The University of Cincinnati announced Wednesday its digital futures building will be the first tenant of the Uptown Gateway, a mixed-use development at Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road.
The project is part of the Uptown Innovation Corridor and takes advantage of the new I-71 interchange at Martin Luther King.
UC President Neville Pinto says the 180,000-square foot space will allow faculty and students to work with industry on the digital future.
"Our vision for the new building is that of a digital research commons," Pinto says. "Which will bring together our advanced capabilities in computer hardware and software, data sciences, digital expression, and human factors to interface with our external partners."
Pinto says the facility will help the region thrive in the rapidly changing knowledge economy.
In the coming months, UC's academic leadership will be meeting to determine the specific programs and projects that will take place in the digital futures building.
Avondale Community Council President Patricia Milton said the community welcomes the investment.
"This project will be a catalyst for the entire Innovation Corridor motivating other businesses to locate here because UC is making this major investment," Milton says.
Jill Meyer, who's the president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, says the building will be "that place" for tech talent.
"The collisions will happen with regularity," Meyer said. "This is a place for them to work certainly, but also a place for them to live and to play and to hang with the people who they like to collide with so that they can continue to drive innovation as we go forward."
Developers say the Uptown Gateway will eventually include 480,000-square feet of office space; a 120 to 200 room hotel; multifamily residential space; retail; an urban park and a large underground parking garage. Ultimately, the project could house 2,000 employees from the tech sector.
Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction are partnering to build the project. Phase One with the UC space is expected to be completed in 2021.
The Uptown Consortium has assembled more than 100 parcels of real estate for the Innovation Corridor.