INDIANAPOLIS - For nearly 20 years, many wondered if the 16 Tech Innovation District on the near west side of Indianapolis would ever happen.  But last week, the project reached a visible milestone with the topping out ceremony for its anchor building.  Chief Executive Officer Bob Coy says now that progress can actually be visualized, interest is building for a talent attraction and retention project that has spanned four mayoral administrations.  “We have non-binding letters of commitment in the life sciences, tech, engineering, financial services as well as a couple of universities that have told us they would like to be within the districts,” said Coy, who projects up to 3,000 jobs could be created in the district over the next decade.  “About 40 percent will be bachelor’s (degrees) and higher and about 24 percent will be entry level, so it’s a nice mix for everybody.”

Coy talked about what’s next for 16 Tech on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Coy says moving out of the design and concept stage into implementation is a major breakthrough for the project, which as first conceived in 2002.

Innovation Building One will include three floors of laboratories for life sciences research by the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and startups in need of equipment.  It will also be the home of the Indiana School of Medicine’s Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering as well as the headquarters of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Coy says Building Two at 16 Tech is scheduled to break ground next year, along with residential development. He says designs are being finalized for 230-250 housing units near Innovation Building One.

“The fact that we are moving forward is the result of the corporate community coming together and saying we need an innovation district like 16 Tech for our companies to be able to attract talent to the region,” said Coy.