plans for big cell therapy manufacturing facility in phoenix announced; details still to come
A modern complex designed to house biological and chemical manufacturing is expected to significantly add to a growing bioscience industry in Arizona.
Officials with the City of Hope, which is based in Duarte, California, and its affiliate, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, have announced their intention to build a facility in metro Phoenix that will be dedicated to speeding up the pace of stem cell research and cancer treatment.
“Cancer patients need effective treatments now,” Robert Stone, the chief executive officer and president of City of Hope, remarked upon the announcement of the new facility.
“City of Hope and TGen are working to quickly move effective therapies from the laboratory to patients’ bedside,” Stone continued in a statement, adding that what are called City of Hope’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice facilities in California, along with the new Phoenix location, “will help us expand our capabilities to serve people in Arizona and across the nation.”
Where exactly the new structure will go up remains to be revealed.
“At this point the specific details of the facility have not been confirmed,” says Zen Vuong, a senior media relations specialist with the City of Hope.
“We have merely issued a letter of intent to build,” Vuong continues, adding, “We still have to work out the details.”
Despite that lack of details, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, in a statement, has officially welcomed the City of Hope/TGen project, saying that the project “further enhances Arizona’s reputation as a hub for bioscience and health care innovation.”
Ducey added that City of Hope and TGen’s work has proven to be “critical in the fight against cancer, and Arizona is proud to play a role in it.”
Once the Phoenix facility becomes reality, City of Hope and TGen will work in a partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority to help build a professional workforce through the Navigator program.
That program, notes Sandra Watson, the president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Commerce Authority, “provides companies expanding assistance” in accessing local workforce talent.
By so doing, adds Watson, the program “helps offset recruitment costs these companies may otherwise incur when they are hiring in a new market, and also helps them understand the federal workforce assistance programs.”
The Arizona bioscience and healthcare hub referred to by Ducey includes the nonprofit Science Foundation Arizona, based in Scottsdale, and created more than 10 years ago to promote STEM education; the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University in Tempe; Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, a regenerative medical company, in Phoenix; and Visiongate, an oncology pharmaceutical and diagnostics company, also in Phoenix.
TGen itself was created with $90 million in public backing in Arizona more than 15 years ago as a nonprofit tasked with translating genomic discoveries into human health advances.
The company has primarily focused on helping patients with diabetes, cancer, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders though the latest cutting edge research.
Two years ago, TGen announced an alliance with California’s City of Hope, combining the strengths of both entities. TGen applies genomic analysis and bioinformatics to cancer drug development, while City of Hope is a long-standing pioneer in such areas as bone marrow transplantation and hematologic malignancies.
Launched in 1913, City of Hope is one of less than fifty comprehensive cancer centers in the country. As of late last year, City of Hope, a pioneer in bone marrow and stem cell transplants, had performed more than 13,000 such transplants.
The combined effort of TGen and City of Hope in building the new cell therapy manufacturing facility is expected to continue a relationship underlining each other’s assets.
In announcing the new building, Jeffrey Trent, the research director and president of TGen, said, “City of Hope’s clinical and manufacturing expertise in immunotherapy is at the forefront of this field, and combined with TGen’s genomic testing, offers patients new hope for their future.”
The location for the new combined TGen and the City of Hope facility, and how large it will be, could be announced sometime early next year.
In 2004, TGen opened up its 173,000 square foot home in Phoenix, a high-tech building that cost $46 million to build.
By Garry Boulard
Although plans in Belen, New Mexico to build a museum honoring the work of artist Judy Chicago and her husband appear to have fallen by the wayside, a new effort is underway to put up a building that will celebrate her legacy and also serve as a working art space.
Chicago is internationally known for her feminist art and birth collaborative art installation pieces.
With her husband, photographer Donald Woodman, Chicago has led the renovation of the historic Belen Hotel, which partly serves as a studio and home for the couple.
Chicago has also founded a nonprofit group called Through the Flower, which is located in a one-story structure cater-corner to the Belen Hotel at 107 Becker Avenue.
Earlier this year, Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova thought it would be a good idea to establish a museum that would feature both Chicago and Woodman’s art.
That museum, according to the proposal, operating as a private/public project inside the building at 107 Becker Avenue, would also be staffed by a parttime employee paid by the City of Belen.
According to a study released by the New Mexico Economic Development Department, such a museum could over time attract tourist dollars to the tune of more than $300,000 a year.
An editorial in the Valencia County News-Bulletin has also endorsed the idea, contending that a “museum on Becker Avenue dedicated to two artists of such significance would bring visitors from around the state, the nation, and the globe.”
But responses from residents during a recent meeting of the Belen City Council, some of whom said they regarded Chicago’s work as offensive and pornographic, prompted Chicago herself to withdraw from the project.
