HOK Science + Technology Experts Discuss @4240 Innovation Hub in St. Louis
In the race for highly coveted tech companies and startups, cities, institutions and developers are teaming to form innovation hot pockets like Wexford’s @4240 redevelopment in St. Louis.
“The latest iteration of incubator and accelerator buildings reinforces the idea of connection, through features like open spaces, interior streets, multiple entry points, expanded amenities, a greater connection with the neighborhood and an authentic environment.”
“‘Many of these researchers and entrepreneurs who are running startups need other PhDs to help them,’ says William Odell, FAIA, director of HOK’s Science + Technology practice. ‘They have a choice. They don’t want to work in the basement of some lab; they want cool space.’”
“Odell led the design team for Wexford’s @4240 redevelopment in the 240-acre Cortex district in St. Louis. The LEED Platinum project converted a 68-year-old Western Electric–Southwestern Bell distribution building into 183,000 square feet of fully customizable spec lab and office space. The team went to great lengths to create a hyper-collaborative environment inside the building. The project involved cutting through the three-story structure to make way for a series of skylit corridors and a central interior ‘street,’ inserting an open communicating stair off the lobby, and making extensive use of interior glass.”
“At 90% occupancy, @4240 is filled with more than 65 tenants and 450 workers in a wide range of disciplines. Tenants range from tech and pharmaceutical startups to patent attorneys to accounting firms to startup accelerators like the Cambridge Innovation Center. It even houses a satellite office for Boeing.”