Challenges loom as Cortex continues to grow

Cortex, the 200-acre innovation district in St. Louis, has attracted more than half a billion dollars in development and lured companies such as Square, Boeing and the Cambridge Innovation Center to set up shop.

But challenges remain, according to a new case study published by Dustin Read, an assistant professor of property management and real estate at Virginia Tech.

The challenges include managing expectations of a return on investment, prioritizing programming so that Cortex tenants continue to find value in doing business there and maintaining its identity as a premier hub for life sciences and biotech innovation.

Cortex was born out of a $29 million investment from Washington University, BJC HealthCare, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Managing expectations, from members of the public and the founding organizations, remains a challenge as some “expect immediate returns on the sizable public sector investment made in the project, despite the fact that it may take 20 to 30 years for it to reach its full potential.”

Read more: St. Louis Business Journal


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