Ten years after its start, CORTEX tonight will take the wraps off a massive expansion that would double the size of the Central West End research park.
Last week, the top executive at CORTEX laid out his vision for how the nonprofit development agency hopes to turn nearly 200 acres of old warehouses and factories east of Barnes-Jewish Hospital into a hub for technology and medical research. It’s a vision CORTEX will take public this evening at a community meeting and in the coming weeks as it solicits the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to help finance the project.
In its $186 million second phase, CORTEX would construct a new office building for BJC Healthcare, convert an old telephone factory into state-of-the-art lab space and offices and put in a new park – CORTEX Commons – along Boyle Avenue. It would be done alongside a $26 million project to put a new interchange on Interstate 64 at Tower Grove Avenue and new bridges over the highway, and may eventually include a new MetroLink stop. Future phases would stretch all the way to Vandeventer Ave., with more office space, a retail center and housing mixed in, perhaps $2 billion worth of development over 20 years.