St. Louis' Inferiority Complex is Driving Innovation: New York Magazine
|TechShop, which helped Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey build Square, is thinking of moving to the Cortex.|
Central to St. Louis' growing success, according to Roose, is the Cortex district, a neighborhood that describes itself as "a little European, a little New York and totally St. Louis." Cortex developers are making big plans for its future, including $2.1 billion of construction, 4.5 million square feet of new space for offices, research, hotels, retail and more, a new MetroLink station and 13,000 permanent technology-related jobs.
If a modern American city wants to attract more innovation, it needs an anchor site like Cortex that's rich in technology and research, says Roose.
"A good example of how these assets help create an entrepreneurial climate is St. Louis, whose tech corridor is built around St. Louis University, Washington University Medical School, and several other hospitals where, presumably, cutting-edge research is bleeding over into the zone's other tech companies," Roose says.
The data agrees. A new report on "innovation zones" from the Brookings Institution singles out St. Louis and Cambridge as the two cities best exemplifying this kind of growth.