ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It was a mix of high-tech talk and construction today as the Central West End’s CORTEX District introduced two high-profile investors to an old building that will soon house new laboratories and research facilities.

The Cambridge Innovation Center is making the old Western Electric Building at Boyle and Duncan its first innovation community outside Massachusetts. Baltimore-based developer Wexford Science and Technology is redeveloping the building, named @4240.

“This is a remarkable day because it represents a real vote of confidence by major outside investors,” Washington University Executive Vice Chancellor Hank Webber said.

Cambridge Innovation Center Director Dougan Sherwood says St. Louis has what it takes to attract and keep young innovators.

“The Central West End specifically seems like a place that has a great urban plan where you got restaurants and you’ve got nice places to live that are all close by. There’s a quality of life that keeps and attracts young people,” he said. “You’ve got strong academia which is really the engine for just about all innovation and entrepreneur growth. You have the support of local government.”

Wexford Executive Vice President Dan Cramer is extremely bullish on St. Louis.

“We think that St. Louis is just a tremendous opportunity for innovation, for research, for the growth of the whole academic research collaboration community,” he said, “which we can use to make it attractive to larger companies to locate here as well because they like to be near the talent.”

Sherwood says they’ve been thinking about expanding for years. “We chose St. Louis because we really do think you have all the underpinnings of a really strong and vibrant innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

@4240 is expected to open by the end of the year.


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