SALT LAKE CITY (March 3, 2017) – Sunset Ridge Development Partners, a partnership between Woodbury Corporation and Hunt Companies, today broke ground on a new 21,000 square-foot Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Innovation Center at the Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park located at Hill Air Force Base.
Falcon Hill is the result of an unprecedented and ongoing public-private partnership between the Air Force and Sunset Ridge that allows the development of commercial property both on- and off-base. The new USTAR Innovation Center marks the first “outside the fence” office building that Sunset Ridge is developing at Falcon Hill. Because of the unique Air Force Enhanced Use Lease (EUL), the USTAR facilities and all developments outside the fence will be accessible by the public.
The USTAR initiative was established in 2006 to leverage science and technology innovation to diversify Utah's knowledge economy. The USTAR Innovation Center will focus on providing the tools and resources needed to support start-up companies in maturing and commercializing their technology. It will also serve Hill Air Force Base engineers by providing them additional space to rapidly prototype new production solutions and to reverse engineer much needed solutions for anticipated supply chain shortages. Once complete, the new facility will house approximately 8,000 square feet of office space and state-of the art labs, and 13,000 square feet of space dedicated to both manufacturing and research and development projects.
“We are excited to be a tenant in this unique public-private partnership,” said Ivy Estabrooke, executive director of USTAR. “The new USTAR Innovation Center will leverage this strategic location to deliver Utah’s technology entrepreneurs access to specialized equipment, mentoring and networking industry, academia and engineers from the base in an effort to grow the aerospace, composites and advanced materials sectors of Utah’s economy.”
Utah is consistently recognized as a growing tech hub. According to 2016 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Utah tops the list of fastest-growing tech states. The new USTAR facility will build on that momentum by helping local businesses and entrepreneurs develop new ideas and products, spin-out new companies, and overcome manufacturing challenges.
“Having USTAR at Falcon Hill is a significant boon for the community here, and is just the first of many ‘outside the fence’ tech-focused office projects we envision for this area,” said Taylor Woodbury, chief operating officer at Woodbury Corporation. “Much like the Silicon Slopes area down south, our goal is for this new USTAR building to be the cornerstone of the Silicon Hill movement that will help create a thriving tech community in northern Utah.”
It is expected that the USTAR Innovation Center will be open and operating in late fall 2017.
About Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park
Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park is a 550-acre private development that is strategically located at Hill Air Force Base in Clearfield, Utah. With both on-base and off-base facilities, Falcon Hill is the result of an unprecedented public-private partnership with the Air Force and Sunset Ridge Development Partners, a joint venture between Woodbury Corporation and Hunt Companies, Inc. Under an Air Force Enhanced Use Lease, this venture allows commercial property to be built on land owned by Hill Air Force Base, either inside the fence or “outside the fence” and accessible by the public.
The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) was established in 2006 through the leadership and vision of the Utah Legislature and the Governor to leverage science and technology innovation to expand and diversify the State’s economy. USTAR conducts its technology based economic development mission through a diverse portfolio of programs and services focused in three areas: principal researchers, competitive grant programs and technology entrepreneurship services. www.ustar.org