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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Organizers say groundbreaking is set to begin on a new development in Oklahoma City’s Innovation District.

Real estate developers Richard Tanenbaum and Mark Beffort have teamed up to build a mixed-use development near N.E. 8th St. and I-235.

“In OKC, we’re no stranger to big ambition. We’re honored to work alongside our city leaders to build on OKC’s reputation as a front-runner in national innovation. The foundation of this project is inclusion, diversity, growth, and opportunity for all Oklahomans,” said Mark Beffort, Robinson Park Investments CEO. 

Organizers say the focus of the project is to build an environment that promotes cross-sector collaboration among Oklahoma’s key industries like aviation, aerospace, bioscience, and energy.

The 400,000 square foot, pedestrian-centric layout features research labs and office space, a hotel, retail space, and a public realm.

A key feature of the project is the proposed MAPS 4 funded Innovation Hall, a central place where activities to grow Oklahoma City’s innovation economy can be facilitated. 

“Oklahoma City has been building momentum in the biotechnology arena, and this project represents an important step forward as we seek to create collaboration between this and other emerging technology sectors in our city,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “With OMRF’s track record of successfully spinning off start-up companies, we recognize a great opportunity when we see one. This new space will catalyze cross-pollination and innovation, as well as fuel the development of top-notch researchers and scientists in our community. We’re excited to join in this effort and follow the new paths it blazes.” 

Officials say Wheeler Labs, a clinical laboratory developing high-complexity diagnostic services, will be the anchor tenant.

“When Wheeler Labs was offered a position as an anchor tenant we committed on the spot. Uniting the health science corridor with downtown is exactly what our community needs. We can offer a compelling proposition to Pharma and Healthcare companies by offering the highest quality, lowest cost pathways to discover new medicine. We’ve yet to speak with an investor, scientist, or venture capitalist who’s not interested in collaboration once they’ve heard the story,” said Christian Kanady, local energy entrepreneur and founder of Echo Investment Capital.

Groundbreaking is set to begin in late 2021 for the development.