Now an effort is underway, with Chicago’s support, to build an entirely separate structure that would serve as both a museum and work space. Soliciting support on the Go Fund Me website, the campaign has so far raised nearly $2,000 in mostly small donations, with a fundraising goal of $100,000.
As envisioned, the new structure, also to be built in Belen, will additionally house a video and book library, as well as a gift shop.
Where exactly that structure will go up has not yet been said.
By Garry Boulard
airport construction work sseen as industry growth segment; more growth projected for 2019
Airport-related construction projects have seen a 38 percent increase from September of last year to September 2018.
At the same time, construction projects worldwide have more than doubled in the past 12 months.
According to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the airport projects include terminal construction and renovations, new and upgraded runways, and overall infrastructure.
Those numbers buttress statistics released earlier this year by the Alexandria, Virginia-based Airport Consultants Council forecasting that new construction and renovations at both medium and large airports nationally will have a dollar total of more than $70 million between now and 2033.
At the same time, the magazine Construction Dive is reporting that airport construction projects worldwide have jumped by some 61 percent during the last twelve months.
Experts say that the increase in airport construction projects is being driven primarily by a need to update more than 19,000 facilities in the U.S. that are, on average, more than 40 years old.
By Garry Boulard
A six-story building that will replicate an architecturally-praised structure in Minneapolis will soon be going up in the River North District of Denver.
The Houston-based real estate investment firm Hines, in a joint venture project with McCaffery Interests, Inc., of Chicago, a development land company, has announced plans to build a new T3.
As explained by its developers, T3 stands for timber, transit, and technology, with a building made of timber, situated near transit options and high-tech companies.
The original T3 in Minneapolis is thought to be the largest mass timber structure in the U.S., made up of 8 by 20 foot panels of wood, stacked across beams of laminated and glued timber.
That seven-story, 221,000 square foot building, framed in steel, has won the praises of such publications as Architect Magazine.
The Denver T3 version will go up on a 50,000-acre site at 3500 Blake Street that for the last three decades has been the home to the glass sink manufacturer Vitraform.
The 15,000 square foot garage and warehouse structure on the site, built in 1952, will be demolished to make way for the new T3 building.
This newest multi-story project in River North, otherwise known as RiNo, is being seen as the latest evidence of a continued building trend in the former factory and warehouse district that is today mostly known for its galleries, coffee shops and brewpubs.
By Garry Boulard
Funding may soon be secured for the construction of a new facility in Boulder County, Colorado that will separate inmates serving alternative sentences from those in the general jail population.
The new facility is expected to cost around $50 million to build and would entail barracks-type housing.
Those currently serving alternative sentences in the county often do so at the Boulder County Jail at 3200 Airport Road.
County officials have long argued that putting inmates who are non-violent offenders and part of a work release program in the county jail clogs up space in that facility.
Earlier this month, Boulder County residents overwhelmingly approved a measure calling for a 0.185 percent sales tax that will be used to raise revenue to build the new detention center.
That tax will have a life span of 5 years.
Work release inmates usually fulfill their sentences on the outside during the day, returning to the Boulder County Jail at night.
Speaking this summer during a meeting of the Boulder County Board of Commissioners, Joe Pelle, the Sheriff of Boulder County, said combining inmates who are allowed to come and go from the jail, with those who don’t, was also a security issue.
The revenue gathered from the new tax will also pay for some upgrades to the existing 30 year-old county jail.
A timetable for when the new detention facility will be built has not yet been announced.
By Garry Boulard
Although some experts, looking at an unprecedented U.S. economic expansion that has now lasted for more than 9 years, thought a recession might be on hand for 2019, the new betting appears to be on a much more gentle slowdown.
According to a survey of economists across the country, the Reuters news agency is reporting that the vast majority of those questioned pegged the chances for a recession at less than 36 percent.
But although that number is low, it has gone up by 6 percent over a similar survey response in October.
More consensus is seen among those who believe the economy in 2019 will experience a cooling off, due partly to the negative effect of trade tariffs, and a Wall Street bull market that is now in its tenth year.
Analysts also point to a predicted slowdown in the global economy as one that will inevitably impact the U.S. picture.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting a somewhat modest 3.5 percent growth rate for 2019. In a statement, the organization said, “Recent developments suggest that the global expansion has peaked and is likely to slow over the next two years.”
Remarked Laurence Boone, chief economist for the OECD, “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”
Boone additionally predicted that an international downturn could be minimized through “cooperation on fiscal policy at the global and euro level.”
Even so, the U.S. economy, which has experienced a growth rate of around 2 percent for a record seven out of the last eleven quarters, may continue to perform at just above that level for most of next year.
The average forecast from a group of ten economists surveyed by news channel CNBC pegs the growth rate for next year at 2.7 percent.
Ironically, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the highest growth rates were seen relatively recently, in the second and third quarters of this year, when the numbers ranged between 3 and 4 percent.
