David and Barbara Roux founded the Initiative for Digital Engineering and Life Sciences (IDEALS) in 2018 to create a graduate education institute in Portland, where over time it could become a force for innovation and create opportunity for Maine people. In 2020, they announced a $100 million donation to establish the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine.
After a four-year search for a permanent home for the Institute, IDEALS signed an agreement to purchase the Burnham & Morrill site at One Bean Pot Circle in August 2021, and, on behalf of Northeastern, is leading the zoning, permitting, and development effort for the Roux Campus.
The Roux Campus, the permanent home of the Roux Institute at Northeastern University, will replace the industrialized B&M Baked Bean site with a high-tech hub for learning, research and collaboration in the fields of artificial intelligence, digital engineering, life sciences, and medicine. The campus will offer a new public green space, waterfront access, and pedestrian and bicycle connections for all to enjoy. The familiar B&M building, now a City of Portland designated Historic Landmark, will remain at the heart of the site.
The Roux Campus will transform an industrial site into an ecologically diverse, urban waterfront setting. The Roux Campus will offer three acres of public open space consisting of waterfront, salt meadow and lawn.
The Roux Campus waterfront will be open to the public with sidewalks and bike lanes to provide direct connection to the Back Cove, Eastern Promenade, and mid-town trails.
A public pier, water taxi, picnic spots and kayak & paddleboard rentals will welcome the public to enjoy this restored waterfront asset.
The Roux Institute at Northeastern University offers graduate students and partners experiential learning opportunities in high-tech fields. Introducing new, high-growth career pathways can introduce economic prosperity and improved quality of life.
The Roux Campus will house innovation and learning programs designed to stimulate economic activity in Portland and across Maine.
The Roux Campus is being mindfully designed to create breakthrough moments and transform inspiration. This includes repurposing the existing bean manufacturing building into a start-up incubator space, to continue the legacy of innovation.
The Roux Campus will bring new business to area restaurants, bars, retail shops and services. The campus will integrate as a vital and accessible extension of the East Deering neighborhood.
The addition of restaurants, neighborhood markets and/or other retail operations housed on the Roux Campus will welcome the neighborhood, offering local options that reduce dependence on automobiles.
Recognizing the shortage of housing in Greater Portland, the Roux Campus will include a range of rental housing options to accommodate students, faculty and potentially others as availability allows.
In accordance with the City of Portland’s environmental stewardship plan, One Climate Future, a Sustainability and Resilience Charter is in the works, setting ambitious goals for the campus. State-of-the-art features, systems and techniques will minimize energy consumption campus-wide.
Coastal restoration and a significant reduction in impervious surfaces will reduce the impacts of flooding in the area. All new structures will be constructed well above any anticipated storm surge limits and built for resilience, in anticipation of increasing extreme weather and climate change.
Tradespeople and others can participate in a Roux Campus Construction Lab to learn about techniques, management and trade work on this project. Job fairs will maximize local workforce participation and ongoing training and apprentice programs will be offered.
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