The first time I walked into the high-bay garage that once housed Citizens Energy Group’s fleet of trucks and equipment, I was impressed by the wide, open space. Long empty, it was dark, dusty and chilly.
More recently, I entered the space and things were different. The place was swept out and dressed up for a momentous occasion: the groundbreaking for the 16 Tech Innovation District. A long cement trough had been filled with earth and more than 50 shovels waited for us to break ground.
Close to 300 people who share our vision of a place where people will connect and innovate, creating breakthroughs in bioscience, medicine, technology and advanced manufacturing, joined us for groundbreaking. That included early visionaries who first launched innovation district discussions in Indianapolis and partners – including business, neighborhood, philanthropic and civic leaders – who have helped advance our mission.
During groundbreaking, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett recognized the bipartisan support of his predecessors – Mayor Greg Ballard and Mayor Bart Peterson – and remarked that “Indianapolis is a city that gets things done through collaboration.”
Construction has since begun on the 120,000-square-feet anchor facility, the first of our advanced research and innovation buildings. It will be home to researchers, entrepreneurs and advanced industry leaders in tech, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, ag-bioscience and talent development. These tenants represent the ideal cross-section of industry expertise and entrepreneurial energy that will drive innovation at 16 Tech.
The 16 Tech vision is becoming reality, and there will be many opportunities to celebrate as we fill the buildings and attract more development in and around the district. Within 10 years, we expect the district will be home to nearly 3,000 new jobs and attract more than $500 million in new, private investment.