Signs lease on 180,000 SF building to house ‘digital future” of tech innovation

CINCINNATI (August 22, 2018) – The University of Cincinnati has signed a letter of intent to lease a 180,000 square-foot, new-construction building within Cincinnati’s Innovation Corridor. This multi-year commitment will anchor the development of a major mixed-use project by the joint team of Terrex Development & Construction, and Messer Construction Company. The development sits on approximately 5.8 acres located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road.

A decade in the making, the Innovation Corridor is the result of a strategic partnership between Uptown institutions, the City of Cincinnati, OKI, ODOT, and the surrounding neighborhoods, all with the same vision of creating an innovation community. With millions invested in the new I- 71/MLK interchange, the strategic assembly of over 100 parcels of land, and the renovation of an historic building into the anchor tenant of the District – UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub – the vision is now becoming reality.

This southeast quadrant of the Innovation Corridor, adjacent to UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub, will be developed into a mixed-use environment for innovation, education, and technological advancement. The entire project consists of a hotel with potential residential component, two parking garages and three office buildings.

UC has signed a letter of intent to lease the first of these office buildings, which will allow UC faculty and students to work with industry to address opportunities and challenges in a digital future. UC’s new space will amplify and accelerate the vision set forth in its strategic direction, Next Lives Here, by focusing and connecting our research strengths.

“This new space will be interdisciplinary in form and forward-leaning in function,” says UC President Neville G. Pinto. “It will empower diverse teams of thinkers and doers to push the boundaries of what’s possible – to bend the future in Cincinnati’s direction.”

In the months ahead, UC’s academic leadership will determine the specific programs and projects that will inhabit the digital futures building. Provost Kristi Nelson insists that “listening to the broader community and aligning their needs to our strategic priorities of inclusion, innovation and impact will be critical in the planning process.”

Patrick Limbach, UC’s Vice President for Research, believes that, “as the only Carnegie-classified R1 research university in the region, UC is home to the world-class faculty who will leverage this space and location for ground-breaking discoveries and knowledge creation.”

UC’s Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams asserts this new space will enhance the impact of the 1819 Innovation Hub. “Our sharpened focus on connecting industry with talent and research will strengthen our impact on economic growth and innovation,” says Adams. “This investment provides a unique opportunity to mobilize innovators who share a passion but currently not a place. Imagine the power of co-locating interdisciplinary teams in one home with a shared vision to catapult our collective reach into a future already defined by technology. We’ll enable creative collisions between firms, academic researchers, students and related enterprises in close proximity to one another.”

Jill Meyer, President and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, would welcome a major focus on technology. “The number one opportunity for business growth in our region is building and recruiting more tech talent – not just talent to work at tech companies, but the tech talent that is powering virtually every business today,” says Meyer.

The innovative partners of the Uptown Consortium, led by the anchor institutions of Uptown, have long envisioned a purpose-built place to attract talent from around the world, retain talent, and develop new opportunities for business and employment growth; a place where people come together across disciplines to collaborate, create, and commercialize ideas over an array of advanced industries, connecting intellectual capital with a thriving business community. The digital futures building will kick-start the next phase of development within the vision.