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UA to open cancer center in Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Emily Gersema, The Arizona Republic]

Phoenix officials are about to begin working on a 60-year lease agreement for the University of Arizona to build and open an Arizona Cancer Center downtown.

The City Council on Wednesday directed City Manager David Cavazos to start writing the lease agreement.

The future site of the center is at Fillmore and Seventh streets.

The lot is part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which is home to various research organizations, such as Translational Genomics Research Institute and the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix.

According to a city staff report, Phoenix will lease the property on the northwestern corner of Fillmore and Seventh streets to the Arizona Board of Regents for $45 per square foot over 60 years.

The annual payment would be about $50,932 per year, providing a total of $3 million to the city for the duration of the lease.

However, the Arizona Cancer Center would not have to pay rent for the first 10 years. The city proposes to wait and recapture those deferred rent payments in the final 20 years of the lease.

After the lease expired, the city would give the land to the Board of Regents.

The board, which oversees the three state universities, is expected sometime early next year to give UA approval to build the new cancer-research center.

The Arizona Cancer Center is a UA research institution based in Tucson.

Officials plan to build and open the second center in the next few years.

Preliminary plans include building a six-story, 250,000-square-foot building.

The center would work in cooperation with the UA Medical School in Phoenix and Valley hospitals.

It is expected to employ up to 600 people.

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus covers 28 acres downtown.

City staff is working with the Board of Regents on an intergovernmental agreement that would enable the campus to expand beyond that.

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UA’s Health Sciences Education Building under construction in downtown Phoenix

[Source: UA News]

Dr. Stuart D. Flynn, dean, UA College of Medicine–Phoenix. Photo: UANews.org

The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix began construction Friday on the Health Sciences Education Building at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, or PBC, located at 600 E. Van Buren St.

Mayor Phil Gordon, councilman Michael Johnson and Dr. Stuart Flynn, dean of the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix, moved the first dirt in the construction of the $129 million building that will allow for the expansion of the medical education facilities.

“Even in a treacherously down economy, our city has remained committed to forging ahead when it comes to attracting bioscience research jobs, education jobs and creating new doctors who will save lives,” Gordon said.

“This building and our partnership with the University embodies the collaborative spirit that has made our success possible. When the Health Sciences building opens and we’re graduating 120 new doctors a year, we’ll look back on this day as a landmark.”

The College of Medicine-Phoenix anchors the PBC and currently hosts 168 medical students, admitting 48 per year, with the completion of this building the college will be able to grow its class size to 120 students per year to meet the demand of Arizona’s growing population.

“Today highlights the city’s commitment to building a knowledge-based economy in bioscience research and education,” Flynn said.

“Located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, this building embodies the collaborative environment where current and future doctors will learn side-by-side with pharmacists, nurses and allied health workers to advance science and improve patient care.”

“This is an important milestone; it marks our significant effort to create jobs and build a brighter future in our community though health care and scientific education,” said Johnson, in whose district the building is located.

“Once this building is complete, all three state universities will have a presence in downtown Phoenix.”

Also on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus are the UA College of Pharmacy and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, the headquarters of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and International Genomics Consortium and the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative building.

DPR Construction and Sundt Construction will jointly build the new six-story, 264,000-square-foot-facility, scheduled for completion in summer 2012. The building was designed by CO Architects and Ayers Saint Gross.

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UA College of Medicine and Phoenix Children’s Hospital Expand Affiliation

[Source: EVLiving.com]

University of Arizona College of Medicine — Phoenix

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and Phoenix Children’s Hospital [recently] announced an agreement to expand their affiliation, a move designed in part to address Arizona’s severe shortage of pediatricians.

Under the agreement approved by the Phoenix Children’s Hospital board of directors on July 29 and the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday, the College of Medicine – Phoenix designates the hospital as its principal pediatric affiliate while the hospital names the university as its principal academic affiliate.

“Our formal affiliation positions the College of Medicine – Phoenix and Phoenix Children’s Hospital as one of the nation’s premier sites for pediatric health care, training and research,” said Stuart Flynn, MD, dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix. “We are creating a dynamic partnership to bring the top physicians and scientists to make lifesaving discoveries and expertly train the next generation of pediatricians.”

The hospital is in the midst of an exciting expansion that will make Phoenix Children’s one of the largest free-standing children’s hospital in the nation.

“During the course of our expansion thus far, Phoenix Children’s has had to recruit many of our pediatric specialists from out of state. But this new affiliation allows us to train and retain our own top talent,” added Murray Pollack, MD, Chief Medical and Academic Officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The two entities plan to step up collaborative research projects and expand the breadth and depth of research conducted in Arizona to prevent, cure and treat childhood diseases and injuries.

“Phoenix Children’s has long been conducting cutting edge research and this affiliation with the University of Arizona – and the tremendous amount of research infrastructure that comes along with it – will allow us to jointly take pediatric research in Arizona to the next level,” said Robert L. Meyer, President and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

“We now have a much stronger standing in attracting the top physician-scientists as faculty members,” Dr. Flynn said. “It also gives us a leg up in garnering research grants, donations and graduate medical education funds.”

The College of Medicine–Phoenix just admitted its fourth class and now has 168 students enrolled in the four-year program in Phoenix.

“The University System has taken another step forward in fulfilling Arizona’s critical need for medical professionals,” stated Arizona Board of Regents Vice Chair Fred DuVal. “The enterprising affiliation between a world-class children’s hospital in Phoenix and the University of Arizona will provide for a collaborative research program and have a profound impact on the ability of the College of Medicine – Phoenix to train, educate and retain pediatric specialists in Arizona.”

According to William Crist, MD, vice president of health affairs for UA, this agreement sets the stage for an aligned and collaborative pediatric research program as well as providing groundwork for coordinated medical student and graduate medical education programs.

Source: Phoenix Children’s Hospital and University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only licensed, freestanding children’s hospital, providing world-class care in more than 40 pediatric specialties to our state’s sickest kids. Though Phoenix Children’s is one of the 10 largest children’s hospitals in the country, rapid population growth in Arizona means the hospital must grow as well. Phoenix Children’s recently announced 50 percent completion of a $588 million expansion plan to bring its special brand of family-centered care to even more patients and families. The plan includes a significant upgrade to the Hospital’s current campus, an aggressive physician recruitment effort, and new satellite centers in high growth areas of the Valley.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix is the only MD degree-granting college in the metro Phoenix area. The college is part of the University of Arizona College of Medicine which began in 1967 in Tucson. The college today encompasses full, four-year medical-education programs in Tucson and in Phoenix. The College of Medicine – Phoenix now plays host to 168 students and will graduate its first four-year cohort of students in May 2011. The College of Medicine – Phoenix is housed in the historic Phoenix Union High School buildings owned and renovated by the city of Phoenix and is part of the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

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ASU plans to end partnership role in downtown Phoenix med school

Proposed Health Sciences Education Building, Phoenix Biomedical Campus

[Source: Anne Ryman, Arizona Republic] — When the University of Arizona opened a college of medicine in downtown Phoenix in 2006, the endeavor was hailed as a national model, given the heavy involvement of its long-standing rival, Arizona State University.  Now, a scant three years later, that partnership is likely ending — the latest victim of state budget cuts.  ASU officials confirmed that they plan to pull out of the project and that early next month, the Arizona Board of Regents will vote whether to give full operating responsibilities for the school to UA.

University and regents officials said Friday that ASU’s impending departure will not impact the students, the school’s accreditation or its planned $187 million expansion into a new medical building.  “ASU has a lot of other responsibilities, and this wasn’t their top priority.  It was UA’s,” said Dr. William Crist, UA’s vice president for health affairs.  “At the end, they (ASU officials) felt squeezed financially.”

The announcement comes as UA is preparing to break ground on the five-story Health Sciences Education Building near Seventh and Van Buren streets.  The new building will allow the medical school to gradually expand class size to 110 students annually, up from the current 48.  The building is being financed with bonds that will be paid off with Arizona Lottery revenue, but the universities are expected to pay 20 percent of the total costs.  Crist said UA hopes to cover those expenses through fund-raising; it already has a $15 million federal grant to put toward construction.  [Note: To read the full article, visit ASU plans to end partnership role in downtown Phoenix med school.]

Downtown Phoenix 2.0?

[Source: Jon Talton, Rogue Columnist] — It’s surprising that some appear so sanguine about the likely foreclosure of most units at the 44 Monroe condo tower.  This, along with a similar fate for the Summit at Copper Square and 44’s developer Grace Communities failing to rehab the historic Valley National Bank building because of the Mortgages Ltd. fiasco, represents a devastating setback for luring private investment into downtown Phoenix.  Maybe people are too shell shocked to take it all in.  Maybe they’re willing to settle for things being better than they were 20 years ago, which is undeniably true.  Neither option is wise for those who wish the central city well.

Make no mistake: the Phoenix depression is metro-wide.  I saw rotting framing and miles of distressed subdivisions out in the exurbs.  Tempe foolishly threw away its opportunity to build a mid-rise boutique downtown of national quality — now it has an empty condo high-rise and Mill Avenue is swooning again.  But my conviction remains that there is no healthy major city without a strong urban downtown, and center city problems left unchecked have a habit of spreading.  (And don’t be taken in by the propaganda: Phoenix did have a vibrant downtown — it was killed by civic malpractice).

