As economic developers, imagination might be our strongest muscle. We dream big and strategize bigger. We rally our partners around a vision, maintaining faith that all the intangible elements will come together to form concrete reality. When those elements do come together, it’s magic. But it’s no accident. With each finished project comes a reminder that even one missing brick would weaken the entire foundation.
We got that important reminder once again at last month’s announcement by the University of Cincinnati that it will lease a brand-new, purpose-built, 180,000-square-foot building in the heart of Cincinnati’s Uptown Innovation Corridor. The region’s brightest students, faculty and industry leaders will collide there across disciplines to address human-centered problems in a digital future.
As we know, the stories already emerging from our Uptown Innovation Corridor will help us compete on a global level. Standing in the neighboring 1819 Innovation Hub, a development pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. As our friend and colleague Jill Meyer of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber puts it: Don’t underestimate the importance of place.
Now, UC leadership has stepped up with more than a vision to share with global influencers — they’re putting brick to mortar. These vital developments will put us on the map as the convener and cultivator of some of the world’s brightest talent.
We wouldn’t be here without the forward-thinking individuals who worked tirelessly for more than a decade to reimagine Avondale’s MLK interchange as a regional hub for innovation. The Uptown Consortium and its anchor institutions, the City of Cincinnati, forward-thinking developers and most importantly, the dynamic leadership at the University of Cincinnati have once again revealed our greatest strength as a region: collaborating to bring ambitious concepts into the light of day. Together, we’ve built a home for talent and innovation that will stand as a shining example for generations to come.
When it’s all said and done, the Innovation Corridor is more than a place. Its dreamers, makers and doers will transform our region and develop new solutions to power our economy.