Photo courtesy of the Cambridge Innovation Center.
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: