97 E. Congress

Southern New Hampshire University will move into this building recently vacated by Caterpillar at 97 E. Congress St.

Southern New Hampshire University has chosen a downtown Tucson site for its West Coast headquarters.

Earlier this year, the college announced plans to move to Tucson with up to 350 employees for student support, academic advising and student financial services.

SNHU has more than 130,000 mostly online students worldwide and offers more than 300 accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.

Pima County has negotiated a lease with the college for 97 E. Congress St., which was vacated by Caterpillar earlier this year when its headquarters was completed on Cushing Street, just west of Interstate 10.

A letter of intent shows SNHU wants to enter a 10-year lease, beginning Sept. 1, for the county-owned building for $687,285 per year, county records show.

The college has agreed to pay for building security, janitorial services, food vending and to lease parking spaces from the county in the Scott Avenue Garage at a monthly rate of $85 per space, which would increase by $2 per space per month at the beginning of each lease year.

The Rio Nuevo board has approved $650,000 in parking subsidies for SNHU over five years if the school reaches its hiring goals.

The 350 jobs, which are expected to be filled by 2021, have an average salary of $48,344 with benefits of approximately $12,086, according to county records.

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is recommending that the Board of Supervisors authorize the lease.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@tucson.com. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz

Reporter

Gabriela's newspaper career began at the Tucson Citizen in '86 as the "movie-times girl" where she'd call local theaters for showtimes. Since then, she's written about crime, education, immigration, trade and business. She's been with the Star since 2007.