A high-tech facility designed to spur innovation and help new businesses has opened in a part of Tuscaloosa that was hit by a killer tornado nearly eight years ago.
The Tuscaloosa News reports that The Edge is aimed at supporting entrepreneurial collaboration and innovation.
The $11.7 million facility is in a part of Tuscaloosa that was designated for development after the area was struck by a tornado that killed dozens of people are leveled much of the city.
"When the tornado of April 27, 2011, destroyed nearly 13 percent of Tuscaloosa, we pledged to rebuild our city in a way that honors all those who lost so much," Mayor Walt Maddox said in a statement.
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"The EDGE not only continues our recovery, but it also provides an opportunity to maximize innovation and entrepreneurship," Maddox said.
The Edge is a 26,000-square-foot (7,900-square-meter) facility and includes 20 offices, 100 workstations and several conference rooms. They are open to anyone who is seeking to build their businesses and in need of working and networking space.
"This facility represents a part of a concerted effort, long in the making, to smartly cultivate a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tuscaloosa," Theresa Welbourne, executive director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and The Edge, said in a statement.
"If you have an idea for a business and need help getting it off the ground, or you're a freelancer looking for a place to work that isn't a home office, The EDGE will have the resources you need to get things done," Welbourne said.
The Edge is near the center of Tuscaloosa, about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the University of Alabama campus.
It is the result of a collaborative effort of the University of Alabama and its Culverhouse College of Business' Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute; the City of Tuscaloosa; and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.