The Town of Sahuarita has been awarded a federal grant that will bankroll the lion's share of its proposed technology business center.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced Friday that Sahuarita will receive $3 million for the Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center, or SAMTEC. The $4.5 million, 32,000-square-foot facility is at La Canada Drive and Sahuarita Road. The town council voted in May to buy the 3.76-acre parcel for $412,500.
The town also committed $1.025 million in its fiscal 2018 budget for the project, and received a $165,000 grant from the Freeport McMoRan Foundation Green Valley/Sahuarita Community Investment Fund in September.
Victor Gonzalez, the town's economic development director, said the award is the culmination of a 15-month process of talking with the EDA and crafting an application. The town put in a pre-application for the grant, the first formal step, in August of last year. A full application was submitted at the end of October.
Gonzalez said the preliminary talks with the EDA, which started at the end of 2015, and the feedback through the application process made for a high probability that SAMTEC would be awarded the grant. Over the next couple of weeks, the town will finish up paperwork and formally accept the award. The grant will be paid out on a reimbursement basis.
The new facility will help achieve town goals to retain technology companies Hydronalix and Control Vision and give them room to grow, Gonzalez said. It will also give the town roughly 4,000 square feet of space to attract other small, high-value technology companies. It's expected to generate 75 new jobs, retain 31 existing jobs, and spark $500,000 in private investment.
In a longer view, this could also help create a high-tech center in Sahuarita, Gonzalez said.
“It's a great win for the community, for the town,” he said.