In Phoenix, the past few years have seen some notable triumphs: the beginnings of a downtown ASU campus, light rail, a convention center worthy of such a tourist-dependent city, a new convention hotel, and a blossoming of independently owned restaurants.  The biosciences campus has been planted (although it has been allowed to stall and, I fear, its future is uncertain).  Yet major private investment has not followed; 44 Monroe and the Summit represented the strongest chance for that within the existing local business model of “real estate first.”  The many towers proposed for the entire Central Corridor are now blighted empty lots.  CityScape?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  What I see is a homely suburban design, not the soaring “game changer” sold to the public on the front page of the newspaper.

The great recession, the great reset: Where will they leave downtown Phoenix and the Central Corridor?  It’s tough all over, now that a commercial real-estate crisis will follow the explosion of the residential and mortgage bubble.  Nationally, suburbs and exurbs are being hit harder than downtowns.  Suburban poverty is spreading.  The massive destruction of wealth and overhang of leverage make restarting the sprawl machine of old impossible.  Smart places, such as Denver, are trying to retrofit the suburbs for a higher energy future. Some suburbs themselves are working to provide walkable, mixed-use and even urbanish neighborhoods.

The headwinds in Phoenix are different.  Most people have blinkered suburban values — they can’t imagine a different life.  City Hall’s decisions to clear-cut hundreds of buildings and drive out businesses that catered to the working poor have left Phoenix without the bones that other cities have used to revive their cores.  The old headquarters companies were bought or dismembered and their successors often keep only token presences in downtown (imagine, for example, if Wells Fargo had built its operations center downtown instead of in Chandler).  And the limited economy leaves few non-real estate businesses anyway.  I could go on, but what can be done now, in the reset?  [Note: To read Jon’s recommendations, click on Downtown Phoenix 2.0?]

UA’s downtown Phoenix med school plans lab facility

[Source: Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic] — The University of Arizona’s Phoenix medical school will build a $15 million underground laboratory with a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the school has announced.  The college, which is a partnership with Arizona State University, will use the new building as a support facility for the existing research labs in downtown Phoenix.  The college won the grant through the NIH’s federal stimulus program.  Both UA and ASU researchers will benefit from the new facility.

The building is planned for a lot in downtown Phoenix at the existing college bounded by Fifth, Seventh, Fillmore and Van Buren streets, UA spokesman Al Bravo said.  It will be built mostly underground to take advantage of sustainable-building principles.  Officials could not say when work will begin on the project.  The construction and planning is expected to create 250 jobs.  When complete, the building will house about 33 new employees, mostly research assistants, Bravo said.

The 22,000-square-foot building represents just a fraction of the school’s expansion plans, which include a 268,000-square-foot education building for classrooms.   “This grant will allow us to build a shared-resource facility supporting all the great lifesaving research going on at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” said William Crist, vice president for health affairs at UA.  “The NIH has acknowledged that our research in cardiovascular, cancer and neurological areas is critical to the development of the biomedical campus.”

The college admitted its third class of students in the fall.  The expansion plans eventually should allow the school to enroll 120 students per class, up from 48 now.  It also will allow for UA pharmacy students to study all four years in Phoenix and incorporate nursing students as well as programs offered by Northern Arizona University.  [Note: Read the full article at UA’s downtown Phoenix med school plans lab facility.]

Plaza Cos. sells downtown Phoenix bio plaza to UA for $9.85M

[Source: Angela Gonzales, Phoenix Business Journal] — Plaza Cos. has sold Phoenix Biomedical Plaza to University of Arizona Foundation for $9.85 million, after it paid Ribomed Biotechnologies Inc. about $10 million two years ago for the 2.62-acre parcel.  The property, which includes a vacant 33,000-square-foot biomedical building, sits on the northeast corner of Van Buren and Seventh streets, just across the street from the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.  That campus houses the medical school jointly developed by UA and Arizona State University as well as the headquarters of the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

UA also is planning to develop a cancer center on or near the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, but officials could not be reached to determine if the former Ribomed property will be used to develop the cancer center.  Originally, officials were targeting property north of the campus.  [Note: Read the full article at Plaza Cos. sells downtown Phoenix bio plaza to UA for $9.85M.]

Viewpoint: Phoenix budget woes, big art, light rail made ’09 quite a year

[Source: Arizona Republic; section headers organized by yours truly] — With this being Christmas week, we figured you wouldn’t want to read a traditional editorial any more than we wanted to write one.  So today, we lighten things up a bit with awards for notable achievements in 2009.

