A first-of-its-kind, super high-tech manufacturing lab, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute has leased a 94,000 square foot spot in the former Republic Windows & Doors Inc. building at 930 W. Evergreen Ave. The lab, which is funded by a $70 million federal grant, $16 million from the state and $10 million from the city, is expected to open next year. The venture, managed by research and development group UI Labs, will house lab and manufacturing facilities, with room for workforce training and student instructional space. Hometown architectural heavyweight Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has been tapped to design the space that will become the future Digital Lab for Manufacturing.
The lab's opening on Goose Island along with other redevelopment efforts of former industrial spaces certainly signals a turning point in the makeup of the area that was known for its coal yards and grain elevators (and beer, of course). Once known as a "Little Hell" for its grimy image, Goose Island is poised to become the next major tech hub in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel lauded the potential for the development in February, saying the lab will give Chicago "the potential to be the Silicon Valley of new digital manufacturing and advanced manufacturing."
This post was authored by Curbed Chicago contributor Megan Graham
·Digital manufacturing lab signs lease at Goose Island [Crain's]
·The future is now for digital lab [Chicago Tribune]
·Has Chicago's New $320M Tech Research And Manufacturing Center Found Its Home Already? [Curbed Chicago]