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Adaptive Reuse Helps Expand Innovation District

@4240 Laboratory and Office Building
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

“@4240 already houses nearly 500 high tech jobs in the heart of St. Louis. It put the Cortex District on a competitive playing field with other research districts across the US. It is making St. Louis even more attractive to national companies, as evidenced by the establishment of Cambridge Innovation Center’s first location outside of Massachusetts. ”

Joshua M. Parker
Former Director, Development, Wexford Science + Technology, LLC

This adaptive reuse project anchors the Cortex Innovation Community, a 200-acre mixed-use urban research district in midtown St. Louis.

Originally constructed in 1948 as a telephone handset factory, the three-story building was redeveloped by Wexford Science & Technology to provide flexible laboratory and office space for tenants involved in life sciences, research, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Preserving and highlighting the masonry structure’s historic character, the design team retrofitted the building with modern, high-performance systems that enable it to function as a state-of-the-art research and office facility. Floor openings cut into the middle of the building allow skylights to illuminate a courtyard, light wells, the building’s interior and a two-story concourse. By creating informal meeting and collaboration areas, the concourse functions as the “mixing space” for the complex.

Large floor plates and highly adaptable mechanical systems enable @4240 to support a variety of tenants, from small startups to larger, more established research organizations. The space includes fully equipped conference rooms, open meeting areas, green spaces, cafés and casual gathering spots.

The LEED Platinum-certified project features extensive use of renewable building materials and energy efficiency measures, including e a 50-kV photovoltaic array. The design and construction team worked within historic guidelines to restore the building’s deteriorating brick facade, add insulation under a new roof and upgrade the industrial windows with historically accurate, insulated replacement glazing. The building is 45 percent more energy efficient than a typical lab and office facility.

Relocating the building’s main entry promotes interaction with the newly planned Cortex Commons, a park-like green space that serves as the community hub for the district.

Located within walking distance of a planned public transit station, the building is near Washington University/BJC Medical Center and Saint Louis University. This location provides convenient access to additional scientific resources and partnership opportunities.


LEED Platinum


183,000 sq. ft. / 17,000 sq. m.


Interior Design
Laboratory Programming/Planning/Design
Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design
Master Planning
Structural Engineering


Company tenants


Amount of building leased to tenants


More energy efficient than a typical lab/office building


10 April 2015
“@4240 Hits 65 Companies, 450 Workers”
St. Louis Business Journal

29 October 2014
“Wexford’s @4240 Building”
Tradeline Inc.

29 September 2014
“CIC@4240 Opens in St. Louis”
St. Louis Public Radio

5 June 2013
“University Will Anchor New Cortex Building”
Washington University in St. Louis