Michelle Jarboe, Crain’s Cleveland Business
A group of local partners led by MidTown Cleveland Inc., the Cleveland Foundation and JumpStart Inc. recently picked Wexford Science and Technology as the master developer for the innovation district, a multibuilding, mixed-use vision that might take a decade to realize.
The conceit is that Cleveland needs a central space for collaboration, a place that brings researchers, students, established companies, startups and neighborhood residents together to accomplish more than they’d be able to achieve on their own.
In Cleveland, economic-development leaders arguably laid the groundwork for a district 10 years ago, when they rebranded a swath of Midtown as the Health-Tech Corridor and began pitching new and renovated space to growing companies, health care users and other tenants.
In recent years, the Cleveland Foundation and nonprofits MidTown Cleveland and JumpStart have talked about connecting those investments as part of a true innovation district, with additional buildings, public gathering spaces, transit and trails.
A linchpin for the plan fell into place last year, when the Cleveland Foundation chose the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street as the site of its future headquarters.