By: Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
Cities need a strong urban core, and Tucsonans have heard for some time about downtown development. Projects downtown are coming to fruition. The streetcar will bring more private investment along the route–in fact, we’re seeing that already.
Downtown development is important, but my focus is on more than just one part of Tucson
One of the most promising areas I see for economic development is what I call the Southeast Economic Corridor. By that, I mean the region around the Tucson International Airport, Bombardier, Davis-Monthan, Raytheon, the UA Tech Park and BioPark and the inland port.
These areas have land, zoning, specialized facilities, Interstate, rail and air access and are especially well-suited for technology firms, export firms, and other companies seeking to relocate or expand.
Added to that, the business incubator at the Tech Park provides a hub for entrepreneurs to share business as well as technical and scientific expertise. Having small, start-up tech firms in the same general area as more established and large companies, as happens at the Tech Park, helps create a healthy business ecosystem.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the University’s new President, Dr. Ann Weaver Hart. We discussed how the City and the University can help each other with common goals. Certainly economic development, technology transfer, and development at and around the Tech Park and BioParks are areas of mutual interest.
In my 360 plan–an outline of areas I’m going to focus on over the coming year–I’ve committed to working with the University, the airport, the inland port, Davis-Monthan and businesses in the Corridor to facilitate economic development and to make sure the City has the right mix of land use and business incentives to help bring skilled jobs to the region.
The Southeast Economic Corridor is where Tucson’s business, scientific and research communities interact. Keeping that interaction going, facilitating those discussions–these are important for our community. These are things a mayor can help with, along with other leaders in business, government and academia. I look forward to the work ahead.
A graduate of Kenyon College and the University of New Mexico Law School, Mayor Rothschild served as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge Alfredo Marquez. He then joined the law firm of Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, where he served as managing partner from 2001 to 2011. In addition to his own law practice helping businesses and individuals, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of a 21-attorney firm. He can be reached at [email protected].