An international mining tech firm that last year was planning to leave Tucson, announced Wednesday that it is expanding its presence here and relocating downtown.
Hexagon Mining, on East Fort Lowell Road, near North Palo Verde Avenue, has chosen City Park for its new North American headquarters and plans to add 120 employees over the next five years.
City Park, at 40 E. Congress, is under development by Bourn Cos., and Hexagon will lease 26,000 square feet on the third and fourth floor.
The company’s workforce in Tucson is currently 140. New positions will range from executive management, engineers, and research and development to human resources, marketing and administrative support.
“It was a long process and we had to consider other places, not only in the U.S.,” Hexagon President Hélio Samora told the Star.
At a meeting of the Arizona Tech Council, Hexagon officials casually mentioned last year that the company would likely leave Tucson.
“We couldn’t find good office space and we had a good offer in Denver,” Samora said.
A flurry of activity ensued and soon, Hexagon was sitting with officials from the city, county, Sun Corridor Inc. and Bourn Cos.
“Their proposal allowed us to stay,” Samora said. “As a technology company, this will help us reinforce our image.”
He said the company plans to host training and sales presentations at its new space downtown to showcase Tucson.
Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., said Hexagon’s business is an important part of a puzzle emerging locally.
“This was really exciting for me,” he said. “One of the things it screams to the world is that we’re a 21st-century mining cluster.”
Hexagon is an OEM-independent technology consulting company that provides mines with fleet and production optimization and safety technology.
There have been several job-related announcements in the past two years that have put Tucson in the national spotlight, Snell said.
“We planted some competitive seeds five years ago and we’re now bearing fruit,” he said. “There is a multiplying effect when companies see other companies moving into our market.
“We’re getting a reputation as an aggressive community.”
Upgraded office space downtown is also getting attention from companies that did not view Tucson as a place with modern urban workspace.
“This is huge for downtown Tucson: an international employer adding to the base of businesses who have established a presence in our urban core,” said Fletcher McCusker, chairman of the Rio Nuevo District.
Don Bourn, president of Bourn Cos., was thrilled the company chose his project.
“This will be a great catalyst for, not only our project, but also the continuing resurgence of downtown,” he said.
The City Park development, which was recently unveiled, will have retail and restaurant vendors in dedicated kiosks with shared seating on the first floor of the five-story building on East Congress Street between Scott and Stone avenues.
On the second floor, Bourn wants to have a bowling alley and event room for rent.
The third and fourth floors would provide office space and the fifth floor a space for flexible uses and a rooftop patio.
Applications for existing and upcoming positions with Hexagon are already being accepted at its current location, 3544 E. Fort Lowell Road, or by visiting hexagonmining.com/about-us/careers
The transition to downtown is expected to occur in the summer of 2018.