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central houston, inc. and the downtown redevelopment authority announce new innovation space
10.24.2019
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The Downtown Launch Pad, created in partnership with Amegy Bank and The Cannon, will open in Spring 2020

HOUSTON — Central Houston, Inc. (CHI) and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) today announce the creation of The Downtown Launch Pad, an innovation space open to entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. The Launch Pad will be located within The Cannon Tower at Amegy on Main, an innovation environment dedicated to supporting early stage businesses in Houston and distributed across several floors of the Amegy Bank building at 1801 Main Street in Southern Downtown. The 17,000-square-foot Launch Pad will be anchored by MassChallenge and gener8tor, and will also include space for incubators, labs, creatives, coworking and corporate innovation. The space is expected to open in Spring 2020.

“Central Houston and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority are committed to establishing Downtown Houston as a nexus for innovation and a leader in urban entrepreneurship,” said Bob Eury, president of both entities. “We’ve found strong, strategic partners in Amegy Bank and The Cannon, both of which are committed to fostering and sustaining a vibrant innovation culture in Houston, from startup to production.”

In August, the DRA issued a request for proposals for innovation space within the boundaries of the Tax Increment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) for the co-location of startup accelerators MassChallenge and gener8tor and other future tenants. (Both accelerators have received economic development grants from the DRA to operate in Downtown Houston through 2024.) Amegy has been working with architecture and design firm Gensler to redesign and reposition the 13th floor of Amegy on Main as a new coworking venture, operated by innovation hub developer The Cannon, which will open in Q4 2019, and will work with the DRA on building out the 10th floor.

“Amegy Bank has a long history of reinvesting in the local community and supporting Texas families and businesses,” said Kelly Foreman, SVP and Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Manager for Amegy. “Now, through our partnerships with The Cannon and The Launch Pad, we are taking our commitment to small businesses to the next level by converting a part of Amegy on Main into a hub for emerging technology and start-up companies that aligns all the players across the entrepreneurial spectrum—corporations, mentors, investors, service providers and the startups themselves. This combination of offerings and capabilities will unlock significant value for Downtown, helping to attract and retain companies from not only Houston, but from around the country.”

At The Launch Pad, entrepreneurs will be able to move seamlessly from startup to operations in one place. Companies involved in the MassChallenge and gener8tor accelerator programs will have access to a collaborative ground-floor lobby space and a dedicated event space on the 11th floor, plus the proximity of other startups, tech and innovation, which creates an energy unlike any other office environment in the city. The companies can also graduate into coworking space on the 13th floor post-program.

“We originally created The Cannon to be the missing piece in Houston’s startup ecosystem,” said Lawson Gow, Founder and CEO of The Cannon and Cannon Ventures. “Through the Cannon Tower and The Downtown Launch Pad, we are excited to join up with Central Houston, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Amegy Bank to create an entire “vertical village” of innovation—a system of floors at Amegy on Main that will provide Houston’s entrepreneurs with all the programs and resources they need to thrive.”

In addition to the on-site amenities and access at Amegy on Main, The Launch Pad is located in the emerging neighborhood of Southern Downtown. Situated along METRORail and part of the innovation corridor, Southern Downtown 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 Downtown District to encourage new multifamily residential and mixed-use developments in the area. The DRA is also currently developing the new Southern Downtown Park at the 1500 block of Fannin Street, which will be anchored by Tout Suite, a local, fast-casual cafe and bake shop.

For a press kit with high-res images and background on the MassChallenge and gener8tor agreements, please visit LINK TK.

About Central Houston, Inc.
Central Houston, Inc. is the steward of Houston’s vision for the redevelopment and revitalization of Downtown. Central Houston has contributed to the momentum of this exciting revitalization by enhancing collaboration among public officials, developers and businesses and has facilitated many of the public and private projects that have transformed downtown over the past 30 years.

Today, Central Houston’s leadership and oversight continue to play a critical role downtown. Priorities focus on the image of the city, quality of life, strengthening Houston’s economic base and continued collaboration with the City, County, METRO and downtown property owners to improve our central city. For more information, visit centralhouston.org.

About Downtown Redevelopment Authority
The Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) facilitates positive development of the area within the Tax Increment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) boundaries. Tax increment dollars collected within the boundaries of the Zone are reinvested back into the Zone through the Board of Directors. It accomplishes this by providing financial incentives through public/private sector partnerships designed to make Downtown Houston a place where Houstonians and visitors want to live, work and play. For more information, visit downtowntirz.com.

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