ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Right now we call it the “Cortex Innovation District” but Cortex president Dennis Lower hopes that a decade from now, we’re simply calling it the St. Louis region’s innovation district.

We told you last week about a new hotel planned for Cortex and already a new Metrolink station is under construction, but that’s just the beginning.

Cortex president Lower notes that under construction now is the 4220 Duncan building, anchored by the headquarters for Microsoft Midwest, but it’ll also add space for 50 more small companies.

“We have 350 companies now, with the opening of that building we’ll have over 400 companies in the district, and we need to build more,” he says.

Get a load of this list:

“Planning is underway for a new building, very early stages, planning for another tech building, and we also are working with the Coleman group down at the old St. Louis metalizing site, and they are looking at developing an office building, a residential building, and eventually a second office building down there. So those are things that are in the works, we also will be announcing sometime this spring a new residential project in the district,” he says.

And coming next month is historic rehab of the Crecent building, which will provide room for bio-science firms who’re getting too big for start-up space. Lower says they don’t want them to have to move away.

All in all, he says this won’t happen overnight.

“These urban innovation districts take a long time to develop,” he says.

Up to 30 years, and he says Cortex is a teenager now.

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