July 17, 2007 by Justin Bannister NMSU News Center
A lonely piece of desert belonging to New Mexico State University is set to transform as part of a large-scale development planned for the university’s research park. Today, NMSU’s Arrowhead Center announced a deal with a private company to begin building out the research park between Interstates 10 and 25 on the Las Cruces campus.
“This development will create a home for companies interested in moving to NMSU to employ students, work with faculty and develop intellectual property,” said Garrey Carruthers, business dean and vice president for economic development.
In January, the NMSU Board of Regents agreed to lease land at the research park to Arrowhead Center for development. Arrowhead Center is a corporation owned by NMSU where students and faculty work to promote economic development through teaching, research and service.
Arrowhead Center met with several developers before the board of directors identified Arrowhead Development Company LLC as the preferred development partner in May. While the two entities, Arrowhead Center and Arrowhead Development, have similar names, they are not related. Negotiations between Arrowhead Center and Arrowhead Development have taken place over the past several weeks.
Arrowhead Development was created by Lee Atchison, Mickey Clute, Armand Smith and Danny Villanueva. Atchison, Clute and Villanueva each have strong ties to NMSU.
“We feel it’s our job to help New Mexico State and help create development to further the university,” said Villanueva.
“One thing we can bring is momentum. The research park has sat fairly stagnant for almost nine years now,” said Clute.
This will be the first activity at the research park since General Dynamics moved there from another location on campus in 2000.
“This is another example of NMSU’s commitment to utilize all our resources to enhance the quality of our programs while contributing to economic development,” said NMSU President Michael Martin.
Development on the first 11 acres of land at the research park will be in two phases with up to seven buildings and 120,000 square feet of office and laboratory space for businesses wishing to partner with NMSU.
“For the entire park, we have the potential to add 2.5 million square feet of ‘class-A’ office and lab space,” said Carruthers. “Five to six thousand people would be able to work there. That’s roughly the same number of faculty, staff and students NMSU already employs throughout the entire university system.”
All research park development will be public/private partnerships where NMSU provides the land and infrastructure while the private sector handles building expenses and provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
“We cannot lose sight of the fact that the goal of this partnership is to benefit our students while performing the university’s mission and increasing economic development,” said Kevin Boberg, Arrowhead Center CEO.
Arrowhead Development has agreed to donate 5 percent of the net proceeds of the development to the NMSU College of Business for an entrepreneurship program. An intern from the college will work with Arrowhead Development on the research park project, learning aspects a number of aspects from architectural development to rent management.