Governor Gina M. Raimondo today joined state and local officials, representatives from Wexford Science and Technology, Brown University, the Cambridge Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson and members of the public to celebrate the completion of construction on the steel framing surrounding the Wexford Innovation Complex.
The project is being built on former I-195 land in the heart of Providence's Innovation and Design District and is expected to be completed in 2019. The Complex will generate approximately $100 million in additional revenues to the State over the next 20 years, according to third-party analysis.
"For too long, the I-195 land was vacant," Governor Raimondo said. "Today marks the continuation of something transformational -- not just for this land, but for our state and its economy. Wexford, Cambridge Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson, Brown University and others are making an investment in Rhode Island because we are making crucial, forward-thinking investments in our people and our economy."
"Wexford's project is advancing our state's economy in significant ways -- fostering innovation, spurring growth, and building opportunity for all Rhode Islanders," said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. "This project is a catalytic centerpiece of our revitalized I-195 Innovation & Design District. It represents the culmination of the very hard work of many including our visionary governor, Gina Raimondo; leaders at the I-195 Commission and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation; the teams at Wexford Science & Technology, Ventas, CIC, Brown University, and Johnson & Johnson; and state, city, and federal elected leaders. We congratulate these partners on reaching this critical milestone."
The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) (63,000 square feet), Brown University's School of Professional Studies (50,000 square feet), and Johnson & Johnson (31,000 square feet) will be tenants in the nearly 195,000-square-foot Innovation Building.
In addition to the Innovation Complex, CIC also is planning to locate an 8,000-square-foot Innovation Hall and Venture Cafe-dedicated civic spaces that are modeled after CIC's highly successful District Hall in the Seaport District of Boston, where the innovation community can gather and exchange ideas.
Johnson & Johnson is the world's largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, with approximately 132,500 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson operating companies worldwide.
As an anchor tenant for the Innovation Complex, Brown University will continue its investment in the Jewelry District and create a new home for its School of Professional Studies. The school offers an array of world-class executive master's programs, including an executive MBA, that enroll accomplished professionals from around the globe who travel to Providence for one- and two-week residency experiences during their studies. In addition to creating an expanded student presence in the Jewelry District, a new home for the School of Professional Studies will allow for additional academic programs, significant enrollment growth in existing programs, and the potential for collaboration between CIC startups and Brown student, faculty and alumni entrepreneurs.
The total cost of the Providence Innovation Center is expected to amount to approximately $88 million. The Innovation Center itself is creating more than 675 direct and indirect construction jobs and will lead to more than 800 direct and indirect ongoing jobs, according Appleseed Inc, a third-party economic analysis firm.
"This milestone represents a significant step forward in the development of a dynamic Knowledge Community bringing together intellectual capital, innovation and infrastructure to create a center of gravity, congregation and place for the Providence innovation ecosystem," said Jim Berens, founder and CEO of Wexford Science & Technology. "We are proud to add this building to the growing Providence skyline."
"We are thrilled at this milestone in the project and are eager to open the project and strengthen innovation in Rhode Island," said Tim Rowe, President and Founder, Cambridge Innovation Center.
"For Brown, the opportunity to become an anchor tenant in the Innovation Center furthers the University's investment in projects that are catalyzing the local economy and contributing to a vibrant ecosystem of academics, commerce and innovation," said Karen Sibley, vice president for strategic initiatives at Brown and dean of the School of Professional Studies. "And for our executive master's students who come to Providence from across the globe, the project will mean a new home, expanded academic programming and a wealth of new potential for collaboration with long-time business leaders and emerging startups alike."
"This project is transforming not only the City's skyline, but our culture of innovation as well," said Mayor Jorge Elorza. "We've seen an explosion of recent development in the Capital City because investors believe in our city's future. We're excited to see this project coming along so well."
President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio said, "Innovative companies like Wexford are exactly what we envisioned when we created the 195 Commission. Wexford's work will help new companies grow and create jobs for Rhode Islanders, and their presence will help attract additional, innovative companies to the area."
"Today is a significant and key milestone for the Wexford development and the Providence and Innovation Design District as this project represents an important milestone for the Commission because it aligns with the 195 Commission's economic development objectives," said 195 Commission Executive Director Pete McNally. "CIC's track record along with Wexford's in catalyzing and incubating early stage companies is impressive and proven in other markets. To make this happen, the Commission had at its disposal incentive capital that that allowed us to target these endeavors. This is also a confidence building step for those companies who are looking closely at new development and doing business in the PIDD."