CORTEX: St. Louis' Life Sciences and Technology District

The thriving technology scene covering startups, incubators, investors, etc.
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Progress without a garage is absolutely impossible per the conversations I've had. I know they did soil samples in November/December for that site and now they are doing them in the lot due east of @4240, the one connected to the building. I think they had some unexpected results from the first test and are looking into a possible garage location change, though they may still move forward with the original location if they can firm up finances.

It bothers me a bit that they keep delaying builds based on "money" but are apparently receiving overflowing interest in all properties and getting TIFs too. The garage was a planned 2016 project 2 years ago and now we can't be sure it'll be done before the Metrolink station. Why can't they seem to finance these projects?
Looks like Microsoft will be announcing it is the latest to move to downtown Detroit from the burbs... I guess we'll hear pretty soon if Microsoft indeed is the anchor tenant for the new Cortex office building but it would be awesome if they actually were going downtown like in Detroit and another firm was the Cortex. Regardless, breaking ground can't happen soon enough.
Does anyone know if Biz Journal pay wall article on Crescent building added anything of interest?

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news ... uture.html
^ I'm not sure what's up with Crescent, but here is what CannonDesign is looking at with concepts..

http://www.andrewjgilles.com/#/cortex-c ... ng-fitout/
^ Those images date to early 2014, but are really interesting. Nothing new in the STLBJ story, other than that Cortex is still exploring options for the Crescent building.
Is it just me, or does it seem that momentum has slowed in Cortex lately?
flipflopju wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:24 pm
Progress without a garage is absolutely impossible per the conversations I've had. I know they did soil samples in November/December for that site and now they are doing them in the lot due east of @4240, the one connected to the building. I think they had some unexpected results from the first test and are looking into a possible garage location change, though they may still move forward with the original location if they can firm up finances.

It bothers me a bit that they keep delaying builds based on "money" but are apparently receiving overflowing interest in all properties and getting TIFs too. The garage was a planned 2016 project 2 years ago and now we can't be sure it'll be done before the Metrolink station. Why can't they seem to finance these projects?

The parking lots are completely full along with street parking every afternoon unless they think parking demand will drop with the new Metrolink station opens. I don't see how it can occur without the garage
^^ Just you - sorta. I mean, reality continues to lag behind the announcements, but it's still moving ahead and a great success story for the city. Expectations are understandably high, and it's not surprising that not every idea has come to fruition. But...it does start to feel like it could be slowing? If you count City Foundry, the growth continues to be incredible. If you consider Silo Lofts has disappeared, other residential delayed, yet another vision for the Crescent Building, etc... Don't know.
^ My two cents would say things slowed down for CORTEX and the test of momentum going forward is getting Wexford to go forward on infill/space as per CORTEX 3.0. Residential being pushed back is not as big of issue but some items of note

1) Wexford was bought up by private equity group which had to impact thing no matter the spin
2) Wexford can easily pivot an anchor tenant to another ag/science/whatever it is called now related development that they are fully involved in.
3) Microsoft was noted in a number of articles related to CORTEX. Haven't read their name in recent articles or from what I have read
4) Sounds like CORTEX is trying to market Crescent Building on a public front/through the media as well. Supposedly a west coast tenant was possible or reported as such. Was it a fragile prospect? overstated? but I think the recent BJ article highlights that CORTEX needs a tenant for that building if it is going forward.

Debbie Downer, but a formal groundbreaking or a Microsoft announcement will push CORTEX to the next level of infill and new space from ground up. That is a big but much needed stop.
i dont think momentum has slowed. this is what all of phase three has been like: taking time to cover its tracks and ensure stability moving forward. I have no doubt that Microsoft is still in the works and there have been small indications that cortex as a district is moving forward; like the bike path, continued retail and residential development on either side of the district (ex. sarah st), the crescent building being mentioned, and even the metrolink station moving forward. leaks are just harder to come by these days. but nothing has really changed i dont think - save for the apartment building, which i think we should still expect (and sooner than later) just in different form.
It really irks me that wet lab space is supposedly full, with a backlog of companies wanting it, and yet nobody is proposing to build any.
PD Building blocks reporting that building permit issue for Wexford CORTEX 3.0 building

http://www.stltoday.com/business/column ... 8540a.html
^ Not sure if it makes much difference, but online it looks like only a permit has been applied for (but not yet issued). Hopefully we'll hear some good news on tenants soon. A permit for zoning change for the hotel also was applied for late last year. And it looks like Vicia and AIA Pharma are getting close to opening in the @4260 Building.
Sure will be nice to see some construction activity in Cortex again.
They received the building permit from the City to move forward with the building to be occupied by Microsoft

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news ... j=77374521
^Will these Microsoft employees be moved from Creve Coeur or will these be new jobs?
Can't read the article; how many Microsoft jobs will be in the new building? I believe their space in Creve Coeur is quite small; not even a full floor.
It says Microsoft could take up to 25k sq ft of the 180k sq ft building.
Knowing STL, it will most likely be a movement of jobs within the area.
moorlander wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:17 am
It says Microsoft could take up to 25k sq ft of the 180k sq ft building.
Underwhelming but if it is a good if it gives Wexford needed lease commitment to move forward on CORTEX infill.

What I'm curious is, will CORTEX put forth some wet lab space in the near future? Is crescent building a good candidate for that considering it would be a rehab for a very specific use?
DogtownBnR wrote:
Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:08 pm
^Will these Microsoft employees be moved from Creve Coeur or will these be new jobs?
I'm hearing that initially they are looking for an office from up north (Michigan? Minnesota? I wasn't paying enough attention during happy hour) relocating down here to an urban area. I assume that's part of the Cortex development. The Creve Coeur lease will be over soon though so I also assume those workers will be shifting somewhere in the city.
^ don't know what's going on but fwiw Microsoft just announced its moving its Metro Detroit Technology Center from the burbs to the CBD... taking up pretty much the same amount of office space (about 40,000 sq. ft.) as it it had.

"About 200 “remote employees,” who are mainly in sales, will have mobile offices in the Detroit space."
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/l ... /97399490/

I wouldn't doubt something similar is in the works, but if it is new jobs/expansion that would be great. But even if it's just shifting jobs to the city, that's still a plus for the region as we're in desperate need of re-centering and creating a healthier core. And for Cortex, landing a marquee name like Microsoft will help the momentum, even if its not bringing a ton of jobs in its own right
A big hall for a CORTEX-based cancer-tech company. Website: Affigen

I could be wrong, but I think this is the biggest single hall for a local biotech (or tech) so far this year.

Affigen Announces $17 Million Series A Led by Black Beret Life Sciences

St. Louis is trying to become the "Tech Capital for Cancer".
the building permit for the @4220 office/lab/hall building was officially approved yesterday. Still waiting for an anchor announcement.
Looks like some work has started at the Wexford site.