Wexford’s latest innovation center breaks ground in Providence

Nearly 200 people—including Rhode Island’s governor, its two U.S. senators, and a horde of state and local politicians—turned out for the Sept. 25 groundbreaking of the 191,000-sf Wexford Innovation Complex, an $88 million campus in Providence that, when completed in 2019, will add to the growing stable of “knowledge communities” Baltimore-based Wexford Science Technology has developed and manages.

The Innovation Complex—which will be constructed on nearly 26 acres of former Interstate 195 land at the heart of Providence’s Innovation and Design District—already has several high-profile tenants in tow. Johnson & Johnson is leasing 31,000 sf, and Brown University’s School of Professional Studies 50,000 sf on two floors.

The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), a tenant in several other Wexford projects, will lease 63,000 sf. CIC plans to locate an 8,000-sf Innovation Hall and a Venture Café modeled after Cambridge’s District Hall in Boston’s Seaport District.

Ayers Saint Gross is the architect on the Innovation Center, Shawmut Design & Construction is the GC, and Odeh Engineers is the SE.

The Providence Journal reports that Wexford and its development partners, CV Properties in Boston and Southport in Connecticut, also plan to build an Aloft-branded hotel on this land. That would be in line with Wexford’s long-range strategy to position its knowledge communities as live/work/play neighborhoods. All told, the Providence project will total 287,000 sf on two parcels and cost $158 million.

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