaza Companies and Tucson’s Holualoa Companies have teamed up to redevelop Park Central into a vibrant destination, which once was the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies have transitioned the expansive space from a retail center to an almost 500,000-square-foot bustling community hub ideal for playing, working, congregating and celebrating the arts.

Park Central is already home to Creighton University’s new $100 million Health Sciences Campus, as well as Dignity Health’s headquarters. Next door is the prestigious St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, and a short distance away is Banner Health System’s headquarters.

Just two miles to the south of this core lies the 30-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus, where all three major Arizona public universities — Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University — along with the Dignity Health Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) an affiliate of City of Hope and Exact Sciences are a few of its tenants.

Add to this the business-friendly climate in Arizona, and Park Central is seeing tremendous activity from life sciences tenants seeking a place in this magnet of innovation.

Park Central is already the location of the WearTech Applied Research Center, a medical device lab bringing breakthrough wearable health and performance technology to market. The center connects entrepreneurs and companies seeking to commercialize emerging healthcare technology with world-class research teams working at the forefront of wearable, biomedical innovation.

Park Central is home to a new facility for West Coast Ultrasound Institute as well. And the project has ideal space for growing life sciences companies — particularly in the Burgbacher building with its expansive floorplan.

Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer of Holualoa Companies, said that the new life sciences hub will continue the extensive momentum experienced at Park Central the past few years.

“We continue to be pleased with the growth and evolution of Park Central into a true hub for many different industries and specialties,” he said. “From healthcare to education to retail to hospitality, Park Central is becoming more dynamic as a mixed-use destination with each new advancement.”

The new Park Central includes 450,000 square feet of Class A low-rise creative office space available for lease with the ability to accommodate tenants ranging from 3,500 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet in size. It features exclusive tenant patios, on-site restaurants and amenities, a stunning mid-century modern design, 15-25 foot ceilings, extensive bike paths and light rail access and ample parking.

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