Viasat, a satellite communications company based in California, is expanding in Tempe, AZ and will develop over 300,000 square feet of space at the ASU Research Park, where it plans to grow its headcount by about 1,500 employees.
The company already has a presence at the ASU Research Park, near Loop 101 and Warner Road. The site is one of Arizona State University’s “innovation zones.” The land is owned by the university and office space is leased to private companies.
Viasat has plans for three phases of new development on 16 acres near the middle of the ASU Research Park, said Morgan Olsen, chief financial officer of ASU.
The first phase will begin construction this summer and is scheduled to be completed by June 2024. It will include 135,000 square feet of space with an outdoor atrium and a parking structure. Future phases will include an additional parking garage, a conference area and a café.
Engineering Jobs To Be Created
Bob Rota, vice president of facilities and security for Viasat, said the jobs created will include engineering positions, especially software engineering, and operational and back-office roles.
Company officials said the existing company presence at the ASU Research Park, as well as affordable cost, availability of talent, and a favorable business climate led them to expand in Tempe after evaluating several other markets for expansion.
Olsen said the rent fees the university collects from ASU Research Park tenants fund the operations of the Research Park, and feed into ASU’s budget for licensing and patenting inventions from the university.
ASU Research Park Approaching Buildout
Viasat’s expansion will take up one of the last two remaining development sites at the park, which has about 50 corporate tenants.
“We had been looking for just the right tenant to take the site,” Olsen said, noting that the buildings at the 320-acre park are 98% occupied. “Occupancy is very high; this has been a very popular site. Viasat is a great employer, these are high-quality job opportunities and we are excited about their enhanced level of commitment.”
Most of the office buildings at the park are built to suit a specific tenant. Web hosting company GoDaddy recently moved its headquarters to the ASU Research Park, and other companies with a large presence there include Amazon, Edward Jones, and Amkor Technology.
When looking for tenants for the park, ASU seeks companies that would make a long-term commitment and would benefit from a relationship with the university, as well as create job opportunities for ASU graduates and consulting opportunities for faculty.
Olsen said there is still one development site remaining at the ASU Research Park, at the southwest corner of the site. The university is in discussion with a developer to build a multi-story office building on the site and is marketing the opportunity to potential tenants.
Check out all the latest news related to Arizona economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.