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CORTEX Innovation District
30 Apr 2015
Published To

The CORTEX Innovation District was formed by Washington University and many of its affiliates in 2002 in an effort to boost the city's economy. Located in a 'central corridor' of St. Louis, an 8-mile stretch between Clayton and the Gateway Arch, the District serves another purpose of providing opportunities for Washington University students and faculty in St. Louis. 

Since its inception, the District has created over 4000 jobs and has included new downtown nightlife, housing in Central West End, and even an IKEA retailer. A significant area of focus is in developing facilities for bioscience and technology research, as well as office and retail construction, with an eventual projected $2.1 billion investment in the region. This has led to great promise for the CORTEX District as a site of economic prosperity and development in St. Louis.

As it stands, the district still has significant room for growth. A WUSTL News article commented on the "stretches of vacant buildings, especially between Tucker Boulevard and Grand Center", and claimed that the corridor was too narrow and short overall. Challenges that Washington University faces with this project are finding ways to expand the corridor to include neighborhoods north and south of it, and extending its efforts into North St. Louis city and county, an area of little support from the University where many residents are left without jobs and quality schools.

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