Phoenix Overall

  • Story of the year: Phoenix did the virtually impossible this year — it cut $270 million from the general fund to balance the budget due to low sales-tax revenue.  Residents are feeling the effects with reduced hours or closures of swimming pools, libraries, and senior centers.  They also see more graffiti and potholes because staff is stretched so thin.  Now the city is talking about cutting an additional $100 million or so.  This story is getting old.
  • Best cheerleader: Mayor Phil Gordon earns this award again.  With frequent trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby for stimulus funds, and Janet Napolitano resigning as governor to lead Homeland Security, Gordon is the face of Arizona.
  • Embarrassment: Rep. Ray Barnes’ rambling reasons for voting to cut $144 million from public education.  Grab some eggnog and watch this Phoenix Republican go off.
  • Hot potato: The idea to raise the sales tax temporarily to generate revenue quickly.  Mayor Gordon suggested a community member take on his idea.  But no one wants to touch it.
  • Landmark: The city became the second in the state to offer a domestic-partner registry to gay or straight couples who share a Phoenix residence.  Among other privileges, the registry grants partners visitation rights in hospitals.
  • Pillar: City Manager Frank Fairbanks earns this award again.  He retired this year, but not before balancing the nastiest budget deficit in city history.  Thanks, Frank.

Downtown Focused/Strong Influence

  • Pushin’ on: Light rail has its fans and its foes.  But ridership is up and businesses have sprouted along the line.  The system is approaching it first anniversary.  We say light rail is on track.
  • Newcomer: Janet Echelman’s “Her Secret Is Patience” at the new Civic Space Park downtown opened to much criticism.  Meant to resemble a cactus bloom, the floating sculpture was called everything from a basketball hoop to a male contraceptive.  Not that we mind.  Some of the best artwork in the world drew heavy criticism.  We’re just glad people are noticing what downtown Phoenix has to offer.
  • Comeback: Phoenix Urban Market Grocery and Wine Bar at Central Avenue and Pierce Street is the first grocer to serve the area in 30 years.  It only carries the basics.  But milk, vegetables, bread, pasta and other staples are welcome.
  • Bragging rights: President Barack Obama made three visits to the Valley this year.  One of those was to the new Phoenix Convention Center, where Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention.
  • Feather in the cap: A budding knowledge-based economy, parks and preservation efforts, and teen spaces at public libraries make Phoenix an All-America City.  Now it has the civic award to prove it.  This was Phoenix’s fifth win.  It would be a shame to lose these gains to budget cuts in the down economy.

Other Parts of Phoenix

  • Senseless act: A photo-enforcement-van driver was shot to death while deployed near Loop 101 in north Phoenix.  Thomas DeStories was indicted in connection with the shooting death of Douglas Georgianni.
  • Tallest story: Despite opposition from neighbors, the City Council approved a Mormon temple whose steeple and spire will rise 86 feet above the Deer Valley area.
  • Unsung hero: The Macehualli Day Labor Center in northeastern Phoenix provides a central location for day laborers and potential employers to negotiate business.  The center is for sale.

ASU students design projects for vacant downtown Phoenix lots

ASU sustainability students Carissa Taylor (left), Truman Kiyaani, and Braden Kay with a planter box nearing completion. (Photo source: John Harlow)

[Source: Arizona State University] — Low-cost ideas, including the construction of planter boxes, to transform vacant lots in downtown Phoenix for temporary use until their development, [were] presented on Dec. 8 on the Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix campus.  The multimedia presentation of research models was developed by university students in an urban design practice class taught by Nan Ellin, an associate professor and director of the planning program in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  She also is an affiliate faculty member with ASU’s School of Sustainability.  “In 2000, the Phoenix metropolitan area contained 42.6 percent vacant land, significantly higher than most American cities,” said Pei Zhai, a doctoral student in sustainability.

“To address this vexing challenge, the office of the mayor requested that ASU students develop a model for the temporary use of publicly-owned vacant lots,” explained Ellin.  “In response, students developed the Desert TULIP – Temporary Urban Laboratory Infill Project – a low-cost strategy to transform vacant lots until their development,” Ellin said.

The students were asked to focus specifically on lots south of Garfield between 3rd and 6th Streets, an area designated to become part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.   [Note: Read the full article at ASU students design temp use project for downtown Phoenix vacant lots.]

Regents OK $187M expansion for downtown Phoenix medical school

[Source: Angela Gonzales, Phoenix Business Journal] — The Arizona Board of Regents has endorsed a $187 million expansion for the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University.  At its recent meeting in Tucson, the board approved plans to build a 268,000-square-foot health sciences education building and other improvements on the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.  This will allow the medical school to train more physicians and strengthen the presence of the UA College of Pharmacy and other health-related colleges on the campus.

While it has been endorsed by the regents, UA must wait for a review by the Joint Committee on Capital Review before ground can be broken.  The expansion plan has been approved twice by the Arizona Legislature and signed by the governor, but still must be reviewed by the committee.  The committee is scheduled to reconvene after the first of the year.  [Note: To read the full article, visit Regents OK $187M expansion for downtown Phoenix medical school.]