First tenant announced in the Uptown Gateway development at the Uptown Innovation Corridor

A rendering of the Uptown Gateway development in the Uptown Innovation Corridor.

On Wednesday, August 22, the University of Cincinnati announced their intention to sign a long-term, build-to-suit lease in the Uptown Gateway development in the Uptown Innovation Corridor. Terrex Development and Construction and Messer Construction will develop a 180,000 square foot building that will serve UC’s Digital Futures initiative, where companies can openly innovate and collaborate with UC, the community, and each other. The Digital Futures building will be located at the highly sought out corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road by the I-71 interchange and in close proximity to the 1819 Innovation Hub.

“UC has a long, impressive history of keeping innovation and collaboration central to its culture. These traditions coupled with their new investment in the Uptown Innovation Corridor communicates a significant step for our region,” said Beth Robinson, president and CEO of Uptown Consortium. “We are building a transformative ecosystem in this district, so this lease marks a key milestone that is certain to attract the innovation community.”  

The Uptown Innovation Corridor project is led by the Uptown Consortium (UCI). To date, UCI has strategically assembled over 120 parcels of land and formed critical partnerships with the Avondale community, City of Cincinnati and influential local developers. In January 2017, UCI announced Terrex and Messer as the preferred developers for the southeast corner of the Corridor development known as the Uptown Gateway. In August 2017, UCI and their partners celebrated the official opening of the MLK interchange after nearly a decade of advocacy and planning. 

“This innovation district is vital to the future of our city,” said John Cranley, Mayor of Cincinnati. “This project is an amazing catalyst for the reinvestment of these great historic neighborhoods.” 


The Uptown Gateway project is an urban, mixed-use development including class A office, hotel and residential uses. Project amenities will include an underground parking facility, outdoor plaza and green space, and sustainable green design. UC is the first tenant to sign on to the project. This development agreement will attract likeminded tenants and talent to the Corridor. 

“This development represents a shared vision for our region as a leader in innovation,” said Johnna Reeder, president and CEO of REDI Cincinnati. “The growing Innovation Corridor will mobilize stakeholders to help realize our full potential by bringing new jobs and capital investment into our community.” 

Over the last two years, UCI, Terrex and Messer have actively prepared the project for future construction, including prioritizing the needs of the Avondale community in the development planning. From project inception, UCI and the developers have met with the City and community council for feedback and set increased economic inclusion protocols to ensure that Avondale residents are included in job opportunities during construction and beyond. 

“The Avondale community welcomes UC’s decision to locate in the Innovation Corridor and hopes it will spur others to invest in Avondale,” said Patricia Milton, president of the Avondale Community Council. “This is what matters: creating opportunities for the current residents to be involved and to succeed, so when the buildings are complete, we grow together as one vibrant neighborhood.”  

At the press conference on August 22, Dr. Neville Pinto, UC president and UCI board chair, delivered the news to stakeholders and media personnel. Terrex and Messer expect the project to be completed in 2021.  

Wordsworth Communications