On Wednesday, August 22, the University of Cincinnati announced its intention to sign a long-term, build-to-suit lease in the Uptown Gateway development in the Uptown Innovation Corridor. Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction will develop a 180,000 square foot building that will serve UC’s “digital futures” building, where companies can openly innovate and collaborate with UC, the community and each other. The digital futures building will be located at the highly sought out corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road by the I-71 interchange and will be in close proximity to the 1819 Innovation Hub.
“UC has a long, impressive history of keeping innovation and collaboration central to its culture. These traditions coupled with its new investment in the Uptown Innovation Corridor communicate a significant step for our region,” said Beth Robinson, president and CEO of Uptown Consortium. “We are building a transformative ecosystem in this district, so this lease marks a key milestone that is certain to attract the innovation community.”
The Uptown Innovation Corridor project is led by the Uptown Consortium (UCI). To date, UCI has strategically assembled over 120 parcels of land and formed critical partnerships with the Avondale community, City of Cincinnati and influential local developers. In January 2017, UCI announced Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction as the preferred developers for the southeast corner of the Corridor development known as the Uptown Gateway.
The Uptown Gateway project is an urban, mixed-use development including class A office, hotel and residential uses. Project amenities will include an underground parking facility, outdoor plaza and green space and sustainable green design. UC is the first tenant to sign on to the project. This development agreement will attract likeminded tenants and talent to the Corridor.
“As part of phase one, Terrex Development & Construction will deliver two 180,000 square-feet buildings—one for digital futures and one for spec office space,” said Peter Horton, principal and co-founder of Terrex Development & Construction. “We are thrilled to partner with an economic engine like the University of Cincinnati on this development. We hope the digital futures building will be a hub for technology-focused companies and start-ups who would like to collaborate in an open environment.”
Over the last three years, UCI, Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction have actively prepared the project for future construction, including prioritizing the needs of the Avondale community in the development planning. From project inception, UCI and the developers have met with the City and community council for feedback and set increased economic inclusion protocols to ensure that Avondale residents are included in job opportunities during construction and beyond.
“The Avondale community welcomes UC’s decision to locate in the Innovation Corridor and hopes it will spur others to invest in Avondale,” said Patricia Milton, president of the Avondale Community Council. “This is what matters: creating opportunities for the current residents to be involved and to succeed, so when the buildings are complete, we grow together as one vibrant neighborhood.”
At a UC press conference on August 22, Dr. Neville Pinto, UC president and UCI board chair, delivered the news to stakeholders and media personnel. Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction expect the project to be completed in 2021.