Our Work

Innovation in Place

We’ve completed innovative projects that have helped advance the missions of many institutions throughout the US.

Sparking a Renaissance: West Village and The Chesterfield

Downtown Durham witnessed a revitalization, starting in the early 2000s, spurred in large part by new investment in West Village and The Chesterfield.

West Village comprises eight city blocks of redeveloped historic buildings. It spans 14 acres and includes residential and commercial space. West Village lessee Duke University helped create an organic innovation district in downtown Durham.

An Ancora partner involved in West Village’s early redevelopment made a bold move several years later in the adaptive reuse of The Chesterfield, first acquiring the vacant structure and later selling and contributing to its redevelopment as the market leader with Wexford Science + Technology. Duke University and life sciences firms emerging from Duke, the University of North Carolina, and other regional institutions now occupy The Chesterfield’s 284,000 SF of office and lab space.

The Chesterfield redevelopment also brought Cambridge’s Lab Central and its founder Johannes Fruehauf to Durham. The premier shared lab space model is operated by the BioLabs brand, which has gone on to become the preeminent shared lab operator in the US, with 10 locations in major life sciences markets.

Equality of Opportunity: Electric Works

Since 1883, the former General Electric campus was an economic engine for Indiana’s second largest city. Over time, well-documented trends led to the closing of the 1.2 million SF campus and its 39 acres adjacent to Fort Wayne’s downtown.

Ancora developed a strategy for regeneration of this historic campus, offering a public-private partnership template for inclusive growth in secondary and tertiary cities to leverage and enhance their innovation ecosystems.

Now under construction, the $286 million first phase includes 740,000 SF of office, innovation, healthcare, retail space, and education including a new STEAM public high school at Electric Works.

Growing $62 million to $500 million: Purdue Innovation District

As one of the top STEM universities, Purdue University needed a new front door for business. The university also needed to fund a $62 million public infrastructure obligation. Ancora team members developed a framework plan for over $1 billion of new development supported by a financing strategy to convert tax-exempt, university-owned land to the tax rolls in the creation of a tax increment financing district to fund infrastructure. The plan and subsequent private investment within the district have launched a new, mixed-use innovation district and western gateway to Purdue’s land grant campus.

The district has seen over $500 million of investment, and will ultimately include residential, retail, office, lab, and production uses. Robust industry research partnerships with Saab, Rolls Royce, Elanco Animal Health, and Microsoft are driving research and commercialization in diverse sectors, including aerospace, animal health, and AI.

From Textiles to Startups: Lion Brothers Building

The Lion Brothers building in Baltimore once served as the original 1899 factory for the Lion Brothers apparel company, which continues to thrive as a technologically advanced manufacturer in the region. Vacant yet strategically located adjacent to the University of Maryland BioPark, the 38,000 SF building presented an opportunity to enlarge BioPark’s informal footprint. It was redeveloped by Ancora team members and initially housed a University of Maryland hub for students and faculty to collaborate on health and social issues.

Five years in, the historic space has evolved as a popular destination for early-stage firms looking to locate near the BioPark campus and its life sciences assets. JuneBrain, which is developing an eye-scanning diagnostic tool, recently moved into the building from a location near Washington, DC.

Health Outcomes and the Importance of Place: Health District

Located in one of the state capital’s lowest life expectancy neighborhoods, Indiana University Health understood the importance of ensuring their multi-billion-dollar medical center consolidation project resulted in more than the creation of a state-of-the-art hospital.

Ancora team members worked with Indiana’s largest healthcare provider to develop a strategy that would leverage the investment in the IU Health Medical Center to attract new funding and make meaningful inroads in improving public health and economic opportunities in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus.

Now in the early stages of development, the Health District has attracted a pipeline of nearly $500 million in mixed-use development and health-focused programming that support the needs of the institution’s enterprise strategy while also addressing the long-term needs of the community they serve.