ST. LOUIS, Oct. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CORTEX, St. Louis' premiere hub of bioscience and technology research, development and commercialization, is taking significant next steps in its 25-year master plan, today unveiling Phase II of its development that will bring 1,400 new jobs and 384,000 square feet of additional lab and office space to the district.
Located in the City of St. Louis' "Midtown" area, CORTEX (CORTEX) was founded in 2002 with a $29 million investment from founding partners Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden – academic and research institutions that sought to leverage their resources and research to grow technology industry throughout the region.
"Ten years ago we had a vision to transform an aging 200-acre industrial area into a vibrant, technology district," said John Dubinsky, Chairman of CORTEX. "CORTEX has since become an unquestioned success, positioning St. Louis as an emerging, national center of bioscience, technology, and innovation."
Dennis Lower, President & CEO of CORTEX, noted that, "Phase II will take CORTEX to the next level, generating $186 million in new development from our founders and through a partnership with Wexford Science and Technology (Wexford Science & Technology), a leading national research park developer. These investments will raise the CORTEX total of well-paying technology and building service jobs to approximately 2,400, further reinforcing St. Louis as a national innovation leader."
Recognizing the strong commitments from CORTEX' founding institutions and City of St. Louis to grow St. Louis' bioscience and technology assets, Wexford Science & Technology will invest more than $100 million in CORTEX through the purchase of the CORTEX I building and pending redevelopment of the historic 190,000 square foot Heritage warehouse property on Duncan and Boyle Avenues.
"We create what we call 'Knowledge Communities' that connect businesses, academic institutions and neighborhoods to drive bioscience and technology innovation," said Dan Cramer, Executive Vice President of Baltimore-based. "With the success of Phase I projects and the demonstrated long term commitment of the founding university and City partners, making an investment in the growth of CORTEX makes strategic sense for Wexford."
With $155 million already invested in Phase I district development that has resulted in approximately 950 technology and building management jobs and 124 housing units, over the next eighteen months, Phase II development will produce another $186 million of district investment, including a $26 million MODOT I-64 interchange that will serve as a new gateway entrance into the heart of the CORTEX district.
Facts about the CORTEX Phase II development include:
- Phase II will deliver 384,000 square feet of additional lab and office space, bringing the total to over 1,000,000 square feet of facilities on $350 million of investment since its inception.
-- BJC will build a 200,000 square foot, $45 million office building that will house 1,000 employees in the center of CORTEX.
-- In December, Wexford will purchase the 190,000 square foot historic Heritage warehouse building from CORTEX and undertake a $73 million lab and office renovation, as well as contribute $7.35 million toward public infrastructure. Approximately 400 jobs will be created in the Heritage building.
- Phase II includes a $26 million investment by Wexford Science & Technology to purchase the CORTEX I building.
- Delivery of 1,400 additional jobs with an average annual wage of $55,000 to $60,000.
- Creation of public infrastructure:
-- BJC will contribute $6.75 million toward public infrastructure development, and $4.9 million toward construction of the new I-64 interchange at Tower Grove and Boyle.
--Washington University will contribute $4.9 million toward construction of the new I-64 interchange.
-- MoDOT will contribute $16 million to construct the new I-64 interchange.
-- Roughly $15 million is being used for new streetscapes and a linear public park, CORTEX Commons – an amenity not only for CORTEX tenants, but for neighbors in our surrounding neighborhoods. Washington University lease guarantees:
-- -- Washington University has provided lease guarantees to Wexford for a portion of both CORTEX 1 and the Heritage buildings so that Wexford can secure favorable debt financing; Wexford is responsible for leasing approximately 60 percent of the space to commercial tenants.
-- --Washington University will lease a portion of the Heritage space to house its Office of Technology Management, making a strong statement and commitment to commercialize the University's world class research for the economic gain of the region.
-- -- CORTEX requires District developers to commit to the M/WBE goals reflected in City of St. Louis' Executive Order 28, and is currently evaluating and will soon finalize how best to advance workforce participation objectives in the current and future phases of CORTEX development.
Aaron Perlut, Elasticity
CORTEX (CORTEX) is a not-for-profit organization focused on positioning St. Louis as a regional, national and international hub for technology research, development and commercialization. It was founded in 2002 by Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. CORTEX serves as a development partner with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. It has formulated a long term master plan, secured funding to replace aging infrastructure and attracts private development partners to advance its mission. In collaboration with other regional partners, CORTEX promotes entrepreneurial programs that support emerging technology companies and markets the regions assets to attract established technology companies to St. Louis.
About Wexford Science & Technology
Wexford Science & Technology, LLC (Wexford Science & Technology), a leading developer of life-science and technology research parks, delivers real estate solutions for the commercialization of new discoveries, and is the partner of choice for top universities, medical centers and research institutes. The company is currently developing in nine research parks: University of Maryland, Penn State, Wake Forest, University of Pennsylvania, Old Dominion, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Miami, BRDG Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center and CORTEX. To date they own and manage over two million square feet of technology buildings.
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