1/27/06 Contact: Mitch Emmons, 334/844-5964 (emmonmb@auburn.edu)
David M. Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)

FIRST BUILDING OF AU RESEARCH PARK 50 PERCENT PRE-LEASED, PROJECT ‘PROGRESSING VERY WELL’

AUBURN - Auburn University has secured tenants for slightly more than 50 percent of the space in the first building of its new research park and the project is on track, AU officials say.

“We’ve been meeting with the park development firm regularly working out our marketing plan and strategies as well as budgetary issues,” said Chip Burson, director of program development for AU’s Office of the Vice President for Research, who is coordinating the tenant recruitment effort with the park developer. “We are actively identifying and making contacts with potential tenants. Things are progressing very well.”

Burson adds that the objective is to have the first building pre-leased by its completion, and to have tenants identified for the second building well in advance of its readiness. Members of AU’s Research Park Task Force also continue to iron out the fine details of construction with the park developer.

“We’ve been taking a final look at our building plans and considering the fast-rising costs of building materials and construction on our project,” said Syd Spain, of the OVPR, who is serving as the executive director for the project representing AU. “We are getting very close to finalizing those details.”

Groundbreaking for the 156-acre research park site at the intersection of Shug Jordan Parkway and South College Street was held Nov. 17. Plans are for the initial construction to include a 70,000 square-foot building and a second 60,000 square foot structure. Features will include both wet and dry research laboratory space; a business incubator for assisting the start-up of new companies formed to commercially develop AU research technologies, products and developments; and office space for tenant firms and park administration.

The first buildings are slated to be ready for occupancy in late 2006 to early 2007.

“It will be a true research village,” said AU Vice President for Research Michael Moriarty. “Our aim is to not only expand the research opportunities for Auburn faculty and students, but also to enhance revenue to the university and create new jobs and an economic development engine for the state and region.”

For updates and more information about the development of the Auburn Research Park, visit the web site at www.auburn.edu/research/vpr/RP/.

Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama’s largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

(Contributed by Mitch Emmons.)

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