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Mayor Francis Slay approves CORTEX development plan

11:18 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - More than 1,400 new high-tech related jobs are headed to St. Louis by the end of the year and there are promises of thousands more.

It's all part of the CORTEX hub for bioscience and technology located between the BJC Medical Campus and St. Louis University along I-64 and Forest Park Parkway.

Wednesday, word came that the mayor of St. Louis had signed off on tax breaks to help CORTEX invest in new infrastructure in the district.

CORTEX says that will help it attract new high-tech companies to St. Louis and retain some of the start-ups coming out of local universities.

The first phase of CORTEX started about a decade ago. Leaders of the non-profit say that has generated more than 1,000 jobs. And construction of phase two is already under way and should be complete by the end of the year with 1,400 more new jobs.

And the CEO of CORTEX Dennis Lower says that's just the beginning of what the district can do for the St. Louis region.

Lower says the development can "generate new wealth" along with a new set of CEO's and entrepreneurs over the next two decades.

"A new set of Fortune 500 companies that will be generated from the new technology that the universities are bringing out of their research labs," says Lower. 

CORTEX expects the district can create up to 13,000 new jobs over the next decade and Lower expects more announcements before the end of the year.

Mayor Francis Slay signed an ordinance giving CORTEX tax increment financing package late Tuesday said his spokesperson Maggie Crane.

Crane says this plan will allow for a $186 million development with 384,000 square feet of lab and office space for 1,400 jobs at the bioscience and technology research hub.

BJC will also build a 200,000 square foot office building in the center of CORTEX. The $45 million office building will house 1,000 employees.

CORTEX Commons, a $15 million streetscape and linear public park, will be built and accessible to surrounding neighborhoods.

Crane says Washington University will lease space inside the Heritage building, where they will put the Office of Technology Management.


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