Cambridge Innovation Center at CORTEX a Preview of Bigger Announcements to Come

(@4240's first tenant, CIC, will occupy nearly a full floor}

The official news that Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), a premier business incubator will take up residence within the St. Louis CORTEX district is big news. The center plans to lease one floor of 4240 Duncan Avenue, a former home to Southwestern Bell. The unlikely renovation of the building, and plans to preserve others was first reported by nextSTL in January 2012. Wexford Science & Technology owns the building, which will be renamed the @4240 building. CORTEX will be CIC’s first location outside of Cambridge where it houses more than 450 companies.

 “We were struck by the breadth and energy of the startup community in St. Louis,” Ranch Kimball, CIC Partners’ president and chief executive, said in a statement, as reported by the Post-Dispatch. “We saw that energy in the dynamic companies we met and the university campuses we visited. When we decided to expand, we felt we could play an exciting role in the innovation environment in St. Louis.”

{interior rendering of @4240}

While this is big news, much bigger news is still to come. Significant retail development is planned for the east end of CORTEX and site planning and land use studies are being further refined. What the plans illustrate is that the 240-acre site can accommodate a wide variety of uses and that perhaps the most significant challenge is creating a coherent neighborhood from such a large site.

{the BJC building at Clayton and Boyle is nearing completion}

To that end, the most underappreciated move yet by CORTEX may be the recent hiring of placemaking extraordinaire Philip Myrick to lead planning efforts. Phil is a Senior Vice President of Project for Public Spaces, a certified planner whose expertise encompasses public space planning, urban design, downtown revitalization, transportation and land use planning, and livable street design. He’s worked with state DOTs, and lead design plans for the Harvard University Allston campus and Hemisfair Park in San Antonio.

By adding Philip, CORTEX and its constituent institutions demonstrate that they are dedicated to creating a “place” and not simply an office park in the city. Many challenges remain and planning is only one step toward completing a project, but after several years of property acquisition, public meetings and visioning, CORTEX appears ready to fulfill its promise as the new marquee technology hub of the Midwest.

CORTEX - St. Louis, MO

CORTEX - St. Louis, MO

CORTEX - St. Louis, MO

CORTEX - St. Louis, MO

CORTEX - St. Louis, MO

Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel Briefing Book – Development at a future CORTEX MetroLink St… by nextSTL

  • dempster holland

    This is a good development. St Louis’s greatest days of development were
    in the late 19th and early 20th century when individual entrpeneurs created
    large new companies. the questions now area; what is the likely scale of
    new companies over the next several decades? Will it be a significant im-
    pact?. How does the effort here compare to other cities?

  • Presbyterian

    Can’t wait to hear more. They’ve been pulling in great talent on every front.

  • Mark Groth

    I love this. Great for St. Louis!

  • Adam

    AWE! SOME!