By Garry Boulard
The federal agency tasked with overseeing water diversion and water storage projects in the West has just released new proposed funding evaluation guidelines for those projects.
Those guidelines are published in the Bureau of Reclamation’s Evaluation Criteria for Review and Comment and are expected to be used beginning next year to determine funding opportunities for local projects.
Those opportunities center on 50/50 cost-share funding for irrigation and water districts, as well as states and tribes through the agency’s Water Smart water and energy efficiency grants.
The evaluation criteria document comes just weeks after the Bureau of Reclamation announced it was awarding $75,000 to the Carlsbad Irrigation District in New Mexico for canal lining work.
That project is seeing the Carlsbad district sealing 7,300 feet of concrete liner on a portion of a main irrigation canal.
In sealing the liner, the Carlsbad district will enhance water conservation by reducing losses due to seepage.
Altogether, the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $280,000 in funds for four small-scale water projects in New Mexico.
In a statement, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said, “These small scale projects are a result of planning efforts by the recipients to improve their water delivery efficiency.”
Built more than 125 years ago, the Carlsbad Irrigation District provides irrigated water to a wide area surrounding Carlsbad. The water it provides is diverted from both the Pecos River, as well as the Black River.
Comments on the Bureau of Reclamation’s new grant guidelines will be accepted until December 20.
By Garry Boulard
chandler to see construction of unique combined senior housing and shopping center
In one more innovation responding to a growing senior market, a new planned project in south Chandler, Arizona will see both the construction of new residential space, as well as a large shopping center.
What is being called Cadence at Chandler will go up on a currently vacant 7.4-acre site at the northwest corner of S. Arizona Avenue and Queen Creek Road.
To be developed by the San Diego-based Global Senior Housing, along with Cadence Senior Living of Scottsdale, the project will feature 191 residential units. Of that number, 26 will be set aside for memory care.
The remaining 165 units will be for assisted and independent living units.
The shopping center will go up adjacent to the residential properties, and is expected to include a CVS outlet.
According to city documents, Cadence at Chandler will also include five secured outdoor courtyards offering a swimming pool, bocce ball court and seating areas.
The project, which has won the approval of the Chandler Planning Commission, will be designed in the southwest mission style using light-colored stucco and adobe tile roofing.
By Garry Boulard
As one more sign of their growing popularity, the Federal Aviation Administration has just released figures showing that the agency has received more than 50,000 applications in the last year allowing for the authorized use of drones.
The FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capacity program was launched last November and has since seen the use of drones at some five hundred airports nationally.
Those airports include the Albuquerque International Sunport, the Centennial Airport in Denver, the El Paso International Airport, and the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.
The LAANC program is designed to buttress the safe integration of drones into airspace across the country, using a combination of flight restriction data and unmanned aircraft system facility maps, among other instruments.
Construction industry statistics, meanwhile, reveal that drones are increasingly being used at job sites to compile aerial data.
According to the 2018 Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report, published earlier this year, drone usage has exploded in the real estate, agriculture, and mining industries, all of which have reported increases ranging from 118 percent to 198 percent.
But the greatest usage was recorded in the nation’s construction industry, with a 239 percent jump from 2017 to 2018.
The report, issued by the San Francisco-based company DroneDeploy, additionally indicated that drones were mostly being used in preconstruction and site planning, as well as in bid processing and job site risk mitigation.
By Garry Boulard
Plans have been set in motion for the City of Albuquerque to build a solar generating station as a means of reducing increasing energy costs in city government structures.
As discussed, the project would be done jointly with the Public Service Company of New Mexico, and would see the construction of a 50-megawatt solar plant.
The idea behind the project is a move to substantially reduce Albuquerque’s current energy expenses, which average out to around $1.2 million a month.
In a signed agreement with the PNM, the City of Albuquerque has committed itself to purchasing 25 megawatts of the electricity that would be produced by the new plant.
The project would also enhance Albuquerque’s commitment to expanding its renewable energy footprint.
How much the solar generating station would cost to build, and where it will be built, remains to be determined.
And before any actual facility work could begin, the project would have to secure the approval of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
According to the City of Albuquerque/ PNM announcement of the project, PNM will be in charge of issuing a Request for Proposals for the construction of the plant.
In a statement, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the new plant was important because “we have a responsibility to current and future generations to put the City on a path to sustainability.”
“With this plan,” Keller continued, “we’ll get Albuquerque a large part of the way to using only renewable energy.”
Keller added that the project made particular sense because it would be putting to use the city’s advantage of year-around sunshine.
The project will be a part of PNM’s larger Solar Direct program, which is dedicated to providing governments, tribes, and large electric customers with solar energy.
Pat Vincent-Collawn, chief executive officer of PNM Resources, said in a press release that the Solar Direct program shows that PNM is “committed to working with our customers to find solutions to their energy needs and making New Mexico a sustainable energy leader.”
By Garry Boulard
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