16 Tech Launches Signature Project to Connect Innovation District, Neighborhoods and Talent

16 Tech Community Corporation is inviting teams from across the nation and around the world to submit qualifications to design a new bridge that will become a signature structure for the 16 Tech Innovation District near downtown Indianapolis.

The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) & Proposals (RFP) released today seeks submissions from teams for a bridge that will span Fall Creek from 10th Street and Riley Hospital Drive into the 16 Tech Innovation District as well as schematic designs for entrances and wayfinding within the 50-acre development.

The 16 Tech Innovation District, located on the northwest edge of downtown Indianapolis, is being developed to build collaboration among innovators and entrepreneurs in life science, technology, advanced manufacturing and engineering in an urban live-work-play-learn environment.

The $14.5 million bridge design and construction project is supported through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and funding through the City of Indianapolis. It includes the design and construction of the 350-foot-long bridge for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles that will connect to walking and biking trails, new public spaces and a community of innovators, residents and visitors in the 16 Tech Innovation District.

“With this project, 16 Tech is demonstrating a commitment to innovation and creativity that is central to its efforts to attract talent and drive economic growth,” said Rob Smith, Lilly Endowment’s senior vice president for collaborative strategies. “The bridge project holds the promise of creating a signature structure that will raise the profile of 16 Tech and Indianapolis.”

“This project will become one of the design centerpieces of the near westside, forming a new artery that connects our region’s nationally ranked research corridor to 16 Tech and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Connectivity, access, and mobility are vital components of a community, and the 16 Tech Bridge project is an exciting opportunity to enhance the area.”

A committee of local and national experts in design, public transportation, urban planning and landscape architecture is partnering with 16 Tech to review and recommend a team for the project. The selection committee is chaired by 16 Tech board member Marya Rose, vice president and chief administrative officer, Cummins Inc., and includes internationally recognized leaders Matt Shaw, contributing editor, Architect’s Newspaper; Shin-pei Tsay, director of Policy, Cities and Transportation, Uber; Sara Zewde, founding principal, Studio Zewde; and local leaders Vop Osili, Indianapolis City-County Council President; Dan Parker, director, Indianapolis Department of Public Works; and Adam Thies, associate vice president, Capital Planning and Facilities, Indiana University.

“The 16 Tech bridge will be more than a physical structure that allows people to travel from one place to another. It will be a landmark connector of people and ideas, which is at the heart of 16 Tech,” said Bob Coy, president and CEO of 16 Tech. “16 Tech is looking for the best and most thoughtful designers to help create an emblem of innovation, ultimately making this one of the most beautiful places in our city.”

16 Tech desires that there be international/national and local participation in the project as well as inclusion of minority, women, veteran, disabled and LGBTQ individuals and business enterprises. RFQ submissions for the project are being accepted through March 12, 2020. A shortlist of finalists will be announced by the end of March and teams selected to submit proposals will also be invited to interview in Indianapolis at the end of April. A design team will be announced in May 2020, and the bridge is targeted for completion in late 2022.

Multiple construction projects are currently underway in 16 Tech as the $500 million innovation district comes to life. Active projects include:

  • The district’s first new research and office building, which will be complete in the Summer of 2020;
  • Renovation of the former Indianapolis Water Company building into an Innovation Hub with flexible office and incubator space, a makerspace and an artisan market with food, entertainment and gathering space;
  • An extension of Gent Avenue that connects the Riverside neighborhood to the center of the district; and
  • Relocation of water wells and water transmission mains to prepare the site for the new bridge across Fall Creek.

16 Tech has partnered with Synthesis Incorporated, a local architecture and design firm, as the Owner’s Representative for the process and Columbus Design Institute, a program of the Columbus, Ind.-based non-profit Landmark Columbus Foundation, as a design advisor.

A public copy of the Request for Qualifications & Proposals is available at www.16tech.com/bid-opportunities/.

All parties that desire to participate in the Design Team Selection Process should register at ePlanroom.ReproGraphix.com to download the official version of the document, access additional project information and to receive project updates and any other official communications.  Questions regarding the submission process may be directed to Gregory McMullen at Synthesis Incorporated, 317-951-9500 or [email protected].

The release of the 16 Tech RFQ comes a week after the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an internationally recognized 8-mile linear park and urban bike and pedestrian path, announced an expansion that will extend from the Madam Walker Legacy Center on Indiana Avenue, along 10th Street and to the site of the future 16 Tech Bridge.