The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees has agreed to spend $16 million to convert the Campus Services Building—originally a 1929 Sears, Roebuck and Co. department store—to a research accelerator facility.
Plans call for the building to become a center of entrepreneurial innovation, the university says in a news release. The renovated facility will provide space for startup companies that incorporate university-developed technologies.
The first occupants could be in the building within 18 months.
"We envision this as an excellent location in the center of development for new companies which are transferring technologies from our academic research to new businesses, products and services,” says William Ball, vice president for research at the University of Cincinnati. “This will also provide access to a hub for commercialization services that enhance regional economic development.”
The university says the solid concrete design of the building will permit a variety of uses, from office space to laboratory and work space. Tearing down the building and erecting a new poured concrete building would cost more than renovating the existing space.