From the very start, Baker Electric Building was a place of innovation. In 1910, architect Frank B. Meade designed the Baker Electric Motor Car Building for Walter C. Baker, a pioneer of electric cars, as his first car showroom. The building is listed on the National Register for Historic Places as a historic and architectural landmark. The building is also being redeveloped utilizing green and sustainable design practices and is applying for LEED Silver Certification.
A century later, Northeast Ohio faces a shortage of incubator and post-incubator space for technology companies. The historic redevelopment of the Baker Electric Building addresses this need by providing 52,000 square feet of office and wet and dry lab space for emerging local companies.
Current tenants include Bunge BiPHOR, an innovator in pigments and coatings, Volcano Corporation, developing intravascular ultrasound technology in association with the Cleveland Clinic and Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc. who research and develop molecular diagnostic kits. Other tenants include iNetworks, a venture capital group from Pittsburgh and Cumberland Development, LLC, a real estate developer.
The project is working toward the creation of over 100 new high tech jobs in inner-city Cleveland. As these tenants continue to grow, it's anticipated that they will contribute substantially more employment and tax revenues to Cleveland's economy.
A real estate partnership of Cumberland Development, LLC, New Era Builders and Ariel Ventures bought the building in June of 2006 and immediately began renovation. In May of 2007 Bunge and Volcano moved in as the first tenants.
The $7.1 million project was made possible with the support of NDC's New Markets Tax Credits Program and $1 million from Cuyahoga County's Brownfield Redevelopment Fund.