Miami University President Gregory Crawford said the planned center “can be a model of revitalization for small, rural towns like Oxford across the country.”
Total cost for the renovation project is $10.7 million. The facility will house office space, the entrepreneurship training center, start-ups, design and testing area, and space for manufacturing operation.
The project can act as a catalyst, transforming a three-block underdeveloped area in the epicenter of Oxford’s business corridor into a high-tech innovation corridor, said Miami officials.
It will be the fourth renovation in the three-block area that includes the Oxford City Municipal Building project (the former Oxford Lane Library building), the Oxford Community Arts Center (OCAC) and the OCAC Park.
Jessica Greene, assistant city manager of Oxford, said the city “is committed to creating a supportive business climate that encourages the investment and economic growth necessary for a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Miami will operate the College@Elm Innovation and Workforce Development Center and support the Entrepreneurship Training and Incubator Center.
The Fischer Group, with two locations in Butler County and 300 employees, will serve as the project’s operating and manager of the innovation extension program while creating “high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students and attracting new investment to Oxford.”
Randi Thomas, vice president for Miami’s newest department, ASPIRE, advancing strategy, partnerships, institutional relations, and economy, said the high-tech corridor will help create jobs to keep Miami graduates in the Oxford area and southwest Ohio.
“College@Elm will be a magnet for economic development,” said Thomas.