HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Launchpad, a 17,000-SF innovation hub is open for business, bringing start-up boot camps and new business incubation to Downtown Houston.
Launchpad is located in Amegy on Main, a 13-story building at 1801 Main Street at Jefferson Street. The building is just north of the Pierce Elevated, which should be totally demolished as part of $7 billion planned freeway re-routing and downtown redevelopment.
“Hundreds of Startups” – Bob Eury
“Downtown Launchpad innovation hub starts at the edges of technology and entrepreneurship where cutting-edge ideas can quickly be cultivated and explored,” said Bob Eury, president of Central Houston and Downtown Redevelopment Authority, the driving force behind Launchpad. “We set out to recruit and develop partnerships with some of the nation’s premier accelerators and incubators in order to build an inclusive vertical village with all the critical support functions just steps away. We are excited and look forward to the impact created by the hundreds of startups that will walk through our doors.”
Resident partners are nationally recognized startup accelerators MassChallenge and gener8tor, along with global nonprofit incubator Impact Hub Houston. Operation partner, The Cannon, will be the space’s community manager. In addition to space for accelerator and incubator program employees and participants, Downtown Launchpad will also be a place for idea incubation, entrepreneur boot CHI and the DRA open Downtown Launchpad camps, community events, workforce development, innovation labs, creatives, coworking and corporate innovation. This environment enables entrepreneurs to move seamlessly through the stages of startup production, all in one space.
Momentum in SoDo (Southern Downtown)
Following the DRA’s approval of economic development grants to MassChallenge and gener8tor in 2019, the DRA issued a request for proposals to find a property within the boundaries of the Tax Increment Zone #3 for the co-location of the startup accelerators and other future tenants.
Central Houston and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority selected the Amegy on Main building, which had already begun creating a robust innovation ecosystem with the build-out of The Cannon Tower, a coworking venture operated by The Cannon on the 13th floor of that building. The Cannon Tower opened in December 2019, the same month that construction on Downtown Launchpad began. Impact Hub Houston signed on as Downtown Launchpad’s third resident partner in July 2020.
“In the 2017 Plan Downtown, a key business strategy focuses on facilitating the creation of collaborative Innovation District within Downtown,” said Curtis Flowers, Downtown Redevelopment Authority board chair.
Downtown Launchpad is located in the emerging neighborhood of SoDo* or Southern Downtown, which has seen an increase of more than 1,700 new residential units since 2012 as a result of the Downtown Living Initiative, a tax incentive program created by the City of Houston, DRA and the Downtown District to encourage new multifamily residential and mixed-use developments in the area. Residential in Southern Downtown (SoDo) should be enhanced by the removal of the Pierce Elevated, a blighted eyesore that has deflated momentum for decades.
*Realty News Report has initiated a style change. Southern Downtown will be referred to as “SoDo” as of Oct. 5, 2020.
Oct. 5, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020
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