16 Tech Innovation Community Launches with $38 Million Lilly Endowment Grant; First Developer Agreement

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INDIANAPOLIS, March 22, 2018 – The 16 Tech Community Corporation announced today a $38 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. that will help fund the initial development phase of the 16 Tech Innovation Community. This grant sets in motion the transformation of the first 30 acres of a 60-acre area on the near west side of Indianapolis into an innovation-based community for researchers, entrepreneurs and established companies that also will help strengthen the vitality of surrounding neighborhoods.

16 Tech Community Corporation, the nonprofit operating entity for the 16 Tech Innovation Community, also announced an agreement with Indianapolis-based Browning to construct three new buildings and renovate one facility on 11 acres of property, provided by the City of Indianapolis, along Waterway Boulevard in the 16 Tech Innovation Community. Browning’s investment in these first four buildings tops $120 million.

“With the generous support of Lilly Endowment and the first developer agreement in place, 16 Tech is well on its way to becoming the city’s largest talent attraction, retention and development asset,” said Bob Coy, 16 Tech Community Corporation president and CEO. “We are actively delivering on our vision for 16 Tech as a place where entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, companies and residents work collaboratively, creating a launching pad for new ideas, new technologies and growth. We look forward to working with Browning, the City of Indianapolis, academic and research institutions, industry partners and local residents to establish a world-class innovation community.”

The three-year Lilly Endowment grant will help 16 Tech create a place that inspires creativity and facilitates collaboration, leading to innovation across the life sciences, tech, and advanced manufacturing and engineering industry sectors.  As part of the effort, 16 Tech leaders are working with the Metropolitan Development Commission to launch a Community Investment Fund. The fund will invest in quality-of-life plans and STEM career opportunities for residents in the neighborhoods surrounding 16 Tech.

“Lilly Endowment is pleased to help support the launch of 16 Tech, which we believe may be a once-in-a-generation community economic development opportunity for our city and state,” said N. Clay Robbins, the Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO. “By encouraging creativity and innovation, it will attract talented individuals from all over the world. It also will catalyze synergistic relationships among Indiana’s leading advanced industries and its highly regarded research institutions, which should lead to significant economic and employment opportunities for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods and throughout the region.”

16 Tech is located in close proximity to a significant number of central Indiana’s advanced industry companies and leading institutions such as Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Eskenazi Health and Riley Hospital for Children, which are within walking distance of the 16 Tech site and will play a significant role in 16 Tech’s success.

Also, key to 16 Tech’s development is the $75 million in tax-increment financing the City of Indianapolis approved in 2015 for infrastructure improvements for the project, which has included work on sewers and roads. It represents one of the largest public funding commitments in the city’s history.

“16 Tech will help to further advance Indianapolis’ culture of innovation,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “As our city continues to be recognized for its tech growth across the biosciences, advanced manufacturing and IT industry sectors, 16 Tech will be a destination point for new talent and a place for our city’s existing talent to grow.”

A portion of the Endowment grant will help fund several initial placemaking cornerstone projects, including:

  • The design and construction of a signature new bridge spanning Fall Creek and connecting 16 Tech with IUPUI, the IU School of Medicine and hospital campuses along West 10th The bridge will accommodate pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic and will be built as an iconic gateway to 16 Tech with ample gathering space and interaction with Fall Creek;
  • A multi-use pedestrian and cycling path that connects 16 Tech with a future extension of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail;
  • The development of public art in and around 16 Tech; and
  • Central green space that serves as a destination within the innovation community, the focal point for many of the buildings, and open space for events and gatherings.


The Endowment grant includes a $2 million dollar-for-dollar match challenge for 16 Tech Community Corporation to raise philanthropic dollars from individuals, corporations, foundations or private entities.


Portions of the Endowment’s grant are subject to conditions designed to help 16 Tech accelerate the development of the district. Specifically, a portion of the grant is conditioned upon 16 Tech Community Corporation’s securing commitments from life sciences and technology companies, and similar businesses, to occupy space in 16 Tech or make unrestricted contributions to 16 Tech.

As the placemaking planning and construction get underway, Browning will finalize plans to construct approximately 240,000 square feet of new office and research space and a multi-family housing complex with more than 250 units. Browning also will rehabilitate a 94,500- square-foot warehouse and adjoining annex for use as makerspace, co-working space and shared lab space.

The developer agreement includes:

  • A multi-story building that serves as the innovation community’s anchor facility. The 120,000-square-foot building will house the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) and will include open lab and office space for additional tenants. Construction is expected to begin in late 2018;
  • A multi-family apartment complex with more than 250 units. Construction is expected to begin in late 2018 or early 2019;
  • Renovation of office and warehouse space once occupied by Citizens Energy Group. Construction is expected to begin in late 2019; and
  • A new Class A office building with office and research space as well as food, beverage and retail space. The building is designed to encourage and facilitate new collaborations among visitors, 16 Tech tenants and local residents.

“Browning is honored to have been selected to develop the first phase of projects in 16 Tech,” said John Hirschman, president and CEO of Browning.  “It is hard to overstate the importance of 16 Tech to the growth of the innovation ecosystem for the advanced industries of Indianapolis and Indiana.”

Design work for the new bridge is expected to begin later this year.  Additionally, work will begin this spring to move various water utility lines to prepare for the bridge’s construction and other aspects of the development.

16 Tech Impact

The first phase of 16 Tech will create more than 2,600 jobs over 10 years, according to a 2015 report by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. Jobs are expected to range from entry-level and middle-skill (61 percent) to high-skill (39 percent).

With a development agreement in place, 16 Tech is launching the Community Investment Fund. Seeded with $3 million from the Metropolitan Development Commission, the fund will be financially sustained through an assessment of future district occupants at the rate of $0.20 per square foot annually.

“The near west side of Indianapolis will be one of the significant beneficiaries of 16 Tech and its success,” said City County Council President Vop Osili, who represents District 11.  “16 Tech is actively partnering with the neighborhoods surrounding it.  This is being done to ensure that the surrounding community members reap long-term benefits from their partnerships with 16 Tech.”

“The Riverside Neighborhood, within which 16 Tech is located, has been actively engaged with the 16 Tech leadership throughout the development process, and we look forward to working toward mutual benefit as 16 Tech takes shape,” said Jeremy Littell, former president of the Riverside Civic League. “There is significant momentum taking place on the Near Northwest side, with the New Riverside High School, Riverside Park Master Plan, Northwest Quality of Life Plan and Stadium Lofts, among other developments and programs.”

About 16 Tech

16 Tech is an innovation community and one of the largest talent attraction, retention and development opportunities in Indianapolis’s history. Located on the near west side of Indianapolis, 16 Tech is a dense, open community that will bring talent together to collaborate toward innovation. The innovation community is guided by a 13-member board of directors that brings deep community leadership and diverse business experience to the board.  More information can be found at www.16tech.com.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J. K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Co. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.



Media Contact:

Laura Miller for 16 Tech


[email protected]