Renovations and Development

St. Louis, Silicon Valley of The Midwest?

Image courtesy of Cortex
Image courtesy of Cortex

You read that right…

From Cortex… “As the premier innovation hub of science and technology in St. Louis, Cortex may be the best place for you to build your future. With $155 million already invested in developing the district, and another $189 million currently being invested, Cortex is able to provide the state-of-the-art biomedical science and technology facilities for your needs. When fully developed, Cortex will offer over 1 million square feet of facilities, customizable to your needs.”

Is it the Midwestern values, abundance of cheap office space, IKEA or the influx of Startups that help make St. Louis a destination city for budding entrepreneurs?

According to an interview with STL Magazine, Square co-founder Jim McKelvey can rattle off a laundry list of reasons the region has become a magnet for startups. Business Insider recently proclaimed St. Louis the fastest-growing startup scene in the nation. To many people around the country, St. Louis may be unfairly known for crime, police shootings, and the Rams’ leaving town, so this news may be a bit surprising.

When considering that St. Louis was recently predicted to be the second best real estate market in 2016 (which we previously discussed here), or that we have 5 of the best suburbs in America (here), and even maybe the fact that we have two top quality Universities in addition to ground breaking medicine (WASHU & SLU), it isn’t such a stretch.development_map_020215_small-editedScreen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.11.51 PM

The image above, courtesy again of Cortex, displays many of the current buildings and what is planned. For my viewers, I added demarkations for the planned “East of Cortex” as well as some Landmarks. The Lawrence Group is planning a $232 million development, simply called East of Cortex. This project looks really great, I think it would be a much better use of the space than what it is currently being used for. You can read all about this development on NextSTL here.

According to Lower, the site dates back more than 15 years, when leaders of nearby organizations from Washington University, BJC, and the Missouri Botanical Garden discussed how St. Louis could grow into an innovation hub. Cortex was born in 2002, and much of the fruits of their labor are now garnering much of the attention it deserves.

Today, a projected $2.1 billion in construction is part of the district’s master plan (some completed and some planned). Lower says, “We’re not entirely where we need to be… but we have come miles in establishing a broad metro technology ecosystem.”

What do you think about all of this development? Please like, comment and share! It’s good karma to spread positive news about our city…