Research & Resources: Arrowhead Research Park Construction Under Way

Spring, 2008. Retrieved online March 11, 2008 by Justin Bannister NMSU Research & Resources

Kevin Boberg, left, Arrowhead Center CEO, and Business Dean Garrey Carruthers look over plans for the Arrowhead Research Park. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Kevin Boberg, left, Arrowhead Center CEO, and Business Dean Garrey Carruthers look over plans for the Arrowhead Research Park. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

It may be difficult for New Mexico State University students to hear the construction equipment or see the building process taking place on a plot of vacant desert in a quiet corner of campus, but soon that once lonely desert will transform into the Arrowhead Research Park, a hub of bustling activity.

The research park will house companies wishing to partner with NMSU to work with faculty, employ students and develop intellectual property. The university officially broke ground on the park last August. The first building of the new development will open in 12 months.

“We intend to make this a vibrant part of this university and an important part of this community,” said NMSU President Michael Martin. “This will certainly add to the growth of this area.”

Late last year, development began on the first 11 acres of land at the research park between Interstates 10 and 25. Once complete, this initial phase will have up to seven buildings and 120,000 square feet of office and laboratory space.

“This holds tremendous importance for economic development for all of southern New Mexico,” said Garrey Carruthers, dean of NMSU’s College of Business and vice president for economic development. He cited a consultant’s estimate that the entire park could eventually contain 2.5 million square feet of office and lab space where 5,000 to 6,000 people would work.

Carruthers envisions tenants at the park who would work with Spaceport America on aerospace projects and with White Sands Missile Range on future combat systems, as well as groups working on border development, biosciences and biofuels research.

“This project will not only create jobs, but will also create educational opportunities for students,” said NMSU Regent Steve Anaya.

The park will be overseen by NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. One of Arrowhead’s key functions is to create opportunities for students and faculty to work to promote economic development through teaching, research and service. Currently, more than 160 students take part in more than 100 projects a year, conducting market research and other services for small businesses, communities and government agencies. The Arrowhead Research Park will only expand opportunities for students to gain real-world work experience.

Arrowhead Development Co. LLC, a separate and private company, is developing the research park. While it has a similar name, it is not related to NMSU’s Arrowhead Center.

Arrowhead Development Company LLC, was created by businessmen Lee Atchison, Mickey Clute, Armand Smith and Danny Villanueva. Atchison, Clute and Villanueva each have strong ties to NMSU.

“Our key challenge now is to create consistently available, flexibly designed space that research and development companies can use,” said Clute. “After that, we need to find people to fill that space.”

All research park development will be public/private partnerships in which NMSU provides land and infrastructure while the private sector handles building expenses and provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

Arrowhead Development Co. LLC and Arrowhead Center jointly created the Arrowhead Development Fund for Student Excellence. The fund will create fellowships for students pursuing careers in business and economic development. Those students will play important roles as the park continues to grow.

The current development is the first activity at the research park since construction of the General Dynamics Spaceplex in 2001. General Dynamics relocated to the park from the Genesis Center small business incubator space on campus. For years, General Dynamics had been the only tenant at NMSU’s research park.

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