By Marisa Juarez, Communications Specialist
The 16 Tech Innovation District is being developed by the 16 Tech Community Corporation, a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors dedicated to fostering economic growth and innovation in Central Indiana. The 16 Tech Community Corporation engages industry, civic, philanthropic and community leaders in its mission to create a place that inspires and facilitates industries of all sectors, researchers, entrepreneurs and academic leaders to pursue innovation.
Browning Davis is developing the first four buildings in the 16 Tech Innovation District on the Near West side. Browning has partnered with Davis & Associates on the construction of these buildings. The Browning Davis team has been making the rounds at the neighborhood association meetings in the Near West, discussing the development of the buildings in particular Building One and the Innovation Hub (with more information to come regarding Building Two and a multi-family project).
Browning Davis brought students from the Indiana Plan to the 16 Tech project site to tour the project and show careers that await them when they graduate from Indiana Plan. The trades women and men, including an operator, plumber, sheetmetal worker, and electrician, from the project spoke about their craft and what it would be like to be a skilled trades person.
We spoke with David McMath and Tracy Short, the Browning Davis joint venture’s construction managers for the first four buildings at 16 Tech, about the progress of the buildings at 16 Tech and what it has been like working on such an extraordinary project:
Q: Tell us a little about yourselves.
- David McMath is a Purdue graduate (Class of 1991), has been in the construction business for 29 years and has been working with Browning for 3 years.
- Tracy Short began his career in the Air Force, served for 20 years and has traveled all over the world. He moved to Indianapolis in 2000 and has been working with Davis & Associates, Inc. for 16 years.
Q: How did this project come about?
16 Tech was envisioned more than 20 years ago and was supported through the years by three different mayors. In 2016, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership helped form the 16 Tech Community Corporation and was awarded the necessary city funding to begin infrastructure work. Browning is the first developer to invest in 16 Tech, and is building office space, multi-family housing and the Innovation Hub.
Q: How are the buildings progressing?
Building One is 60-70% complete and is set to be finished by Summer 2020.
- 120,000 square feet with three tenants:
- Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) – Moving in this Summer
- Central Indiana Corporate Partnerships (CICP) – Moving in this Summer
- Indiana University School of Medicine – Hope to be moving in Fall 2020 or early Winter 2020
- Advanced Industry Initiatives, lab and office space, public meet-up space, a café and rooftop terrace that will overlook the nearby innovation hub and central green.
Work has begun on the Innovation Hub, a renovation of the former Citizens Energy Group Building with a completion date of December 2020.
- 140,000 square-feet with multiple tenants, labs, and onsite food and beverage space.
Building Two will also be an office building and is currently pre-leasing with construction to follow.
Q: What excites you most about working with 16 Tech?
David: The excitement of the innovation that is happening. “This is something central Indiana has not seen!” Being at the forefront of this project is amazing!
Tracy: “The development and involvement with the communities has been great!”
Q: How will the Near West benefit from the 16 Tech projects?
- Community Involvement:
- Community Investment: 16 Tech is excited to report that they have received 61 eligible grant applications for our first grant cycle. We are in the review process and look forward to announcing grantees in April!
- Inclusion: 16 Tech contacted Near Northwest contractors to participate in the building process due to the dedicated work of the Browning Davis Team and Nubian Construction Group.
- Engagement: Supporting neighborhood quality of life through participation in neighborhood meetings, sponsoring neighborhood events and working with area schools to expose young people to STEAM and STEM-based careers.
Q: What does community engagement mean to you?
Being involved! Not just being involved because of our jobs but personal involvement as well. Talking to the community and building relationships with residents and community partners!