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Universities, chasing the startup economy, reshape urban real estate

Patrick Sisson

In the last eight years, the number of homegrown startups in Cortex has risen from 35 to 360, manufacturing startups have clustered in formerly abandoned brick warehouses, Microsoft just opened its first Midwest headquarters in the district last week, and the mobile-payment company Square now plans to employ 600 workers in the city’s Central West End. A former site of vacancies and urban decline has been given a second life. It’s a prime example of how a new type of university-led development has helped shape U.S. cities for the last decade, while also breathing new financial life into universities.