Shawmut completed the Wexford Innovation Center in Rhode Island, a highly anticipated project on the former Interstate 195 land in Providence. Designed by Ayers Saint Gross and developed by Wexford Science & Technology, the all-new $88 million, 202,000-square-foot complex, which was constructed as part of the I-195 redevelopment as the cornerstone of Providence's Innovation and Design District, creates a hub of life science research, discovery, and entrepreneurial activity for the city and state.
“We are proud to unveil the Wexford Innovation Center, the premier innovation space in the city of Providence,” said Ron Simoneau, vice president at Shawmut. “Our team was tremendously honored to bring this vision to life, helping to form a transformative Innovation and Design District that will become a vibrant, forward-thinking hub on former I-195 land.”
Anchored by Cambridge Innovation Center, Brown University, and Johnson & Johnson as tenants, the complex will represent an epicenter of innovative activity while creating a dynamic knowledge community. Inside, the building features an 8,000-square-foot District Hall and Venture Café, modeled after CIC's highly successful model in the Seaport District of Boston. The on-site café and two-story public meeting space are connected to an outdoor plaza and will host weekly public events, such as workshops, forums, and networking panels as a hub for innovators, investors, service providers, and mentors to share ideas and stories.
“The Wexford Innovation Center is a symbol of our progress,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Over the last four years, we’ve brought dozens of new businesses to Rhode Island and created thousands of good-paying jobs. What was once nothing but dirt becomes an integral part of our capital city’s Innovation & Design District.”
As the core tenant, CIC spans four floors and features on-site health and wellness space, private nursing rooms, game rooms, kitchens, shared and collobative spaces, and a full service concerige. Brown University’s School of Professional Studies will also occupy part of the complex and will allow the program to expand its executive-level master’s programs focused on business, technology leadership, healthcare and more within the building. Creating an immersive partnership, Brown students and faculty will collaborate with CIC to serve as a hub for technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and economic innovation.
“Since breaking ground on this project almost two years ago, we have seen an incredible transformation in the Providence Innovation & Design District, from the completion of the River House apartment project and the redevelopment of Davol Square just down the street, to an incredible waterfront park and several new planned projects on former I-195 land," said Jim Berens, CEO of Wexford Science & Technology. "We believe that this new project, which we have named Point225, will represent the epicenter of innovation activity within the Providence Innovation & Design District.”
Targeting LEED Gold certification and designed to echo the vibrancy and excitement of the innovation happening within the district, the building includes an activated streetscape, indoor/outdoor connectivity that provides community access, and private event space outfitted with state-of-the-art technology, breakout rooms, soft seating pods, and meeting facilities.
The complex linchpins other developments in the area, including South Street Landing, the pedestrian bridge spanning the Providence River, and new housing developments such as River House, which Shawmut also constructed in partnership with GMH Capital Partners, Wexford Science & Technology, and Iron Point Partners.