The Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee is moving its headquarters across town to the Commerce Park, where the economic development organization will share a building with Tech 20/20.
CROET has been located at the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office building complex on Laboratory Road for years, and Tech 20/20 has had its headquarters at 1020 Commerce Drive.
In a press release, John Morris,Â Tech 20/20 president and chief executive officer, said the collaboration between the two economic development organizations brings his career “full circle.”
â€œIn 1996, CROET helped launch one of my start-up companies, Net Learning, with a $100,000 seed loan that served as a catalyst to launch the business,â€ Morris said. â€œThey were there when we could not get traditional funding, and now Iâ€™m excited to have the opportunity to continue to strengthen the partnership between Tech 20/20 and CROET. By being co-located, we will build upon the great relationships weâ€™ve had for years to leverage opportunities and help other businesses and start-ups in non-traditional ways.â€
The press release said the partnership between CROET and Tech 20/20 has played a key role in economic development in Oak Ridge, with projects including the Center for Entrepreneurial Growthâ€™s accelerator fund and the Halcyon Commercialization Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
CROET works with DOE to privatize property, equipment, and facilities that are no longer needed for their original federal missions, while Tech 20/20 is a venture development organization providing an array of entrepreneurial support programs and services, the press release said.
â€œWe were not looking for new space, but decisions made by DOE made it impossible to continue to use the offices previously available to us in the Oak Ridge federal building complex,â€ said Lawrence Young, CROET president and CEO. â€œTech 20/20 and CROET have had a long relationship, and John Morris and I have worked together for years. Iâ€™m pleased we turned what was otherwise an inconvenience and made it a win-win for our organizations and the communities we serve.â€
The press release said the two organizations have succeeded in creating more than 2,000 new jobs, generating more than $55 million in new businesses investments, sold 350,000 square feet of space and 200 acres of land, and leased 260,000 square feet of office and industrial space, creating more than $100 million of capital investments.