City of Irving, Indigo Group to unveil Business, Innovation Center in Heritage District
Beginning in May, business and community innovators will have the opportunity to soak in a 180-degree view of downtown Irving while leveraging support and professional guidance from business leaders, colleges and professional organizations.
The Irving Innovation Center will be renamed The Study: Irving’s Innovation Center, and will open its doors in the former Irving Central Library, 801 W. Irving Blvd. The facility is a public-private partnership with the City of Irving and Indigo Group.
“For years we have worked tirelessly to bring corporate engagement to the Heritage District,” said Irving City Manager Chris Hillman. “It is fulfilling to see this dream become a reality and to know that residents and companies will have many opportunities through this center.”
Thomas Foley will spearhead The Study. Foley said the goal is to “converge, collide and create” a collaborative environment where entrepreneurs, professionals, residents and students can foster creative development, technological advancement and networking skills.
The Study is an addition to the Heritage District, which during recent years has seen redevelopment in the Main Street shopping and dining corridor, as well as construction of The Delaware at Heritage Crossing, a single-family residential development near Delaware Creek. The Study is an accessible resource to local and area residents ? walking distance of the Trinity Railway Express’ Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station.
The Study will feature co-working space, private meeting rooms and a game lounge. It will provide a resource for small-business professionals looking to utilize the space periodically or on an extended basis. There is no set blueprint for participants. Residents, professionals and students of all backgrounds can benefit from the center’s programs and learning opportunities. The Study will serve as a valuable resource for those seeking professional development, such as women’s and veterans’ entrepreneur empowerment programs; training, certifications and STEM programming; continued learning opportunities for adults; partnerships with corporate and academic institutions; and a digital database connecting job seekers with potential employers.
The Study will host training, networking and investor events. Events will be held throughout the year including a U.S. Chamber of Commerce regional event on June 13; Women’s Leadership Live, scheduled for June 25; community engagement opportunities for students; and Share Tank, a program that matches businesses looking to improve the community with nonprofits that administer services in Irving.
The City of Irving Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Equipment and Building Services departments partnered on the project. Construction, which began in January on the $400,000 project, moved at a swift pace. The first and second floors of the facility were transformed to create a modern, industrial aesthetic. Some of the renovations include polished concrete floors and additional workspaces on the second level, light and dark gray interiors, remodeled bathrooms, updated light fixtures and additional electrical outlets on the second floor. The facility also features electronic badge access for The Study participants through the use of an elevator or through a glass-enclosed staircase.
While the second floor is open only to The Study participants, the first floor is accessible to the public and will include a coffee shop. Currently housed on the first floor are the Irving Archives and Ruth Paine House Museum Visitors Center. Future expansion of the first floor will include the Irving Museum and Heritage Center, which is scheduled for completion in late 2018. For more information on the facility, visit TheStudyUSA.com.
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