In 2012, Pima County created a special lease for upstart biotech firm Accelerate Diagnostics.
The firm was given permission to lease a portion of the Pima County Health Department’s building.
Accelerate needed high-tech lab space at a discounted deal, so in exchange for the county helping create the space, part of the lease stipulated that by 2016, the company would have a total of 65 employees whose salaries would be more than $65,000 per year.
The company is already nearing that target. It has 50 employees earning six-figure salaries, and now needs to get more square footage.
With Accelerate expanding, the county is increasing the number of jobs.
Reid Spaulding, director of the Pima County Facilities Management Department, said a deal like this one can help the county create multiple jobs over time.
“When Accelerate leaves the nest, if you will, and moves to someplace else in Pima County, where they (can) build their own building, we’re left with state of the art wet lab space that we can use to more aggressively market to these type of companies, which we weren’t initially able to do," Spaulding said.
That means once the company heads out, the county can launch another company and get more jobs with good salaries.