The University of Cincinnati
is renovating its former Campus Services Building, located at 2900 Reading Road, into a research accelerator. The $16 million project will be finished in about 18 months.
The new research accelerator will help encourage entrepreneurial innovation at UC by providing the space for UC-based startup companies. The first tenant has been announced, UC Research Institute, which is an independent nonprofit that helps attract local, national and international industries to then partner with faculty and students in sponsored research.
The 133,000-square-foot building was built in 1929 as a Sears, Roebuck and Co. department store. Over the years, UC housed a number of departments in it, but it was emptied and slated for demolition last year.
The two-story tower at the center of the building that in a previous life housed a water tank for the building’s fire suppression system will become office space. A 40,000-square-foot addition that was added in 1945 at the north end of the building will be demolished. A new elevator and stairway will be added along with new safety, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems.
Development will be done one floor at a time, and areas of the building will be finished to meet tenant specifications.
Funding was approved for the project last week, and it will receive $14 million in debt funding and $2 million in local funds.