PULLMAN, Wash.–Construction will start in the next two or three weeks on the second building for Washington State University’s Research and Technology Park, opening up both incubator and regular lease spaces.
The new 25,000 square foot building will be built by Cargile Construction Group of Spokane on the site directly east of the first building, which was completed in 1986.
The research park, which has 105 acres of university land for development north of Terre View Drive, is managed for the university by the Washington State University Research Foundation.
The foundation received approval this week for a $1 million loan from US Bank for the project, according to William Rayburn, executive director of the research park. The research foundation and WSU have executed a ground lease for the building site, paving the way for construction to start.
The loan is matching money for two federal grants received earlier. A $495,000 grant from the Small Business Administration funded site preparation and infrastructure development. A second grant for $822,500 came from the Economic Development Agency. The total cost for the new building is $2.3 million.
“It is important to note that the revenues from the first building are sufficient to cover the loan for the second building,” Robert Smith, vice provost for research, said. “The research foundation also has paid all the costs for completing and upgrading the first building to meet tenant needs. There has been no cost to the university.”
Space in the first park building is currently being remodeled for new tenants and when they move in, that building will again be full.
The new tenants for the first building include Reprogenesis, a firm led by genetics and cell biology professor Michael Skinner, and the national public opinion laboratory for WSU’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center. SESRC’s main offices will remain in Wilson Hall.
When the new building is completed, some tenants in the current building will move to the new one, freeing space for other tenants to expand, Rayburn noted. Space in the park’s incubator or Innovation Center will again be available for start-up firms.
“We are regularly in discussion with firms about the possibility of space at the park,” said Cheryl Dudley, who handles leasing and tenant relations. “Our location, facilities and rates are very attractive.”
WSU’s Educational Telecommunications and Technology unit is establishing a “satellite farm” at the park and will have a control room in the new building. Research park offices will also move to the new building.
The goals for the research park are to promote commercialization of WSU research, increase university/industry interactions, improve the economic base of the community, and increase employment opportunities for WSU students and employee spouses.
“There has really been a culture shift here and elsewhere concerning the development of faculty patents and other intellectual property,” Smith noted. Both faculty and administrators increasingly recognize that leading faculty in fields such as science and engineering are likely to have both research talents and entrepreneurial skills for running businesses.
Smith added that “the economic robustness of the Pullman-Moscow area” today is expected to fuel continued development of the research park.
The park’s first building, 53,000 square feet in size, was built and operated for three years by Carley Capital Group of Washington, D.C. WSU purchased the building in 1989 when Carley declared bankruptcy.
For more information on the park, call 509/335-5526.