INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and City County-Council President Vop Osili joined 16 Tech Community Corporation and Browning-Davis for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the construction completion of Innovation Building 1 and Gent Avenue in the 16 Tech Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis. More than 300 residents and business leaders joined the celebration virtually.
16 Tech is a $500-million, 50-acre development located along Indiana Avenue with a mix of office, creative, residential and retail spaces in addition to greenspace and trails to foster innovation in tech, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.
“16 Tech has long been imagined as a center of economic activity for our city where people and companies connect and innovate the next breakthrough. Today is a significant milestone and the realization of a vision for a global innovation hub in our city that spans 20 years and was advanced under the leadership of multiple Indianapolis mayors. The relentless support and commitment of this project from business leaders, community members and funders is truly worth celebrating,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Innovation Building 1 is the first building completed in the 16 Tech Innovation District and is the headquarters for the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and CICP’s talent and industry initiatives. It will also be home to Taste Café and a program of Indiana University School of Medicine. Employees will begin working in Innovation Building 1 in accordance with each organization’s COVID-19 return-to-office guidelines.
“16 Tech is ready for collaboration and innovation, and in today’s environment we are seeing that take on new importance as entrepreneurs, corporations and researchers continue to innovate solutions to protect our global population,” said Bob Coy, president and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corporation, the nonprofit operating entity of the 16 Tech Innovation District. “We are eager to see talent collaborate in 16 Tech – whether that be in a virtual or socially distant environment – to move forward important work.”
Browning Investments developed and financed and owns Innovation Building 1, and the joint-venture of Browning-Davis constructed the 120,000-square-foot, $33 million research and office building.
In our effort to prioritize significant local and XBE participation in constructing the project, Browning-Davis implemented novel and successful approaches in engaging deeply with our neighboring communities on the near west and near northwest side of Indianapolis and in structuring bid packages to encourage small and new subcontractors to submit bids,” said Browning CEO John Hirschman. “Our work on Innovation Building 1 has allowed us to apply the experience and expertise we’ve gained over four decades of creating places that help to drive growth and innovation in an inclusive way.”
Through its community outreach efforts, Browning-Davis was able to achieve over 50 percent participation from minority, women, veteran and disabled-owned businesses in the construction of Innovation Building 1. And, in response to community feedback, Browning developed and launched a construction training, certification, and job-placement-assistance program targeting Indianapolis’ Near West and Near Northwest neighborhoods in partnership with The Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation (ICRF), Hawthorne Community Center.
“We are at a unique point in history not only for the City of Indianapolis but across the nation where we must ensure projects like 16 Tech are fully inclusive and engage the surrounding communities,” said City County-Council President Vop Osili. “The work on Innovation Building 1 is part of a long-standing commitment to ensuring that residents are heard and are part of the process to develop 16 Tech, and recognize this project as their own.”
In addition to Innovation Building 1, 16 Tech also recently completed the construction of Gent Avenue from Indiana Avenue into the heart of the district. The new road, which provides access to Innovation Building 1, will be open to vehicular traffic this fall. HqO, the recently branded innovation hub, at 16 Tech remains under construction and will be opening in early 2021 with flexible office and innovation space, a makerspace and artisan marketplace.