Copyright © 2012 Albuquerque Journal
Sandia Science & Technology Park in southeast Albuquerque has generated $1.89 billion in spending on taxable goods and services since it opened in 1998, according to a new report from the Mid-Region Council of Governments.
The park, which now houses 33 companies and directly employs 2,470, has contributed $73.4 million in gross receipts taxes to the state, and $10.4 million to the city since opening. The average full-time salary at the park was $74,949 in 2011, or nearly twice the average in the Albuquerque area.
Local officials and Sandia National Laboratories representatives presented the biennial report at a news conference Tuesday at the park, which is run as a public and private-sector partnership to promote high-tech industry and jobs.
“It’s been a home run,” said Mayor Richard Berry at the event. “Regardless of what side you come down on about what the government’s role should be (in the economy), this is a great example of what it can be.”
Federal, state and local governments and agencies have invested nearly $87 million to build and grow the park since 1998. That includes grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for fiber-optic communications and security infrastructure, U.S. Department of Energy assistance for the master plan, and park management services by Sandia Labs. The city has also invested $5.8 million to upgrade roads and sewer systems. And the county has assisted with land studies and other improvements at the 300-acre site.
“It was just tumbleweeds and blowing dust,” said park Chairman of the Board Sherman McCorkle. “Much of it was a dump that had to be re-mediated before we could do anything.”
The park’s location next to Sandia and Kirtland Air Force Base has attracted many high-tech companies, most of which provide products and services to the lab and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Private tenants have invested a combined $264 million in the park since 1998.
Private companies employ 1,500 people, and Sandia 1,000. In addition, park activities have created 4,123 indirect jobs, for a total of $3.06 billion paid in wages since 1998 for direct and indirect employees.
New tenants continue to set up shop. Website and marketing company Simply Design Inc. and multimedia developer Red Inc. both moved in this year. Air Products and Chemicals Inc., which acquired Poly-Flow Engineering LLC in 2011, expanded its workforce at the park from 96 last year to 170 now.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal