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Apr. 16, 2014 12:15 pm

Cambridge Innovation Center: ‘no commitment or timeframe’ here

Plans have showed that the business incubator and coworking space's Baltimore office would be roughly 44,000 square feet when construction is completed in late 2014. Now in spring 2014, however, there is still no confirmed plan of a Cambridge Innovation Center expansion here.

The coworking facility inside the Cambridge Innovation Center.

Photo courtesy of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

Updated 4/18/14: This article has been updated reflecting a followup source conversation in which CIC managing director Geoff Mamlet said the CIC has never had confirmed plans to expand to Baltimore. This item then has been clarified to read as an update to the lack of those confirmed plans, rather than a change in CIC plans in Baltimore.

For nearly a year and a half, many in West Baltimore economic development circles have been excited to tout that Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) — the Massachusetts-based coworking space and business incubator for early-stage startups — would expand and open an office here.

As Technical.ly Baltimore reported in July 2013, discussed plans for CIC Baltimore would situate the incubator at 873 W. Baltimore St. near the University of Maryland BioPark. At the time, real estate consulting firm Cross Street Partners told Technical.ly Baltimore that the Baltimore-based innovation center — a development project of Wexford company — would be roughly 44,000 square feet when construction would be completed in late 2014.

Now in spring 2014, however, the future of CIC Baltimore is uncertain. [Updated] There still is no formal agreement or finalized plans for CIC to expand here at all. CIC staff have only looked into the idea with BioPark and Wexford, but never pledged to expand here, said a CIC representative.

In a statement provided to Technical.ly Baltimore via e-mail, CIC managing director Geoff Mamlet said:

Baltimore is a market we are exploring and learning about. We see many things to like so far, not least the strong support for innovation from the University of MD and the great people we’ve met along the way. At this time, we have no timeframe or commitment to report.

“If we proceed with CIC Baltimore, this is very likely to be where it would go,” Mamlet said, referring to plans to locate the Baltimore innovation center in West Baltimore near the BioPark.

When asked if Mamlet could share any information as to why CIC Baltimore might not proceed, he said he was “unable to comment on that.”

In early 2013, the Cambridge, Mass.-based incubator announced plans to expand to St. Louis, Mo., at the same time it announced it was eyeing Baltimore as a possible expansion site. A change in CIC leadership last summer was pinned as a possible reason for a slow down in that expansion. To date, a launch page for updates regarding the St. Louis CIC is available, but no similar page for Baltimore has been created.

Watch a video about the Cambridge Innovation Center:

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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  • Leardon Solutions

    Reading between the lines here may indicate some red tape that they’re working through. Hopefully this can happen. These types of initiatives are important!
    Cliff
    http://leardon.com