Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT officially owns Innovation Hub
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT now officially owns 92 Eugene O’Neill Drive in downtown New London, where it will begin to create a regional Innovation Center which includes a start-up incubator and co-working space.
On May 6 the Chamber closed on the building and on May 31, held a formal signing for the Department of Economic and Community Development grant of $1.386 million that will allow renovations to begin. By closing on the grant the Chamber is formally agreeing to all the provisions the state laid out as part of the grant.
“This is a historic moment for the Chamber and for eastern Connecticut,” said Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Tony Sheridan. The Innovation Center will serve as a coworking location as well as supporting the development of startup businesses. Additionally, when renovated, the building will have space to provide training and other related services to support the creation of new jobs and businesses in New London and the region. Its focus will be on training, including an 8-week curriculum-based program to help budding entrepreneurs. The curriculum was developed with financial support from Thames River Innovation Place (TRIP) and CT Next.
The Chamber staff, now located in Waterford, will move to the space and serve as an anchor tenant. The venue previously housed Merrill Lynch, which moved out in 2018 and the building has remained vacant since.
When Gov. Ned Lamont recently toured the building, he said: “The needs of businesses and our economy are constantly evolving, and having a business incubator like the one being proposed in New London will provide workers throughout the region with a resource to build their skill sets and become matched with prospective employers. By partnering with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and its many members, we can help ensure that the region continues to grow with the needs of the business community,” he said.
Want to learn more about the Chamber’s Innovation Center? Send an inquiry to info@ChamberECT.com or call the office at 860-701-9113.