Construction to start this fall at $160 million 16 Tech Innovation District

16 tech building
The first building to be constructed in the 16 Tech innovation district will be the Advanced Research and Innovation Facility, (Image from 16 Tech)

Construction will start this fall for the long-awaited 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis, supported by almost $160 million in donations and investments.

The 60-acre district will include two new office and research buildings, renovation of existing space, warehouses, and a new 250-unit apartment complex, The Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) reports.

“This is more than an investment in a district,” Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett said to about 100 people in a ceremony at the site on March 22. “This is an investment in progress.”

The not-for-profit operating entity, 16 Tech Community Corp., said the project will be built by Indianapolis-based developer Browning, which will invest $120 million in the project and own the first four buildings.

As well, officials announced a $38 million grant from Lilly Endowment to help fund the project.  The grant will help pay for the design and construction of a new bridge spanning Fall Creek, west of the Indiana Ave. bridge.

The new bridge will connect 16 Tech with IUPUI, the Indiana University School of Medicine and hospital campuses along West 10th St., IBJ reports. It will accommodate pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic. Design work on the bridge is expected to begin later this year.

The published report also says The Lilly Endowment grant also will help fund a pedestrian and cycling path to connect 16 Tech with a future extension of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, along with public art and a central green space on the district campus.

The grant includes a $2 million, dollar-for-dollar match challenge to raise more money from donors.

16 tech rendering
The 16 Tech Innovation District will start with a bridge spanning Fall Creek. (Image 16 Tech)

“With the generous support of the Lilly Endowment and the first developer agreement in place, 16 Tech is well on its way to becoming the city’s largest talent attraction, retention and development asset,” said Bob Coy, president and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corp.

The group’s goal is to transform the aging business district, just north of the IU School of Medicine from a collection of older buildings into a densely developed site with apartments, restaurants and retail space.

In the longer term, plans call for more than one million sq. ft. of incubator and start-up space for new companies, along with wet labs, meeting halls and space for related businesses, such as places where start-ups can develop prototypes of their inventions.

  • Plans for the 30-acre initial phase include:The Advanced Research and Innovation Facility, a multi-story structure to house the district’s anchor tenant, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, with construction to begin later this year;
  • the apartment building, which will break ground either late this year or early in 2019;
  • a new Class A building with office, research and retail space.  The start date for construction hasn’t been announced; and
  • office and warehouse space formerly occupied by Citizens Energy Group will be renovated late next year,

The buildings will have lots of glass to give them a feel of transparency,” John Hirschman, Browning’s president and CEO, was quoted as saying.

He said his company is in advanced talks with another potential tenant for the Advanced Research and Innovation Facility that, if successful, could push the building from five stories to six.

The ambitious 16 Tech project has been on the drawing board for more than a decade, but recently has gained significant traction, with funding from the city for infrastructure improvements, and money from private foundations, IBJ reported.


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