Plans emerge for proposed innovation district at med school site

CHARLOTTE — Plans are starting to take shape for an innovation district in midtown, part of a larger project to build a four-year medical school here. The innovation district, stemming from a strategic combination between Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, will be a space for research, collaboration and cutting-edge technology.

On Tuesday morning, Charlotte-based Atrium hosted a community discussion with Wexford Science & Technology, the Baltimore real estate firm developing the innovation district. Statewide, Wexford already has similar projects in downtown Durham and with Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest innovation quarter.

“We’re going to the community, and we’re asking the community to help guide us, so this project is authentic and respectful of the history of Charlotte and of Brooklyn and (of) the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Dennis Miller, vice president of development at Wexford.

Charlotte’s innovation district will be on an approximately 20-acre site beside the second campus of Wake Forest School of Medicine, at the intersection of Baxter and South McDowell streets. The district will be a compact, urban area that is a mix of office, retail, housing and a “mixing bowl” green space with access to transit, Miller said.

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