Issue: March/April 2012
Community Impact Awards 2012: Heart Beats
Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor hopes to pump new life into an area between downtown and University Circle.
It took almost two years, but Cleveland HeartLab managed to go from a single-room operation with a handful of employees to an 80-person outfit busting the seams of its 7,000-square-foot downtown offices.
“We were in hallways, closets, doubled up everywhere,” says Jake Orville, president and CEO of Cleveland HeartLab. “When we looked close to the area, we couldn’t find a facility to accommodate us.”
Orville pondered spots in Mentor and Valley View. And despite admitting that it would be weird having Cleveland HeartLab in Boston, Orville even considered Beantown.
“We had to find a building and a builder that could partner with us,” says Orville. “We hope to expand.”
After about a year of searching, he found MidTown Tech Park, 128,000 square feet of office and lab space just west of the Cleveland Clinic on Euclid Avenue. Cleveland HeartLab suddenly had 30,000 square feet in the heart of the city’s Health-Tech Corridor, a 3-mile stretch between downtown and University Circle that hopes to become a hub of the health care and technology industries.
Management of the corridor is a collaboration between MidTown Cleveland, a nonprofit development corporation, and BioEnterprise Inc., which incubates biomedical companies. “It is one of the most exciting and unprecedented collaborations between private and public partners that I have seen,” says Jim Haviland, executive director of MidTown Cleveland Inc.
Orville signed a 10-year lease in September. By January, the company had moved 90 percent of the operation to the new space, officially becoming the MidTown Tech Park’s second tenant. (JumpStart, an economic development nonprofit, was the first.) Two additional tenants had already signed on
More than $2.9 billion has been invested in physical development along the Health-Tech Corridor over the past few years, including renovation of Euclid Avenue and the Greater Cleveland RTA’s rapid bus-transit system.
Designated as an Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity, the area earned $3.5 million in Job Ready Sites funding from the state for the MidTown Tech Park project.
In addition, more than 50 acres of real estate has been slated for redevelopment with a plan for infrastructure improvements, pedestrian and bike connections, and public art. As a first step, street banners marking the district were unveiled along Euclid Avenue in September.
With so much going on, Orville feels Cleveland HeartLab made the correct decision.
“I wanted to stay close to the area,” says Orville, whose company provides cardiovascular disease risk assesments. “With the proximity of University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic, if you were to start this [company] from scratch, I would want to be right here.”— Scott Patsko
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