5602 Lyons*

Houston, TX

The Cortex Innovation District (Cortex), founded in 2002, is an anchor for St. Louis, Missouri’s growing community of innovative startup companies. Due to this momentum, Cortex desired to make more of an impact with the low-income community and the low-income residents surrounding the district. The development of 4220 Duncan was the next step to achieving their goals.

4220 Duncan, developed by Wexford Science and Technology, builds on the momentum of previous redevelopment efforts, and includes the third Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in the district, Innovation Hall, BJC WellAware, spec lab and office space, and Microsoft, among other tenants. MBS Urban Initiative’s investment in 4220 Duncan not only supports the continued growth and success of the Cortex District, but specifically supports inclusivity and efforts to target lower-income entrepreneurs, workers, and the surrounding community.

Wexford Science and Technology and Cortex worked with nonprofit organizations and workforce development groups to ensure that a significant portion of the construction jobs (90%) and permanent jobs (25%) were accessible to low-income persons in the community. In addition, the Wexford subsidizes rents for low-income or start-up businesses and has a tiered-pricing structure for using the Innovation Hub for community programming or non-profits. It is estimated that the discounts to nonprofits and other mission-aligned organizations equal approximately $1 million annually. With funding from the project, Cortex is expanding the Community Growth Fund and Educator Innovation Fellowship Programs, increasing the accessibility of Cortex programs for local small businesses and high school teachers.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Quick Facts 

Square Footage: 30,019 SF

Total Investment: $8,670,000

Developer: Lockwood Lyons, Ltd.

Owner: Lockwood Lyons, Ltd.

Allocatees: MBS Urban Initiatives CDE, Capital One Community Renewal Fund

NMTC Equity Investor: Capital One

Architect: Identity Architects

Direct lender and leverage lender: Cadence Bank

Community Partner(s): BakerRipley, Frank & Cindy Liu Family Foundation, Houston Food Bank, City of Houston, Rice University

Construction Jobs: 140 FTEs

Projected Permanent Jobs: 66 FTEs, 20 PTEs