What’s The Price To Move ASU Thunderbird School To Downtown Phoenix?

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 5:00am
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 5:05am
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
A city subcommittee will recommend the full council approve a plan to help ASU move the Thunderbird School of Global Management downtown.

Phoenix is close to signing a multimillion-dollar deal to help bring the Thunderbird School of Global Management downtown. The move from Glendale to Phoenix comes about three years after Arizona State University took control of the private, nonprofit university.

Plans call for a minimum four-story facility to be built at the northwest corner of Second and Polk streets, next to the Beus Center for Law and Society. The new building will house Thunderbird’s graduate and executive programs along with office and retail space.

On Tuesday, Phoenix Economic Development Director, Chris Mackay, told the Downtown Subcommittee it makes financial sense to lease the city-owned land to ASU at no cost for the first 10 years and kick in $13.5 million from the Downtown Community Reinvestment Fund.

“As we look at the 350 students for Thunderbird we’d see approximately a 700 direct and indirect jobs, additional jobs that would come as part of Thunderbird, with an economic impact of approximately $40 million a year,” she said.

ASU said it will contribute approximately $100 million for the educational building, graduate student housing and interim improvements. If the full council approves, an interim facility could be ready this fall.

Dan Klocke, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, said whole city will benefit from graduates who specialize in international business, “They are going to go out and represent us as a city and when they’re making decisions, business decisions, in the years down the road, that’s going to have an impact that that they spent two very important years of their life here.”

The Thunderbird undergraduate program will remain connected to Glendale as part of ASU’s West campus.

Proposal Highlights

  • Construction starts by Aug. 31, 2019.
  • Facility opens by March 31, 2021.
  • City pays ASU $13.5 million over nine years.
  • ASU pays Phoenix no rent for city-owned land for 10 years, then pays $110,000 annually for 15 years.

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